Add Visio visualizations to Power BI reports

With Visio, you can create illustrative diagrams, such as interconnected workflows and real-world layouts, to drive operational intelligence. With Power BI, you can build intuitive dashboards from various visualizations, like charts and maps, to understand complex datasets, KPI measures, and track goals—all to achieve business intelligence.

By using Visio and Power BI together, you can illustrate and compare data as both diagrams and visualizations in one place to get the big picture and drive operational and business intelligence.

Want to try out various samples? See these sample Visio Power BI visualizations and then click the various Visio shapes or Power BI data charts to see the interaction.

Add Visio visualizations to reports on Power BI Web

Here are the stages and steps to this procedure for getting this specific sample Visio Power BI visualization.

Stage 1: Get required software and download sample files

Before you begin, make sure you have required software. In addition, we recommend you use the following sample files to help you learn the step-by-step process in the following sections.

Stage 2: Model Power BI data and create Visio diagram

  1. Create a set of Power BI data and make sure one column uniquely identifies each row. This column will be used to map to the shapes in the Visio diagram.

    You can add additional data columns to use as Shape data. In the Lead Management Flow Data.xlsx file that you previously downloaded, the ID column uniquely identifies each row. You can also display the values in the Targets, Actuals, and Gap columns as Data Graphic fields linked to each shape.

    Sample Excel data
  2. Ensure that the Visio shapes that you want to link to Power BI data within your diagram have unique text, or shape data that can be used to map Power BI data to the shapes in your diagram.

    Sample Visio diagram

    The mapping process: data in the worksheet maps to each shape and its shape data

    You can add and edit the mapping from within the custom visual later as well.

    Tip: Remove canvas whitespace from diagram by going to Design tab | Size | Fit to Drawing.

An overview of mapping

Stage 3: Create your Power BI report

  1. To create a Power BI report, go to or launch Power BI Desktop, and then click the Get Data button in the bottom-left corner of the Power BI window.

  2. On the Get Data screen in the Import or Connect to Data section, click Get under Files.

  3. Select Lead Management Flow Data.xlsx as your data source. Data sources can be local files, files stored in One Drive or in SharePoint sites, or other data sources supported by Power BI.

  4. Once your data is imported, click Datasets, and then click Create Report to create a new Power BI report.

Stage 4: Import the Visio custom visual into your Power BI report

  1. In the Power BI report, click the ellipsis (...) button in the visualization pane in Power BI and then select Import from store from the menu.

  2. Search for Visio and click Add.

    The new Visio custom visual appears as an icon on the visualizations pane.

    The new custom visual icon

Stage 5: Insert your Visio diagram into your Power BI report

  1. Click the Visio custom visual to add the visual to the report canvas.

  2. In the Fields pane, select the Power BI field which uniquely identifies the Visio shapes and add it to the ID section.

  3. On the report canvas, enter the URL to your Visio diagram.

    If you're not sure what URL to use, open a new browser tab, navigate to the diagram you saved in OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online, copy the URL, and then paste it into the Enter file URL to open Visio diagram text box on the Power BI report canvas.

    Note: The URL string to your Visio diagram must include a "WopiFrame.aspx" parameter.

  4. Click Connect.

    Your Visio diagram displays in the Visio custom visual and is linked to the Power BI data.

  5. To view the diagram in Focus mode, click the ellipsis (...) button in the Visio custom visual and then select Edit from the menu.

    Entering Focus mode

Stage 6: Link Power BI data to your Visio diagram

  1. Expand the mapping window on the right side of the Visio custom visual. The Visio custom visual reads the diagram properties or Shape data and automatically links to the data by using the mapped Power BI ID rows. Default colors are applied, but you can use the customization options to change colors.

    Linking other data

    You can link additional diagram properties by clicking on Visio shapes that are not linked, and then clicking on the Power BI row.

  2. To add other Power BI columns as colors or values on the diagram, select the Power BI columns, and then place them under the Values section of the Visio custom visual.

    Linking fields to colors
  3. To close Focus mode, click Back to report.

results of visio custom visual

You can now pin this report to a dashboard and share the dashboard with you team.

A Visio custom visual supports two-way interactivity when you filter in Power BI. Click on a Power BI visual element, such as the bar in the bar chart, to auto-zoom the Visio custom visual.

Power BI Publish to Web

With Power BI Publish to web, you can easily embed interactive Power BI visualizations online, such as in blog posts, websites, through emails or even through social media. Visio visualizations support Power BI's Publish to web from Power BI functionality. To do this, copy the anonymous sharing URL for the Visio file by going to OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online, and clicking Share for the Visio file. The URL string will contain a "/guestaccess.aspx?docid=" & "authkey=" parameters. Now paste this URL into the Enter file URL to open Visio diagram text box on the Power BI report canvas (Stage 5 above) and follow the rest of the steps.

Improving the page load time of Visio visualizations

The number of shapes in your Visio diagrams and the complexity of those shapes (geometry, shading etc.) affect the loading time of Visio diagrams in Power BI. To improve the page load performance, remove any shapes you don't need from your Visio diagram. You can also set the Themes applied to 'No Theme' on the Design tab.

Add shapes requiring Power BI data mapping to # layer/s in large Visio files

Another effective way to improve page load time performance is to add shapes that need to be mapped to Power BI data to a layer named # or any layer starting with # in your large Visio file. If the diagram has a # layer, only shapes on the # layer can be mapped to Power BI data. The fewer number of shapes you have on # layer/s translates to better page load time performance.

Screenshot of Layers dialog in Visio

You'll also see a couple of other benefits using the # layer approach:

  1. Support for complex diagrams – If your diagram has more than 1000 shapes, it can be supported if shapes requiring mapping to Power BI data are moved to # layer/s and the total number of shapes on # layer/s is less than 1000.

  2. Full fidelity viewing – Some gradients and line patterns wouldn't render in the Visio visual as expected. If these shapes do not require mapping to Power BI data, they can be left out or removed from the # layer/s. Visio visual renders everything other than the shapes on the # layer/s as PNG format which means you'll see better visual fidelity.

Turning auto-zoom on or off

You can change settings for auto-zoom on selection of shapes or during interactions with other visuals by turning Auto zoom to On or Off on the settings tab of the visualizations pane.

Visualizations pane in Power BI

Important notes for this Preview

  • The Visio custom visual in Power BI needs to access the Visio diagram you're working with which means you might see a sign-in prompt. In cases where Power BI user sign-in information can’t be accessed through Single Sign-on authentication, users trying to view your Power BI report might see a sign-in prompt to authenticate themselves working with the Visio custom visual.

  • If you're still having issues with authentication while working with the Visio custom visual using Internet Explorer, you may have Power BI and SharePoint in different internet security zones. Add both the Power BI domain and the SharePoint domain to the same security zone in your Internet Options and then try working with the Visio custom visual again. For more information, see Change security and privacy settings for Internet Explorer 11.

  • Data graphics applied to Visio diagrams from Visio desktop applications are removed so that Power BI can apply it's own graphics.

  • You might notice some visual differences between diagrams displayed in Visio desktop applications and in Power BI. This can happen when the diagram has complex styles, themes, and fill patterns.

  • Large diagrams with shape counts over 1000 are not supported.

  • If you add new shapes or remove shapes that map to your Power BI data and the resulting report doesn't render properly, try reinserting the Visio custom visual and map the shapes again.

  • Visio custom visual is not supported in Power BI Report Server.

  • If you set the values field to 'Don't summarize', then clicking on Power BI visual will not reflect any change on Visio visual.

  • To see Visio custom visual inside Power BI Windows app, upgrade your device to the latest Windows Creators update.

  • Visio custom visual will work against only 1 SharePoint Online server where Visio files are stored in Power BI mobile apps.

  • Visio Visual requires third-party cookies for * and * (or respective SharePoint and Power BI domains for your company) to be allowed in the browser being used.

Want to see more?

Videos    Integrating Visio custom visuals with Power Bi was highlighted in the Microsoft Data Insights Summit Keynote and also talked about in the Intelligent Process Modeling and Monitoring with Visio and Power BI Session at the same event. You can review those videos to help understand the possibilities for your own work.

Examples     An Office blog announcement, Gain complete insights with the Visio visualizations in Power BI Preview, contains several useful examples.

Got feedback or have an issue?

We'd love to hear from you! Please visit our UserVoice site to submit your suggestions for improving Visio and Power BI. integration You can also reach us by email at

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