What's new in Visio 2016

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.

November 2016 Updates

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!

Visio template thumbnail provided by a third party vendor

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.

Click File > Feedback to give us your comments or suggestions on Microsoft Visio

Note: The following features are only available if you have a Visio Pro for Office 365 subscription. If you have a subscription, make sure you have the latest version of Visio.

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.

Note: The following features are only available to Visio Pro for Office 365 subscribers. If you have a subscription, make sure you have the latest version of Visio.

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

Quick Data Import button

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

Protect Diagram button, Restrict Access command

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

Visio 2013 Office shapes, Visio 2016 Office shapes

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

Visio 2013 Site Plan shapes, Visio 2016 Site Plan shapes

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

Visio 2013 Floor Plan shapes, Visio 2016 Floor Plan shapes

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

Visio 2013 Home Plan shapes, Visio 2016 Home Plan shapes

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

Visio 2013 Electrical Shapes, Visio 2016 Electrical Shapes

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.

Starter diagrams

Visio 2016 thumbnails of starter diagrams

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:

  • Audit diagram

  • Basic Flowchart

  • Basic Network Diagram

  • Cross-Functional Flowchart

  • Organization chart wizard

  • Gantt Chart

  • Timeline

  • Work Flow Diagram

If you have Visio Professional 2016, you also get starter diagrams with these templates:

  • BPMN Diagram

  • Detailed Network Diagram

  • Microsoft SharePoint 2016 Workflow

  • UML Class

  • UML Sequence

  • UML Use Case

  • Value Stream Map

Do things quickly with Tell Me

Tell Me box, "snap" typed, Snap options displayed

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

Office Theme pull down menu, Colorful, Dark Gray, and White theme options

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.

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