Here are some basic tasks that you can do to help you learn how to use
Microsoft Visio 2010.
What is Visio?
Visio 2010 is a graphical and drawing application that helps you to
visualize, explore, and communicate complex information. With Visio, you can
transform complicated text and tables that are hard to understand into Visio
diagrams that communicate information at a glance.
Visio provides modern shapes and templates for a diverse set of diagramming
needs, including IT management, process modeling, building and architecture, UI
design, human-resource management, project management, and more.
Instead of static pictures, you can create data-connected Visio Professional
2010 and Visio Premium 2010 diagrams that display data, are easy to refresh, and
dramatically increase your productivity. You can use the wide variety of diagram
templates and stencils in Visio to understand, act on, and share information
about organizational systems, resources, and processes throughout your
You can integrate data to shapes from a variety of real-time data sources,
including Excel, Access, SQL, SharePoint lists, or any OLEDB or ODBC data
source, with just a few clicks in a Data Wizard.
Web drawings with Visio
Beyond basic sharing via e-mail or static web pages, the latest innovations
in Visio 2010 allow users the ability to see rich, compelling visuals, shapes,
and processes via their browser – even if they don’t have Visio. You can publish
Visio Professional 2010 and Visio Premium 2010 web drawings using Visio
Services, a feature of SharePoint Server 2010 that renders interactive and
data-connected diagrams. Your Visio Web drawings can display data from a variety
of sources, including Excel, SQL, SharePoint lists, or any OLEDB or ODBC data
Warning Access Services is
not supported for data linking in Visio Web drawings.
In addition, by connecting your web diagrams to a refreshable source file,
viewers can see real-time data within the shapes, giving them an accurate and
Find and apply a template
Visio 2010 allows you to apply built-in templates, to apply your own custom
templates, and to search from a variety of templates available on Office.com.
Office.com provides a wide selection of popular Excel templates, including process
diagrams, and floorplans.
To find and apply a template in Visio, do the following:
- On the File tab, click New.
- Under Choose a Template, do one of the following:
- To use one of the built-in templates, under Template
Categories, click the category that you want, and then click the template
that you want and click Create.
- To reuse a template that you’ve recently used, under Recently
Used Templates, click the template that you want and then click Create.
- To use your own template that you previously created, under Other Ways to Get Started, click New from
existing, navigate to the file that you want and click Create
- To find a template on Office.com, under Other Ways to Get
Started, click Office.com templates, select the template
that you want, and then click Download to download the
template from Office.com to your computer.
Note You can also search for
templates on Office.com from within Visio. To search for templates on
Office.com, under Other Ways to Get Started, click Office.com templates. In the Search Office.com for
templates box, type one or more search terms, and then click the arrow
button to search.
Create a new diagram
- Click the File tab. This opens up the Backstage
Note You are
in the Backstage view when you first open Visio. If you have just opened Visio,
proceed to the next step.
- Click New.
- Under Choose a Template, below Other Ways to
Get Started, click Blank drawing.
- Click Create.
When the diagram template opens, most of the space is taken up with a blank
diagramming page. Along the side is the Shapes window, which
contains several stencils full of shapes.
The stencils are identified by title bars at the top of the Shapes window; you might need to scroll the title bar pane to see
them all. When you click a stencil title bar, the shapes appear in the pane
Open a diagram
- Click the File tab, and then click Open.
- In the left pane of the Open dialog box, click the drive
or folder that contains the drawing.
- In the right pane of the Open dialog box, open the folder
that contains the drawing that you want.
- Click the drawing and then click Open.
Save a diagram
You can save your diagram as a standard Visio file that you can share with
other people who have Visio. In addition, there are many different formats that
you can save your diagram in directly from the Save As dialog
- Click the File tab.
- Click Save As, and then select a format in the Save as type list.
The different formats are useful for different ways of using or sharing your
- Standard image file including
JPG, PNG, and BMP formats.
- Web page in HTM format. Image
files and other resource files are saved in a subfolder of the location where
you save the HTM file.
- PDF or XPS file
- AutoCAD drawing in DWG or
Add a shape
- From the Shapes window, click and hold the shape that you
- Drag the shape onto the diagram page.
For more information about how to add shapes, see Use
the Shapes window to organize and find shapes and Find
more shapes and stencils.
Add a connector between two
To add a shape to the drawing page so that it is automatically connected when
it is added to the page, do the following:
- Drag a first shape onto the drawing page.
- Hold your pointer over the shape that is already on the page. Notice that
small blue arrows appear on the four sides of the shape. These are AutoConnect
arrows that you can use to connect shapes.
The Service Request shape with the
AutoConnect arrows shown.
- Move the pointer to cover one of the arrows.
A mini toolbar that contains four shapes appears, and a
preview shape might also appear on the page. As you move the pointer over the
shapes in the mini toolbar, previews of the shapes appear. The shapes on the
toolbar are the top four shapes from the Quick Shapes area.
- Click one of the shapes in the mini toolbar to add it to the page.
To automatically connect two shapes when you drag the second shape onto the
page, do the following:
- Drag one shape onto the drawing page.
- Drag a second shape onto the drawing page and hold it so it covers the
first shape, but do not drop it yet. Notice that the AutoConnect arrows
The Analyze shape is placed on the bottom
AutoConnect arrow on the Service Request shape.
- Move the second shape down over the AutoConnect arrow that points in the
direction that you want, and drop it on the arrow.
The Analyze shape is spaced a standard
distance from the Service Request shape, and is connected
To connect two shapes that are already on the page, do the following:
- Hold the pointer over one of the shapes that you want to connect.
- When the AutoConnect arrows appear, move the pointer over an arrow that is
pointing toward the other shape that you want to connect to.
- Click and hold the AutoConnect arrow, and then drag a connector from it to
the center of the other shape.
When the arrow is over the center of the other shape, a red
border appears around the shape. Drop the connector to attach it, or "glue" it,
to the shape.
For more information about how to connect shapes, see Connect
shapes by using AutoConnect or the Connector tool.
Add text to shapes or to the
Add text to a shape
- Select the shape that you want to add text to.
- Type the text that you want.
When you start typing, Visio switches the selected shape to
text editing mode. To add another line of text, press ENTER.
- Click an empty area of the page, or press ESC when you are finished.
- Select the shape again. A small yellow control handle appears in the text
area. Drag the yellow control handle to move the text.
Add text to the page
- On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click
the Text tool.
- Click an empty area of the page. A text box appears.
- Type the text that you want.
- On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click
Pointer Tool to stop using the Text
The text box now has the characteristics of other shapes. You can select it
and type to change the text, you can drag it to another part of the page, and
you can format the text by using the Font and Paragraph groups on the Home tab. In addition, when
you hold the pointer over the text, AutoConnect arrows appear so you can connect
the text to other shapes.
For more information about how to add text blocks, see Add,
edit, move, or rotate text and text blocks.
Add data to a shape
To enter data into a data property or field that a shape already has, do the
- Select a shape on the drawing page.
- Right-click the shape and click Shape Data.
- In the Shape Data window, in the property row that you
want, enter the data that you want.
To define a new data property or field for a shape, do the following:
- Select a shape on the drawing page.
- Right-click the shape and click Define Shape Data.
- In the Define Shape Data dialog box, click New
- In the Label box, delete the default text and type a name
for the property.
- In the Type list, select the type of data that you want to
be entered into that property.
Tip If you
want the property to accept text (like a person’s name) as the type of data,
- In the Value box, type the value of the data that you
- Click OK.
- Right-click the shape again, point to Data, and this time
click Shape Data.
The Shape Data window opens and displays all the data that
has been defined for the shape. If all of the shapes have specific information,
you can leave the Shape Data window open and click the shapes
you are interested in to see the data that they contain.
Connect data sources to
Adding shape data manually can add a lot of value to your diagram, but if
your data is in a database or an Excel workbook, you can pull that data into
your diagram automatically and connect the rows of data with specific
Use the Data Selector wizard to import your data into the External Data window.
The data that appears in the External Data window is a
snapshot of your source data at the time of import. You can update the data in
your drawing to match the changes in your source data by clicking Refresh All on the Data tab.
- On the Data tab, in the External Data
group, click Link Data to Shapes.
- On the first page of the Data Selector wizard, choose
which of the following types of data sources have the data you're
- Microsoft Office Excel workbook
- Microsoft Office Access database
- Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services list
- Microsoft SQL Server database
- Other OLEDB or ODBC data source
- Complete the remainder of the wizard.
After you click Finish on the last page of the Data Connection wizard, the External Data window
appears with your imported data shown in a grid. Drag a row of data onto a shape
to add automatically the data to the Shape Data for that shape.
Or, in the Shapes window, select a shape that you want to hold
the data, and then drag a row of data and drop it on an empty area of the page.
The selected shape is added to the page, connected to the data.
Format your diagram
To apply a background to your drawing, do the following:
- Click the Design tab.
- In the Backgrounds group, click Backgrounds.
- Click the background that you want. A new background page is added to the
diagram, which you can see in the page tabs along the bottom of the
To apply a border or title to your drawing, do the following:
- On the Design tab, click Borders &
- Click the title that you want.
The title and border are added to the background page
(named VBackground-1 by default). To change the title and other
text, you must make the changes on the background page; you can't change the
title on any other pages.
- At the bottom of the diagramming area, click the VBackground-1 tab.
- Click the title text. The entire border is selected, but if you start
typing it changes the default title text.
- Enter the title that you want.
- To edit other text in the border, first select the entire border, and then
click the text you want to change and start typing.
To apply a unified color scheme and other formatting effects, do the
- On the Design tab, in the Themes group,
hold your pointer over the various themes. A preview of the theme shows up on
To see other available themes, click More
- Click the theme you want to apply to the diagram.
Print your diagram
- Click the File tab and then click Print.
- To print the diagram, click Print.
- In the Print dialog box, do the following:
- In the Name box, select the printer that you want (if it
is not already selected).
- Under Page range, specify the pages in the drawing that
you want to print.
- Under Copies, specify the number of copies that you want
- Click OK when you are ready to print.