Thursday, 1 October 2009

Drawing Pictures - Communications

Being a successful SAS developer means more than just writing great code. You need to be able to communicate your ideas and solutions to users and colleagues. The most commonly available writing tool is Microsoft Word. For those that use Word, there is a great drawing tool within it, but it's a hidden secret for many.

You may have dabbled with adding a shape or two, but the secret to producing complex diagrams in Word is to create a drawing canvas that the text will wrap around and allow your individual shapes in the drawing to be grouped together.
If you use Word 2003, you can add a diagram to your text by selecting Insert / Picture / New Drawing. For Word 2007, you need to select Insert / Shapes / New Drawing Canvas. By inserting a canvas, you have a rectangular area in whihc to create your diagram without worry that the individual shapes might be split-up later because you've added text to your document.

So, what shapes shall we use for our diagram? Well,