“ I would suggest that making sure the fiddling boxes note up is a waste of an IA ’ s mental abilities. … So what is an IA to do ? ”
This article further develops the excellent Automating Diagrams with Visio by Michael Angeles.
Sitemaps are common deliverables, desired by clients who want a ocular representation of a site. Since they are rarely used to make decisions, data architects may not consider them the valuable tools they are. The feat required to make and maintain them requires time that might be better used elsewhere. In fact, I would suggest that making surely the little boxes credit line up is a waste of an IA ’ s genial abilities .
specially when your sitemap looks like this.

so what is an IA to do ? Turn to Excel, of run. Storing sitemap data in a structured datum format such as Microsoft Excel makes the data easy to edit, easy to plowshare with the team, and slowly to elaborate on ( for example, adding model notes and URLs that may not be appropriate for the map itself ). unfortunately, this approach requires maintaining a spreadsheet in addition to maintaining the ocular sitemap .
Or does it ?
This article includes bit-by-bit instructions on how to make sitemaps with :
1. Excel and Visio 2000 or Visio 2003 ( Windows only )
2. Word and Inspiration ( Mac OS and Windows )
Use these faineant techniques and spend your clock time on better and more interesting problems than lining up little boxes !


I ’ ve choose these three options because they use standard applications that store the sitemap data in a format that can be edited by non-IAs. Each option demonstrates how you can store the data in the inaugural format ( Excel or Word ) and import it into the second program ( Visio or Inspiration ) to—Voila ! —create the sitemap .
You can use this slide fastener file to access all the templates referenced in this article. I suggest doing the drill once with the sample distribution file to get the hang of it, then editing that file to your needs. The Excel spreadsheet has been written to do some semi-fancy calculations to let you store your data on the consequence sheet in a nice format and to output Visio-readable data on the output tabloid .
1. alone edit data on the Input page.
2. Eliminate blank rows in the middle of your data.
3. The peak sitemap box must be in field A2.
4. The template is defined for up to 200 elements

Technique 1: Excel and Visio 2000 / 2003

This overture uses the spell data feature of Visio 2000 ( Note that this feature has been removed in Visio 2003 ) and ( nautical mile ) uses the “ Organization Chart Wizard ” from Visio 2003. You store and manage the sitemap data ( the tilt of links in a integrated organization ) in Microsoft Excel, save it as a text charge, and import it into Visio for agile visual image .
Step 1 : Enter your sitemap data in the “ Input ” sheet in the file “ template_for_visio_2000_and_2003.xls. ”
For Visio 2003, proceed to the variation below.
Step 2 : Go to the “ Output for Visio 2000 ” sheet ( and pay it no mind ).
Save as Type “ Text ( pill delimited ). ”
You will see two alerts. Click OK and Yes .
Close the file. You may get the alerts again, hit “ OK ” and “ Yes. ” Closing the file is actually important !
Step 3 : open Visio 2000. Click “ Open. ” Choose Files of Type “ Text ( .txt, .csv ). ” Choose the file you just saved.
Step 4 : When the dialogue box pops up, set Field centrifuge to [ Tab ] Text Delimiter to “ Comment Character to ;. Click “ OK. ”
Step 5 : A sitemap ! Edit your sitemap to suit your fancy.

Variation for Visio 2003

Step 2 : snap on the Sheet tab “ Output Visio 2003 ” ( and pay it no judgment ). Save the Excel charge and close it.
Open Visio 2003. Select the “ Organization Chart Wizard. ”
Step 3 : Select “ Information that is stored in a file or database. ” Click “ Next. ”
Step 4 : Select “ A textbook, Org Plus ( *.txt ), or Microsoft Excel file. Click “ Next. ”
Step 5 : Find the demonstration file included with this display “ example_visio_2003.XLS. ” Click “ Next. ”
Step 6 : Leave these defaults. Click “ Next. ”
Step 7 : Remove “ Title ” as a expose field. Click “ Next. ”
Step 8 : Ignore the Custom Property fields ( though you might be able to think of some consumption for the early fields in some interest way ). Click “ Next. ”
Step 9 : You can make sitemaps that span multiple pages. Choose “ specify. ” Click “ Next. ”

Step 10 : This allows you to define the acme Sitemap box on the page. If you follow the Excel template, you can leave this alone. Click “ Finish. ”
Step 11 : A sitemap !
Step 12 Right cluck on the sitemap to edit properities.
“ Arrange subordinates ” changes the sitemap layout.
“ Change Position ” changes the spirit of the boxes

Technique 2: Microsoft Word and Inspiration

This ( nautical mile ) uses the flowcharting instrument Inspiration. To do thus, you format the sitemap in Microsoft Word outline format, save it as a RTF document, spell it into Inspiration, and modify the diagram to look like a sitemap. The outline format can besides be created directly in Inspiration, but storing the data in Word allows you to better collaborate with coworkers and clients .
Step 1 : Outline your sitemap using Microsoft Word ’ s Outline format. Save it as a RTF file. ( tone 1 is optional : you can make the delineate in Inspiration, but some users may wish a more accessible format, like Microsoft Word. )
Step 2 : open Inspiration. Create a new file. Open the RTF file .
Step 3 : inspiration converts the RTF charge to its own format. You may have to do some child edit to remove space rows, as shown above. ( attend image 26 )
Step 4 : Click the ” diagram ” button at the upper left. What a batch ! But click the “ stage “ button…
Step 5 : blue-ribbon diagram type “ Top down Tree ” and Lower floor stacking option “ Right. ”
Better arranged, but visually lacking.
Step 6 : Select all then click the rectangle in the menu bar. nowadays you can do things like take off the shed tail, change the fill tinge to blank, change the cable color, etc.
A sitemap !
Working hard, hardly working
Sitemaps can be utilitarian tools and are a whole fortune easier when you separate the data from the visual image. After you have done these steps a few times, you will be able to update a sitemap in under a minute .
All these techniques can be expanded and improved upon. Let me know what you have done and what works for you. Have fun, but don ’ t solve besides hard !

This article references the follow downloads :
Templates referenced in article ( Visio, Inspiration, Excel )
For more information
This article includes bit-by-bit instructions on how to make sitemaps with :
Excel and Visio 2000 or Visio 2003 ( Windows only )
Word and Inspiration ( Mac OS and Windows )
Downloadable excel Site Map Thanks to Jon Stuckey and Marcia Stanton .

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