A Visio drawing can have up to 200 pages; by default, a new drawing has just a single page. This article shows you how to set up the pages you want, the way you want them.

You can see only one page at a time in Visio. A drawing can have many pages, each a different size and scale, and each with many layers. This gives you a great deal of flexibility in displaying and organizing data in your drawing. For example, you can create an entire multi-page report with Visio, mixing text and graphics.

The Page (on the Insert menu) and Layer Properties (on the View menu) selections prepare a new drawing. To change the properties of an existing page, select Page Setup from the File menu. The Go To selection of the Edit menu takes you to another page when your drawing contains more than one page.

Size and Scale
"Size" refers to the size and orientation of the page. Visio supports many standard page sizes up to 34" by 44". In addition, you can specify the horizontal and vertical dimensions for any size of page up 1e19" by 1e19", which is a 1 followed by 19 zeros or ten billion billion inches. That's an area large enough to hold 20,000 copies of our solar system -- full size!

The orientation is either Portrait (upright) or Landscape (sideways). For a square-shaped page, the orientation doesn't matter. In fact, the initial size of the page no longer matters in Visio 5.0. If the page to too small (or too large), hold down the Ctrl key and drag the edge of the page larger.

"Scale" is the relationship between the size of the page and the size of the objects being drawn. For example, when the scale is 1"=10', a shape 1-inch across when printed is displayed as 10 feet wide by Visio's rulers. Visio calculates the scale for you or you can select one of the standard scales:

Scale Example

* No Scale 1:1
* Metric 1:100
* Architectural 3/32" = 1' 0"
* Civil Engineering 1" = 10' 0"
* Mechanical Engineering 1/32:1
* Custom Scale 1" = 12.5' or 1mm = 254m

Layers
"Layers" are a way to separate objects on a page. For example, selecting all objects on a page will not select those objects on a locked layer. When objects are on different layers, changing the layer settings changes how the objects react:

Property On Off

* Visible Objects are displayed. Objects are hidden and do not display.
* Print Objects are printed. Objects are not printed.
* Active Objects are added to this layer. Objects are not added to this layer.
* Lock Objects cannot be edited. Objects are editable.
* Snap Objects snap to other objects. Objects on other layers cannot snap to objects on this layer.
* Glue Objects glue to other objects. Objects on other layers cannot glue to objects on this layer.
* Color Objects display in this color. Objects display their original color.

Visio creates layers automatically when you drag shapes onto the page because many shapes are pre-assigned to layers. Unlike CAD software, a Visio object can be assigned to more than one layer at a time.

You can create new layers at any time; an option lets you remove unused layers at a later time. That new layer is added to the current page, not all pages in the drawing. In the same way, a new page does not inherit the layers from existing pages in the drawing.

You change the layer settings at any time independently for each layer. For example, if you want to display some text but not print it, you place the text on a layer and turn off the Print setting.

Unless a drawing is complex, it is easier to draw without worrying about layer settings.

Procedures
Before presenting the general procedures for setting up the page, it is helpful to know about the shortcut keys. These are:
Control Function Keys Menu Toolbar Icon
Size and Scale na File > Page Setup na
Layer Properties na View > Layer Properties Layers icon

Layer dropdown
Add a Page Shift+F5 Insert > Page na
Go to a Page F5 Edit > Go To Previous page icon previous page

Next page icon next page

To change the size and scale of a drawing.

1. Select File | Page Setup to display the Drawing Size/Scale dialog box.
2. Select the Page Orientation.
3. Select the Page Size.
4. Click the Drawing Scale tab to size the drawing.
5. Select No Scale. Notice that Visio automatically determines the drawing scale.
6. Click OK.

To create a new layer:

1. Select View > Layer Properties to display the Layer Properties dialog box.
2. Click New to create a new layer. Notice that Visio displays the New Layer dialog box.
3. Type a name for the layer.
4. Click OK. Notice that Visio adds the layer to the list of names.
5. Click OK.

To change the properties of a layer in a drawing:

1. Select View > Layer Properties to display the Layer Properties dialog box.
2. Select a layer name.
3. Click Visible to change the visibility. A check mark means objects assigned to the layer are displayed; no check mark means the objects are not displayed.
4. Click Print to change the printability. A check mark means objects assigned to the layer are printed; no check mark means objects are not printed.
5. Click Active to change the layer assignments. A check mark means new objects drawn are assigned to the layer; when more than one layer is made Active, new objects are assigned to all active layers. (Shapes pre-assigned a layer go to that layer, not the active layer.)
6. Click Lock to change the lock setting. A check mark means objects assigned to the layer cannot be selected or edited. Locked layers cannot change their Visible, Print, Active, Snap, Glue, and Color properties.
7. Click Snap to change the snap setting. A check mark means other objects snap to objects assigned to the layer; no check mark means other objects do not snap to objects on this layer.
8. Click Glue to change the glue setting. A check mark means other objects glue to objects assigned to the layer; no check mark means other objects do not glue to objects on this layer.
9. Click Color to set the color; select the color from Layer Color. A check mark means objects assigned to the layer display in the color shown; no check mark means objects take their pre-assigned color.
10. Click Visible, Print, Active, Lock, Snap, Glue, or Color to reverse the property of all layers at once. (This action has no effect on locked layers, except the Lock property.) The first click changes all layers to the default setting for each property; the second click reverses the setting.
11. Click # to have Visio add up the number of objects assigned to each layer.
12. Click Apply to apply changes without leaving the dialog box; click OK to apply changes and dismiss the dialog box; click Cancel to ignore changes and dismiss the dialog box.

To change the name of a layer:

1. Select View > Layer Properties to display the Layer Properties dialog box.
2. Select a layer name.
3. Click Rename. Notice the Rename Layer dialog box.
4. Type new name for layer.
5. Click OK.
6. Click OK.

To remove an unused layer:

1. Select View > Layer Properties to display the Layer Properties dialog box.
2. Select layer name.
3. Click Remove. Notice the new Layer Properties dialog box. It warns: "Removing this layer will delete all shapes belonging to it. Remove the layer?"
4. Click Yes to remove layer.
5. To remove all unused layers (layers with no objects assigned to them), click Removed Unreferenced Layers.

To create new page:

1. Select Insert > Page to display the Page dialog box.
TIP: In most cases, the default values provided by Visio are appropriate for a new page and you need only click OK.
2. Select Type:
* Foreground: shapes are editable.
* Background: shapes are seen but cannot be edited.
3. Type Name of up to 31 characters, which is Page-2 by default.
4. Select the name of a Background page to assign to this new page.
5. Select a method of Measurement for the rulers. You can have a different measurement system for each page.
6. Type the value for right and down Shadow Offset.
TIP: The Shadow Offset value applies equally to all shapes on this page that have the shadow option turned on. To have the shadow cast up or to the left, use negative values.
7. Click Open Page in New Window if you want the page displayed in an independent window; when left unchecked, switching to another page replaces the current page.
8. Click Drawing Scale tab to display the drawing size and scale properties.
9. Click OK.

Notice that Visio displays a new, blank page and states the page number on the title bar.

To move to different page.

1. Select Edit > Go To.
2. Notice the submenu listing the pages in the drawing in the format of Page-n (where "n" is the page number).
3. Select a page number.

Notice that Visio displays that page, along with the page number on the title bar.

Ralph Grabowski

Other tutorials in this series: