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Changing colors of wall plate callouts based on VLAN

Started by carnold67, January 05, 2016, 04:25:28 PM

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I am using Visio 2010.

I have searched for hours and learned many things about Visio, but I am still confused on how to do this. I previously created maps with text callouts connected to dots that mark where a wall plate is. Every callout/dot represents a wall plate with any number of network drops, and contains lines of text for each port (the port label/description). I want the callouts to change color based on what vlan the ports belong to.

My approach so far has been manually creating an excel spreadsheet with two columns: Port & VLAN. "Port" is a port description on the switch and label on the wall plate. I then open one of my .vsd maps and import that spreadsheet into Visio. Then, I right-click the data and automatically link to all shapes with "Port" equal to the Shape Text. Here comes the problem.

Visio ONLY links my imported port data to callouts with ONE line of text (AKA one network port on a wall plate). Most of our wall plates have 2-4 drops, but my VLAN colors (so I figured out the coloring part) only work on the callouts with one network drop. I assume that this is not working because the Excel data does not "match" the callouts with multiple lines of text, perhaps because it wants to treat the entire contents of a callout as a single value... If only Visio let me link SEVERAL data values to ONE callout...

The point of this is for automation. It would not be reasonable for me to manually change the colors of tens of thousands callouts in the dozens of maps I made, not to mention trying to keep up with vlan updates.

Working callout example (changes color according to vlan):   1752A1

Non-working example (does not even link data values):       1784B1

Thank you and sorry for my naivety in Visio.


Would you please upload a drawing (simplified), so we can see what kind of shapes you use as callouts, how the ports are made, and so on?
The will considerably shorten the clarifying process.


How about a simple case that includes a shape that works as desired and one that doesn't.

Visio 2019 Pro





Does not work

Thanks for your patience guys.


These are still no visio files.  :'(
Why are Wapperdude and myself asking? Because there are infinite ways to realize what you are asking for.
We could suggest a solution from scratch. But as you have already shapes you're working with, best would be to solve the actual problem.

Could you try setting up a visio file (VSD preferably) with one wall with working callouts and one with not working ones?


Sorry! Here is a .vsd file with two working callouts on the top and two nonworking on the bottom.


I had a look at your drawing.
The way I would solve it, would be to separate the callout function from the data shape.
Therefor, I prepared a container list with a callout line and a port shape to hold the ID of the port.
The ports would then be dropped in the container, linked automatically to the data and the callout line would be positioned manually to the area where it belongs to.
Check the attached file.


Thank you for your help. I have some questions, though.

Is there a better way to add the "port" shapes to the "wallplate" containers so that I do not have to re-type or re-do my original callouts? In other words, the solution you suggested is basically a replacement for my original callouts, so how would I go about replacing all of them?

In the drawing you sent, the colors do not show. How would you suggest I assign colors to each of the Port boxes based on Vlan? I understand importing data, but not using that data to change colors of Ports based on Vlan.

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