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SoftwareMedia Blog | May 2, 2016

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Microsoft Visio 2013 Review

Microsoft Visio 2013 Review

 Microsoft offers three editions of Visio 2013: Microsoft Visio Standard 2013, Microsoft Visio Professional 2013 and Microsoft Visio Pro for Office 365.

Visio 2013 provides a powerful platform for all your custom drawing solutions. New objects, collections, properties, methods, enumerations and events give you more options for defining the behavior of the elements in your solutions. Almost all the new features and improvements in the Microsoft Visio 2013 are available across all editions.

Visio Standard 2013 has been designed for people who are looking for a powerful diagramming platform. Visio Standard includes stencils for business, basic network diagrams, organization charts, basic flowcharts, and general multi-purpose diagrams. Users can simplify complex information through simple and easy-to-understand diagrams.

Visio Professional 2013 makes it easier for individuals or teams to create and share versatile diagrams that simplify complex information. It includes all of the functionality of Visio Standard 2013 as well as updated shapes, templates, and styles; enhanced support for team collaboration including the ability for many individuals to work on a single diagram at the same time.

Visio Pro for Office 365 is available as a subscription through Microsoft Office 365. It includes the same features as in Visio Professional 2013.

Microsoft Visio 2013 comes with dozens of templates to start quickly on almost any type of drawing, from organization charts to workflows and more.


The Top New Features of Visio 2013:

New file format

Visio 2013 offers a new file format as per the Open Packaging Conventions (OPC) standard and the XML elements from the previous Visio XML file format (.vdx). It is a zipped and xml-based file format. This new file format is actually supported by both Visio 2013 and Visio Services in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, and you can save a Visio drawing directly to a SharePoint Server library.


The new Visio has a completely new set of 16 distinct themes. The new themes fully incorporate the new shape effects. They are professionally designed to give your diagram a variety of dynamic looks.


Themes in the new Visio are very easy to use. That is, just select a Theme from the Theme gallery in the Design tab.

Quick Styles

Each new theme offers a set of quick styles that are style and color pairings. You can apply them to shapes while retaining an overall unified look.




You can apply styles through the Shape Styles gallery in the Home tab. Simply select the shape that you want to format, and then select a style from the gallery. You can view the entire gallery by clicking on the down-arrow to the right of the gallery.

Change Shape

Visio 2013 includes a shape replacement API that enables you to swap one or more shapes for another shape contained in a stencil, while retaining some of the local values from the original shape. Changing a shape is now as easy as clicking a button and picking the shape you wish.



You may change one shape at a time or change several shapes at once. This makes it easy to rough in a diagram with temporary shapes and then change to better looking and more appropriate shapes later.


Visio 2013 includes a new commenting framework. Comments can be associated with a particular shape or page. Visio 2013 includes two new objects: Comments and Comment.

Support for Business Connectivity Services data

Visio 2013 diagrams can now be connected to external lists on SharePoint Server 2013 servers. Visio Services supports the ability to refresh the Visio diagrams as the data updates.

Relative geometries

Visio 2013 supports relative geometry in the ShapeSheet. Shape developers can use relative geometries to specify geometries as simple values or formulas that multiply by the height or width automatically.

Duplicate page

You can now copy a page and all of its shapes within the same document in Visio 2013. Accordingly, the Page object has a new method ‘Duplicate’ that duplicates the page and returns a new Page object.

Right clicking on the page tab and selecting Duplicate creates a new page with all of the shapes, formatting and properties of the original.




You can use this feature to quickly create variations of a diagram or to use a particular page as a starting template for many others.

The improved features include:

  • Improved search to make it easier to find templates and shapes.
  • Easy diagram sharing through a web browser by saving to SharePoint.
  • Expanded set of data sources including Excel, Excel Services and SharePoint Lists.
  • Improvements to containers and new container styles.
  • Ability to apply a rich set of data graphics and colors to visualize data.
  • Support for Business Process Modeling and Notation (BPMN) 1.2 and 2.0 diagrams (BPMN 2.0 diagrams are only supported in Visio 2013).
  • Touch support on Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs.

By using Visio 2013, you can develop and deploy business process diagrams that meet the needs of all your customers in just half the time when compared to the other products and tools in the market.

Click here to get your copy of Visio 2013!


  1. Mia Collins

    Hello, I am a Psychology graduate student and I’ve found Visio 2013 to be very helpful!

    I especially need to create diagrams. Sometimes we have what we call Genograms for preparatory Psy.D courses and this is where Visio Std 2013 comes in really handy.

  2. MC Angst

    Visio screwed up my company’s tender.

    Tender’s are expensive. We decided to shade in a couple of diagrams and copy these diagrams to word, followed by pdf’ing the copy for submission (I’m sure most of you will appreciate this process(. Visio completely screwed this up, and now we might lose a multi-million dollar bid. Why does the transition from visio to word have to be so painful? Is technology so bad that we are unable to utilise our visio creations in word?

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