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Visio Stencil Question

Started by pochox, April 27, 2010, 10:17:37 PM

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Hi there,

I was hoping someone might be able to help answer an issue that has been driving me crazy!  I have an issue with trying to use a "zigzag" arrow in Visio 2003.  On my drawing sheet, if I select and hover over my original zigzag arrow, I get green points along the arrow where I can select and move the points to distort the shape and it basically allows me to freely move any of the points while keepin the remaining points stationary.  However, once I drop this arrow into my stencil so others can use it, when we pull it out of the stencil, it no longer has this functionality.  The only thing we can do is to enlarge the whole arrow with it staying proportionally constant.  We can no longer select individual points to move as needed.

Is this just a downside of using the stencil or is there a way we can have it keep this functionality/property while using the stencil?

Thanks for the help and for your time!!

Visio Guy

Hi Tom,

It sounds like you created a new Master from multiple shapes. If you do this, Visio will automatically group multiple shapes in a master when they are dropped into a new drawing. In other words, Masters can be only one shape. And if you try to make a Master from multiple shapes, Visio will just group them (anyway).

So your zig-zag arrow probably just got grouped with some other shapes, and it's "1D" endpoints are buried within the group.

Possible workarounds:

1. Ungroup your new master after dropping it. Ctrl + Shift + U will get this done quickly. There will be a warning dialog. Accept the consequences.
2. Sub-select your zig-zag arrow within the group. See: Getting a Handle on Selecting and Subselecting Visio Shapes for more info.
For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010


An alternative would be to re-create your zig-zap shape.  Draw it as a single line.  Then, open the shapesheet and add control points to each corner of the ziggy-zaggy that you want to move.  Now, when you drag and drop, the control points remain available to move around to your hearts content.

Visio 2019 Pro


Hi Visio Guy and Wapperdude,

Thanks for the replies!  I'll give all three suggestions a try today and see which will work better for me.  I'll report back and let you know afterwards.  I really appreciate the help!!

- Tom


Just as an update, apparently the objects were not grouped.  I thought they were as well, but they weren't.  I tried adding control points and that worked well, so I went that route.  Big thanks to both, Visio Guy and Wapperdude for the suggestions and help!!

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