How to Use Layers in Visio

Using layers in VisioUsing Layers in Visio 2007 is often regarded as a more advanced feature of the software. Consequently, it is often overlooked by novice users, but by using layers in Visio you can open up a whole new dimension to your drawing.

What are Layers in Visio?

Layers are very common in software like Fireworks and Photoshop since they let illustrators add individual components to a drawing but blend them together into a composite.

The easiest way to describe layers in Visio, as in any kind of image-editing software, is to think of them as clear sheets of plastic upon which parts of a drawing are placed. Layers in Visio 2007 can be placed on top of one another to add depth to your drawing and provide functionality that would be otherwise impossible to achieve.

Some advantages in using layers in Visio drawings

These could include the ability to place walls, doors and window shapes on a locked layer so that they do not get accidentally moved. Or putting different elements of a drawing on separate layers in Visio so that they can be revealed one at a time – a great sales advantage if you are using your Visio drawing in a sales presentation.

Other benefits to using layers in Visio are:

  • Planning the best route for cabling, pipework or ducting runs
  • Making the layers in Visio different colours to identify their contents
  • Using layers in Visio drawings to contain specific objects
  • Placing visual aid like annotations and call outs on layers in Visio drawing so that they can be easily hidden to give an uncluttered view
  • Giving multiple editors their own layer so that edits can be made easily
  • Placing revisions on separate layers in Visio drawings so changes can be easily undone

This Tutorial Video explains how to use Layers in Visio and what properties can be changed to suit the use the drawing will be put to. A second tutorial follows this in which a process diagram is used instead of the floor plan example used here. Click the following link if you would like to watch one of our YouTube videos on using Layers in Visio flowcharts.

Using layers in Visio