Introduction

The oneAssist MultiConverter supports you in the conversion process of many vector based graphic formats to Microsoft Visio. The most common sources for these graphic files are legacy software, CAD programs and flow charts. In addition to that the MultiConverter imports and exports large amounts of files for you.

This tutorial is a step-by-step guide to converting a workflow file created in iGrafx FlowCharter to Microsoft Visio. It is also available as a video on our YouTube channel.

In further articles we will introduce you to other MultiConverter features like the import mode.

Let us start by selecting the Convert Files menu item on the application's start screen (Fig. 1).

Conversion

To start the conversion process we select the software we want to use. In this case it is the iGrafx FlowCharter in a version between 2000 and 2013 (Fig. 2). The MultiConverter gathers information about the diagram via the source software to recreate it in Visio. This is why we need installed versions of the iGrafx FlowCharter and Microsoft Visio on the same machine. If you do not have valid licenses or running installations of these software products oneAssist can still support you: We are happy to do the conversion for you on our machines and send back the resulting files.

To ensure that the required software is correctly installed the MultiConverter conducts an automatic test before proceeding to the conversion settings (Fig. 3).

The MultiConverter supports the monitoring and recreation of complex folder structures. In our tutorial we will limit ourselves to a single test file that we select from our hard drive (Fig. 4).

At this point we can select any files from different locations on our system (Fig. 5).

The resulting files can be generated at different locations. Even the upload to an internal or external SharePoint server is possible. We decide to use the same folder that contains the source file (Fig. 6).

Now we have the option to adjust the conversion result to our desires (Fig. 7). In addition to settings that can be chosen for every single conversion the MultiConverter has a set of mapping tables. For example these settings allow you to upgrade the fonts in your files to modern variants.

All file formats supported by Visio are available as target formats for your conversion. We are choosing the most common: VSD (Fig. 8).

If you want to print your files after the conversion you can pre-select a print page format at this point. Since we don't want to print our test file we don't make a selection (Fig. 9).

We recommend to create a preview before spending a conversion license (Fig. 10). So potential problems can be detected early on.

When converting files with the iGrafx FlowCharter the MultiConverter will test if all objects used in the file are known and an accurate conversion can take place.

Our sample file contains 9 objects that are not known to the MultiConverter (Fig. 11). Now we have the option to skip the conversion and instead add the unknown objects to the mapping table. In our tutorial we will proceed with the conversion and have a look at the result.

The conversion time varies depending on several factors. These include the machine that runs the application, the size of the file, the amount of text it contains and the Visio version you are using.

Microsoft has released hotfixes for some versions of Visio that will drastically speed up the text formatting process. More information can be found in our FAQ.

Since we chose to use the preview feature we get a reminder now that there is a file waiting for our approval (Fig. 12).

Preview feature

The preview menu displays all pages of the converted document (Fig. 13). The MultiConverter replaced all unknown objects with red/yellow placeholder shapes. That way we know which objects we need to add to the mapping table to perfect our conversion result.

Using the analysis feature unknown objects can be identified even before starting a conversion. We recommend to use the analysis when you begin to convert a new set of iGrafx FlowCharter files.

FlowCharter Shape Analysis

We start the FlowCharter Shape Analysis and select our sample file (Fig. 14).

Again the 9 unknown objects have been found (Fig. 15). This time they are added to the mapping table. The mapping table contains the names of the iGrafx FlowCharter objects in the first column. The second column contains the names of the Visio shapes and the third the name or the path to the Visio stencil file containing the shape (Fig. 16).

The newly found unknown objects are added to the end of the table.

One example for each added entry was copied to a reporting file that can be found in the same folder as the analyzed file. Now we open the reporting file in iGrafx FlowCharter. The text of each object tells us the name the iGrafx FlowCharter uses for the object (Fig. 17).

The object that is known to the iGrafx FlowCharter as Work Activity is the process shape in Visio. We add the names of all unknown objects and the names of the corresponding Visio shapes to the mapping table and start the conversion again.

Another look at the preview feature shows us the desired result (Fig. 18). Via the Release Conversion button we release the Visio diagram and it is copied to our hard drive. Only now a conversion license is used.

Final remarks

If you want to convert several files and have added all the unknown objects to the mapping table you can start the conversion without the preview feature and directly receive the resulting files in your chosen Visio file format.

This concludes our first tutorial. In the next one we will use the MultiConverter's free of charge import and export feature to convert a folder structure of files in the old VSD format to the new VSDX format.