Visio

Visio for the web is out!

Microsoft Mechanics (YouTube) has made me aware that Visio for the web was now available. Check out the above video for a great overview on what this is, but I’ll break down my findings so far:

Visio for the web is ‘free’ as long as you have a business license of any sort. The full version of Visio is still available, and there’s a list of feature comparisons between the two here. As the name suggests, Visio for the web is purely a web based version of Visio, but isn’t just a viewer – it allows creating and editing of Visio files. You can download the results as an actual Visio file, or PDF/Image file.

Opening Visio up to to all users in an environment is a big change. Historically, it was limited to an expensive license, so staff who had basic occasional needs would often miss out on using Visio – either by trying to do diagrams in Microsoft Word (which is a horrible experience!), finding a 3rd party solution, or just not doing it.

Although Visio for the web has hit ‘General availability’, as per the advisory below, it is currently rolling out to tenants and is planned to be completed by January 2022:

How do you know if it’s in your tenant? Either see if you have the Visio app in your list of apps:

No Visio
Yes Visio

Or, just try and go to Visio for the web on the URL https://www.office.com/launch/visio?auth=2 and see if you can create a ‘New blank drawing’

My experience was that although the Visio for the web page loaded, I couldn’t create a New blank drawing in a tenant that didn’t have Visio for the web enabled yet:

No license for Visio for the web

Adding a Visio Tab into Microsoft Teams: The app will probably be allowed by default in the Microsoft Teams admin center, you check check directly on this link https://admin.teams.microsoft.com/policies/manage-apps/com.microsoft.teamspace.tab.file.staticviewer.visio/

However, the client side experience was a bit more confusing. On the tenant that didn’t have Visio for the web option available yet, I could add a tab for Visio and pick a file (not that I had any). However, on the tenant that had Visio for the web had the option on the web based version of Microsoft Teams, but not the Teams client. This was on preview version 1.4.00.29480 (64-bit) (and I checked for updates), but a ‘standard’ version of Teams in the same tenant, different user, had the Visio option. Your results may vary!

In the Microsoft Mechanics video, they pointed out that using Visio as a pseudo whiteboard due to it’s sharing capabilities was a really good point. It adds to some of the solutions the product can solve – a virtual whiteboard that may be much easier to use, rather than trying to draw squares, circles and lines with a mouse.

There is a ‘Beginner tutorial for Visio’ content that covers “Visio on the web” is not actually “Visio for the web” as far as I can tell after going through some of the instructions that don’t work. There’s also other references to ‘Visio for the web’ such as this one https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/visio-blog/we-heard-you-diagramming-is-even-easier-in-visio-for-the-web/ba-p/1670427 , so hopefully some of the naming gets cleared up.

There doesn’t really seem to be any content that I could find, to share with end users on Visio for the web basics. If you find something, please share!

Excel – Something Went Wrong While Downloading Your Template

Excel 2013 and 2016 have a great inbuilt feature of having online pre-built templates available for different purposes. You find them by going to File > New. Templates such as Family Budgets or Back to School Planners. They’re hosted by Microsoft and download the template as you need them:

List of Excel 2016 Templates

Normally you’d pick the template you want, and use the create option:

Creating an Excel 2016 Template

However, there’s a scenario I found that this doesn’t work, and you’ll see the message ‘Something went wrong while downloading your template’:

Something went wrong

After digging around for a bit, I found this Technet thread¬†which mentioned uninstalling Visio Viewer to fix it. Seems strange, but I tried this and it worked. I wasn’t happy with that as a solution though, so logged a Microsoft case.

I went through the process of capturing fiddler traffic and logs, but was then asked a simple question: Was Visio Viewer 32 or 64 bit? I had a look and it was 64 bit, however the Office 2016 suite itself was 32 bit. I quickly guessed that 32 and 64 bit wasn’t a good mix for Office products, even if they were installed separately.

Sure enough, using Visio Viewer 32 bit with Excel 2016 32 bit fixed the problem.

 

TL;DR – Visio Viewer needs to match your Office/Excel install – 32 bit or 64 bit for both.