Visio 2016 is a powerful diagraming application that lets you work visually to create all sorts of diagrams. Here's a quick look at what's new.
April 2017 Updates *
* Only available to Insiders at this time.
Search for third-party shapes and stencils
If you need more shapes than a particular Visio template provides, you have a couple of options. You can search for shapes and stencils that are local to your device. You can also search for stencils that are online, created by third-parties or even Microsoft.
For more information about how to search for third-party shapes and stencils with Visio Pro for Office 365, see Find more shapes and stencils.
Create Data Visualizer diagrams
Would you like to automatically create a detailed, polished Visio flowchart from an Excel workbook? You can do this by using the Data Visualizer templates. Each template has an associated Excel workbook used to convert process data into a flowchart in Visio. Once you create the flow chart, you can add, edit, or delete rows in Excel, and then refresh the diagram from Visio. You can even add additional columns of data in Excel that are converted to Visio shape data.
The Create Diagram from Data Wizard walks you through the process of creating a Visio flowchart from an Excel workbook. For more information about how to use Data Visualizer with Visio Pro for Office 365, see Create a Data Visualizer diagram.
Create PowerPoint slide snippets from Visio
You can share your diagrams in PowerPoint by creating slide snippets of your diagrams in Visio Pro for Office 365 and then exporting them to PowerPoint. It's never been easier to get your diagrams into PowerPoint!
For more information about how to use slide snippets with Visio Pro for Office 365, see Create a PowerPoint presentation from Visio.
Data Model Diagram add-in available for Visio Pro for Office 365
We heard lots of feedback from customers that they wanted to see the Database Reverse Engineer wizard come back into the product. We listened to your feedback and have now made available the Visio Add-in for Database Modeling as a separate add-in you can download, install, and use with Visio Pro for Office 365. You can create a database model from an existing database by using the Data Diagram Model add-in and get help while planning the creation of a new database or understanding an existing one.
For more information about how to install and use the add-in with Visio Pro for Office 365, see Reverse engineer an existing database into a database model.
New education templates and diagrams
We've created many new education focused templates for Visio. You can browse or search for new education focused templates and sample diagrams available from Microsoft as well as from select third-party content providers. Click File > New > Templates > Education to see all these new featured diagrams such as Geometry, Science Posters, Trigonometry, and many more. You can search for a diagram that you want by typing in the Search box and pressing Enter.
For more information, see Use Visio Education Templates to teach and learn.
Be sure to also look for other education focused sample diagrams and templates from third-party vendors under the Partner Templates heading. Explore what's available!
Visio Viewer for iPad and Visio Viewer for iPhone released to App Store
Visio has been a trusted tool in diagramming for more than a decade. And we know its visual communication in the form of diagrams will become more powerful when anyone in the company can consume—regardless of their location or device. We’re excited to announce Visio Viewer for iPad and Visio Viewer for iPhone, enabling users to share or access diagrams from nearly anywhere, gain operational insights and explore real-world diagrams easily.
Visio Online Preview
Now you can share your Visio diagrams (.vsdx) along with data connectivity in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business with your colleagues and partners who can view them in a web browser. For more information, see here.
Third-party templates and diagrams
You can browse or search for new templates and sample diagrams available from select third-party content providers. Click File > New to see all featured diagrams. You can search for a diagram that you want by typing in the Search box and pressing Enter. Sample diagrams and templates from third-party vendors have the vendor's name listed on the thumbnail. Explore what's available!
Have a comment or suggestion about Microsoft Office? We need your feedback to help us deliver great products. In Visio, you can suggest new features, tell us what you like or what's not working by clicking File > Feedback.
New UML component diagrams
You can create UML component diagrams that show components, ports, interfaces and the relationships between them.
New UML communication diagrams
You can create UML communication diagrams that show the interactions between lifelines that use sequenced messages in a free-form arrangement.
New UML deployment diagrams
You can create UML deployment diagrams that show the architecture of a deployment of software artifacts to nodes.
Enhanced AutoCAD support
Before, Visio supported .dwg and .dxf files from AutoCAD 2007. With this update, you can import or open files that are from any existing version of AutoCAD.
Improved AutoCAD scaling
With this update, you will see scaling improvements when importing AutoCAD files. Just make sure to set a couple of properties first. In AutoCAD, make sure that the active tab is a layout tab, and not the model tab. Also, make sure that the Visio drawing scale is set to the same scale as the AutoCAD viewport scale. This article provides more detail.
Faster import of AutoCAD files
With this update, you will notice that AutoCAD import speed is greatly improved.
Instantaneous shape overlay
There used to be long delays when working with shapes on top of CAD files. With this update, there’s no delay.
Unless otherwise specified, both Visio Pro for Office 365 subscribers and Visio 2016 one-time purchasers get the following new features.
One-step data connectivity with Excel data
Previously, you were several clicks away from connecting your diagram to Excel data. But in Visio Professional 2016, it takes only one step. Just make sure there is a one-to-one match between values in an Excel column, and the text for each shape in the diagram. You can even swap data graphics more easily in this version. Try it out yourself. Click the Data tab, and then click Quick Import.
Information Rights Management (IRM) protection for Visio files
Visio Professional 2016 now offers Information Rights Management (IRM) features. Now you can help protect sensitive information from leakage. Simply go to File > Info > Protect Diagram > Restrict Access. Then you can specify who can view, and who can change the file.
Tip: In Outlook, you can set IRM protection on an email message. For example, you can set the email message to be Read Only. If you attach a Visio file to that message, the file will also be set to read only.
Modernized shapes for Office Layouts
The Office Layout template now has many redesigned shapes that are more modern than the previous versions. Check them out by going to File > New, and then search for Office Layout.
Detailed shapes for Site Plans
Landscape design has never been so detailed in Visio Professional 2016. Go to File > New, and then search for Site Plan. You'll have dozens of updated shapes to suit your every need.
Updated shapes for Floor Plans
In Visio Professional 2016, go to File > New, and then search for the Floor Plan template. That's the one to use for commercial building design, architectural layout, and so on. The redesigned shapes for this template are more detailed in this version.
Modern shapes for Home Plans
Need to design a kitchen or bathroom remodel? In Visio Professional 2016, the Home Plan template is the perfect solution. And it's easier than ever with new and modern shapes. Try them out by going to File > New, and then search for Home Plan.
IEEE compliant shapes for Electrical diagrams
In Visio Professional 2016, the shapes within the Basic Electrical template are compliant with the IEEE standard and are more readable than before. Go to File > New, and search for Basic Electrical. Once you add shapes to the page, you'll notice that there are additional shape "smarts" with this template. Drag a shape onto a connector, and it will "autosnap." This means the one connector will split into two, and the two connectors will automatically join to the ends of the shape. Plus, many of the shapes auto-number themselves as they are placed on the page.
For various templates, you don't have to face a blank canvas anymore. Just pick one of the starter diagrams, and then simply change the text, try out the tips, and start diagraming. To try this out yourself, go to File > New, and then search for these any of these:
Basic Network Diagram
Organization chart wizard
Work Flow Diagram
If you have Visio Professional 2016, you also get starter diagrams with these templates:
Detailed Network Diagram
Microsoft SharePoint 2016 Workflow
UML Use Case
Value Stream Map
Do things quickly with Tell Me
You'll notice a text box on the ribbon in Visio 2016 that says Tell me what you want to do. This is a text field where you can enter words and phrases related to what you want to do next. You can also choose to get help related to what you're looking for.
New themes for the Visio program
There are now three Office themes that you can apply to the Visio program: Colorful, Dark Gray, and White. To access these themes, go to File > Options > General, and then click the drop down menu next to Office Theme.