22 Comments

  1. Joanna

    This is awesome. One thing I’d add is you can change the look of the org chart if you modify the document stencil

  2. Dan S

    Hi,

    Visio novice, sorry if they are very basic questions, but I have 4:

    1 – Visio 2003 has a feature where it automatically goes out and creates a webmap. Why should we do this?

    2 – I followed the instructions, but my map ended up being a single box with “HOME”. I’m thinking I did something wrong.

    3 – How would you name the web site hiarchy? In other words, how can I match my apples (A primary website with a map showing a few levels of what it links to) to your oranges (Library, measurment, usage, etc.)?

    4 – And if I have to enter all of this information manually, how is this a time saver?

    Signed, Confused


  3. Dan S. Here are some brief answers to your questions.

    Visio’s “Generate Site Map” feature is used to crawl an existing website and attempt to map its information architecture. Lazy Sitemap Generator is designed to help you develop a sitemap in the planning stages of web design (before a site is built).

    You may have done something wrong. I know my tool has a lot of steps. But if you follow them accurately, Excel’s “Output” tab should like like the image in Step 5.

    I name navigation areas Nav Account, Nav Search, Nav Main, Nav Feature, Nav Audience, Nav Footer, and make them all children of Home (e.g. these descriptive navigation containers appear in column C while their Level 1 navigational elements begin in column D).

    Developing your site map in Excel lets you focus on the information architecture logic and avoid fiddling with Visio’s formatting and linking, which takes a lot of time and detracts you from staying focused on the thought process of organizing information. Once the hard work of building an outline in Excel is done, you’re just a few steps away from building a nice looking sitemap in Visio. And changing things around in Excel is much easier than breaking and recreating links in Visio.

    Sincerely, Jason Pearce.

  4. Dan S

    I understand now. Many Thanks

  5. Jonathan

    Jason,

    Just wanted to say that I absolutely love this tool and thanks a ton for making it available. I have used it quite a bit on my most recent project.

    The only hiccup I ran into was that I needed to re-save the text tab delimited file in ANSI after it was originally saved through Excel. For some reason Visio could not open the text file unless I re-saved it as ANSI.

    Thanks again.

  6. zef

    this looks great for a new site, but do you know a way to import an existing website into this format? (for a content inventory)


  7. Zef,

    Visio has a tool that will build a sitemap from an existing website. You’ll find it at File > New > Web Diagram > Web Site Map.

    Another tool I’ve used in the past is Xenu’s Link Sleuth. Xenu is designed to look for broken links on an existing website, but it also builds a basic HTML sitemap as an unordered list.

    Jason Pearce

  8. SteveA

    Looks like a great tool! Following running the macro, I haven’t figured out how to insert new rows on the Input and have them appear on the Output tab. The Output tab appears to ignore both new rows and items that have been inserted by shifting cells down. Any tips? Perhaps I need to somehow reset the Output tab content?

  9. LeeH

    This is great! But, I wonder how to add a column to the Output page: I want to have URLs brought over as assignable properties to the shapes.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  10. Dallas John Slieker

    First, let me preface by saying: I use Unix, Linux, Mac, and Windows on a daily basis.

    I am not bashing windows- I am merely making an observation that site maps should not be this difficult to make.

    There’s a tool for mac called OmniGraffle that, once you use it, you’ll realize that site map creation is trivial, and there are tools that turn even complex site maps into easy work. OmniGraffle is such a tool.

    Really, if you have access to a Mac, check it out, then demand that microsoft create similar functionality in Visio. OmniGraffle really has found the easiest way to do this stuff.


  11. This is pretty cool but I wonder how do you make it so that some flows which are common are expressed correctly? For instance, what if there are several parent pages that ultimately link to the same flow of pages, and this flow is never at the same level of hierarchy coming from the various parent pages?

  12. Kris

    Wow. Thanks for this. I work on a lot of enterprise portals — mapping this stuff out by hand is difficult. This is much better.

  13. Cindy

    I use Visio but absolutely hate building site maps in them because I end up spending way too much time on formatting and not enough time thinking about the content. However, my clients need to see something more visual than a spreadsheet. You’ve made me a very happy girl!

  14. Eugene

    Beautiful! Thanks for taking this to the next level! BTW, just want to note that the instructions for Visio 2007 are slightly different, but it still works out in the end.


  15. Neat tool! I also appreciate being able to create sitemaps that go further than 2 clicks.

    But what do you do if you have on the third level, for example, a page that multiple parents connect to?

  16. Jon

    Hmmm, I have a strange one – using Excel 2003 and visio 2003 – works fine apart from the the level items underneath ‘home’ get their order mixed up. weird. the test .txt works fine. i replicate the test .txt, have compared them using exampro and they are identical yet produce the level headings in the wrong order. Any ideas anyone??



  17. Hi Jason, this is a great tool, but I have been having inconsistent results. i get all the way to opening the .txt file in Visio, and the program tells me that it can’t open the file. The one time I got it to work, I had to keep the file named the same as you had it, and in the original download folder. Is it true that I have to do this? Anyother ideas why the .txt file is unopenable?

    thanks Kathleen


  18. ahhh, you need to close the file in Excel first before Visio will open it. 0_o

  19. Karen

    THANK YOU SO MUCH – just had to do a website map for 300 lines, 6 columns deep! Worked great!

  20. Jonny

    Love your work! Really appreciate you making this available. I’m creating the IA for a new website and this will save me hours of time as we adapt and tweak. Cheers.

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