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Desktop client

The VisDynamica desktop client is a custom application that interacts with a Visio document and the resources server to produce the final result – a VisDynamica prototype. It is a single file application, that does not require any installation, it just needs to be run in order to export the prototype from a Visio drawing. The desktop client is available for download for the registered users of VisDynamica.com.

Want to see it live? Download the 5 minute test package and run VisDynamica.exe.

1. Main action button

This button is used for connecting to the resources server and, after the connection is established, exporting the VisDynamica prototype. At startup, the desktop client tries to register a system wide hotkey (Alt+Shift+F12) to run these functions even when the focus is in another window.

2. Tabs

There are three different views in the desktop client:

  • Logs – this contains the event registry, as well as progress reports during actions that take more time (e.g. exporting the prototype). When an error appears, it will also be most likely noted in the log, so please include it in any bug report.
  • Pages – this tab fills in after successful connecting to a Microsoft Visio™ document. It lists all the pages found in that document. Selecting pages on that list allows to control the scope of the exporting process (e.g. limit it only to the recently modified pages).
  • Setup – this tab contains basic configuration options, that help to optimize the export process.

3. More actions menu

The More actions menu contains special macros, that can be used while Microsoft Visio™ is running:

  • Start a new document – this macro opens a empty VisDynamica template document, that is embedded in the desktop client. It is strongly recommended to use this macro when starting a new project.
  • Backup the current document – this macro saves a copy of the opened document in its original folder. Name of that new file contains the current date and time.
  • Create a PDF document – this macro is available for Visio 2010 only, as it is using the native function for saving the document to a PDF file. Prior to the export, it toggles some of the VisDynamica shapes as available for printing, to make them visible in the exported file (e.g. form shapes). After the export the settings are switched back to the original state.

4. Configuration options

Runtime options are configured in the Setup tab. These options influence the exporting process:

  • Export only the pages – this setting exports only the chosen pages, skipping all the general prototype scripts. Use to update an existing prototype a little faster.
  • Extract all CutOuts to separate images – for prototypes created to work on mobile devices, this setting helps to limit the blurring effect that might appear on large pages.
  • Export all captions to a separate html file – This setting saves an additional “captions.html” file, containing all captions used in the prototype.
  • Add the sidebar with a list of all pages to the exported prototype – Leaving this unchecked hides the pages list sidebar, making the exported prototype look more realistic.
  • After exporting the prototype, open it in a browser – when checked, after the exporting process is finished, its result is either opened in a new browser window, or an existing browser window with opened VisDynamica prototype is brought to top.

5. Tab action buttons

These buttons are specific to tabs:-

  • Logs – there are two actions: Copy, that automatically copies the logs to the clipboard, and Clear, that clears the log.
  • Pages – this tab offers two actions: All / None that automatically selects or unselects all pages on the list, and Reload, that reloads the pages list from the active Microsoft Visio™ document.

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