Save a .vsd File as a Template

If you are not sure why you would want to save a drawing as a custom template, see our article on the subject here.  Templates can store any settings you want, including foreground and background pages. You can make changes in any order as long as they are saved before the drawing file is saved as a new template.  There some things to consider before jumping right in however:

  • Any Stencils that appear in the Shapes window when the template is saved will appear when the template is used to create a drawing, so open the ones you want and close those you don’t before saving.
  • Changes made to a stencil must be saved by saving the stencil file as well as the template file, otherwise they will be lost.
  • Insert the number of pages and page settings you want before saving.
  • If you need a company logo, title block, or other information to appear on every new drawing based on the template, create a background page, add any required shapes to it and assign it to foreground pages before saving.
  • If new drawings must contain layers, create any you want for each page in the drawing before saving.
  • Stipulate any print settings, such as paper size, by using the File menu, Page Setup, and selecting Print Setup.
  • Define any specific page settings such as page orientation or drawing scale by using the File menu, then Page Setup and selecting Page Setup.
  • Specify Snap and Glue options you want the template to use.  From the Tools menu, select Snap & Glue and then choose the appropriate options.
  • Any custom templates that utilize specific colors will prevent Visio’s standard Colour Themes from working.  If this is the case, a color palette for the template can be defined by using the Tools menu, selecting Color Palette and choosing the color palette required.
  • When you save a new template, the style and color settings for the template file will take precedence and override the settings in the stencil file, so make sure that the styles and colors for the template and stencil files are compatible.
  • Create or modify any styles you want to be available for future drawings before saving the template, as custom styles belong to the drawing that’s open when the styles are created.
  • Open any windows, such as the Size & Position or the Shape Data window and position them where you want so that they open automatically in a new drawing,.
  • Create any macros that you want to use before saving the template.

When I create a custom template for my own use, l usually save the file in Template format to a folder I have made to make it easy to find again.  To do this, choose “Options” from the “Tools” menu and select the “Advanced” tab.  From here, click on “File Path” button and type the path to your folder in the “Templates” box.

Now when you are ready to create a new drawing from it, just click “File”, then “New from Template” and navigate to your folder.

Tip: If you don’t follow this step Visio will store the template in the default folder.

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