Can't see objects after Viso 2016 was updated

Started by tjandt, August 26, 2020, 01:15:03 PM

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I bought a standalone copy of Visio 2016 back in 2017.  Installed and have been using it to do drawings for my business since then.

Recently, I bought a subscription to Office 365.  When Office 365 installed, it automatically updated my Viso to a newer build and broke all of my drawings (over 100 of them) I used to run my business.

The issue:

In Visio 2016, when I had an object that was say, 24" x 48", I could zoom out and still see all of the lines of the objects on the page with no problem.  After the "upgrade", you can't see any of the lines in any of the drawings unless you zoom way in, too far to be able to actually work on the design!  I have two pictures.  One of what the drawings look like after the update (can't see lines on the object), and one of the object being selected after the update.  Before the update, you could see all of the object lines like you do only when objects are selected in the new version.  Unfortunately, I don't know how to attach them, as all the editor will let me to for insert picture is HTML.  I'd be happy to e-mail them or attach them if someone could tell me how.

Does anyone know of ANY way to get the view back from Visio 2016 where you can see the object lines when zoomed out without having to select the objects??  I have tried using the themes, but they cause all sorts of other problems with my drawings, so they are not an option.  Neither is increasing line weight, as the lines need to be the size they are for post processing of the images I create with Visio.

I figure if there is a Visio community out there that could help, this would be it.

Thanks in advance!!

Paul Herber

When you click Reply, under the area where you type there is a line :
+ Attachments and other options
Click that and add your images.
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -

Paul Herber

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


Thank you for the help on attachments. 

Here they are. 

The far left shows how the default view of an unselected object would look in the original Visio 2016 installation. (I had to select it in the update to show what the line would look like)

The middle shows what the default view looks like after the update.  Can't see any lines in the drawing at all unless you zoom way in, making the design aspect useless for me.

Far right shows the lines that are actually present in the object in the middle, and that you can actually see them if you select them

So it seems Visio *can* show the lines like it used to, but doesn't.  Wondering if there is any way to have it revert to the default view for objects like is was during initial install.

I don't know what you mean about plan 1 subscription?  I bought Visio 2016 outright as a standalone product, and subscribed to the family plan for Office 365. 

On a call with Microsoft yesterday, they said Visio 2016, even though purchased separately, would be automatically updated and there's nothing I can do about it. 

When I asked about getting help with my Visio problem, they said I would need to pay to subscribe to a technical support plan.  Needless to say, I was not happy to be told that because of an update that Microsoft forces me to do on a standalone product I own and do not want to update, it breaks all of my drawings, and I have to pay them to try and fix it!

Paul Herber

Re: Plan 1 - sorry, I misread your text, I thought I read your message as saying you upgraded from Visio 2016 to the Office 365 version of Visio - which is either Plan 1 or Plan 2.
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -

Paul Herber

Try this:
On the ribbon: File -> Options -> Advanced -> Disable Hardware graphics acceleration

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


Thank you for the suggestion!

I tried to disable the hardware acceleration, and it did something kind of odd.

I could see one element of the drawing after I disabled hardware acceleration, but the rest of it remained invisible.

When I looked at the properties of the lines, they were identical, but for some reason, only the diamond was visible.

Without hardware acceleration, the diamond is visible, but much less so than in the original Visio 2016 install.

Paul Herber

Try updating your video drivers.
Or try a different screen resolution, just to see if it makes any difference.
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -


No luck.  Tried different resolutions, and have the latest nVidia drivers installed.

Suspect there to be something different between the two builds, as you can make visio show the lines the way it used to by selecting the object, but it doesn't show it by default.

Beyond frustrating at this point.  Pretty much at a stand still with my business until I can either resolve this, or just set up a different computer with no internet access and re-install visio 2016 so it CAN'T be updated...


one other way this might possibly happen is if you have done some exotic shape shapesheet cells - a stretch but who knows
(turn off handles to make shape look like a 1D shape sort of,   intelligence around nofill, noline, noshow, etc.

some  things to check (be advised, these approach would suggest creater was a power user or some odd visio processing)
- turn on developer mode   file==>options ==>advanced options ==>general ==> bottom ==> enable dev mode
- the control handles of the shape   shape ==> rt click ==>showshape sheet ==>miscs ==> left column of cells
- the noshow, noline, etc of geometries in the shape   shape ====>shape sheet ==>geometry sections
   (if no geometries...then this is a group.   shape==>behavior==>lower right ==>show child shapes)
   (then get out and select child shape and do the geometries )

do you apply custom themes to your drawing  I believe the shape would reference the theme but if not carried forward,
Visio does it best / uses default themes.


Thanks for the info, but I am anything but a power user.

I draw using basic shapes, and don't even know what handles or showshape sheet or any of that other stuff is.

I literally draw rectangles, circles, and triangles, fill them in and save the files.

On a brand new drawing in Visio, if you draw a 24" x 48" rectangle using the default line, when you zoom out to try and work on the entire rectangle, the line is invisible.  If you select it, you can see it just fine.  No themes, no exotic shapes or coding at all.  Just a basic, 24x48" rectangle.


if you have an old drawing using say 2003 or 2010 format, you try to read it in to new visio instance and if behavior fixes it.
I don't think its a solution but a test.

or google vsd to find an old public drawing

or search this forum for posts around 2010 or so...use a file posted and see if problem persist (old format in new instance)

Paul Herber

Can you post one of your files here as an attachment?
Or if is a file you can't make public then email it to me at
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -


Thank you Paul!

I just e-mailed you the file I've been taking the examples I post from.

Truly appreciate your offer to help!


Paul Herber

Got it ...
I see the problem ...
Investigation started ...
Please wait ...
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