Create and use custom templates

With the desktop versions of Visio, you can create a custom template to use as a starting point for your drawings or to share with others. A custom template can include the stencils that come with Visio or even your own custom stencils.

Create a custom template

  1. Click File > New, and choose a built-in template that’s similar to what you want.

  2. In the Shapes window, remove stencils you don’t want by right-clicking the stencil title bar and then clicking Close.

  3. Add stencils by clicking More Shapes and browsing the built-in stencils. If you have a custom stencil to add, click Open Stencil and browse to the file.

  4. To save your file as a Visio template, click File > Save As.

  5. Choose a location, and in the Save as type list, choose Visio Template (or Visio Macro-Enabled Template if you’ve added macros to your template).

It’s also possible to create customized stencils for your templates. By creating custom stencils, you can put all the shapes you use regularly onto a single stencil, or you can create several stencils grouped in the best way for your diagram. For details, see Create, save, and share custom stencils.

Start a drawing from a custom template

  1. Select File > New.

  2. Select the Templates tab, scroll to the bottom, and then select New from existing.

  3. In the dialog box, select Create.

  4. In the New from Existing Drawing dialog box, navigate to the custom template that you want, and then click Open.

Create a custom template

  1. Click File > New, and choose a built-in template that’s similar to what you want.

  2. In the Shapes window, remove stencils you don’t want by right-clicking the stencil title bar and then clicking Close.

  3. Add stencils by clicking More Shapes and browsing the built-in stencils. If you have a custom stencil to add, click Open Stencil and browse to the file.

  4. To save your file as a Visio template, click File > Save As.

  5. Choose a location, and in the Save as type list, choose Visio Template (or Visio Macro-Enabled Template if you’ve added macros to your template).

It’s also possible to create customized stencils for your templates. By creating custom stencils, you can put all the shapes you use regularly onto a single stencil, or you can create several stencils grouped in the best way for your diagram. For details, see Create, save, and share custom stencils.

Start a drawing from a custom template

  1. Click File > New.

  2. In the Categories list, click New from existing.

  3. In the dialog box, select Create.

  4. In the New from Existing Drawing dialog box, navigate to the custom template that you want, and then click Open.

Create a custom template

  1. On the File tab, click New, and then under Other Ways to Get Started, click Blank Drawing.

  2. To add stencils to your template, do the following:

    • To open one of the stencils built-in to Visio, see Use the Shapes window to organize and find shapes.

    • To open a custom stencil from your computer, in the Shapes window, click More Shapes, point to Open Stencil, select the stencil that you want, and then click Open.

  3. Continue adding as many stencils as you want in your template.

  4. To save your file as a Visio template, click the File tab, click Save As.

  5. In the Save As dialog box, do the following:

    • In the right pane, navigate to the folder where you want to save your template.

    • In the File name box, type a name for your template

    • In the Save as type list, click Template.

    • Click Save.

You can share your Visio template with others just like any other Visio file, by e-mail, USB storage device, etc.

Use a custom template

  1. On the File tab, click New.

  2. Under Other Ways to Get Started, click New from existing.

  3. In the New from Existing Drawing dialog box, navigate to the custom template that you want, and then click Open.

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