Creating Custom templates

A popular method of creating a new drawing in Visio is to base it on a template, and for good reason.Templates simplify and accelerate the creation of drawings by opening a drawing page of the correct size and scale, opening stencils that already include appropriate shapes and utilizing a variety of other settings specifically suited to the subject of the drawing.  A template designed for a building floor plan, for example, will contain different stencils, shapes and features to one designed for anOrganization Chart.

The Professional version of Visio 2007 includes over 60 templates, while the Standard version only has about half that number, but what if you don’t have exactly the right template for the job in hand?  Well, why not create your own?

Creating your own templates makes a lot of sense, because using them to create new diagrams can save a lot of time if you:

  • Create architectural or engineering plans using unusual drawing scales
  • Often use specific paper sizes, scales, and other individual page settings
  • Regularly use specific backgrounds or themes
  • Must include a company logo or title block in all your drawings
  • Use nonstandard stencils
  • Produce different drawing versions for different departments
  • Like to customise your Visio workspace

When creating a new template, you don’t have to start from scratch – you can copy an existing template and customize it to meet your needs.

Alternatively, you can create a new template by saving an existing drawing as a template.  Do this by selecting “Template” from the “Save as Type” box on the “Save As” dialog box.  The one thing you don’t need if you are saving a drawing as a template is content, so make sure you have all the formatting, stencils, macros drawing scale etc. saved first, then remove the actual drawing to leave the template as a “blank canvas” ready for use next time.

As usual, there are plenty of helpful forums out there is you get into difficulties, and of course there is our own visio-tutorial website to help as well.

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