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Twisted copper pair

Started by Copcheck, November 03, 2011, 08:24:16 PM

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I am using Visio 2010 and did a search on the forum for a stencil that represents a twisted copper pair.

I am putting together a couple diagrams to represent some inside wiring and would like to use a stencil that actual shows twisted wires.

Does Visio istelf allow me to take 2 lines and interweave them?

I feel I've reached the end of the Internet searching for a stencil that does this and one that will allow me to change the color of the wire.

Thank you



I think custom made linepatterns is your way to go. Look at this visioguy article and the links it contains:

hth Jumpy


Thank you for the link.

Sadly I am not able to make much use of the information once I create the custom stencil.  The directions seem to drop off after I create the custom line stencil and I am not sure what to do after that.

I'll keep searching.


You draw sth. like this (only rounded) with the visio drawin tools:

__    __
  \ /
__/ \__


From your response, I think you're saying you can make the line pattern, and apply it to your drawing, but, when you try to share it, the custom line pattern disappears.

It's been awhile since I looked at VisioGuy's article and don't remember if he (or the excellent links that his article provides) discusses this, but, you have to make the line pattern available for sharing.  Just saving the custom line shape to a stencil doesn't work...I don't believe.  Rather, I think you need to save your file as a template.  Doing so should preserve all the features associated with the drawing.

If you're having trouble creating the twisted pair, take a look at the attached drawing.  You may have to play with the linewidths in both the custom pattern and the drawing to get the desired scaling.

Visio 2019 Pro



That is exactly what I'm looking for.

Actually you gave me a little more credit than due.  I hadn't yet gotten to the point to draw, thanks to Jumpy I started playing around with that and settled on the freehand draw.

I have to admit I like your example better, and figured out how to changed the color to represent the colors I need, however I cannot figure out how to cut just a section out so that it is only straight.

Also, in the event I need to add more wires, such as 8 pair Ethernet, etc, how would I do that?

Thank you very much!


Glad this is helping.  Good that you were able to change the colors, the ones I chose were just to aid  visualization!

If you open the custom pattern for editting, the 1st thing to do is ungroup the twists.  Each color is made of multiple segments so that and over / under twisting effect can be achieved. 

>>To add more strands, just duplicate one color  and then place it next the existing lines.

>>Then, you have to go to individual segments and adjust the vertical positions to achieve the desired over / under effect.  It may be that you have to add more sections to extend the number of turns if you have a lot strands.  Also, you may have to re-group and stretch the entire line to "open up" each twist to accommodate a high number of strands.

>>Finally, you will have to extend the ends, can be done with the pencil tool, such that all of ends are flush with each other.  This will be a bit tedious.  But, with pencil tool, select a wire end, draw a new "partial segment", ending where desired.  Then, with the pencil tool, change the curvature of the segment.  Hmmm.  As I think about this, these end pieces may have to be separate pieces to preserve the proper over / under effect.

>>Once this custom pattern looks correct.  Select all and group.  Save.

That should do it -- I hope!   ::)
Haven't really tried to extend it to multiple strands, but this would be may inital approach.   ???

Visio 2019 Pro


An alternative approach for mult-strand cable, which could get to be really busy, is make custom ends that show the fanout, or, just draw the end segments individually, and route the lines as needed. Keep the main length as a single, wide, solid color (black?).  This would be more consistent with actual cables.

Just a thought.

Visio 2019 Pro


Ok, I hope I am on the right track.

I created the attached 3 segment black/red drawing and followed the directions using the drawing explorer.

You mentioned making sure I am able to share it, however I am not sure how to do that.

Does it look like I am on the right track?

Thank you again.


Ok, this is getting fun now, I was able to use the stencil in my actual visio, but when I stretch it, it does not repeat the pattern and add twists.

I believe you mentioned how to do this, but I'm not able to find it.



Fun!   ;)

Glad to hear that!

A couple of things...
>  Once you draw a line and have it selected, then from the menu bar > Line Patterns > More line patterns > pattern and scroll to bottom and select the named pattern you want.  These would be the patterns that you added.  Once applied, the patterns fill the entire line length.  The manner in which they fill is in the next point.  The only time you need to go back to the Drawing Explorer (DE) is to adjust the line pattern or it's properties.

>  In the drawing explorer window (menu bar > View > DE) select line patterns.  This shows the custom patterns you have.  Right click and get a sub-menu.  You change properties which determines how the custom pattern is applied.  Click and have fun experimenting.

(Sorry if some of this info you already know, just want to make sure...)

>  To make the pattern available to others, save your drawing as a template.  I haven't tried saving a line with custom pattern to a stencil, so don't know if that works.

>  I think that VisioGuy's article references some work done by John Marshall???  Whatever those links are, they are very good.  Check them out if you haven't.  Believe there's actually two articles about basic line pattern stuff.  Then VisioGuy shows a lot of fun applications.

Visio 2019 Pro


From Visio help, talks about saving pattern to a stenci:

Add a new fill pattern, line pattern, or line-ends pattern

1.Do one of the following:
To make the pattern available only in the current drawing, on the View menu, click Drawing Explorer Window.

To save the pattern with an existing stencil so that you can open it in any drawing, open the stencil (on the File menu, point to Shapes, point to My Shapes, and then click Favorites or another stencil name). If the stencil cannot be edited, right-click the stencil title bar, and then click Edit Stencil. In developer mode, click the title bar icon again, and then click Drawing Explorer Window.
Note   To run Microsoft Office Visio in developer mode, on the Tools menu, click Options, click the Advanced tab, and then click Run in developer mode.

To create a new stencil with which to save the pattern (to make it available in any drawing), on the File menu, point to Shapes, and then click New Stencil. In developer mode, click the title bar icon, and then click Drawing Explorer Window.
2.In the Drawing Explorer window, right-click Fill Patterns, Line Patterns, or Line Ends, and then click New Pattern.
3.Under Details, in the Name box, type a name for the pattern, and then click the pattern type you want.
4.Under Behavior, choose an option.
Behavior options
Pattern type Description Button
Fill pattern Create multiple copies of the image to fill a shape (tile the image)   
  Use a single, centered, image.   
  Stretch a single image to fill the shape.   
Line pattern Bend the pattern to the line so that the pattern is tiled and distorted along the path of the line.   
  Tile multiple images along the line without distorting them.   
  Stretch a single image along the line.   
  Tile multiple images along the line without distorting them, while still retaining the line's original formatting.   
Line end pattern Orient the line end to the direction of the line.   
  Orient the line end so that it is always upright.   

5.To adjust the pattern as the drawing page scale changes, select the Scaled check box.
Note   An unscaled line pattern or line end pattern will adjust itself to the line's weight (or thickness).

6.Click OK.
7.In the Drawing Explorer Window, open the appropriate folder, right-click the new pattern, and then click Edit Pattern.
8.Create the shape or shapes you want to designate as a pattern. You can create shapes from scratch, modify existing shapes, or insert bitmaps.
Note   If you use a bitmap to create the fill pattern, the pattern will not have transparent areas where the background shows through. However, if you use Visio shapes to create the fill pattern, the background will show through the pattern.

9.Click the Close Window button, and then click Yes to update the pattern.
Tip   If you design your own dash pattern as a custom line pattern, draw your dash segments as lines with zero weight so they inherit the original shape's line weight. Line segments are more efficient than filled shapes, and when a line is thin, line segments are displayed better on the screen
Visio 2019 Pro


Thank you for the lengthy reply and directions.

If it helps I have attached a very stripped down version (file size) to help illustrate what I am trying to accomplish.  The red lines are the lines I would like to replace with twisted wire to show and analog connection.

Based on the .vsd that you attached earlier, I would like to cut a small stright line section that I would then be able to use to connect the shapes in my drawing.  The problem I am having with your .vsd and my own version is that I cannot get a straight section to that will stretch while repeating the format or twists.  I hope that makes sense.

I was on my way to create my own, but your's is exactly what I need.

Thank you again.


Almost there!

>  Select one of the red lines. 

>  Change your red line to black.

>  Then go to menu bar > Line Weight icon > pop up menu > select More line weights.  New menu > pattern & click the down arrow for another menu. Scroll to the bottom and select New Line.

>  Now, in the D.E. window, select your New Line and Edit Pattern Shape.  Select the group, and change the line weight to the 2nd lightest weight.  Close window.  Yes to save and apply.  Now your line should have visible twists, but not quite right.

>  Back in D.E., right click your pattern and select pattern properties.  Under behaviour, select the left most pattern, not the 2nd from left.  Say OK.  You can play with these to see the impact upon your drawing.  (BTW, your pattern could use one more twist so that the "flow" from pattern to pattern lines up correctly.)

Still not clear where you want the straight section???
Visio 2019 Pro


I think I have it now.

Thank you very much!

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