Find more shapes and stencils

If you need more shapes than a particular Microsoft Office Visio template provides, you have a couple of options. You can either search Visio and the Web for shapes that Microsoft has developed, or you can search the Web for shapes that were developed by others.

What do you want to do?

Find shapes installed with Visio

Download shapes from the Microsoft Download Center

Find shapes developed by others

Find shapes installed with Visio

In Office Visio, you can use the Search for Shapes box to search for shapes. The Search for Shapes feature searches the Office Visio stencils that are installed on your computer. If you have an Internet connection, it can also search Microsoft Web sites for new and updated Visio shapes.

  1. To open the Shapes window, if it is not already open, on the View menu, click Shapes Window.

  2. In the Search for Shapes box, type one or more words that describe the shape you want. You can separate the words with spaces, commas, or semicolons.

    For example, to find shapes that represent office chairs, type office chair.

    Tip   To expand or refine your search, click the Shape Search tab in the Options dialog box (Tools menu). For example, to find office chairs and no other kind of chair, select All of the words (AND) under Search for, and click OK. Then type office chair in the Search for Shapes box. If you want to find chairs and tables, select Any of the words (OR) under Search for, and click OK. Then type chair table in the Search for Shapes box.

  3. Click button image or press ENTER.

    The results are added to a search results stencil.

  4. When you find the shape you want, drag it onto the drawing page if you want to use it immediately.

    Tip   If you find a shape and want to find more like it, drag the shape to your drawing, right-click the shape, point to Shape, and click Find Similar Shapes. Office Visio searches for other shapes that share the keywords associated with the selected shape and adds the shapes to a search results stencil.

  5. To save the shape or shapes, do one of the following:

    • To save your search results as a stencil, right-click the title bar of the search results stencil, and then click Save As.

    • To save an individual shape to a custom stencil, right-click the shape, point to Add To My Shapes, and then click Favorites, another stencil name, or Add to Existing Stencil.

Tip   To quickly open a saved stencil, on the File menu, point to Shapes, point to My Shapes, and then click the stencil name.

Note   When you use the Search for Shapes feature in Visio to search on the Internet, the search finds only shapes that are provided by Microsoft. These shapes are copyrighted. You may copy and reorganize the shapes for your own use, modify them for your own use, and distribute drawings that contain them. However, you may not sell or distribute original or modified Visio shapes.

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Download shapes from the Microsoft Download Center

Show me Download Visio shapes
Video created by Office Online staff writers

Help Button Problems watching the video? Try our troubleshooting tips.

You can find shapes by searching the Microsoft Download Center for "Visio shapes". For example, these sets are available:

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Find shapes developed by others

If you have an Internet connection, you can use your browser to search for more Visio shapes. There are three main sources:

  • Office Marketplace providers     The Microsoft Office Marketplace is the first place to look for stencils of shapes developed by Office Marketplace providers. The Office Marketplace is a collection of products and services that work with or complement the Microsoft Office system, including Microsoft Office Visio 2003 and 2007. The Office Marketplace includes Web-based productivity services, add-ins, software, templates, and professional services like training, support, and consulting.

  • Equipment manufacturers     If you are looking for shapes that represent specific pieces of equipment, you can often find them at the equipment manufacturer's Web site.

  • Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs)     Visio MVPs are Visio experts who freely answer questions and offer solutions, tips, and suggestions, most often in the Visio discussion groups. You can find stencils of shapes on the Visio MVP site, an independent Web site that is entirely managed by the Visio MVPs.

Save the downloaded stencils

  1. After you download a stencil of shapes, copy it to your My Shapes folder. By default, your My Shapes folder is located in one of the following folders:

    • Windows Vista    

      C:\Users\user name\Documents\My Shapes

    • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or Microsoft Windows XP    

      C:\Documents and Settings\user name\My Documents\My Shapes

  2. To open the stencil, on the File menu, point to Shapes, point to My Shapes, and then click the stencil name.

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Applies To: Visio 2007, Visio 2007 Standard



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