Any way to define document-wide layers?

Started by Jennifer, November 15, 2011, 06:19:25 AM

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I am a little intimidated posting in the "Power User" section, but this is about a "built-in feature" so, here goes... :)

I've just started experimenting with shapes. I've got a document with a bunch of pages with various images that I want to add different annotations. I created three layers on the first page and put some annotations in each one. Then I went to the second page and was displayed to discover that the layers are not global. (drat) I did discover that copying a shape that is in a layer on one page will create that shape on the next page, which is some help. But any changes I make to a layer on one page, such as changing the Lock setting or Color, applies only to that page.

Is there any way to create global layers that apply to all pages -- kinda like how the background works?
Using Visio 2019, part of Office 365 on Windows 10


layer's are unique to pages. You can have layers on different pages that have the same name, but may be assigned to different sequences. For example I can have a layer called 'apple' that is the second layer on the first page, and is not on page two, but is the fourth layer on page three. Since layers are unique to a page they have to be managed individually (color, lock, etc.). If you want a global approach then you get to write your own code to manage them. Just as a warning, if a user drags a new shape onto the page and the shape has a predefined layer associated with it (such as network shapes) you automatically get the new layer, if it has not already been included. The reason I note this is that it can change the ordering of the layers (that's why your code has to look for layer names).


It's highly unlikely that I will be writing any code and even more unlikely that it would work if I did.

I understand the benefit of page-specific layers, but I think it would be handy to have global layers as well.

Using Visio 2019, part of Office 365 on Windows 10


might not be quite what you want...but you could spoof document layers by doing document wide stuff on a common background sheet

Wont be able to print it....but if all foreground sheets use a common background(s)....and that background sheet has layers, you effectively have layers across all the foreground.

Any edits would have to be on the background sheet itself


Thanks for that suggestion. It would definitely work in some situations.

But for this application, I want different shapes on each page. I realize that that sorta violates the concept of "global", but that's what I want. :)

The situation is that I have all these pages with diagrams. I need to take several different types of measurements. I do that by dragging other shapes that have fields that display area on top of the diagram. The problem is that the various shaoes overlap, making the diagram cluttered and hard to read. So, I put the shaoes for each type of measuerment in a separate later. I typically work with the same type of measurememt on multiple pages, so it would be good if I could make them all visible or invisible with a single command.
Using Visio 2019, part of Office 365 on Windows 10

Paul Herber

I#ve though of another way to do this.
There is a document shapesheet, this can have custom prperties and user-defined cells. You could create a user-defined cell(s) to control the various visibilites, then (this works best for simple shapes) set the shape geometry NoShow cell to depend on the document user-defined cell.
This doesn't work so well with shapes with multiple geometry sections or grouped shapes.

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