Formatting Shapes in Visio

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Applying a Shape Style

When creating drawings using templates, you have the ability to adjust the shape and style that the selected template uses. The sample drawing shown below was created using the Basic Flowchart template. This template automatically applies a specific blue shape style to each individual type of shape used. For example, the Start/End shape has a different shape style than the Process shape, but both are blue:

Different Shape Styles

You can change the style for each individual shape by first selecting the shape in question and examining the options found in the Shape Styles gallery on the Home tab. For this example, click to select the Sub-Process One shape and click the More arrow () in the Shape Styles gallery:

Shape Style Gallery Options

(If you do not see this command, click the Quick Styles button.) All of the available shape styles will now be listed. Move your cursor over these styles. You will see that the selected shape will change to show you a preview of the style your cursor is currently on. Click the “Subtle Effect – Blue, Variant Accent 2” shape style to apply it:

Apply Style Via Quick Style Button

The new style will now be applied to the selected shape:

New Style Applied to Shape

Changing the Fill Color

You also have the ability to adjust a shape’s fill color independent of its style. In the sample drawing, select the Start shape. Then, click Home → Fill:

Adjust Shapes Fill Colour

The Fill drop-down menu will list a wide variety of colors to choose from. Move your cursor over these colors to see a preview of how they will look when applied to the currently selected shape. Click Black:

Fill Menu Options

The new fill color will now be applied to the selected shape:

Fill Colour Applied to Shape

Changing the Line Color

You can also change a shape’s line color (its border). Click to select the Start shape and then click Home → Line:

Adjust Line Colour

The Line drop-down menu lists many colors to choose from, as well as options to adjust the weight (thickness) and style of the line. Move your cursor over the various color options that are available to see a preview of how they will look once applied. For this exercise, click Red:

Change Lines Weight and Style

The new line color will now be applied to the selected shape. Because the line is thin, it may be hard to see:

Line Colour Applied to Shape


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