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Can't Define a New Style

Started by Visio Guy, May 17, 2010, 08:28:28 AM

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Visio Guy

I wonder if anybody else has run into this problem. I have installed on my system:

  • Wiindows 7, 64-bit.
  • Visio 2003
  • Visio 2010

I run both Visios in Developer Mode (of course!) and cannot add a new style. The  {New Style} item is not available in the drop-down list, as shown in the screenshot below.

If I programmatically add a style:

Call Visio.ActiveDocument.Styles.Add("Some New Style","None",true,true,true)

the style is added, but I can't change any attributes via the Define Styles dialog. I get an "A Name is Required" error (also attached) when I hit the "Change" button, and nothing gets changed.

Changing the Style via it's ShapeSheet doesn't seem to actually update the style at all. When I apply the style, it still has the old, unchangeable attributes.

Anybody else run into this?

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I'm having the exact same problem, on Vista x64 with both Visio 2003 and 2007. The difference is that if I add the style programatically, I can use it normally and update/change it without issue.

Have you had any luck in finding out what causes this? I tried a complete uninstall and reinstall with no change.


I just came across this issue again on a clean format many months later, so I began to suspect it's some software I'm installing that's doing it, and I have found one cause of this error. Since it has been so long I assume you've already found your own workaround, so this is mostly to help anyone finding this page when searching for the error themselves.

I am using an application called DisplayFusion, which amongst other things extends your taskbar to other monitors. To replicate the Visio problem you described above, I just need to install the software, and I have the problem. However, by unchecking "Enable global application hooks" in DisplayFusion Settings > Troubleshooting, the problem immediately goes away and I can once again create styles in Visio. Toggling this on/off immediately makes the problem come back or go away, so it looks like it is caused by some in-memory interference rather than a file or registry setting, which was my first suspicion.

While this software is certainly not the only cause of the error, I hope this information helps someone track down the cause of the problem on their own machine.

Some search strings that may help someone find this post:

A name is required. Enter a name.
Visio Styles
Cannot create a new style
Can't create a new style

Visio Guy

Hi Soun,

Thanks for checking in. No, I hadn't found out what was wrong at all, so your post is great!
For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010

Visio Guy

There is a workaround.

1. Open the Drawing Explorer from the Developer tab.
2. Expand the Styles node and select the style you want to edit.
3. Right-click the style item and choose Show ShapeSheet.
4. Make changes directly in the style's ShapeSheet.
For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010


I think you should right click on the style of drawing explorer,
not on the new style.
Best Regards,

Junichi Yoda

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