Shape basics: resize, format, move and add text to shapes

Shape types

One-dimensional    (1-D)

A 1-D shape behaves like a line.

Two-dimensional    (2-D)

A 2-D shape behaves like a rectangle.

Select one or more shapes

You can select all shapes in the page by pressing CTRL+A. To select fewer shapes in a page, use one of the following procedures.

To select one shape
  1. Click a shape.

  2. The selected shape displays selection handles.

To select multiple shapes by dragging an area
  1. Click on the page and drag.

    A selection area appears.

  2. Drag the selection area to surround all of the shapes that you want to select.

    The selected shapes are outlined by a temporary box with selection handles.

To select multiple shapes by clicking each shape
  • Hold down the Ctrl key as you click each shape that you want to select.

    The selected shapes are outlined by a temporary box with selection handles.

Move a shape

To move a shape by dragging
  • Click the shape and hold down the mouse button as you drag the shape to a new location.

To move a shape by using the arrow keys
  1. Click the shape that you want to move to select it.

  2. Press one or more arrow keys to move the shape in the directions indicated by the arrow keys.

    You can move a shape a single pixel at a time by holding down the Shift key while pressing an arrow key.

Add text to a shape

To add text to a shape
  1. Select a shape.

  2. Begin typing.

    When you start typing while a shape is selected, Visio switches to text editing and zooms in on the shape (if the view was not already zoomed).

  3. To stop adding text, press Esc or click outside of the shape.

    Visio restores the original view, if it automatically zoomed in when you began typing.

Edit text on a shape

To edit text on a shape
  1. Double-click the shape that you want to edit.

    Visio switches to text editing and zooms in on the shape (if the view was not already zoomed).

  2. To stop adding text, press Esc or click outside of the shape.

    Visio restores the original view, if it automatically zoomed in when you began typing.

To change the formatting of text on a shape
  1. Double-click the shape with the text that you want to format.

  2. On the Home tab, use the tools in the Font and Paragraph groups to format the text.

    Alternatively, you can press F11 to open the Text dialog box, where you can set many types of text formatting.

Resize a shape

To change the dimensions of a shape by dragging
  1. Select the shape that you want to resize.

  2. Click and drag one of the selection handles that appear on the sides and corners.

    To maintain the shape's proportions, drag a corner handle, or hold the Shift key while you drag the handle. Visio displays the width and height of the selected shape appear in the status bar at the bottom of the window.

To change the dimensions of a shape by entering measurements
  1. On the View tab, in the Show group, click Task Panes, and then click Size & Position.

  2. Select the shape you want to resize.

  3. Enter the width and height values for the shape.

    Press Enter or click another value to make the new value effective.

Format a shape

To format a shape
  • Right-click a shape and then click Format Shape.

Rotate a shape

To rotate a shape by dragging
  1. Select the shape that you want to rotate.

  2. Hover the mouse pointer over the rotation handle until it becomes a circle ( Rotation tool pointer )

  3. Drag the handle to the rotation you want.

To rotate a shape by entering an amount
  1. On the View tab, in the Show group, click Task Panes, and then click Size & Position.

  2. In the Angle box, type the angle you want, and then press Enter.

Copy a shape

In addition to supporting standard keyboard shortcuts for cutting and pasting (such as Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V), you can create a duplicate of a shape while dragging it into place by using the following procedure.

To duplicate a shape in your drawing or diagram by dragging
  1. Press and hold the Ctrl key while you drag the shape that you want to duplicate.

    Visio creates a copy of the selected shape under the mouse pointer.

  2. Release the mouse button to place the duplicate shape.

Find shape-specific commands

To display shape-specific commands
  • Right-click the shape that you want to inspect.

    Visio displays a shortcut menu that has shape-specific commands, some fo which may be unique to the type of shape that you have selected.

Some shapes have special control handles, indicated by Control handle image - yellow diamond , that you can use to modify the shape. Each control handle has a function unique to the type of shape on which it appears. Select the shape and drag the control handle .

To display the function of a special control handle
  1. Select the shape that you want to inspect.

  2. Hover the mouse pointer over the special control handle ( Control handle image - yellow diamond ).

    After a moment, Visio displays text to describe the handle's function. You can also drag the handle to see how it behaves.

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