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Visio: Add Shapes to a Stencil

Once you have created and named a new Stencil, create and assign new shapes to that Stencil.

      1.  You have two choices to create shapes for your new Stencil.
a.      Open a Stencil which has items similar and modify those shapes.
This option is faster if the shapes you need are already done and only need to be modified.
b.      Create brand new shapes
This option is good if the shapes you need are not created or modifying a shape will take longer than starting from scratch

    We are going to modify shapes already created.

      2. Click on More Shapes >

      3. Click on the menu category containing the shapes you want. I have selected Flowchart.

      4. Click on the specific shape set within the first category. I selected Basic Flowchart Shapes.

The following now appears on the Shapes Window [pane on the left].

5.      Click a shape and drag it to the drawing page. I selected a Decision shape.

6.      The shape is selected (lines around with boxes in corners and sides) on the drawing page. Modify as required. Change the fill colour, size, line (border) color or size or add special effects.

Once the modifications are complete

7.      Click on your Stencil in the Shapes Window. I clicked on Excel Macros.
8.      Click on your shape and drag it down below the Drop Quick Shapes here under the Stencil names. As you drag your mouse icon has a square white box attached to the arrow.

9.      Your shape now appears in the Shapes Window with a mini version of your shape and a name of Master.#  For our example, it is called Master.2
The # indicates a number assigned by Visio depending on how many shapes you have created.

To rename the shape

 10.   Right click over the new shape
       The following contextual menu appears

11.   Select Rename Master.

12.   Type in the name of the new Shape master. Press Enter.

13.   Continue creating shapes and dragging them to the Shapes area.

Move shapes around in the Stencil

In the diagram above I am dragging another shape to the Shapes area.
Note: The vertical bar beside the Purple Decision shape. That is indicating to me where the shape will go if I were to let go of the mouse. Move the mouse until the vertical bar is where you would like the shape to appear.
You may move the shapes around once they are in this area by using the drag and drop method. The vertical bar will indicate where it will be placed as you move a shape.

14.   When you close Visio, you will be asked if you want to save your new Stencil. Click on Save.

Saving the file does not save the Stencil.
You do not have to save the file you use to create your Stencil.

15.   The Stencil file is saved in the My Shapes folder in the My Documents Library as a .vssx file. When you search for your Stencil within Visio, it will look for them in this folder. 

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