How to Import Stencils into Visio

By R.L. Cultrona

Microsoft Visio comes with hundreds of shapes and stencils already installed, so regardless of what kind of project you're working on, there's probably something that will work for you. In addition to these, there are stencils available online that you can download to your computer for specific features. For example, if you are working on networking project, you can download stencils from component manufacturers like Cisco and HP to help with your design. To import stencils into Visio, they should be stored in the My Shapes folder, where Visio can load them.

Things You'll Need

  • MS Visio
  • Stencils.

Step 1

Locate the stencil you want to import, like on a CD or DVD or a website you trust. If you download the file, Windows will prompt you what action you want to take, select "Save As." For files on another media, right-click the stencil and select "Save As."

Step 2

Type a file name and then navigate to the My Shapes folder, located inside your My Documents folder. Save the file in this folder, since this is where Visio will expect to find the stencil.

Step 3

Open Visio and then select the Shapes window. Click "More Shapes," then "My Shapes." Select the stencil you just saved. The stencil is loaded into Visio, and you will be able to manipulate it.

Tips & Warnings

  • To save a new shape to a stencil, right-click the shape in Visio and select "Add to My Shapes." You can then select the stencil you want to add the shape to.
  • Information in this article applies to Visio 2013 and Visio Professional 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.