Creating a Custom Template

New drawing from a custom templateWhy make custom templates?

When you get everything just right for a drawing, sometimes it seems such a waste to use all the customization for just that one drawing. But you don’t have to throw it all away – you can save all your fine tuning and custom shapes in a template that you can re-use as and when you need to.

In this tutorial we create a new template that can be used in the future to create more Kitchen Layout drawings from.  The Custom Shape created in earlier tutorials and the Custom Stencil they reside on are used to form the basis of the template, but in addition we check that other elements we may need are also present before saving.

[br]These are other drawing properties and entities we will want to have available when starting a new drawing based on this custom template, so any stencils and shapes we want to use should be included as should the drawing scale.

This is of paramount importance if you have created any custom shapes as they will not render correctly if they are displayed at a different scale from the original.


What to include on a Custom Template in Visio

Some of the other elements of our new custom templates could include:

  • Stencils from other categories, e,g, Basic Shapes and Walls, Doors & Windows
  • The Drawing Scale used – very important for the Custom Shape to render properly
  • Any Macros we may have recorded should be included in the custom template
  • Any extra custom Colour Palettes used in the drawing
  • Any windows we might need e.g. The Pan & Zoom window or the Shape Data window

Saving your new custom template

All of these will have to be saved in the new template, but it is important to remember that any custom shape and custom stencils must be saved independently – saving them in the template alone is not enough. We don’t have a custom colour palette and we have no macros recorded in this example, but if you did have these they also should be added to the template before saving. In addition, include any visual aids or extra windows you would find useful; the Shape data window and the Size and Position window are two examples that we add to this custom template in the following tutorial.

TIP: Don’t forget to save any custom shapes and custom stencils you have made independently before adding them to your template. Adding them won’t save them – you must do it first!

[br]This tutorial concludes the Custom Shapes series – read more about creating a custom template in this article. In the next series of tutorial videos we look at using Layers in Visio.

Creating a custom template