Scratch Section

A work area for entering and testing formulas that can be referred to by other cells.


You can add this section using the Insert Section dialog box. Make sure the ShapeSheet window is the active window, then on the Insert menu, click Section.

The Scratch section is typically used to isolate repeated complex calculations. If your solution has a well-defined purpose, it's wiser to use a cell in the User-Defined Cells section for clarity because User cells can be named.

Cells in the Scratch section use units in two different ways. X and Y cells use drawing units; A through D cells don't use units. (In C programmers' jargon, X and Y cells are "typed," and cells A through D are "void.") The Scratch X and Y cells are often used for deriving x- and y-coordinates, such as PinX and PinY, or the X and Y cells found in a Geometry section cell. Scratch cells A through D can display whatever units you specify.

A further difference is the way these cells store point values. A point in Visio is a single data package for an (x,y) coordinate. When a formula returns a point value, that value is interpreted in one of three ways, depending on the ShapeSheet cell the formula is in. Cells that relate to x-coordinates (for example, PinX, or cells in the X column of a Geometry section) extract just the x-coordinate part of a point value. Cells that relate to y-coordinates extract just the y-coordinate part of a point value.

For example, Visio extracts the formula PNT(3,4) in these three ways.

Cell If you enter Visio treats it as Result




3.0000 in.




4.0000 in.




PNT(3.0000 in., 4.0000 in.)