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Microsoft Visio


Microsoft Visio

Microsoft Visio
Microsoft Visio 2013 Professional on Windows 7
Developer(s) Microsoft
Stable release 2016 (16.0.4266.1003) / September 22, 2015 (2015-09-22)
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type Diagramming software
License Trialware
Website .com.microsoftvisio

Microsoft Visio ( ) (formerly Microsoft Office Visio) is a diagramming and vector graphics application and is part of the Microsoft Office family. The product was first introduced in 1992, made by the Shapeware corporation. It was acquired by Microsoft in 2000.


  • Features 1
    • File formats 1.1
  • History 2
    • Versions 2.1
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Further reading 5
  • External links 6


Microsoft made Visio 2013 for Windows available in two editions: Standard and Professional. The Standard and Professional editions share the same interface, but the Premium edition has additional templates for more advanced diagrams and layouts, as well as capabilities intended to make it easy for users to connect their diagrams to data sources and to display their data graphically.[1][2] The Premium edition features three additional diagram types, as well as intelligent rules, validation, and subprocess (diagram breakdown).[3] Visio Professional is also offered as an additional component of an Office365 subscription.[4]

On 22 September 2015, alongside Microsoft Office 2016 Visio 2016 was released. A few new features have been added such as one-step connectivity with Excel data, information rights management (IRM) protection for Visio files, modernized shapes for office layout, detailed shapes for site plans, updated shapes for floor plans, modern shapes for home plans, IEEE compliant shapes for electrical diagrams, new range of starter diagrams, and new themes for the Visio interface.[5]

Database modeling in Visio revolves around a Database Model Diagram (DMD).[6]

File formats

Native file formats
VSD Drawing
VSS Stencil
VST Template
VSW Web drawing
VDX XML drawing (Discontinued[7])
VSX XML stencil (Discontinued[7])
VTX XML template (Discontinued[7])
VSDX OPC/XML drawing[7]
VSDM OPC/XML drawing, macro-enabled[7]
VSSX OPC/XML stencil[7]
VSSM OPC/XML stencil, macro-enabled[7]
VSTX OPC/XML template[7]
VSTM OPC/XML template, macro-enabled[7]
VSL Add-on

Visio 2010 and earlier versions read and write drawings in VSD or VDX file formats. All of the previous versions of Visio used VSD, the proprietary binary-file format. VDX is a well-documented XML Schema-based ("DatadiagramML") format.

Visio 2013 drops support for writing VDX files in favor of the new VSDX and VSDM file formats.[7] Created based on Open Packaging Conventions (OPC) standard (ISO 29500, Part 2), a VSDX or VSDM file consists of a group of XML files archived inside a Zip file.[7] VSDX and VSDM files differ only in that VSDM files may contain macros.[7] Since these files are susceptible to macro virus infection, the program enforces strict security on them.[8]

While VSD files use LZW-like lossless compression, VDX is not compressed. Hence, a VDX file typically take up 3 to 5 times more storage. VSDX and VSDM files use the same compression as Zip files. Visio 2010 and earlier use VSD by default. Visio 2013's default is VSDX.


Visio began as a standalone product produced by Shapeware Corporation; version 1.0 shipped in 1992. A pre-release, Version 0.92, was distributed free on a floppy disk along with a Microsoft Windows systems readiness evaluation utility. In 1995, Shapeware Corporation changed their name to Visio Corporation to take advantage of market recognition and related product equity.[9] Microsoft acquired Visio in 2000, re-branding it as a Microsoft Office application. Like Microsoft Project, however, it has never been included in any of the Office suites. Microsoft included a Visio for Enterprise Architects edition with some editions of Visual Studio .NET 2003 and Visual Studio 2005.[10]

Along with Microsoft Visio 2002 Professional, Microsoft introduced Visio Enterprise Network Tools and Visio Network Center. Visio Enterprise Network Tools was an add-on product that enabled automated network and directory services diagramming. Visio Network Center was a subscription-based website where users could locate the latest network documentation content and exact-replica network equipment shapes from 500 leading manufacturers.[11] The former has been discontinued, while the latter's shape-finding features are now integrated into the program itself.[12] Visio 2007 was released on November 30, 2006.

Microsoft Visio adopted ribbons in its user interface in Visio 2010.[13] Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook (to some extents) had already adopted the ribbon with the release of Microsoft Office 2007.[14]


  • Visio v1.0 (Standard, Lite, Home)
  • Visio v2.0
  • Visio v3.0
  • Visio v4.0 (Standard, Technical)
  • Visio v4.1 (Standard, Technical)
  • Visio v4.5 (Standard, Professional, Technical)
  • Visio v5.0 (Standard, Professional, Technical)
  • Visio 2000 (v6.0; Standard, Professional, Technical, Enterprise) – later updated to SP1 and Microsoft branding after Visio Corporation's acquisition
  • Visio 2002 (v10.0; Standard, Professional)
    • Visio for Enterprise Architects 2003 (VEA 2003) – based on Visio 2002 and included with Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect edition
  • Office Visio 2003 (v11.0; Standard, Professional)
    • Office Visio for Enterprise Architects 2005 (VEA 2005) – based on Visio 2003 and included with Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite and Team Architect editions
  • Office Visio 2007 (v12.0; Standard, Professional)
  • Visio 2010 (v14.0; Standard, Professional, Premium)
  • Visio 2013 (v15.0; Standard, Professional)
  • Visio 2016 (v16.0; Standard, Professional, Office 365)

There are no Visio versions 7, 8, or 9, because after Microsoft acquired and branded Visio as a Microsoft Office product, the Visio version numbers followed the Office version numbers. Version 13 was skipped.

Visio does not have a Mac OS X version.

In 7 May 2001, Microsoft introduced Visio Enterprise Network Tools (VENT), an add-on for Visio 2002 scheduled for release on 1 July 2001, and Visio Network Center, a subscription-based web service for IT professionals who use Microsoft Visio for computer network diagramming.[15] VENT was discontinued on 1 July 2002 because of very low customer demand.[16]

See also


  1. ^
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  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
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  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

Further reading

External links

  • Official website
  • Microsoft Visio 2013 Viewer (Internet Explorer add-in) on Microsoft Download Center
  • Microsoft Visio 2010 Product Overview Guide on Microsoft Download Center
  • Microsoft Visio 2010: Interactive menu to ribbon guide on Microsoft Download Center
  • Old versions of Visio which has abadonware status already. (1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 2010Beta)
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