Review and add comments to Visio diagrams

Use the tools on the Review tab in Visio to add and view comments and ink annotations in a drawing.


You can add comments to shapes and to the entire page. When you add comments to a shape, they stay with the shape even if it is moved around. Comments also appear in the browser when the diagram is saved as a Web Drawing in SharePoint.

  1. Select the shape you want to add a comment to, or click a blank area of the page so nothing is selected to add a comment to the page.

  2. On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click New Comment and type your comment.

To read a comment, click the comment icon beside the shape or in the corner of the page. The comment opens. To close the comment, click on a blank area of the page.

You can delete the comment by clicking the Delete icon (X) in the upper right corner.

View all comments and replies

Open the Comments Pane to keep comments and replies open alongside your diagram.

  • On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click Comments Pane.

You can edit and reply to existing comments and add new comments in the Comments Pane. In the browser, you can add and edit comments in the Comments Pane, even if Visio is not installed on the computer.


Use the Ink tools on the Review tab to create hand-drawn shapes and insert handwritten notes when reviewing a drawing. Like other Visio shapes, you can copy, move, and resize ink shapes, as well as add them to custom stencils to make them available for other drawings.

After you click Ink, Visio opens a Pens tab in the ribbon. Use the options on this tab to adjust the look of the ink strokes. There is also a Stroke Eraser tool for cleaning up unwanted ink.

As you draw, Visio starts creating an ink shape from your pen strokes. You can change pens or pen settings and continue drawing. A short time after you stop drawing, the dotted line around the ink turns into a solid line and then disappears. When you resume drawing, Visio starts creating a new ink shape.

You can adjust the period of time Visio waits before creating a new shape.

  1. Click File > Options.

  2. In the Visio Options dialog, click Advanced.

  3. In the Editing options section, under Ink Tool, adjust the Auto-create speed slider and then click OK.

If you want manual control of creating ink shapes, you can clear the Auto-Create Ink Shapes check box on the Pens tab.

You can convert your ink drawings to geometry (to make it like other Visio shapes) if you want to apply Visio line formatting to the shape, or you can leave the ink as an ink object so you can share it with other ink programs. Visio can also convert ink handwriting to text on tablet computers. After the shape is converted to text, you can adjust the font size, style, and formatting as if you had created the text using a keyboard.

Where is Track Markup?

If you are used to using Track Markup with your team, you can add it to the ribbon.

  1. Click File > Options.

  2. In the Visio Options dialog, click Customize Ribbon.

  3. In the Choose commands from drop-down list, click Commands Not in the Ribbon.

  4. Scroll down the list and select Track Markup.

  5. Under Customize the Ribbon, select Review, and then click the New Group button under the list.

  6. Select your new group (named New Group (Custom) by default), click the Rename button, select an icon and type a name for the ribbon group, and then click OK.

  7. Click the Add button between the lists to add the Track Markup command to your new group on the Review tab.

  8. Click OK.

The new group and Track Markup command appear on the Review tab.

For more information about using the Track Markup feature, see Review changes with Track Markup.

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