Visio is easier to use than you think with these tips!

What is Visio? Visio is a Microsoft program that allows you to create organizational charts, floor plans, flow charts, network diagrams, audit diagrams, charts and graphs, workflow diagrams, Gantt and PERT charts and so much more!

Here are some tips and tricks to making Visio work for you:

Editing Shapes

  • Really messed up?  Did you know you can undo up to 99 times?  Just make sure to increase your amount of undos prior to working on your project by going to the Advanced category of your Options dialog box.
  • To make shapes the same size, select them and, in the Size & Position Window (from the Task Panes button on the View tab), type the Height and the Width do get the exact measurement.
  • To highlight and edit the text inside a shape, select the shape and press F2. Your shape’s text will become highlighted and ready for you to edit.

Select shapes

  • Need to select multiple shapes? Use the Lasso Select tool to drag a selection box around the shapes you want. To get to the tool, go to the Home tab and in the Editing group, click Select, and select Lasso Select.
  • To quickly select all shapes on a page, press Ctrl+A.
  • If you need to deselect one or two shapes from a multi-shape selection without starting over, press Shift and click the shape or shapes you want to remove from your selection.

Position shapes

  • Are your shapes all over the place? Select the shapes you want to align and then pick the alignment you desire from the Position button on the Home tab.
  • To place equal amounts of space between your shapes, select three or more shapes and select Space Shapes from the Position button.
  • To move shapes vertically or horizontally, hold down the Shift button while you drag the shapes.
  • To nudge your shape to just the right place, select the shape and then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to bump it in the direction you desire. For even slighter adjustments, hold Shift while using the arrow keys.

Navigation

  • To zoom in on a part of a drawing, click Pan & Zoom from the Task Panes button on the View tab. Once in the Pan & Zoom window, click and drag to create a red box around the area you want to magnify. You can then move the box by dragging the edge to magnify another area of your drawing.
  • Ctrl+W for the 2007 version and Ctrl+Shift+W for 2010 and 2013 will allow you to center and resize your drawing to fit in the available space of your Visio window.
  • To quickly zoom in on your drawing, use Alt+F6.  To zoom out use Alt+Shift+F6.
  • Ctrl+Shift and clicking on a specific point in your drawing will allow you to zoom in on that area.
  • Ctrl+Shift and right clicking will allow you to zoom out.

Connect shapes

  • In order to have shapes connect automatically as you drag them onto your drawing, you first need to select the Connector tool and then drag a shape onto the page. While the first shape is still selected, drag another shape onto the drawing page. The Connector tool is found in the Tools group on the Home tab.
  • AutoConnect allows you to perform multiple tasks in a single action by dropping a new shape onto the page, connecting the new shape to the original shape, and then aligning and spacing the new shape with other shapes in the diagram. With version 2010, AutoConnect now allows you to choose from up to four Quick Shapes (commonly used shapes) from the current stencil as the added shape.  AutoConnect is enabled by default.

Working with stencils

  • You can create a new stencil to hold shapes that you use often and want to find quickly. In the Shapes window (along the left), click More Shapes, and then select New Stencil. In the Shapes window, right-click the new stencil and select Save As. Type a name for your stencil, and then click Save. By default, custom stencils are saved in your My Shapes folder.
  • To save your shape to a custom stencil, right click the shape on the stencil, hover over Add To My Shapes, and choose Favorites or a stencil you have already named.

File basics

  • To keep track of more files on the recently used file list, open the Options dialog box. Select the Advanced category and in the Display section, type the number of files you want to see, and then click OK. Visio can list up to twelve files.
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