Creating a Custom Stencil

Custom StencilIn this tutorial we examine how Custom Shapes can be added to a Custom Stencil so that they are ready to use for a specific type of drawing, in this case a Kitchen Layout.  This is a very useful technique to use when the shape you need is not available on any other stencil, or where you have a selection of shapes that are specific to a type of drawing.

Adding Shapes to a Custom Stencil

You can make a new custom stencil in Visio very easily, and when it has been created and named you can then start to add shapes to it, whether the shapes you want to add already exist or not. In our example we are making a new stencil for kitchen units to live on and we begin by adding some rectangular shapes to represent base units our our custom stencil. As these shapes – or masters, to be correct – did not exist previously they must be added to the custom stencil and renamed when they are on it. They are then available to use in any drawing you make in the future.

Saving your new Custom Stencil

Once the shape have been added to your new custom stencil it is time to save it. On the title bar of the custom stencil in Visio 2007 there is a little “Save” icon which appears when new shapes have been added or removed. When this icon is clicked, the stencil is saved  – if you have previously saved the custom stencil the same name will be used and any changes saved, but if you haven’t saved it at this point a prompt will open asking you for a name and location for Visio to save the custom stencil in.

TIP: A lot of people don’t realize that a new Custom Stencil can be saved as “read-only” by using the drop down from the “Save” button to prevent other people from editing them, but it is actually true!


The steps shown in this custom stencil tutorial are continued and elaborated on in the next tutorial videos in this series. if you would like to read more about creating a custom stencil in Visio 2007 read my How to create a Custom Stencil article.

Creating a new custom stencil

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