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Shape Text Disappears when File is Opened

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Ref: 20090710
Last edited 15th January 2010


When a map created in a previous version is opened in Process Navigator 4.62, the shapes are automatically upgraded, and the text on some shapes may disappear.


This behaviour is rare, and seems to affect shapes whose master is a spurious copy of one of the main masters. It seems that the upgrade process wrongly re-arranges the stacking order of the constituent shapes of the main shape, and so the component that contains the text is hidden behind others.

In the only instance of this behaviour that we've encountered, it was resolved by amending the associated master on the drawing's Document Stencil. The following procedure explicitly references a particular master and its shapes, but it could be applied elsewhere. However, if you encounter this problem on shapes other than Activities, we'd recommend you report this to support@triaster.co.uk so that we can verify a suitable resolution.

The cause of this is that Visio 2003 and 2007 appear to ignore Match Master by Name on Drop unless the document's stencil window is opened before a new shape is instanced. To see this, repeat the above steps but this time prior to dropping the shapes, select File > Shapes > Show Document Stencil. The stencil need not remain open, it merely needs to be opened at some point. When it is opened, the above problems do not happen.

  1. Open the map in Visio. (Note: The map is upgraded automatically. Text disappears on some Activities.)
  2. Right-click on a problem shape > Format > Special.
  3. Note its master, then close the dialog. (Note: for the remainder of this article, the master name is assumed to be 'Activity.14', but in other cases, could be something else.)
  4. In Visio, File > Shapes > Show Document Stencil
  5. Right click 'Activity.14' > Edit Master > Edit Master Shape. - (Note: A 'Stencil:Activity.14' window opens.)
  6. Click once in the white rectangle (i.e. the Activity master) to select it (so that the shape is outlined and the eight green square sizing handles are visible).
  7. Type 'Text' so that it's displayed in the Activity, and then click outside the Activity. (The text may disappear. This is dummy text which should allow the component shape that contains the text to be manipulated more easily, and will be deleted later.)
  8. Click once in the white rectangle to select it again.
  9. Edit > Open Activity. (Note: A 'Stencil:Activity.14:Activity<GROUP>' window opens.)
  10. Click once in the white rectangle to select it.
  11. Right-click the white rectangle > Format > Special.
  12. The name ought to be 'MainShape'. Click Cancel to close the dialog.
  13. If so, right-click the white rectangle > Shape > Send to Back. (Note: The text should become visible again.)
  14. Click outside the white rectangle so that nothing is selected.
  15. Right-click the text > Format > Special.
  16. The name ought to be 'Sheet.<number>'. Click Cancel to close the dialog.
  17. If so, right-click the text > Shape > Bring to Front. (Note: The effect of this won't be visually apparent.)
  18. Close that window. (Note: The 'Stencil:Activity.14' window becomes visible.)
  19. Click the text, press F2 to highlight it, then press Delete to delete it.
  20. Click outside the white rectangle.
  21. Close the 'Stencil:Activity.14' window, agreeing to any prompt to "Update 'Activity.14' and all of its instances." (Note: You should find that the Activity text is now visible, and that when you open the Properties dialog of such an Activity, the name is displayed correctly.)
  22. Close the Document Stencil.
  23. Save the file.
Version 4.62.14 and later of Process Navigator automatically open and close the Document stencil when a map is being opened. This appears to resolve the problem.
Applies to:
  • Process Navigator 4.60, 4.61, 4.62

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