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Work Faster With Our Top Visio Keyboard Shortcuts


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Subm itted by Visio Guy on April 9, 2008 1:02 am | | 115831 view s 73 Com m ents
Using Microsoft Visio 2010
Visio 2003 Developer's Survival Pack
An old Visio Corporation coworker of mine used to talk about being a Visio 2010 Business Process Diagramming & Validation
two-handed Visio user, as opposed to being a one-handed Visio user. Visio 2010 Step by Step
Visio 2013 Business Process Diagramming & Validation
What he meant was that you can get a lot more done if you learn a few Visio 2013 Step by Step

keyboard shortcuts and mouse techniques. Visualizing Information w ith Microsoft Visio 2007

The Visio keyboard shortcuts that were sharing with you today will allow
you push, pull and prod Visio in a fashion that seems almost natural. By
learning them, the drudgery of tasks that you need to perform often will
become reactionary, and almost invisible!

Zooming & Panning


If youre working on large or detailed drawings or charts, youll need to do a lot of zooming and panning.
Doing this with the zoom drop-down list and the scroll bars will slow you down, and interrupt your work
flow.
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But there are two sets of mouse techniques that will get you sailing again:

Ctrl + Shift + Mouse-click or Mouse-drag


Ctrl or Shift + Roller-mouse movements Category Tree
Category Tree
Ctrl + Shift Zooming & Panning Select Category
The next four techniques allow you to zoom in and out and pan the drawing window. You hold down the
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Ctrl + Shift keys and either click or hold a mouse button to get the job done.
Microsoft Visio 2010 Business Process Diagramming and
Validation
Zoom In 2x: Ctrl + Shift + Left Mouse-click Moving to VB .NET: Strategies, Concepts, and Code
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Double your zoom by simply holding down the Ctrl + Shift keys, then clicking the left mouse button! Window s Presentation Foundation Unleashed

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Zoom Out 2x: Ctrl + Shift + Right Mouse-click

The opposite of the previous shortcut, holding down the Ctrl + Shift keys and clicking the right mouse
button zooms you out to half the previous level.

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Zoom to Region: Ctrl + Shift + Left Mouse-drag

You can specify exactly where you want to zoom with this command. Press the Ctrl + Shift keys together,
then hold the left mouse button. You can now drag a net around the area that you want to zoom. Visio will
fill the window with the region that you specify.

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Pan: Ctrl + Shift + Right Mouse-drag
What Was I Looking For?
Hold down the right mouse-button to push and pull your page to the desired location. Youll see the little
hand cursor which lets you know that youre ready to pan.
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Wheel-mouse Zooming & Panning
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If you have a roller mousethat is, a mouse that has a wheel, you can zoom and pan with these
alternative techniques.

Pan Up & Down: Wheel forward/backward

You dont need to hold down any special keys to to pan up and down with the wheel. Just roll the wheel
forward to pan the page downwards, and roll the wheel backward to pan the page upwards.

Pan Left & Right: Shift + Wheel forward/backward

Holding the Shift key while rolling allows you to pan left and right. With the Shift key held down, just roll
the wheel forward to pan to the right, and roll the wheel backward to pan to the left.

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Zoom In & Out: Ctrl + Wheel forward/backward

Text on a Circle Visio Shape


If you switch to the Ctrl key while rolling, you can zoom in and out! With the Ctrl key depressed, rolling
forward will zoom in, and rolling backward will zoom out.

General Shortcuts
The following keyboard shortcuts arent worth categorizing, but are worth learning! Youll perform these
functions a lot, so they can really save you a lot of time and effort!

Select Pointer Tool: Ctrl + 1


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A lot of Visio tools are mixed-mode, meaning functions overlap. For instance, you can still select
1. Visio Solutions
shapes when are working with the Rectangle, Ellipse, Line, Arc, Freeform or Pencil tools. But at some
point, youll need to switch back to the pointer tool. And youll find yourself needing to do this a lot. Ctrl + 1
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3. Shapes in Visio

4. Visio 2016 Resource Kit

5. Visio Alternative

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Note: you can select the other drawing tools with other Ctrl + Numb er combinations.

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Note: you can select the other drawing tools with other Ctrl + Numb er combinations.
Keyboard Shortcuts
Ctrl + 2: Text Block Tool
Ctrl + 3: Connector Tool Computer Keyboards
Ctrl + 4: Pencil Tool
Ctrl + 5: Freeform Tool Work Flow Chart
Ctrl + 6: Line Tool
Ctrl + 7: Arc Tool 5 Button Mouse
Ctrl + 8: Rectangle Tool
2-Button Optical Scroll Mouse
Ctrl + 9: Ellipse Tool

Select All Shapes: Ctrl + A Best Bluetooth Keyboard

This is pretty standard Windows stuff. Sometimes you want to move or delete everything on the page. Keyboard And Mouse
With this command, you dont need to zoom out to see everything. Just quickly select all the shapes and
proceed with whatever you wanted to do.
Ergonomic Keyboard Tray

Visio Solutions

Visio Professional 2016

Shapes In Visio

Visio 2016 Resource Kit

IT Support Services
Speaking of standard Wndows behavior, you can also duplicate shapes via Ctrl + Left mouse-drag.
Visualization Tools
Save File: Alt + F, S
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Ok, Visio has an Auto-save feature. But now that you have learned all these shortcuts, youll be working
so fast, youll want to save more often then Microsoft deems necessary. Plus some of you probably turn
Auto-save off because it can be annoying.

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Edit: Reader Steve has pointed out a that Ctrl + S is a quicker and better way to save a file!

I like Alt + F, S and Alt + F, A for Save and Save As, respectively because they are similar, and
occupy a similar compartment in my mind.

Zoom Whole Page: Ctrl + W

Youve zoomed WAY in. Youve finished getting your details just so. Now you want to step back and have
a look. You can either zoom out fifteen times, or

Edit: Attention Visio 2010 users!

You now have to press Ctrl + Shift to zoom to the whole page! Ctrl + W now closes the document!

Switch Between Visio Windows: Ctrl + Tab

Whether your working on several drawings at once, have a bunch of group windows open, or are
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switching between several ShapeSheet windows, youll get it done a lot faster if you keep your thumb on
the Ctrl key and another finger hovering over the Tab key.

Edit: Reader Mark Nelson has pointed out somewhat related shortcuts: you can quickly switch
between pages in a document using the Ctrl + Page Up and Ctrl + Page Down key combinations.

Developer Shortcuts
For those of you who have dug a little deeper into the crazy world of Visio and have a need to create
SmartShapes, work with ShapeSheet formulas, or automate tasks using the built-in Visual Basic for
Applications programming environment, then theres a couple of shortcuts for you!

Show ShapeSheet Window: Alt + W, S

Yes, you can get a Show ShapeSheet menu item in your right-click context menu by turning on Developer
Mode (You do this via: Tools > Options > Advanced Tab , then check: Run in developer mode) But if youre
a two-handed Visio user, your right hand will be hovering over the Alt, W and S keys, just waiting for a
chance to fire-up the ShapeSheet!

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Show VBA Editing Environment: Alt + F11

Do you really want to fish through the cascading menus for:Tools > Macro > Visual Basic Editor every
time you want to slam out a bit of test-code? Of course you dont. Just hit Alt + F11. I bet a lot of Visio
MVPs dont even know where the menu item is!

Hopefully, these tips will increase your productivity with Visio, and improve your overall experience as
well.

More?
If youre in need of more keyboard shortcuts, check out some of these links below. While they were
created for older versions of Visio, most of the shortcuts still apply, even in Visio 2007!

Visio 2002 Shortcut Keys A nice Visio drawing in VSD format from Visio Cafe.
Visio 2002 Shortcut Reference A Microsoft-provided guide, which downloads an EXE that simply
unzips a good-looking PDF to your hard drive.
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Visio 2003 Keyboard Shortcut Mousepad Keep those shortcuts handy, and your mouse-hand
cozy! From Dan Brown on greenions.
Visio 2003 Keyboard Shortcuts A boring but well-organized collapsable list of Visio shortcuts from
Microsoft.
Visio 2003 Quick Guide A nice PDF file from the folks at Ball State University.

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5. Center-sizing Smart Shapes

73 Comments

Visio Guy says:


April 12, 2012 at 11:14 am

@Bill Bates,

Thanks for sharing! I truly believe the experience w ith Visio is so much better w hen users can pan and zoom
w ithout thinking about it. I see too many novice users w ho lose their trains of thought w hen they have to look for
pan and zoom controls.

Jim says:
April 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm

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Nice list!

Ive been using Visio for years (since it first came outoh, the days of Win 3.1 w ith Visio or ABC Flow charter).

Ive been trying to find the w hole page view button for some time thats an excellent find. And Id never heard
of the Zoom to Region feature very nice (though I use the Shift/Ctrl and mouse w heel to same effect).

Thanks for the list, and the links!

Kevin says:
June 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Im looking for a w ay to pan and zoom w hile in View Mode (F5).


I can zoom in, but beyond that I cannot find how to move around.

Kevin

Wayne says:
June 28, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Great article! Pan short cut saves me lot!

Demron says:
August 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I w ould like a quick w ay to add a guide to a shape for example if I have a repetitive block in
draw ing a fence. it w ould be quick to something to add a Guide to the left/right/top/bottom.

Visio Guy says:


August 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm

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Hi Demron,

You can group shapes and guides together, but youd have to ungroup to see the guide.

A draw ing technique might help: You could just make, say one piece of your fence and put a guide next to it.
Then, select both the guide and the shape, and do a Ctrl + drag to make a copy of it. You can then hit F4 and you
w ill get repetitive copies of both shapes, w ith the same offset as you did before.

Its a great technique that I use all the time to create row s and columns of equally-spaced shapes.

Carlos says:
September 8, 2012 at 2:18 am

We use Visio 2007, and this article from 2008 w as exactly w hat I w as looking for to tell me how to
pan and zoom, and the extra mouse/keyboard shortcuts w ere a nice bonus.

Thanks for this great information!

Forrest says:
September 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

This is a great list. Thank you post this.


Do you know if w e can customize the shortcut in Visio2010? I dont find it. Another people remind me that this is
possible in Visio 2003, is this true? Why the feature is dropped?
thanks.

Luan says:
October 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Hi,

Thank you very much for the shortcuts.

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I am using 2010 and there use the new SmartShape w ith Autoconnect: Mouse over the shape until the 4 triangle
appear, and click on it w hich creates the new shape in the right place and connected to the master shape.

Now mouseover and click on the little triangle can slow you dow n w hen youre past the complete novice stage.
But I cant seem to find a short cut for this? Any suggestion?

Thank you,

Luan

Visio Guy says:


October 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Hi Luan,

Good point. I dont think there are any keyboard shortcuts that replace w hat the blue arrow s do. The w ay I
usually w ork is to just draw the flow chart shapes first, then connect them later using the connector tool.

I find that I can rapidly create shapes by Ctrl+dragging duplicates of shapes already on the page. Once Ive got 5
or 10 or 15, I can go back and connect them w ith the connector tool, dragging from center to center for each
shape. No w aiting for blue arrow s to show up!

Sharon says:
July 3, 2013 at 1:58 am

Aw esome! Thank you so much for these shortcuts. They w ill make my life a lot easier!

Acarlon says:
July 16, 2013 at 5:26 am

Thanks. Spent ages trying to find how to tab betw een pages.

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Mike says:
Dec ember 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Is there any w ay to get Visios pan to function like AutoCAD (and other drafting softw are)? In other
w ords w hen you click the middle mouse button (or w heel), you can then pan the view by moving the mouse
around. Panning in X or Y directions only w hile holding CTRL or SHIFT is bogus as is the silly auto pan feature
w hen you tilt the w heel side to side.

Thanks.

Visio Guy says:


Dec ember 20, 2013 at 11:33 pm

Hi Mike,

If I press my roller mouse dow n, I then get the fly around behavior that I think youre asking for. I didnt do
anything special for this. My mouse isnt a traditional three-button mouse, but I can click the roller like a button, it
is similar.

My mouse w heel doesnt tilt.

You can also pan vertically by rolling the mouse w heel, and horizontally by Shift + rolling the mouse w heel.

I dont find Ctrl + Shift + right drag silly at all. Many draw ing apps have the hand feature for panning. Visio
doesnt have it as a dedicated tool, but the keyboard shortcuts give it to you temporarily, w hich is exactly w hat
you w ant. I find it fast and accurate. Where as the flying around is not accurate, and is hard to stop right w here
you w ant.

Mike says:
Dec ember 20, 2013 at 11:47 pm

When I press the w heel button, I get the fly around thing w hich is not very helpful as you indicate.
What Im looking for is a quick w ay to get full X-Y panning like you get in CAD tools (AutoCAD, Revit, Sketchup,
etc.). Tools like Photoshop, Acrobat also honor X-Y panning via middle click.
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Im ready to completely quit using Visio because of this limitation. I can actually draft things faster in AutoCAD
and then import into Visio and save as a Visio file than I currently can do trying to draft directly in Visio.

Mike says:
Dec ember 20, 2013 at 11:51 pm

I should add that CTRL-SHIFT plus right mouse button does to the X-Y panning but it is rather
cumbersome for such a basic function. I guess Im ranting more than anything here. Was hoping there w ould be
a w ay that I w as missing to make X-Y panning easier to get at.

Thanks for helping though, I guess this is just a limitation of Visio.

Visio Tips (16 of 30) | IT Depends Networks says:


November 2, 2014 at 9:26 pm

[] (move to the front,) Atl-F6 (zoom in,) and Alt-shift-F6 (zoom out). I keep a few links handy Visguy and
Microsoft usually have everything I []

Josh says:
February 10, 2015 at 11:10 pm

While I dont expect Mike w ill ever be coming back to see this I thought Id share for those, like me,
w ho had the same question. I w as able to get this remapped using AutoHotKey w ith a little bit of fiddling using
the follow ing script:

; Visio
#IfWinActive , Visio Professional
MButton::Send {Control dow n}{Shift dow n}{RButton dow n}
MButton up::Send {RButton up}{Control up}{Shift up}

; reset w indow -specific context


#IfWinActive

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Journal 03/20/2015 (a.m.) | Journal says:
March 20, 2015 at 2:45 am

[] Visio Guy Work Faster With Our Top Visio Keyboard Shortcuts []

jerz says:
July 29, 2015 at 11:38 pm

Im new to AutoHotKey, so maybe i didnt copy/paste Joshs script correctly. Anyw ays, here is
w hat ended up w orking for me:

;Visio. grab pan on middle mouse.

IfWinActive , Microsoft Visio


{
MButton::Send {Control dow n}{Shift dow n}{RButton dow n}
MButton up::Send {RButton up}{Control up}{Shift up}
}

jerz says:
July 30, 2015 at 12:10 am

Im new to AutoHotKey, so maybe i didnt copy/paste Joshs script correctly. Anyw ays, here is
w hat ended up w orking for me:

;Visio. grab pan on middle mouse.

IfWinActive , Microsoft Visio


{
MButton::Send {Control dow n}{Shift dow n}{RButton dow n}
MButton up::Send {RButton up}{Control up}{Shift up}
}

What I also found is that some w eb brow sers make the title of the w indow the same as the title of the tab you

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are view ing. So changing the active w indow title to just visio w ould cause it to be active on this page as w ell.
Or any other w indow that has visio anyw here in the title. Which is w hy I w ent w ith Microsoft Visio in the
script.

Anyw ays, w orks w ell and Im happy. Thanks for the tip Josh!

jerz says:
July 30, 2015 at 12:12 am

uh. not sure how i messed that up, sorry. here is the post I meant to make.

Found an issue w ith my last script. Ended up being active for all w indow s Some more digging I found that I
had a problem w ith Joshs script because of the Title Match setting. Changing the mode to match on any hits for
my Title seemed to be the fix. Script below .

;Visio. grab pan on middle mouse.

SetTitleMatchMode 2

#IfWinActive , Microsoft Visio


MButton::Send {Control dow n}{Shift dow n}{RButton dow n}
MButton up::Send {RButton up}{Control up}{Shift up}

What I also found is that some w eb brow sers make the title of the w indow the same as the title of the tab you
are view ing. So changing the active w indow title to just visio w ould cause it to be active on this page as w ell.
Or any other w indow that has visio anyw here in the title. Which is w hy I w ent w ith Microsoft Visio in the
script.

Anyw ays, w orks w ell and Im happy. Thanks for the tip Josh!

John Raper says:


September 4, 2015 at 6:35 am

I love the scroll w heel based shortcuts here. I used to use them all the time. But MS changed them
in Visio 2010 and it is painful.
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Give me back the old pan (scroll w heel for up and dow n and shift+scroll w heel for left and right) shortcuts.
JAR

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