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Shape Move Preview (the ghosting affect when you move a shape...)

Started by jhawkathome, June 15, 2008, 12:52:00 AM

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I recently opened up Visio (which I use every day...) to find that the shape move preview no longer works... I didn't make any changes to my setup so what gives? I've checked... no MSFT patches... nada... Did I inadvertently turn it off? It's a very helpful feature that makes precise layouts much easier... How do I get it back?

Any ideas?


If you're moving very complicated (big, loads of sub shapes etc) for example shapes  made from CAD drawings the preview can be a bit slower to load, so move and hold the shape for like 20 seconds, if theres still no preview there might be something else going on.
If you haven't changed any settings this might just be the case. So maybe try a rectangle and move that around just to make sure its really off.

- Lars

Visio Guy

Hi Guys,

I did some research on this problem a while ago and found that if a shape contains more than 25 sub-shapes, the preview doesn't work without the user pausing for a significant amount of time.

You can fiddle with the attached Visio drawing. There's VBA code in it, with a button on the page that counts all of the sub-shapes within the selected shape. It doesn't seem to matter how deeply the shapes are nested. At 25 sub-shapes, the preview slows down.



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I have tried this with simple shapes in a brand new dwg... still get the same thing... nada...

Is there a way to ensure that this feature is indeed turned on?

Visio Guy

There are some display settings under Tools > Options, but I don't think they affect this.

Other than that, maybe there's a registry setting. Microsoft support has six pages on Visio 2002's registry settings here:

I haven't seen an update to this for Visio 2003, or Visio 2007, but I don't think there have been lots of changes.

For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
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Voila!!! That article did the trick!!! Some how my registry was changed... the key "DragBitmap=" was set back to "0" which turns off the "ghosting" feature... Here are the details for that option... Thanks a ton for your help!!!!

Determines whether Visio creates a bitmap representation of a dragged shape or master while waiting to drop the shape or master.

0      Do not create a bitmap representation. Only an outline of the
       shapes(s) is displayed.

1      A bitmap representation of the shape(s) is displayed after the
       duration specified by the MousePauseTime setting. (Default behavior
       for releases before 5.0c.)

2      A bitmap representation of the shape(s) is always displayed.

3      A bitmap representation of the shape(s) is always displayed unless
       the selection exceeds 25 shapes, one or more bitmaps, or one or more
       metafiles. Behavior then defaults to the behavior described in

Visio Guy


Thanks for the write-up!

I wonder how your setting got changed... ???
For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010


Dunno... maybe a delayed reaction from the latest "windoz" patch...?  :-\


"Al Edlund" wrote:

    Vaguely remember a thread that said visio self adjusts based on it's
    perception of the system it is running on (memory/processor/etc.),

Maybe the update made Visio think your pc is crappy? :D
Could also be a crash or something that reset some settings to "low"?
Who knows, could be just about anything ?

- Lars


Another note:
I think that shapes that are considered "Complex" so 25 subshapes or over, also wont connect to others.
You can however connect non "Complex" shape to them, but not the otherway around.

Just what I've noticed, I have no solid source of information ;)

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