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Visio 2013 Won't Open Old Visio Files

Started by jamtart, April 03, 2013, 11:42:27 AM

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Recently got Visio 2013 and now I can't open some files and hope there is a work around. One file for example is one I got here "FunkyLinePatterns.vsd". I get this this message in a pop-up:
This error occurs when you open a Microsoft Office file type blocked by File Block settings in the Trust Center. To enable this file type, do the following:
Click the File tab.
Click Options.
Click Trust Center, and then click Trust Center Settings.
In the Trust Center, click File Block Settings.
To open documents with this file type, disable the registry policy setting. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 922850.

Paul Herber

Do those instructions fix the problem?

I see this as a ploy by Microsoft to sideline addon stencils etc from 3rd-parties. I can think of no other reason for implementing this change.

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


no they do not :(
Sorry I did not see your other thread "Opening stencils problem " before I started this one...

I got it to work after seeing this Visio 2013 and Visio Stencils issue (Fixed) then I unchecked all the boxes in the Trust Center...


Out of curiosity, and since I don't have V2013, at the bottom of the link that jamtart provides, there's a comment about adding the path name to where the stencils are located.  That techniques seems to avoid having to uncheck all of the little boxes.  It might be a more effective solution.
Visio 2019 Pro

Visio Guy

Visio 2013 has a dramatically different file format. The default setting disallows the opening of (very) old Visio files - there must be some politics going on behind the scenes.

Anyway, as the linked-to article says, you can change the settings via:

File > Options > Trust Center > File Block Settings.

There, the logic is perplexing. The check boxes are to BLOCK the opening of Visio 5.0 or earlier, Visio 2000-2002 binary files, or Visio 2003-2010 binary files.

So just uncheck everything!

I double-clicked an old Visio file from October 1992 (!) and it worked fine once I got rid of the file block settings.

For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010

Paul Herber

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


Hi Paul,

Yes they do and even themes work reasonably well too.

Best regards

John Goldsmith - Visio MVP

Paul Herber

Thanks, John. I'd also like to hear from USA users with their US units and environment settings.
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -


Mums the word from me.  Since I opted not to do V2010 and have no compelling reason to do V2013.  (If someone wants to donate a copy to me, I might consider it...maybe.)

Visio 2019 Pro


the few I checked work on my system.

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