Microsoft Visio 2016 Step By Step

Microsoft Press
Scott A. Helmers  
Microsoft Press
Total pages
December 2015
Related Titles

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Microsoft Visio 2016 Step By Step
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This is learning made easy! Students will get productive fast with Visio 2016, and jump in wherever they need answers: brisk lessons and colorful screen shots show them exactly what to do, step by step – and practice files help students build their skills. Fully updated for today's powerful new version of Visio.


  • Easy lessons for essential tasks
  • Big full-color visuals
  • Skill-building practice files

New to this Edition

Thoroughly updated for Microsoft Visio 2016.

Table of Contents

Introduction   xiii
Who this book is for   xiii
The Step by Step approach   xiii
Sidebar: Adapt procedure steps   xiv
Download the practice files   xvi
Ebook edition   xviii
Get support and give feedback   xix
Errata and support   xix
We want to hear from you   xix
Stay in touch   xix
Part 1: Create Visio diagrams
Chapter 1: Get started with Visio 2016   3

Identify the editions of Visio 2016   4
Discover new features in Visio 2016   4
Get started in Visio 2016   7
Sidebar: Understand shapes, masters, stencils, and templates   8
Explore the Backstage view   13
The Info page   14
The New page   16
The Open page   17
The Save command   17
The Save As page   18
The Print page   18
The Share page   18
The Export page   20
The Close command   20
The Account page   20
The Visio Options dialog box   22
Understand tool tabs and add-in tabs   23
Use tool tabs   23
Use add-in tabs   24
Begin quickly by using starter diagrams   25
Explore the drawing window   28
Sidebar: How do I scroll through page name tabs?   32
Manage the Shapes window   33
Pan and zoom in the drawing window   37
Skills review   41
Practice tasks   42
Chapter 2: Create diagrams   45
Place shapes by using the Dynamic Grid   46
Select shapes   51
Copy, paste, and duplicate shapes   53
Position shapes by using rulers and guides   55
Use rulers to align and size shapes   56
Use guides to align and size shapes   57
Resize, reposition, and reorient shapes   60
Use control handles   60
Use the Size & Position window   62
Connect shapes by using lines   65
Sidebar: Create 2-D shapes by using the line tools   69
Connect shapes by using dynamic connectors   70
Connect to shapes that contain connection points   70
Connect to shapes that do not contain connection points   72
Change connector style and segmentation   74
Sidebar: Identifying 1-D shapes and types of glue   76
Use AutoConnect and Quick Shapes   77
Use AutoAdd and AutoDelete   83
Use AutoAdd   84
Use AutoDelete   86
Skills review   87
Practice tasks   88
Chapter 3: Manage text, shapes, and pages   95
Manage shape text   96
Add text to shapes   96
Reposition and resize shape text   98
Orient shape text   99
Create and format text boxes   102
Add ScreenTips and comments   104
Insert pictures   109
Replace shapes   111
Group shapes   114
Understand and use layers   116
Manage pages   120
Work with foreground pages   122
Configure foreground pages   125
Manage Auto Size   128
Work with background pages and borders   130
Skills review   134
Practice tasks   135
Chapter 4: Create business process diagrams   139
Select a flowchart template   140
Visio Standard   140
Visio Professional   141
Sidebar: Vertical or horizontal?   142
Create flowcharts   142
Sidebar: Dynamic or static glue?   146
Understand swimlane diagrams   149
Sidebar: Add-in tabs   150
Build swimlane diagrams   152
Understand BPMN   155
Design BPMN diagrams   158
Create subprocesses   164
Skills review   167
Practice tasks   168
Chapter 5: Create organization charts   171
Understand organization charts   172
Review new features   172
Use org chart templates   173
Build organization charts manually   173
Use existing data to create an organization chart   177
Use the Organization Chart Wizard with new data   185
Alter layout and appearance   187
Change the layout   187
Arrange shapes   189
Change shape appearance   191
Sidebar: The names keep changing!   193
Work with pictures   195
Apply themes   197
Import photographs as you create organization charts   198
Skills review   201
Practice tasks   202
Chapter 6: Add style, color, and themes   205
Align and space shapes   206
Align shapes   206
Sidebar: What’s in front?   207
Space and orient shapes   209
Align and space shapes automatically   211
Understand theme concepts   213
Sidebar: Hand-drawn themes   215
Apply themes and variants   216
Choose themes and variants   216
Customize themes and variants   219
Use effects and Quick Styles   221
Highlight shapes by using effects   222
Embellish shapes by using Quick Styles   225
Apply solid, gradient, and pattern fills   227
Apply line colors and patterns   230
Use the Format Painter   233
Skills review   234
Practice tasks   235
Chapter 7: Create network and datacenter diagrams   239
Build basic network diagrams   240
Build detailed network diagrams   242
Use 3-D equipment shapes   244
Sidebar: Where can I find more network shapes?   246
Create rack diagrams   247
Sidebar: What is a scaled drawing?   252
Change the drawing scale   255
Sidebar: Enhance your network diagrams   259
Run computer and network reports   260
Skills review   261
Practice tasks   262
Part 2: Add data to your diagrams
Chapter 8: Work with shape data   267

Understand shape data   268
View shape data   269
Sidebar: Another way to view shape data   272
Sidebar: Finding the Shape Data window   274
Edit shape data   275
Modify shape data field attributes   279
View shape data field attributes   279
Change shape data field attributes   281
Define shape data fields   283
Insert fields   284
Run predefined reports   286
Create or modify reports   291
Skills review   296
Practice tasks   297
Chapter 9: Visualize your data   301
Enhance diagram effectiveness   302
View network and datacenter performance   302
Improve processes   304
Manage casino operations   305
Manage employee performance   305
Assess risks   306
Create data graphics   308
Apply data graphics   313
Edit data graphics   316
Create data graphic legends   319
Skills review   320
Practice tasks   321
Chapter 10: Link to external data   325
Understand data linking   326
Use Quick Import   327
Use Custom Import   330
Link your diagram to data   330
Link data to your shapes   333
Manage linked data   339
Identify links   339
Change column settings   339
Unlink data from shapes and diagrams   340
Use data graphic options for linked data   341
Refresh linked data   344
Skills review   346
Practice tasks   347
Part 3: Enhance and share diagrams
Chapter 11: Add and use hyperlinks   353

Follow hyperlinks   354
Enhance diagrams by adding hyperlinks   355
Open the Hyperlinks dialog box   355
Link to another Visio page   356
Sidebar: What is a shape name? Where do I find it?   358
Link to a website   360
Link to a document   361
Link to a specific location in a document   362
Edit and delete existing hyperlinks   364
Add multiple hyperlinks   365
Understand relative and absolute hyperlinks   365
Set the hyperlink base   370
Skills review   372
Practice tasks   373
Chapter 12: Print, reuse, and share diagrams   375
Preview and print drawings   376
Remove personal information   380
Sidebar: What is Information Rights Management?   384
Create graphics   386
Save drawings in other file formats   390
Create templates   394
Sidebar: Where do I store custom templates?   395
Share diagrams by using the Visio Viewer   397
Publish diagrams to the web   398
View web-published diagrams   398
Set publishing options   404
Sidebar: What’s in a Visio-generated website and where is it stored?   410
Skills review   411
Practice tasks   412
Chapter 13: Add structure to your diagrams   415
Understand containers, lists, and callouts   416
Compare groups and containers   417
Organize shapes by using containers   423
Use containers   424
Format containers   426
Sidebar: On the border   428
Organize shapes by using lists   430
Add shapes to lists   431
Format and size lists   434
Find containers and lists in Visio   434
Explore swimlanes   435
Build wireframes   437
Insert data graphic legends   439
Annotate shapes by using callouts   440
Skills review   444
Practice tasks   445
Chapter 14: Validate diagrams   447
Understand Visio rules   448
Validate flowcharts and swimlane diagrams   449
Validate flowcharts   449
Validate swimlane diagrams   454
Validate BPMN diagrams   456
Reuse existing validation rule sets   457
List the rules in a rule set   458
Create new validation rules   458
Skills review   460
Practice tasks   461
Chapter 15: Collaborate and publish diagrams   463
Understand Visio Services in SharePoint   464
Store diagrams in SharePoint   466
View diagrams by using a web browser   469
Refresh diagrams saved in SharePoint   471
Collaborate on diagrams   476
Comment on diagrams   477
Coauthor diagrams   483
Skills review   489
Practice tasks   490
Appendix A: Look behind the curtain   493
Appendix B: Keyboard shortcuts for Visio   515
Glossary   525
Index   535
About the author   555


Scott A. Helmers is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Microsoft Visio and is the primary Visio expert at He has helped companies create custom Visio add-ins to enhance organizational efficiency and employee productivity, and has taught thousands of people how to use technology more effectively.

He is Vice President of Product Planning and Support at the Harvard Computing Group, a software and consulting firm that helps clients understand and implement business process solutions. Scott is a co-inventor of TaskMap (, a Visio add-in that anyone can use to document and improve all of the important aspects of any business process.

Scott has worked with clients in Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Ireland, Jordan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Canada, and the United States on projects involving knowledge management, specification of new IT systems, process mapping and redesign, and technology training. In addition, he has been an Adjunct Professor at both Northeastern University and Boston University.

Scott is the author of three previous books: Microsoft Visio 2013 Step by Step (Microsoft Press, 2013), Microsoft Visio 2010 Step by Step (Microsoft Press, 2011), and Data Communications: A Beginner's Guide to Concepts and Technology (Prentice-Hall, 1989). He also contributed Chapter 9, "Visio and Visio Services," to Business Intelligence in Microsoft SharePoint 2013 by Norm Warren, Mariano Neto, Stacia Misner, Ivan Sanders, and Scott Helmers (Microsoft Press, 2013). Information about Scott's books is available at

When not working or spending time with his family in Andover, Massachusetts, Scott can usually be found on his bicycle or working with a local community theater company.