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Visio Spectrum Shape

Submitted by on September 2, 2009 – 3:18 pm | | 35571 views 5 Comments

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visio-guy-spectrum1A rainbow spectrum can really liven-up a diagram and clarify a point that you are trying to make.

Whether you are trying to illustrate a broad band of choices or options, talking about a range of electromagnetic wavelengths, or going for the happy feeling that a rainbow gives, a colorful spectrum can help clarify your message.

Visio does not have multi-stop gradient fills that make spectra a no-brainer to create. With clever formatting and grouping, however, you can build a passable spectrum shape. But why bother doing it yourself when we’ve got a pre-built shape, waiting for you to download (for free)?

A visible-light spectrum can be used to illustrate many concepts. A few that come to mind:

  • Electromagnetic waves
  • Solar-energy concepts
  • A range of choices
  • A family of products
  • Levels of threat to national security (stop laughing!)
  • Sunshine on a cloudy day

Whatever you want to illustrate, our Visio spectrum shape is easy to use and quick to deploy.

Since the spectrum colors can be a bit overwhelming, I’ve added a feature to quickly set transparency and soften the effect. Just right-click the Visio spectrum shape:

You can easily set four levels of transparency. They look like this:


All in all, it’s a pretty simple shape to use.

Once you have mastered the spectrum shape’s features, you possess the power to create vision-destroying graphics like this:


or this:


Sorry about that.

Stuff like this can be used to make sure your audience is paying attention when you present your next PowerPoint at Monday’s status meeting!

But if you must get real work done, then you could use the spectrum shape to enhance your business diagrams, as shown in this concoction:


or this one perhaps:


Enjoy the spectrum shape!

[download id=”21″ format=”2″]


  • Wombat says:

    I’ve been walking around with three words in my head all day since reading this in the morning: Fruit Stripe Gum!

  • HH says:

    Transperency doesn’t print correctly on our Xerox C450 (Colour copier) here at work, comes out all grainy and filled with little + signs.

  • Visio Guy says:

    Hi HH,

    Yeah, my HP 2600n doesn’t handle Visio-transparency very well either.

    I don’t know if it is a printer problem or a Microsoft problem.

    What I usually do is just export full-color, transparency-containing, fancy-schmancy Visio drawings to a high-resolution bitmap, then print them out. It works fine, and I don’t often print out such drawings.

    I’ve used Visio to design a few posters and my own business cards over the years, and I find that taking an exported bitmap to Kinkos is the best way to get accurate, high-quality reproduction.

  • HH says:

    It does it when printing to a PDF using adobe elements so I suspect it’s a visio problem, haven’t tried 2010 to see if it’s be fixed but it’s quite annoying. I usally export it to SVG and then open it in something else but that’s also frought with danger as visio can make a hash of that too (especially the bar graphs and gradients)

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