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Microsoft Visio tips

Some Microsoft Visio tips and configuration advise that I hope you find them useful!

  1. Formatting
  2. Setting up environment
  3. Rack Equipment




1. Formatting

  • Click File >> Options >> Advanced and set the maximum undos to 99
  • Click File >> Options >> Advanced >> scroll down to the bottom to General, and select “Run on Developer Mode” so that you can see the Developer tab too
  • To Zoom-in and Zoom-out do Crtl + Shift + left or right click on the mouse; you can also do this operation while dragging
  • When adding a background, you can edit the background page to modify it
  • To customize what shapes the blue-triangle add for you, modify the top 4 shapes so that they are close to the one you’re adding

Microsoft Visio Tips more shapes


  • If you add a shape in between 2 x shapes, they will auto-arrange

Microsoft Visio Tips auto-arrange


  • To distribute the space equality on a diagram, click on Home > Auto Align & Space
  • Also click on Home > Position to align shapes vertically or horizontally
  • To adjust the page to your diagram, click on Design >> Re-Layout Page under the group "Layout"
  • If you click on Design > Layout Page > More Layout options, you can configure the appearance of connectors and general layout of the page


Microsoft Visio more layout options


  • If you go to View > Visual Aids you can open the Snap & Glue option

Microsoft Visio Snap and Glue

  • On the advanced tab of Snap & Glue you can also decide how the extension and connected are layout on the diagram

Microsoft Visio Advanced Snap and Glue


  • You can go to Fill > Options and fill some shadows for your shape if you want


Microsfot Visio Fill

  • Select a connector and then use Format > Line > and set the cap to be Round, it will look a lot nicer
  • To type on a shape, you just need to select it and begin typing, no need to double-click
  • You can create Background Pages and customise them to your need; this is the way to insert a customized background for a company, etc. Then edit the page and assign the background to it

Microsoft Visio background Shape

  • The “Text Block” symbol allows you to move the text around inside a shape

Microsoft Visio Hello World

  • To quickly access “Page Setup”, click on the small triangle next to Insert > Auto Size
  • Guides help you with arranging shapes as you go along, just drag them from the top of the ruler and untick the box to hide them


Microsoft Visio Guides


  • View > Task Pane > Pan and Zoom (great stuff!0

Microsoft Visio Pan and Snap

  • Open the same file twice, click on “Arrange All” and get a double shot at the zoom of the same file

Microsoft Visio Arrange all



2. Setting up environment

  • Always turn off  View > Autoconnect
  • To create custom connection points, select the shape and then click on the “X” close to the actual connection point tool. Then hold the “Control” key and click on the shape on the location where you want to have connection points. Create your own connection points is the key!!!

Microsoft Visio autoconnect


Use “Layers” to organise your drawing just like on AutoCad/Prohoshop, setup layers for servers, routers, etc. Most Visio shapes will add a layer as you add them to the diagram

You can also make a layer “non-printable”, so that some things are not printed if you don’t want (a third party person does not need all the bits regarding the diagram, etc)

Microsoft Visio connector

You can modify the properties of a data sheet by right-clicking on the pane and selecting “Define Data Shape”, then you can replace “String” for “variables” and enter the values separated by “;” that you need

Microsoft Visio tips location

Do give an “Asset Number” to each one of the shape, so you can import/export data to excel, etc

Microsoft Visio Asset Number

Create “Data Graphics” and “Rules” and link it to your visio file, so cool

Microsoft Visio legend


You can go to the “Review” tab > Shape Reports and select an “Inventory” report, choosing a Visio drawing that you can add to the diagram

Microsoft Visio share reports

File > Save & Send > Save to SharePoint will allow you to publish the stuff to sharepoint and get update as we go along

Control + Shift + W = returns you to the 100% view page diagram

Click on View > New Window, then “Arrange All” to have two windows open of the same diagram, where you can zoom in or out as your need require

Organise your stuff by layers!!!!!! ( Home > Layers); one hidden facility of this is that you can choose any layer to be non-printable if you want (to present the diagram to 3rd party consultants, for example) You can also “lock” a layer is you want

Right-click a Shape > Format > and untick “Allow Theme” to prevent a theme from being applied to them

Organizational Charts, with the option to hide subordinates and to import pictures of the staff, is very good for any business


3. Rack Equipment

Instead of resizing the rack, re-adjust the page vs. rack scale by right-clicking “Page Setup” and visiting “Drawing Scale”, set it to let’s say 10 = 1

Microsoft Visio rack




If Microsoft Visio freezes, visit this entry key and delete all of its contents: