How to copy Master shape data fields to other master shapes?

Started by tommih, February 17, 2017, 01:38:55 PM

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Hello guys,

How to copy Master shape data fields to other master shapes? Or...if I could modify multiple master shape data fields all at once, that would remove the need to copy the fields. The default fields are just not cutting it for me and deleting the ones I don't need and adding necessary ones one by one by hand is slow torture, there has to be a better way. And I'm not even being difficult, I don't need different fields for different shapes. I need just one format for all, but not what Visio offers by default. Just to clarify what I mean, I'll open up the situation:

I have copied the basic "Servers 3D" stencil to a custom stencil. There I have these 10 or 12 master shapes. I added the necessary shape data fields that I wanted to one of them and realized I would die of old age had I continued with the others. So I Googled. And Googled. But no luck this time, so I'm here... :-[

I have done some VBA coding a little more than year ago for excel, but would not prefer to start coding again, because I'm not on a level where it would be convenient and would also result old age before finishing it.

Thanks in andvance!

Paul Herber

Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -


One more option. More cumbersome than Paul's utilities, but nevertheless an option. "Shape Data Sets" window.

2. Open the "Shape Data Sets" window (right click on shape data window, select "Shape Data Sets".
1. Drop the shape containing contains correct set of properties to the current page (the one you have just created).
4. Add new data set. Select "add", then "create from selected shapes" option in the window that opens. This will define data set with properties you want.
5. Select masters to which you want to apply this set of properties.
6. Click "Apply".


Thank you Paul & Nikolay, in the Microsoft docs I find this warning on Shape Data Sets:

Only add data sets to shapes that will not receive data imported from an external source, such as an Excel spreadsheet, Access or SQL Server database, or other data source. Shapes that receive imported data take the data fields of the imported data, and adding fields could cause importing to fail.
For more information about importing data to shapes, see Import data to shapes in your drawing.


Is there something with Shape Data Sets that happens beyond regular Shape Data?

I am wondering because this warning is not on the article about just adding shape data:,then%20click%20Define%20Shape%20Data.

Visio 2021 Professional


Not had a reason to work with Data Sets.  It seems that its a cohesive collection of shape data definitions.  Kinda like a grouped shape with multiple child shapes.  Nothing unique about the subshapes, other than belonging to the group.  If you have a macro that calls each child and does something to it, then deleting the subshapes might introduce an error in the macro.  Seems similar for data sets.

It would seem you ought to be able to add / subtract data entries with no risk as long as they're not members of data set.  All I can say is try it. 

Well that's my 2 cents worth.
Visio 2019 Pro