Creating a Custom Shape

Custom shape in Visio 2007There are occasionally situations where you simply cannot find the shape you need to use in a Visio drawing; one way around this is to create a custom shape of your own.

[br]There are many stencil sets available to download from the Internet, and a number of manufacturers supply their own custom shapes for use with Visio or AutoCad drawings – particularly those who make electronics or computer hardware – but still, there are times when nothing is quite what you are looking for.

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How to create a custom shape in Visio

Strictly speaking, when we refer to creating a custom shape what we really mean is creating a custom “master” as these are the shapes Visio includes on stencils. However, the term “shape” is used so often – there is a Shape menu, after all – that we will continue to use the two expressions interchangeably.

To begin with we look at how shapes can be combined to form a new custom shape by using the tools in the Shape menu. One of the most common tasks is changing the degree of rounding applied to a rectangle, and this can be done accurately and quickly by using the Operations command group. When the rounding factor is changes in one rectangle it is combined with another that has a different rounding factor applied so that the two create a new custom shape when combined into one.

Using Operations commands to make a Custom Shape

There are three tutorials in this custom shape Intermediate series, and in this tutorial we begin to examine how a Custom Shape can be created if the shape you need does not exist.  In the other tutorial series we explore how these functions have been changed in later versions, but here we start with some basic techniques for changing the rounding factor of shape corners and then combining shapes by using the Operations command from the Shape menu.

Creating a custom shape

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