Shape protection

Preventing changes to shape attributes (like width or height) and locking shapes from being selected are handy ways to prevent changes to your drawings. But shape protection requires the Developer tab to be visible. By default, this tab is hidden, so the first step is to make the Developer tab visible, if it’s not already.

To make the Developer tab visible
  1. Click the File tab, and then click Options.

  2. Click Advanced, and scroll down to the General section.

    Run in developer mode check box

  3. Select Run in developer mode, and then click OK.

After the Developer tab is visible, then you can use the following procedures to configure protection of shapes in your drawing.

To prevent or allow changes to shape attributes
  1. Select a shape in your drawing.

  2. On the Developer tab, in the Shape Design group, click Protection.

    Protection in Shape Desgin on the Developer tab in Visio 2016
  3. Select the shape attributes that you want to lock, or clear the check boxes for the attributes you want to unlock, and then click OK.

Note: If an ink shape can be selected for editing (with one of the available pen tools), ink strokes can still be added to or erased from the ink shape—even when shape attributes are selected in the Protection dialog box. To prevent any changes to an ink shape, protect the shape from being selected.

To protect a shape from being selected
  1. Select the shape or shapes in your drawing that you want to protect.

  2. On the Developer tab, in the Shape Design group, click Protection.

  3. Select From selection, and then click OK twice.

    From selection in the Protection dialog box in Visio 2016
  4. On the Developer tab, in the Show/Hide group, select Drawing Explorer.

    Drawing Explorer selected on the Developer tab in Visio 2016
  5. In the Drawing Explorer window, right-click the name of the drawing, and then click Protect Document.

    Protect Document in Drawing Explorer in Visio 2016
  6. Under Protect, select Shapes, and then click OK.

    Shapes selected in Protect Document in Visio 2016

To temporarily make a protected shape selectable, or to remove protection from a shape, use the following procedure.

To enable a protected shape to be selected
  1. On the Developer tab, in the Show/Hide group, select Drawing Explorer.

  2. In the Drawing Explorer window, right-click the name of the drawing, and then click Protect Document.

  3. Under Protect, clear the Shapes check box, and then click OK.

    Stop here if you simply need to make changes to a shape before activating shape protection again, but proceed with the following steps if you want to make a protected shape selectable even when shape protection is active again.

  4. Select the protected shape that you want to remove from protection.

  5. On the Developer tab, in the Shape Design group, click Protection.

  6. Clear the From selection check box, and then click OK.

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