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Run Circles Around Your Text With the Circle-text Title SmartShape

Submitted by on March 27, 2009 – 8:00 am | | 17400 views 6 Comments

circle-title-textThe other day, I visited one of my favorite coffee houses in Munich: Aran. While sipping my mocha, the logo on the cup gave me the idea for a Visio SmartShape:

A title shape that automatically places each character in a circle.

The cup graphics look something like the thumbnail you see at the beginning of this article. In fact, I used the newly-created SmartShape to make that a-r-a-n that you see in the square.

Oh sure, you can probably find a font that does this quite easily. But a circle-font won’t allow you the flexibility that this shape does.

With the Circle-text Title SmartShape, you can easily do this:

  1. Independently change colors:  text, circle-fill and circle-outline
  2. Change the size of the characters relative to the circle
  3. Change the spacing between the circles

To use the shape, simply select it and start typing. The text that you are typing will magically appear in the lower left corner:


As you type, more circles will appear:


The shape that you can download with this article will accommodate up to twelve characters. If you need something more powerful, feel free to contact me at:

Using Shape Data fields, which are accessible via the View > Shape Data window, you can fine tune the spacing between circles, and change the font size, relative to the size of each circle.

You can also format the colors and font of the shape as you would any other Visio shape:


Below you can see some web-logo concepts that I was toying with. Using fill patterns and duplicates of the Circle-text Title shape, I was able to create some interesting visual effects:


click to view larger image

Each line of text actually uses three copies of the shape. One holds the main text, and the others have some gradient fills and are offset NW and SE of the front text. Because the shape automatically hides circles when the text gets shorter, it was easy to change the text on the foremost shape, then select the two background shapes and repeat the edit using F4.

Circle-text Title Visio Shape (114.54 kB) - 409


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