Home > Articles > Home & Office Computing > Microsoft Applications

📄 Contents

  1. Making Diagrams
  2. Save Your Diagram
  3. Working with Drawing Windows
This chapter is from the book

Working with Drawing Windows

As you become more proficient with Visio, you might want more than one drawing open at a time. Visio allows you to easily navigate among open drawings. The way Visio handles multiple open drawings deserves a quick overview.

The Visio application is itself a window and can be moved, resized, and minimized, like any Microsoft application. This application window includes the tabbed ribbon interface. The main Visio application window can contain any open Visio files, the same as modern web browsers allow for multiple tabbed web pages in one window. You might notice what appear to be several stacked windows on the Windows task bar; they are likely all contained in one Visio application window. For this reason the ribbon and tabs across the top do not appear to alter when changing from one diagram or drawing window to another.

Drawing windows refer to the work area below the ribbon interface where you create your diagrams and drawings. Drawing windows can be minimized, maximized, and arranged below the tabbed ribbon bar.

Task Panes

Besides the Drawing window, you have likely noticed task panes by now. These may reveal more detailed information or provide additional options to work with your diagram. There are four common task panes in Visio:

  1. Shapes
  2. Shape Data
  3. Pan and Zoom
  4. Size and Position

In the Show section of the View tab you can enable or disable task panes by clicking the Task Panes drop-down button and selecting to toggle it on or off. In Figure 3.11 you can see four task panes listed. Shapes and Pan & Zoom are toggled on and can be seen below in the drawing window.


FIGURE 3.11. Task panes can be turned on or off from the View tab.

The Shapes task pane we used previously and by default is turned on anytime we open a new drawing window. It is docked on the left side of the window by default.


FIGURE 3.12. You can see all open drawing windows at once using Arrange All.

You may see other task panes occasionally, and some are unique to certain templates. They all can be moved, docked to the edge of a drawing window, resized, and anchored to the edges of a drawing window. Anchoring the pane allows you to automatically hide (Auto Hide) them so they fly open only when you hover over them.

Switching Between Windows

If you open the View tab, you notice a section labeled Window. This refers to the drawing windows you may have open. You see four buttons here:

  • New Window
  • Arrange All
  • Cascade
  • Switch Windows

To quickly jump between windows, you may be able to use Ctrl+Tab on the keyboard. Another option is to click Arrange All to split the available screen space among the open drawings. This provides a way to see a portion of all open drawings, as shown in Figure 3.12. You might use this to compare drawings side by side.

You can also select the Cascade button to see the open windows arrayed by their Title bar (see Figure 3.13). This can be useful when you have many open drawings and you need to quickly find a specific one. When you select the drawing you want, you can maximize the drawing window by double clicking the Title bar or by using the traditional Windows maximize button located in the upper-right corner of the window. This also removes the cascade effect.


FIGURE 3.13. You can use Cascade view to get a handle on what is open.

Use the New Window button to open a second view of the current drawing. You are not making a copy; you have an additional drawing window to the same drawing. Changes made in the first window are seen in the second, and vice versa. This can be useful when working with a large diagram; one window can focus on one area, and the second can position over another area. Now you can jump between drawing windows rather than move back and forth on the diagram. Notice how this is used in Figure 3.14; both Kitchen Remodel:1 and Kitchen Remodel:2 are different views of the same drawing arranged side by side.


FIGURE 3.14. The New Window feature enables you to see the same drawing from different perspectives.

Working with Full Screen Windows

Full screen or Presentation mode enables you to look at your Visio drawings like a PowerPoint slideshow (see Figure 3.15). To enter Presentation mode, click the projector screen on the bottom status bar just to the left of the zoom slider, or press F5. To escape, hit F5 again, Esc, or right-click and Close.


FIGURE 3.15. Full screen provides an unobstructed view of your drawing page.

You are not able to modify the drawing while in full screen, but you can evaluate how the finished product will look. You can navigate through multiple pages by right-clicking and using the Go To menu or by using your arrow keys.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020