Visio’s “Template Help” is getting annoying
I’ve just discovered how to turn off the “Template Help” task pane in Visio 2003. Good grief, what an annoying feature that task pane is!
Every time I started Visio, I was being presented with the “Template Help” task pane. It’s an annoying sidebar that sits on the right-hand side of Visio and offers links to online resources for developing Visio templates.
Sounds useful, except that I have no interest in templates. My guess would be that most Visio users have no need for the nagging help bar. Even worse is that it takes up a God-awful amount of screen real-estate so every time I open Visio I have to close the task pane.
The Visio team rightly observes,
The task pane is intended to help people learn more about various diagram types. Unfortunately the design tends to focus on the initial usage experience (having the template help in your face) at the expense of ongoing productivity (having lots of drawing space). Perhaps the biggest problem is that there is no place on the task pane itself to disable the automatic behavior.
To compound the problem, it’s not really apparent where you can disable this behaviour. You’d think the option to turn it off — there has to be an option right? — would be on the “View” tab in the Options dialog.
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, of course I tried the “Startup Task Pane” checkbox. It does absolutely nothing as far as I can tell.
So, where is it instead?
Amazingly, the option is hidden away in another dialog that comes up when you click that “Service Options” button, logically filed away under the “Drawing window options” section of that General options tab.
Okay, so the options could have been better organized. What about that task pane? Is this going to be the new Clippy of the Office series?
Thankfully not. The Visio team has removed the “feature” in Visio 2007. Not that my employer is likely to upgrade to Office 2007 anytime soon seeing as how we only just migrated to Office 2003. I can only hope the layout of the options in Office 2007 makes more sense than the current layout.