Home » Power User

Add Multiple Layers At Once With This Neat Trick

Submitted by on September 18, 2008 – 1:24 pm | | 181114 views 10 Comments

« »

Read Full ArticleSo I’ve been working on this Layer Utility for a customer the last few weeks, and stumbled upon a neat trick for adding multiple layers to a page in one fell swoop!

I got this idea to sneak in a handy feature for adding multiple layers at once. As I was writing the code, I thought; “I wonder if those guys at Visio already snuck this [hidden] feature in?“…

Well, to my surprise, Visio does have a secret add-layers feature after all!

The big secret is to enter a semi-colon separated list when Visio prompts you for a new layer name. So for example, if I select a shape, then choose the menu item: Format > Layer…, I can enter a list of names, as shown here:

As a result, three layers are created, and the shape is applied to all three of them. Really easy, really powerful:

You can also do this at the page level, where you don’t need to have any shapes selected. This is a good way to setup a new page, much more quickly.

Just go to the menu: View > Layer Properties…, or click the Layer Properties button on the View toolbar.

Here we see a more realistic and useful set of layers being entered as a list:

Which results in a nice set of ready-to-go layers:

I hope this tip helps you get your Visio work done faster and with more enjoyment!


  • shayne says:

    this was a great little feature that was unknown to me – thanks for the great tip!

  • Curtis says:

    what is best way to show 2-D relationships of four components?

  • David Wilde says:

    Are you aware of an add-in or workaround to allow easier view of layer dialogue box?

    I have a drawing with 65 layers, all of which need a relatively long explanation and date in the title.

    1. The existing dialogue box will not scale in size and only presents the names of 9 layers. Repeated scrolling results.
    2. The text box only shows the first 30 characters of the layer name.
    3.When a layer is turned on or off the list then jumps back to the top.

    It would be nice if the box could be scaled to a larger size such that all 65 layers could be listed and that the box would be wider to allow enough text for a fuller description of the layer

  • Joe Tauser says:

    Microsoft’s website states that new layers will only be added to the current page. When I add a layer I usually want it on all the pages in my document – do you have a super-cool way to do this?

  • Visio Guy says:

    Hi Joe,

    No super-cool way to add layer to all pages. Maybe I’ll whip up a little utility and put it up on the Products page.

  • Visio Guy says:

    Hi Joe,

    I have indeed created a utility that might help you out. You can learn more here.



  • knockoffschrist says:

    Welcome to visit my blog! you can find your dream .

  • mensair says:

    Welcome to visit my blog! you can find your dream .

  • downjackets says:

    Welcome to visit my blog! you can find your dream .

  • cheapwomen says:

    Welcome to visit my blog! you can find your dream .

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code lang=""> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> <pre lang="" extra="">

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.