Microsoft Visio 2016 Tutorial: BEGINNER to ADVANCED fast!!
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Microsoft Visio 2016 Tutorial: BEGINNER to ADVANCED fast!!

This online course on Microsoft Visio 2016 will teach you how to create WORLD CLASS diagrams. Leverage Visio like a PRO!
4.2 (695 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
5,661 students enrolled
Last updated 10/2016
English [Auto]
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This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 2 articles
  • 27 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Simplify and communicate complex information with the world’s best Industrial Strength diagramming solution - Microsoft Visio
  • Create World Class diagrams that speak a thousand words with Microsoft Visio
  • Learn the 8 key User Interface components of Visio 2016
  • Add and manage Visio's Smart Shapes, Connectors and Visual Objects
  • Simple and Advanced Formatting Techniques
  • Learn to work with Layers in Visio - control visibility, printability, selectability, glue and snap
  • Applying Professional Themes to your Diagrams
  • You should have access to Visio - else you can download a FREE limited time Trial version (link provided in 1st Section)

Looking to create a world-class Professional Quality Diagrams and Drawings? Want to learn a powerful diagramming solution software used by 12 million users worldwide? Want a powerful skill on your resume?

Whatever your motivation to learn Visio, you've come to the right place.

This course is the first, most comprehensive, cost effective Visio 2016 course on the entire web - or your money back.

Course latest Update: 01-Nov-2017

  1. 30+ exercise files added - every lesson can be exactly replicated by you
  2. New section (4 lessons) added - Software Wireframing techniques!!
  3. New section added (6 lessons) - Using Layers in Visio - Advanced - 23/Aug/2016

Microsoft Visio 2016 is trusted by organizations and institutions large and small worldwide - making it the the one-stop diagramming solution to simplify and communicate complex information.

Visio's worldwide numbers of more than 12 million users across both Enterprise level usage and academic makes it the world's most widely used diagramming solution.

Master the World's Most Popular Diagramming Solution - VISIO in this Comprehensive Course.

  • Learn the LATEST version - VISIO 2016 - and stay miles AHEAD of the curve
  • Start from the very basics - this course makes no assumptions
  • Earn promotions with your new skills - Become indispensable in your institution
  • BONUS - learn what the LATEST and greatest version Visio 2016 brings to the table
  • Create, Simplify and Communicate complex information with data-linked diagrams that you can create in just a few clicks.
  • Get started with Visio easily with a select set of pre-crafted starter diagrams and contextual tips and tricks
  • Take advantage of refreshed templates and thousands of shapes that meet industry standards including Unified Modeling Language (UML) 2.4, Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) 2.0 and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) compliance

Learn Visio 2016 to create Powerful, Professional Diagrams

  • Bring diagrams to life- using hundreds of predefined templates.
  • Communicate One Version of the Truth - As your underlying data refreshes, your diagrams is refreshed in the browser.
  • Secure diagrams with Information Rights Management (IRM), Visio Professional 2016 now offers IRM features.

What am I going to get from this course?

  1. A step-by-step video tutorial starting from the absolute basics - all the way to advanced topics.
  2. 170 minutes of video lecture - over 35 separate lessons
  3. Countess hours saved with Visio 2016's diagramming and automation tools (like the Starter Diagrams)
  4. Respect of your Boss, peers, juniors, seniors - and your Domain Industry
  5. A powerful and absolutely essential diagramming tool that is indispensable in today's professional life
  6. A lifetime access to this course - and all future updates, enhancements
  7. BONUS: Tips, tricks, pitfalls and other points distilled from a lot of experience - these are distributed through out the course lessons
Who this course is for:
  • All types of Enterprise level users at the Corporate level
  • Architects, Civil and Structural Engineers
  • Software Architects, Software Professionals
  • All types of Professionals who have to communicate complex ideas in visual and diagrammatic methods
  • Business Analysts, Purchase Officers
  • CEOs, CTOs, CxOs - and other senior management executives
  • This course is NOT for home users - or casual users. Mainly because Microsoft Visio is not a cheap software and it is designed for corporate and professional usage
Course content
Expand all 35 lectures 02:14:46
+ Visio 2016: Getting Started
3 lectures 07:00

Visio is Microsoft's ultra powerful diagramming software. And in this course you will learn the latest and greatest version - Visio 2016.

Visio is used to simplify and communicate complex information with diagrams. Visio comes pre-built with a huge amount of reusable industry standard professional templates, beautiful shapes, floor plans, starter diagrams, stencils, countless objects and a whole lot of features and tools.

And these allow you to create fantastic, fast, professional quality diagrams easily. And to top it all, your diagrams can be easily linked to your data - to put life into your visuals. No matter where your data resides - in Excel or Excel Services, Active Directory, Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft SQL Azure or even SharePoint Lists.

Now let us see who uses Visio.

Visio is used by 12 million users worldwide.

IT departments use Visio to monitor computer networks, create network architecture diagrams, create IT process guidelines etc.

Business teams use Visio to create processes such as product launches, Six sigma and TQM diagrams, Value Streams and so on.

Operational teams use Visio to create production line diagrams, supply chain planning and identify manufacturing bottlenecks.

Architects, civil engineers, structural engineers use Visio to create floor plans, landscapes, directional maps and a whole lot more.

Software professionals use Visio to create Web site Maps, all types of UML diagrams, program flowcharts, database architecture and suchlike.

HR departments across industry domains use Visio to streamline Organizational Structure, create training plans and for induction process documents.

As you can see - there is no limit to who can use - and how Visio can be used in your professional life. However, you can see that Visio is only ideal for Business usage. This is because Visio is not an inexpensive software that can be ideal for the casual home user. There are other options for that.

In conclusion, any business domain that you belong to, Visio is going to enhance your professional value and will provide a cutting edge skillset.

So congrats on your decision to learn Visio and I will see you in the next lesson.

Preview 02:53

When you start Visio - this is the first screen that greets you. And this type of an opening screen is consistent with recent Microsoft Office Suite products also.

You can see this screen is divided into 2 sections vertically. The left hand side is essentially to open existing files that you have already created - or someone has created and you have access to.

Visio records the names of the files you have recently opened and lists them here for you to have an easy one-click access. I had opened some files earlier and there names are shown listed here.

And if you are opening Visio for the very first time, you will not have any file names listed there at all - which makes sense.

There is a link at the bottom called "Open other drawings" - and this allows you to locate existing files wherever they happen tp be located.

I will click on it to show you how it looks. Please observe the name "OneDrive" at the top - this is Microsoft's cloud storage offering - which Microsoft obviously sees to be pushing hard.

The next link is to browse on your own computer and your drives including any plug and play storage devices that you may use.

One nice feature is that if you use a special location for your file storage very often - then you can click on the "Add a Place" link - and select that particular location and give it a name - and that location will appear as a one-click name here at the top. Using this feature will save you a few moments of time everytime.

To return back to the opening screen, I can use this "back button" at the top here.

Now, let us look at the other section of this screen. The right hand side is what you will need to use to create a brand new file.

And right here you will start seeing the power that Visio brings to the table.

You may choose to create a blank drawing file - which will just give you an empty blank file - bu then you might choose to load one of the many domain specific templates that Visio comes pre-loaded with.

This is actually a tabbed interface - starting with some very popular templates in the "Featured" tab and if you would like to browse by categories, you can choose the other tab.

Categories like business, engineering, flowchart, software - you are very certain to find your own domain and template in one of the categories here.

Over and beyond all of this - suppose you have some very specific drawing template in mind - and you can not find it in the categories - what do you do?

You can then search for it in the very convenient search box at the top - just remember you need to be connected to the internet for this to work. I will show an example - and search for some "UML" language templates.

And you can see this search has returned back with some 6 search results - and I can just click and use one of these templates.

One last thing we will see in this lesson is that on the top right of this screen, you can now see your Microsoft account information - and if you have set up your profile image that will also appear. You can also switch to a different account from this area.

So, in this lesson, we have seen Visio's opening screen, in the next lesson you will create a new file from a template - and we will explore the main drawing editing screen of Visio.

Preview 04:07
Visio 2016 - Frequently Asked Questions
5 pages
+ Visio 2016: A Detailed Study of the UI
2 lectures 05:49

Continuing with our first look of Visio 2016 - let us create a new file to explore the main editing screen of Visio.

If you choose the "Blank Drawing" - you will get exactly that - an empty file. But for this lesson, I will choose one of the most commonly used templates "Basic Flowchart".

When you click on the template - a popup window opens - and you can make a further choice on the visual formatting of the default basic shapes used in the the drawing that will be created.

You can also choose whether the drawing units will be in the Metric system or US standards. Metric units are millimetres, centimetres, metres for length, litres for volume, grams and kilograms for weight and so on. Basically international units based on the decimal system.

Furthermore there are small directional arrows on the left and right - where you can change the type of drawing. But we will remain with the basic flowchart and I will click on the create button.

If you are using Visio for the absolutely first time - then this screen and it's plethora of options can seem intimidating. But, not to worry - as I will break this down in this lesson and the next ones in this section.

This Visio interface can be broken down into 8 main areas - and when you understand what they are and how they can be customized according to your preferences - you will use Visio very productively.

So let us see them one by one:

1. This is the Microsoft Fluent Interface (also known as the Ribbon) - if you have used any MS Office product like Word or Excel - you would already be familiar with this interface. This is a toolbar with buttons and a tabbed interface which gives you a fast and intuitive access to commands, tools and features.

2. At the very top of the screen you will find the Quick Access Toolbar - this is a customizable toolbar. As the name suggests, this is designed to give you rapid access to the commands that you use the most.

3. On the left of the screen we have the "Shapes" pane. This is very fundamental to Visio - and you will choose different shapes to create your drawing. You will be familiar with the concept of a stencil - it is a thin plastic sheet with a cut-out shape that can then be traced on a paper. This same analogy is applied in Visio. You can do much more with Visio, of course as we will see later in this course - but the concept remains the same.

Depending upon the choice of diagram type - the default stencil shapes that appear here will change. You can however, choose any other shape that you want to use in your drawing.

4. This area is the main workspace of Visio where you will be actually creating your drawing masterpiece. This area is framed with rulers, which will depend on what drawing units you have earlier chosen.

If this area looks small - then you can hide the shapes pane and the ribbon also - like this. And you can see you have reclaimed your workspace area.

You can make the ribbon re-appear by clicking on any of the file menu tabs and then using the pin icon. Similarly you can make the shapes pane re-appear.

5. Any time that you right click on the drawing - 2 popup menus appear. The horizontal menu is called the "Mini Toolbar". This toolbar just improves usability and does not contain anything that s not found on the ribbon interface. What is available in the mini toolbar depends on where you do the right click - for example on a shape or on the white space.

6. The other menu which is vertical - is called the "Contextual menu". Again this is very similar and improves usability by giving you fast access to commands during your work.

7. Status Bar: At the very bottom of the screen you have the "Status Bar". By default, this bar shows you any important status messages that you might refer to. The current page in your drawing, the default language and a signal if macros are being run or recorded.

On the right end of the status bar you have the "Zoom control". You can adjust the view using the sliding bar - or fit the page to the window using a single click. You can also put the draing into a presentation mode - full screen.

Right-clicking on the status bar brings up a contextual menu which shows several other options.

8. Backstage: When you click on the File Tab (notice this tab is in a different colour) - you enter what is called by Microsoft as the Backstage View. Here you have commands and controls to manage file operations and also manage options for controlling behaviour of Microsoft Visio itself.

We will be looking at these in greater detail in the rest of this section and through out the course.

Preview 05:49
What's New in Visio 2016?
8 pages
+ Visio 2016: Creating your First Diagram
4 lectures 11:26

In this section you will start getting productive with Visio right away. In this lesson, we will start to create a professional drawing.

First let us see how the entire process typically starts. Very often, during a design session of some sort, you will create the outline of an idea - on paper or a whiteboard perhaps. And then you will want to create a top class professional diagram out of it - and share with your clients or with the entire world.

Create your FIRST Flowchart Diagram

Let us continue with the flowchart we are creating. You will learn to extend this by adding shapes and connectors manually.

Manually adding Connectors and Shapes

Our diagram is progressing nicely. In this lesson, we will see how to delete and insert smart shapes using its inbuilt intelligence.

Let us look at the original sketch once more time - and on the right side of the decision box, there is a process that requires the system to send an error message to the user.

Those of you who are very familiar with flowchart diagrams and its conventions might have noticed that in my flowchart diagram I have used the wrong shape for this process.

Let us return to our diagram and repair this mistake - and in the process you will see some more intelligent features of smart shapes.

Now the correct shape that I want is called as "Message to user". And you can see it is not present in the list of the basic Flowchart shapes. To get more flowchart shapes, I will click on the "More shapes".

Here you will see a large array of domains from which you can select more shapes. I will select further from "Flowchart" - and this opens more options. I know the shape I want is in the "Miscellaneous Flowchart Shapes".

When you explore your shapes domain more and more - you will also get familiar where the shapes you will most will be located.

Now a new tab has been added for me - with a whole lot more of flowchart shapes that I can use in my diagram.

I am going to scroll down until I find the shape that I am looking for - the "Message to user" shape - and there it is.

Now, I will drag this shape on to my diagram and I will bring it right over the connector - you can see the handles of the connector get highlighted green.

I will just drop in place now - and voila! Visio's smartshape intelligence has interpreted my action correctly and accommodated the new shape into place.

To delete the earlier shape, I will just have to select it and press the delete key on the keyboard. And the shape is removed.

Now, you can notice that the connector arrow hasn't deleted itself - but has made an intelligent guess to re-draw itself.

This type of intelligence is the reason why these shapes are now called smart shapes. Earlier versions of Visio did not have these features built in - and so editing diagrams required you to do a lot of these tasks manually and meticulously.

Intelligent SmartShapes
Downloadable Resource: Visio Keyboard Shortcuts by MICROSOFT
10 pages
+ Simple Formatting Techniques in Visio
4 lectures 12:57

Welcome to the new section! In the previous section we saw the power, speed and convenience of using smart shapes to create our diagram - and in this section we will see how to round everything up and add all the finishing touches required to create a fantastic diagram.

This lesson will focus on adding text to our shapes and diagram - and the different tools to do this.

Jumping right in, I will double click on the first shape and start entering it's text. That's all there is required to add text - just double click and you will be in editing mode for the text of a shape. And notice that Visio nicely zoomed in automatically and also centralized the diagram for you - so that you will be able to see what you are typing better.

I will add "Start" to this shape - and when I am done - I just need to click outside on the whitespace. Do not use "tab" or press "enter" on the keyboard to come out of editing - as that will just add a newline or a tab character into the text. Instead you have to click out of your shape.

I will continue to add text to the other shapes one by one. In the next process shape, you can see that as I was typing, Visio will wrap the words around automatically to best fit the text in the space. I did not press the "Enter" key.

In the diamond shaped decision box next I am going to type in the text - and also use enter keys to position text exactly how I want it.

Similarly, I will type in the text for the remaining shapes also.

Just remember that you can do every type of formatting you want to the text that you add to the shapes - like changing fonts, colours, size, bold, italics, crossout and so on. All those controls are right here on the "Home" tab in the "Font" section.

Great, now we have added text to all the shapes in the diagram - but the arrows coming out of the decision box still do not have their labels. To do this, just double click on the connector - exactly like how you did with the shapes earlier and Visio provides an automatic label for you to add text.

Now, I will label my connectors. Remember this is available for all connectors and not just for those coming out of decision boxes.

We are now all done except for a heading for the page.

To do this, I will adjust the zoom back to "fit page to window" and then change the ribbon tab to "Insert". Here I just want to insert a simple Text Box, I will click on the text box button and pull out a text box on to my diagram - and then fill in my Heading.

Now, there are better ways to add headings - than with a textbox in Visio - but I just wanted to show you how easy it is to add textboxes. Later on, we will add a much better heading to the diagram.

Adding Text and Labels to Your Drawings

If you are familiar with Microsoft PowerPoint then you will be quite familiar with this concept of having Master Pages and perhaps also of templates.

Visio has a similar concept - with it's backgrounds. This is helpful for example - when you want to provide your corporate branding on all your diagrams. Instead of creating the branding everytime - you will only create it one time and use it with all the diagrams that you want to. Visio goes one step beyond this also and provides foregrounds also - and they work just like backgrounds.

In this lesson, we will see all of this in action.

Firstly, note that Visio allows your single drawing file to have multiple pages. This is exactly analogous to having multiple pages in your MS Word or multiple sheets in Excel.

Visio will automatically add extra pages when your diagram starts to spill over - or else you can also create a new one - by clicking on the small "+" icon just above the status bar. And it is really easy to manage pages from this place. For example, I am going to add 3 pages - just to show you how they work.

Clearly, the names you see here are the page names - Visio gives them automatic names - and you can rename them easily to something more descriptive. I can just double-click on the name and start typing a new name - and I will do so with the diagram we have created so far.

You can also right click on the page name - and this will bring up a contextual menu that will let you easily manage your page - like duplicating, renaming or deleting if you want.

OK, so we have seen how to add more pages - and I am going to delete these extra pages - and continue with the main part of the lesson.

You can add a background to your diagram - by first changing over to the "Design" tab. And here in the "backgrounds" section you have the drop down.

Open the drop down and you can see a number of pre-built designs that you can choose from. You can see flat colours, gradient colours and simple design also. I will choose one of these and show you how it will appear.

Now you can see 2 things - our diagram appears with the background in page. This is quite similar to having multiple semi-transparent sheets on top of one another.

You can also see that a new page has been added to the pages area - and it is our new background page. It currently has a name "VBackground-1" - but you can rename it to something more meaningful.

As the last step in the lesson, I am going to add a logo to our diagram. Instead of adding it to every page - now I can just add it to the background. Just make sure background is selected, go over to the "Insert" tab and drop in a picture. Easy as that.

Please notice that as soon as an image has been selected, Visio switches over intelligently to the "Format" tab - expecting us to do some editing with the image if we wanted to - but right now, I don't have anything other than to resize a bit and reposition to the top of the page.

Finally when I change over to my diagram - you can see everything has been applied perfectly.

Using Logos and Backgrounds
When a diagram, you will find very often, the need to often logically associate different shapes together.

You might have done this on paper or whiteboard, or in MS Word or other programs - often times, what you will do, is to draw a box around other shapes to convey visually that these shapes have some logical or semantic meaning together.

Visio being what it is, provides a very useful tool to do this with great ease and style. And this was first introduced in Visio 2010.

First, I want to add some more logic into my Login process diagram. I want my system to LOCKOUT a person who makes 5 consecutive bad login attempts. And I am going to add that logic to my drawing now.

First I will add another decision shape into my drawing - and then another process shape.

Now, I will make an additional connection. Remember always to go back to the pointer tool when you are done connecting. Now I will add the text. Great, so now I have a simple lockout logic added into my diagram.

But then, I want to visually show in my diagram, that these 2 new shapes together form the LOCKOUT logic. How do I do that? In earlier versions of Visio, you draw a box together and also perhaps group the shapes together and then send the box to the background. And finally add a text label to show why you made this box.

But that was earlier. Visio 2016 makes all of this super convenient with the callout feature - which all of this with a single click of the mouse.

First select the shapes you want to show together. Then switch over to the "Insert" tab. And there in the "Diagram Parts" section, you have the "Container" button. When you expand that drop down, you will see a bunch of design options that you can select - and in fact, Visio makes it even more helpful by showing you in real time - what each one of them will look like when applied to your diagram.

You can try out all of them - but this one is my favourite and I will apply this. Now you can see the built-in container heading here has overlapped with my diagram - but no worries, I can even change the heading style.

And these options are dynamic - and will depend upon what container style you have chosen.

So, at the end of this lesson, you have built a lockout logic in to your diagram. Then you have visually indicated their semantic association. All of this using a few mouse clicks.
Convenient Containers!

Sometimes, when you are working on a diagram, you will want to add some more information to the shape, but not make that information a part of the process itself.

The most common usage is when you want to add some special notes - whether it is design notes or implementation notes - or anything that is relevant to the process.

You can do this fast and easy by using the "Callout" feature of Visio - and in this lesson you will see how to do this.

In the diagram that we are working on, in the previous lesson we added a container for the lockout logic. And now, I want to tell my development team that this logic has software code already available - and to reuse it - so that we do not end up having 2 versions of the same code.

I will first start with selecting the object that I want to add a callout. Then switch over to the "Insert" tab - and here in the "Diagram Parts" section, next to the "Container" - we have the "Callout".

When I expand the drop-down - you will see a set of visual options that you can use. All of these function exactly the same except they look different. And you are already be familiar - they provide a great realtime cue on how they would look when inserted into your diagram.

Some of these are not suitable in my context - like the thought bubble - these others look too much like flowchart shapes - so I will not use them. Now, I will use the round shape - it also has a white background that distinguishes it from the rest of my diagram.

Once inserted, I will move it slightly - and you can notice that the connector intelligently stays connected. All I have to do now, is to double click and add the text message.

And this is how the callout looks finally.

Annotating Diagrams with Callouts
+ Advanced Formatting Techniques in Visio 2016
4 lectures 10:18

Welcome to the new section. Here we will be focussing on the powerful look and feel formatting tools and features provided by Visio.

In this lessons you will learn about Visio 2016's themes. A theme in Visio is a set of colors and effects that you can apply to a drawing with a single click. Themes are a quick way to give your drawings a professionally designed look.

On the screen, I have opened the flowchart diagram file that we have been working on so far. You might notice that right from the beginning, all the shapes, objects and text that we have chosen and used in our diagram - came in automatically with a certain look and feel.

Well, you are not bound to this look and feel - those were the default ones.

You can change the theme by first changing the ribbon to the "Design" tab - and then using the "Themes" dropdown.

You can use one of the theme options from the row shown upfront. Do notice that the first one has a light grey box around it - this means that is the theme that is currently selected.

If I click on this down arrow here - it opens the drop down and you get a lot more options here.

There are some very interesting themes provided by Visio. I will point out a couple of them. You can see this theme - that is fully without any embellishments - and that is the "no theme". If you want to be extra print friendly - this is a great one to choose.

You might be noticing the great utility that Visio shows you at run time what your diagram will look like even before applying the theme.

Another speciality are the "Hand Drawn" themes.

There is one more called "Radiance" - that shows a cool shadow effect below each shape. I recommend you download this exercise file or create your own - and experiment with all of these themes.

For now, I will choose this simple theme called as "Sequence".

Extending this theme concept - you next have the section called as "Variations". And what this does is that you can first choose any theme you like and then you can use the variations to customize it completely if you want.

For example, I am going to open the drop down and explore the effects. You can choose to customize exactly how you want. In this way you can ensure that your diagram matches a certain branding if you want.

The best reason to use themes and variations are to create a corporate branding - or to increase the legibility and visibility of your drawing.

However, if these 2 things are negatively impacted by your themes - then you are better off keeping the default theme.

Now - the big question. What if there is one or more shapes - that I do not want to apply themes - and I want them to apply to the rest of the diagram. A common example for this would be when you have traffic symbols in your diagram - or some colors that denote some specific meaning. You will not want a new theme to change these special colors.

This is also easy to do.

First select the particular shape. Use the shift key or control to select multiple shapes if you want.

Then in the "Home" tab - under the "Shape Styles" - open the drop down. You can see an option called "Allow themes". Toggle this option.

Now, when you change themes, this shape will be unaffected; I will demonstrate this - you can see the shape is unaffected while the rest of the diagram is changing.

Using themes will help you create a great professional look and feel for your diagrams. But use it with moderation and do not overdo the colors. Remember your first and foremost goal is to keep the diagram easily readable - theat is the whole reason to use a diagram in the first place instead of reams of text!

Applying Professional Themes to your Diagrams

The best reason to use themes and variations are to create a corporate branding - or to increase the legibility and visibility of your drawing.

However, if these 2 things are negatively impacted by your themes - then you are better off keeping the default theme.

Now - the big question. What if there is one or more shapes - that I do not want to apply themes - and I want them to apply to the rest of the diagram. A common example for this would be when you have traffic symbols in your diagram - or some colors that denote some specific meaning. You will not want a new theme to change these special colors.

This is also easy to do.

First select the particular shape. Use the shift key or control to select multiple shapes if you want.

Then in the "Home" tab - under the "Shape Styles" - open the drop down. You can see an option called "Allow themes". Toggle this option.

Now, when you change themes, this shape will be unaffected; I will demonstrate this - you can see the shape is unaffected while the rest of the diagram is changing.

Using themes will help you create a great professional look and feel for your diagrams. But use it with moderation and do not overdo the colors. Remember your first and foremost goal is to keep the diagram easily readable - theat is the whole reason to use a diagram in the first place instead of reams of text!

Advanced Theme options

Earlier in one of the lessons, we had created a title for this diagram - by using a "insert - textbox".

While this techniques solves the purpose, in this lesson we will see how to create a title and border so that your diagram looks more prefessional and visually appealing.

I will first start - by deleting the existing textbox that is serving as our temporary title. You can do that just by selecting with a click - and press the delete key on your keyboard.

The ideal way to add a title - is not in the diagram itself - but in the background or foreground page.

We had inserted a background page in an earlier lesson. It is by name "VBackground-1" that you can see in the bottom panel here. I will select that page first.

Next shift over to the "Design" tab - and in the "Backgrounds" section - click on the "Borders & Titles" dropdown button. Here we are again presented with a lot of pre-built options that we can choose from .

You will be familiar by now, that these options will show you a preview at runtime. Just select a style that looks suitable to your diagram.

I will choose a very simple Title/footer design.

To change the text in the title - I just have to select title and start typing in my text.

When I am done, I will return back to the main diagram - and you can see that we now have a nice title and footer in place in our diagram. And it now looks much better than the earlier textbox that we were using.

Applying Titles and Borders

So far in this section, we have seen how to apply themes that change the look and feel of the entire diagram - then we have seen how to select shapes and exclude them from getting theme changes.

In this lesson, we will go one step further - and see how to apply special formatting for one or more shapes. You will want to apply special formatting when you want to draw the viewers attention to a special process - or something of significance that is different from the rest of the diagram.

In the next lesson, we will see similarly for lines.

OK, in my diagram - I want to draw special attention to the "Lockout" process shape. The reason is - this is a special process and not a part of the normal login process.

I will first scroll to the side, so you can see clearly what I am going to do. Then I will select the shape first. If you do multi-select of other shapes, then everything we do next will apply to them also.

After selecting, I want to use the "Shape Styles" section in the Home tab.

As, I select some of the formatting pre-built designs here, you can see the real-time preview has kicked in - and I can see how it is going to look.

But that's not all - there are a whole lots of ways I can format. I will first expand the whole drop down. And immediately you can see there are 40+ pre-built design options that you can just use. Most often, you will find one of these will suit your needs.

If that is not enough - you can customize in much greater granularity also. To do that, just click on the small arrow pull-down at the right end of the section here. And this opens up a new pane.

Using this pane - you can upfront change the fill colors, gradients and so forth.

There is a small pentagon icon on the top here - actually it is the "effects" tab - and this again opens up a whole lot of visual formatting options to you.

You can add shadows, reflections, glows - and then you can even transform the 2-D shape into a 3-d shape also.

I will leave it as an exercise to you to explore these. The nice aspect of this is that Visio provides you with a realtime feedback on how your shape is going to look in the diagram.

Finally a note of caution. It is very easy to get carried away with the hundreds of visual formatting tools provided by Visio. But one should not sacrifice style over substance.

If the formatting reduces readability of the diagram - then it is not solving it's purpose - so use these tools but use it in moderation.

Advanced Formatting for Shapes
+ Aligning and Arranging Shapes Perfectly
3 lectures 10:58

Visio uses a simple and powerful feature called as "Grid lines" to help with aligning and arranging shapes on your diagram.

By default, when you create a new diagram, it will start with grid lines - let us see some examples - if I click on the "Basic Diagram" template - you can see it will start with these grid lines. Similarly for a "Network Diagram".

If I go ahead and create this diagram - then you can see the grid lines and you might already be familiar with this.

Grid lines do NOT appear in the final version of the diagram - they are just visual tools - just like a tracing graph sheet when you are doing paper diagrams. When you are finished with your diagrams, you can just make grids disappear.

Let me return to the flowchart diagram that we have been working upon. The grid lines can be controlled from the "View" tab - in the "Show" section.

Here you can see - presently the grid lines are OFF. I will check the box. But I still do not see the grid lines. And that is because my background page is preventing the grid lines being shown. You can solve this quickly by switching off the background page - for that we need to get to the "Page Setup" dialog box by first swapping to the "design" tab - and then clicking on any of the small arrow icon on any of these sections. They all open the "Page Layout" dialog box.

OK, here, in the "Page Properties" tab, for the "Background" drop down - I will temporarily make this as "none" - and click OK.

And now, I can see the grid lines.

To show you how they work, I will zoom into an area here. And then, suppose I want to add a shape - these grids are great to visually align on the diagram.

And when you are adding more than one shape - they help you to arrange shapes very neatly.

You might be wondering if the grid lines are fixed to a diagram - the answer is no - they can be modified exactly to how you want.

Just click on this small arrow on the "Show" section where you turned the grids on - and a small dialog box appears to control the grids & rulers. Rulers we will see in the next lesson.

Now, most of the templates in Visio 2016 use a variable grid by default. Variable grid lines change as you zoom in or out of your drawing, and are useful when you want to align shapes precisely.

For some drawings, such as space plans and engineering diagrams, you may want to set a fixed grid, so that grid lines represent the same distance regardless of zoom level. For example, you can set the grid to match the size of ceiling tiles. If you set a fixed grid for tiles that are 40 cm by 40 cm, you'll notice that the grid lines always match this distance on the ruler, regardless of the zoom level.

In the Grid spacing - you can change to "Fixed" - and then set this to any measurement in correspondence to the space you are diagramming for.

Alternately, if you choose to use the default dynamic grids, you can also change the grid spacing between "Fine, Normal and Coarse". Let me just change one of them, so you can see how it looks.

So, you can see I how this looks when I set the grid lines to "Coarse".

In the next lesson, we will continue with more alignment and arranging tools.

Using the Grid lines

In this lesson, we will explore 3 more features that allow you to align and arrange shapes in your diagram with ease.

The first one we will see is something you would already have noticed so far - the rulers that are present in our lessons - on the top and to the left. If you have been using Microsoft tools such as Word - you would already be familiar with them.

They provide a measurement into the page - and are helpful while dropping in a shape. I will drag in a shape and you can see before I drop it in Visio shows 3 tagged lines to indicate on the X and Y axis - where the shape will be dropped in.

Just a point to note - in Visio, the origin point that is the (0,0 ) co-ordinates will be to the bottom left of the diagram.

The next tool you will see is called as a Guide. Those who are familiar with engineering drawing will be familiar with guide lines - and in Visio also this is an exact same analogy.

You can drag a guide line on the diagram from the ruler. Just hover the mouse over the ruler until you see a 2-directional arrow - and then click and drag onto the diagram.

I will create both a horizontal and vertical guideline and show you how they help.

Now, when I drag in a shape, you can see how the nearest connection point will get highlighted in green. Once you align with the guideline, the shape will get intelligently glued on to the line.

I will add a couple of more shapes - that will show the alignment features.

Now, because of the glue effect, when I want to move the shapes, they will retain the alignment all together.

Great! Now before we proceed - I am going to delete all of these. You can delete a guideline at any time - just select and hit the "delete" key on your keyboard.

The last tool we will see in this lesson is called as the "Guide Point". This is closely related to the guide lines we just saw - but is just a point.

If you see where the 2 rulers intersect at the top here - there is a cross hair there - and you need to drag and drop where you need a guide point.

Once you have it on your diagram - it acts like an anchor location for your shape. For example you can use guide points as an indicator to you to add future shapes in your diagram. You can use guide points to align either edges or the centre to the point marked out.

So, in this lesson, we learnt about rulers, guide lines and guide points. You can use them to align and arrange shapes and objects precisely in your diagrams.

Rulers, Guides and Guide Points

There are 4 task panes provided by Visio. By analogy, a pane is like a sheet of glass on a Window - it is not a full window.

One of these task panes you have been using so far in the lessons - it is the "Shapes" pane that we have in the left here. Each of these 4 panes can be made visible from the "View" tab - you have a drop down button called as "Task Panes" here in the "Show" section.

The "Shapes" pane is currently visible - you can see this from the blue highlight on its name in the drop down.

If you go over to the pane itself - it has 3 visibility settings. What you see currently is full pane. You can click just behind the ruler and drag it midway position. This just gives you some extra real estate on the workspace.

If you drag it further down - it goes all the way in - leaving only the icons visible - and you have gotten more space.

Finally, you can just go to the Panes button and shut it all the way off. It is not invisible now - it is turned off. And this gives you max space.

Before I open the Next pane I will select the "Receive User Id" process shape - and then select the "Shape Data" task pane.

As the name suggests, this pane you can use to store and view data about the process shape itself. By default you get some builtin data elements like "Cost, Process Number, Owner, Function" etc. And in most cases these will suffice. You can directly the data fields here and they will be stored.

You can connect this data to external data sources and create more data elements if you want. However, it is beyond the scope of this lesson.

Now, I will open the next pane - the "Pan & Zoom". This pane is useful when you are dealing with large diagrams and you need to be perhaps editing different areas with ease. In situations like that, this pane provides an intuitive interface and allows you to avoid frequent scrolling.

You can just click and drag to different areas of the screen instantly with this pane.

A point to note before we see the last pane. These panes can be docked to any part of the screen - or moved around and even pinned to any position.

The last pane - is called "Size & Position". So far while we were drawing shapes - we were only visually adjusting their sizes and shapes. However, you can control size and position with pinpoint precision using this pane. For example - if you wanted this shape to be exactly 28mm instead of the 25mm - you could just edit this width data and the shape would change immediately.

Now you are familiar with these four panes provided by Visio - and you will be able to use them for complete control of your shapes.

The 4 Essential Task Panes in Visio 2016
+ Working with LAYERS in Visio 2016
6 lectures 17:46

In this new section, you are going to learn a very useful feature called as "Layers". Layers are used in Visio to organize related shapes on a drawing page.

What are Layers? Why YOU should use Layers

Adding shapes to Diagrams will create automatic layers! See in this lesson the default behavior of Visio layer properties. 

Layer Creation - Automatic and default behavior

In the previous lesson, we saw that layers will be created automatically when you add standard shapes and connectors into your drawing. And also, your shapes will get assigned into the automatic layers.

But, you are free to manipulate shapes and layers as you wish - as we will see in this lesson.

Layers ADVANCED - Create New layers, Rename, Update, Delete Layers
One of the best features of Layers in Visio is the ability to control visibility of Layers. This just means that you can choose to either show or hide any layer in a drawing with the click of a button.
Benefits of using Layer: Show or Hide a Layer

Customizing options for individual Layers - Color, Print, Lock, Snap and Glue. 

Visio Layer Benefits Continued: Colour, Print, Lock, Snap and Glue

Even experienced Visio users usually overlook the usefulness of using layers in diagrams. Hopefully, by going through this section, you will appreciate the benefits of using layers judiciously. Most CAD/Graphic applications provide some kind of layers support.

Visio Layers: Special TIPS, TRICKS and PITFALLS
+ Software Wireframing with Visio
4 lectures 12:27

In this section, I will show you extensively how to create powerful wireframes for Software design and Development. Wireframes are the same as MockUps. 

Whether you are in the Software Profession - or almost in any other professional discipline - or if you are an Entrepreneur - you will find the lessons in this section very useful. 

Intro - Software Wireframing with Visio

Continuing from the previous lesson - we will use Visio to design for a web application. It is a natural flow to do "Top Down" design - starting from the most abstract ideas and drilling into details step-by-step. 

The best way to start is with what is called as the "UML Use Case" diagram. In simple terms this will identify different users of the application - and how they will use the application. 

UML Diagrams - Use Case Diagram

Proceeding in our top-down approach in designing a web application - we will next create a "Conceptual Web Site" diagram.

In the previous lesson, you detailed out the different ways in which users will use the application - and now it is time to plan a website for the functionalities that you have planned out.

Conceptual Web Site Diagram

In this lesson I will show you how you can build wireframes for actual webpages. I will do a quick replication of the REGISTRATION popup dialog box as a quick demonstration in this lesson. 

Wireframes that you build like this can be of great use for demo purposes with customers, or for your User Experience teams and or your development teams. 

Wireframe a Webpage with Visio!!
+ Share your Diagrams with the World
3 lectures 11:24

When you have created your Visio masterpiece, you will then want to share it with others. This might be your design team, your boss, or your customers or to the entire world on the internet.

And Visio has a bunch of options to make sharing of your drawings convenient and productive.

Before you share, you have have some considerations to make.

1. Firstly - What is the intention of sharing - will the recipients then just view your drawing or edit it also?
2. Second, if only for viewing, do you want smaller file sizes, or if there are hyperlinks that you want your viewers to perhaps click and go?
3. How will you distribute your files? Do you want it in a project central location, say on the cloud? - or do you want a physical copy of the diagram - or do you want to email - or perhaps insert the drawing in another document?

In this section, we will explore all of these techniques as provided by Visio.

The absolute first thing to understand is that Visio has it's own proprietary file format. Let us see what this is. When I try to "save" - you can see this proprietary file format is called as "VSDX". Essentially, all the file names you give will - by default have the "VSDX" file extension at the end of the name.

If you want an analogy - File extensions are like family surnames for a person in real life. They indicate to your operating system what content is in the file - and what application is to be used to open these files.

If you want your files to allow editing by others, then share it in VSDX format - else do not. In fact, if you share your work in VSDX format - the recipients MUST have Visio to even open your files - let alone view it.

But you are not limited to VSDX, you can choose to save the file in a huge variety of options - and we will get to that in another lesson.

OK, now that we have saved the file initially - let us say that I want to share this files. Microsoft has recognized that sharing and collaboration is of very important - and has provided a prominent "Share" tab in the backstage.

When I click on this - you can see 2 initial options. The first option is called "Share with people" - and Microsoft has plugged in their own Cloud subscription option here. You might click on this button and use it - and you need to have signed up for it of course. All major Cloud storage providers today - including Google Docs, Amazon Cloud, IBM Cloud and Microsoft OneDrive - all offer some free space - and you can that for experimenting if you want.

This option is a little oddly named because the other option "Email" is also to share with people. :-)

The other option is "Email" - which basically integrates your Mail Client (mostly Outlook) to integrate with Visio; You can do all of these sharing options outside Visio of course - but these are good one click time savers.

Both the PDF and XPS are open source file formats - which means you can view on any OS. The PDF is of course a very popular choice.

In this lesson, we have started with our publishing options and conveniences built into Visio - and in the next few lessons in this chapter, we will continue on this thread.

Sharing on the Cloud and Emails

In the previous lesson, I mentioned the considerations when sharing your diagram.

The most common requirements amongst Visio users - will be that:

1. viewers should not accidentally edit or modify my diagram.
2. It should be in a format that literally anyone should be able to view i.e should not require that they also should have Visio on their device.
3. Any URLs or hyperlinks that I have on the diagram should ALSO work.

Is there a way to cover all of these - yes - and it is the PDF format. PDF is an acronym for the "Portable Document Format" - and is an Open Standard - independent of application software, hardware and operating systems. In short, what that means that in mostly any modern intelligent device such as any mobile or any computer, your viewers will be able to open and view your diagram.

Now, in the rest of this lesson, I will show how you can effortlessly create a PDF. Just go to the backstage from the "File" tab from the ribbon - and then "Save As...".

Here, I will select the folder I want to first save my PDF file - I can also use the "Browse" button. And when I have located my folder - instead of saving the file as the default VSDX, I will open that "Save as type" drop down.

And here we can a whole lot of options. We will explore a few of these options but you might have already understood that Visio gives you tremendous flexibility in sharing options. For example you can even create AutoCAD versions of your drawings.

Right, we are looking for PDF and here is the option. I will retain the file name. There are a couple of further options that will open up - once you have selected PDF - for example you can choose between a "standard PDF" or a size optimized version (that will be great when you are emailing large files for example).

There are also other nifty options in the dialog box that opens from the options button. For example - you can only convert a part of your Visio diagram - and not the whole - just indicate the current view or the page numbers!

Right finally, when I click Save - the Visio diagram is saved as a PDF and it also conveniently opens in a popup so that I can check it. Adobe Acrobat reader is a very popular choice - however I am using another lightweight non intrusive free PDF reader called SumatraPDF - you can also get it if you find Adobe reader bothersome with it's updates. OK, that's it for this lesson, I will see you in the next...

Create readonly PDF of your Diagram

One of the fundamental ways of sharing a diagram is to print it out - as a hard copy. And in this lesson, we will explore the tools and features provided by Visio to print out your diagrams.

To see the print options - first go to the backstage - that is by clicking on the File tab - then you have the "Print" tab. The keyboard shortcut for printing for all of Microsoft products is the "Ctrl + P".

Now, in this screen - you can see that a "Print Preview" is shown by default. So, it is convenient to see what will be printed. At the bottom of the screen, you will see the zoom control - if you want to see in more or less detail. This is just a view control - and does not actually enlarge your print itself. We will look at printing zoom shortly.

There is also a button to fit the page on the screen. And on the left - there is a page selection box - if you want to jump to a certain page in your diagram.

Now, looking at the print options - first is the number of copies - defaulted to 1 copy. You might have more than 1 printer in your office or home and you can choose which printer should be used from this drop down. If you have a virtual printer - like I have a OneNote print option - that will also show up here in this drop down.

You can choose what will be printed - whether the whole diagram - all the pages - or just a particular selection of pages.

One more interesting thing is the "collation". This is to be used when you are printing multiple copies of your multipage diagram. In which case you can choose if you want the same page printed multiple times - and then the next page and so on. Or else the other option you have is to have all the pages printed in series once, and then start the second.

My personal preference is to always print in collation - because if something goes wrong while printing - I will atleast have a set of the copies. In any case you can make a preference here.

The other nice thing that Visio provides is a direct link to the page setup right from the backstage. You can see it at the bottom here. When you click on it the page setup dialog box will appear - and you can finetune your page.

And this is also the location where you can choose to print "gridlines" on your diagram. Gridlines are extremely helpful especially when you intend to manually work on your printed copy.

So, when you have customized your print options as you want, all that remains is to click on the big "Print" button at the top and the diagram will be printed. I will however not print now and return to the diagram.

Diagram Printing Techniques
+ Bonus: Tips, Tricks, Resources - and a THANK YOU GIFT
2 lectures 01:40
Microsoft Visio - Generic Tips and Tricks
10 pages
BONUS LECTURE: ***Thank You GIFTs for you!!***