Work together on Visio drawings

More than one person can work on a Visio diagram at the same time, each person at their own computer. By coauthoring, teams can create multi-page diagrams quickly and help each other decide what the diagram should look like as they work.

When you save your drawing to OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online, you can work on a drawing at the same time as your colleagues. To work on a drawing at the same time, all authors on Windows need Visio Plan 2 and to be using the Visio desktop app.

Share your drawing with others and collaborate on it at the same time

  1. Open your Visio drawing in the desktop app and choose Share in the top-right corner of the ribbon when you're ready to collaborate.

    Share your drawing with others

  2. In the Share dialog box, enter the email address of the person you'd like to share the drawing with.

    Share pane dialog in Visio

    If you already have the person's contact info stored, you can just enter the name. The drop-down list lets you determine with whom you want to share your drawing.

  3. Click Send.

    If your file has already been saved to the cloud, an email invitation will be sent to your invitees. If you haven't saved your drawing to OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online, Visio prompts you to do so.

    If you haven't saved your drawing to OneDrive or SharePoint, Visio prompts you to do so.

    After you've saved your file to the cloud, the email invitation will be sent.

    Note: For more information on sharing, see Share SharePoint files or folders in Office 365.

See who is working in your shared drawing

  1. Open the drawing in the Visio app and start working in it. If someone else is viewing or working in the drawing, his or her thumbnail picture appears in the top-right corner of the ribbon. Visio will alert you when people enter or leave your drawing.

    Shows the people currently working in the drawing

  2. To review and add comments, choose Comments Open the Comments pane .

    Comments within a comments pane

    You can also reply to or delete comments.

    If you want to see where someone has commented anywhere in the drawing, click on a comment icon.

    Comment icon

    To add your own comment to any shape, right-click the shape and choose Add Comment.

  3. When you’re done working, save your file.

    If your updates and other authors’ updates don't conflict, they'll be merged automatically and you don’t need to do anything else.

See prior versions of a drawing file

You can view prior versions of a Visio drawing file. You can also replace the current version of a drawing file with a prior version.

View a prior version of a drawing file

  1. Select File > Info > View Version History.

    The Versions saved for ... dialog box opens. The saved versions of the file are listed, beginning with the current version at the top.

  2. Select the version of the file you want to see.

  3. Select Open.

    A read-only view of that version is opened in a new Visio window.

  4. Select File > Close when you're done reviewing the read-only, prior version of the file.

Restore a prior version of a drawing file

  1. Select File > Info > View Version History.

    The Versions saved for ... dialog box opens. The saved versions of the file are listed, beginning with the current version at the top.

  2. Select the version of the file that you want to make into the current version.

  3. Select Restore.

    A message box asks you to confirm that you want to replace the current version of the file with the prior version that you've selected.

  4. Select OK to confirm that you want to make the change.

    The open drawing file is updated to reflect the version of the file that you chose to be the new current version.

Everyone who’s going to work on the diagram needs to have Visio Professional edition installed on their computer.

Setting up a diagram for coauthoring

  1. Create a Visio diagram in a SharePoint library, or start a diagram in Visio and then upload it to OneDrive.

  2. Give all the people who will be working on it permission to edit it.

Each author opens the diagram from the server in Visio and starts creating, editing, or reviewing. A notification down in the corner shows when someone joins or leaves a session (which basically means they open the diagram for editing or close it). You can always see in the status bar how many people are working on the diagram.

How changes show up in the diagram

Small icons appear by shapes that have been edited in some way by another person. You are not locked out of a shape that has an icon that shows it’s being edited – for example, even if someone else is changing the color, you can edit the text on the shape at the same time. If everyone on the team is collaborating and working on specific areas, you should rarely have a problem where two people edit exactly the same thing at the same time, like changing the text on the same shape. If that does happen, the last change is the one that stays (until someone changes it again).

Every time you save the changes you made to the diagram, Visio synchronizes the changes back to the server. At the same time, Visio brings the changes everyone else made into your copy of the diagram. You can tell when someone else has saved changes back to the server by icons that appear, and a notification in the status bar that lets you know updates are available. Save frequently to make sure you have the most recent changes that other authors have made, and to make your changes available to them.

If your diagram is stored online in SharePoint or OneDrive for Business, you can easily invite others to review the diagram and add comments as part of a threaded conversation. Although Visio for the web doesn't support simultaneous editing, there are ways to coordinate the editing of a diagram with others.

Share a diagram with others who have SharePoint

You can share a diagram with others by sending a link to it in email.

  1. Open the diagram in Visio for the web.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • When you are viewing the diagram, select Share Share command .

    • When you are editing the diagram, select File > Share > Share with People.

  3. In the Share dialog box, select Send.

Share a diagram with others who don't have SharePoint

You can share it by sending a link. People can view it in any web browser – whether or not they have the Visio desktop. The following steps require an administrator to enable external sharing for SharePoint Online. Learn more.

  1. Open the diagram in Visio for the web.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • When you are viewing the diagram, select Share Share command .

    • When you are editing the diagram, select File > Share > Share with People.

  3. In the Share dialog box, select Copy link.

View and add comments to a diagram

  1. Open the diagram for viewing.

  2. Select Show more commands (...) > Comments.

    Image of Comment pane in VIsio for the web

    The Comments pane appears.

  3. Add your own comments and view the comments of others.

Coordinate the editing of a diagram with others

When you are editing a diagram, your session is timed out after five minutes of inactivity to help minimize the chance of an editing conflict. You can continue to edit by selecting Refresh in the message box that appears when you time out.

Message for session refresh

Sometimes when you open a diagram for editing, another user is already editing it, the diagram is locked for editing, and a message box appears. There are several reasons this can happen and corresponding actions you can take:

  • You have the file open for editing in another browser tab or window. To release the lock, close the other browser tab or window.

  • You have the file open in Visio. To release the lock, close Visio.

  • Another user has the file open for editing in Visio or Visio for the web. To release the lock, wait for the other user to close the file or for their session to time out.

In the meantime, you can follow the instructions in the message box:

Message for locked file
  • To view the diagram, select Open in reading view.

  • To save a copy of the diagram back to the SharePoint library or OneDrive for Business folder, select Save a copy.

See Also

Visio for the web help

View, create, and edit a diagram in Visio for the web

Share SharePoint files or folders in Office 365

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