Oh no, not another posting about wires. Yup! I like wires and I like wiring diagrams, especially drawings that are well laid out and easy to read. Color coding your wires helps considerably and adding a legend just makes sense. You can build a legend from scratch if you choose or you can use the “Color By Value” tool within Visio (Visio Professional only). SI 5 ships with Visio 2007 Standard but you can always upgrade to Professional if desired. Here is a comparison to help you decide if it is worth it to you or not.
Obviously the first the thing you should do is determine what wires will be what colors. Generally this is done based on what type of wire it is. SI 5 has some built in color codes and they are shown below.
Wires display in the colors shown above based the Type field for the wire. When I first started using SI software (version 3), I thought the Type field was just another filter. I soon learned that the Type field is used to determine what shapes drop on a Visio page. See this article for more info on this besides wire colors.
Or, instead of using the Line Color dropdown you could right-click the selected wire shape(s) and select Format->Line… for additional line options:
1. Drag over and align multiple wire shapes on a Plan page in Visio.
2. Change the colors as desired.
3. Right-click each wire and uncheck “Show Text”
You could drag this shape to your Cover Sheet page or you could add it to your custom Smart Frame L-scape shape. Here is a video showing how to modify the frame shape.
You must have the Professional version of Visio to use this tool. Visio has a built in tool called “Color by Values” that allows you to easily add a legend on the fly to a drawing. I have the Professional version of Visio 2003 so the steps are shown below. Here are instructions for Visio 2007.
Following the “Legend from Scratch” method above, you could create your own custom legends for everything from Lighting to Electrical to Security as you see fit.