FAQ archive


Using ShapeSource stencils in Visio 2013 and later- Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Visimation's ShapeSource stencils are designed for the broadest compatibility and ease of use and so we have elected to offer our products in a single file format that will work with all versions of Visio from 2002 and later. Visio introduced additional security features in Visio 2013 that require users to perform the following steps to enable pre-2013 stencils to work in Visio 2013. This will also work with Visio 2016 and later:

1. Select File > Options > Trust Center
2. Click button Trust Center Settings on the right side of the window
3. Click File Block Settings
4. Uncheck “Visio 2000-2002 Binary Drawings, Templates and Stencils"
5. Click OK at the bottom
6. Click OK at the bottom again

You should now be able to open the .vss files in the product you purchased.

Comments (5)
How to download your orders- Wednesday, August 21, 2013

We’ve recently redesigned our store and the process has changed significantly.  I can now see that we need to simplify it or at least provide clear instructions on how to do it.  Here are the steps:

Log into the account you created
1. Click on your user ID at the top of the Home page after logging in
2. At the left, click on Downloadable Products at the left
3. Click on Download button next to the order number
4. Accept the license terms
5. The download will begin and you can save it to a place on your computer

How do I re-install my ShapeSuite stencils if I move to another PC or I replace my hard drive?- Sunday, March 17, 2013

ach licensed copy of a ShapeSuite may either be used by a single person who uses the software personally on one or more computers, or installed on a single workstation used nonsimultaneously by multiple people.  To re-install on an upgraded system simply follow the instructions in the readme.txt file included in the zip file that you downloaded.  These intructions are also listed below:


To install these stencils, simply unzip the stencils into any directory you wish on your machine.

In order to access the stencils from the File > Stencils menu (or File > Shapes menu for Visio 2003), you will need to change Visio's stencil File Path to point to the directory where you unzipped your stencils.

To alter Visio's file paths, go to Tools > Options > File Paths Tab (or Tools > Options > Advanced Tab > File Paths Button for Visio 2003).  In the field called stencils, put the full path to the directory of your stencil files, e.g:

1. C:\Documents and Settings\usera\My Documents\Unzipped Shapes  (Full absolute path)
2. \\MyServer\My Shared Folder\Unzipped Shapes  (Full UNC path)
3. 1033\Solutions\Unzipped Shapes  (Relative Path within the Visio root folder, not recommended)

If there is already a path written in, DO NOT erase it.  Instead, append your path using a semi-colon, e.g.:

Exisitingpath\exisitngfolder;C:\Documents and Settings\usera\My Documents\Unzipped Shapes

Now, after exiting the dialogs (don't forget to click OK), you should see your stencils appear in the File > Stencils menu (or File > Shapes menu in Visio 2003).  If you don't, try restarting Visio.  If you still don't, make sure that your file paths are absolutely correct.

How do I prevent macro warning messages from interrupting batch printing with VisiBatchPrint?- Sunday, March 17, 2013

Visio documents that contain macros (VBA) can cause Visio to prompt the user about how these macros should be handled. It is recommended that Visual Basic for Applications be disabled before using VisiBatchPrint. This will keep any macro warning messages from being displayed during the batch printing process.  These messages will interrupt the print job until the user responds to them.

Do the shapes in the ShapeSuite for Manufacturing and Industry contain connection points?- Sunday, March 17, 2013

Most of the shapes in the ShapeSuite for Manufacturing and Industry do not contain connection points.  Some of the shapes that are designed with intelligent behavior do have connection points, but these are relatively few.  However, it's easy to add these with Visio's Connection Point tool.

To add connection points to a shape:

  1. Select a shape.
  1. Click the Connection Point tool, which is located on the same button as the Connector tool (pull down the list arrow to view the connector tools)
  1. CTRL+click the selected shape.

Note  If the connection point does not stay glued to the shape, be sure you have the shape selected before you add the connection point. The selected shape has a green, dashed border.

You can also add connectors without the need for connection points.  Click the Connector tool, then place your cursor inside one of the shapes to be connected until the shape is highlighted in red.  While pressing the left mouse button, drag a connector to another shape until it is highlighted in red and release the mouse button.  Visio will add a connector that will orient itself dynamically around the perimeter of the shape as you move the shape on the drawing page.

Do ShapeSource Visio shapes exhibit any special or intelligent behaviors?- Sunday, March 17, 2013

The behaviors of the shapes throughout our ShapeSuite collections will vary. We consider several factors when deciding whether to apply any special behaviors.

Some shapes may have Shape Data or right-click custom menus that enable the user to specify various data fields or options.

It is not practical to list which shapes exhibit special behaviors. If a shape contains Custom Properties, you can see them by opening the Shape Data window, View>Task Panes>Shape Data.

Since some of our shapes are developed by other parties, they may utilize different methods so the best way to discover any special features is to click on the shape, open the Shape Data window, or right-click on the shape to open any custom menus associated with the shape.

Comments (1)
If I purchase Visio stencils or add-ons, how many people are authorized to use them?- Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our end user license agreement for Visio shapes, as well as for our add-on products, authorizes the user to install it on one or more machines only for use by the person that purchased it. For example, if you have a desktop machine and a laptop for traveling, you may install and use the product on both machines.

However, each individual user must own a license for each product. For example, if a company purchases a ShapeSuite they must purchase a license for each individual user. For details, please refer to the file EULA.txt that is accessible from the Support tab of any product page.

Discounts are available for multiple licenses:

10% off for 5-10, 20% off for 11-20. Negotiated site licensing is also availabe upon request by calling 1-425-369-6000 x105.

Comments (120)
Where are my unlock codes?- Sunday, March 17, 2013

We do not send out your license codes through email.  Instead, you must log back in to the store using the email address and password that you signed up with:

Once you log in, you will see a list of your orders.  Click your order number to view your order.  Your unlock codes will be found at the bottom of the order details page.

Comments (1)
QuotePix: Why are the shapes in my drawing not being counted by QuotePix?- Sunday, March 17, 2013

QuotePix is designed to be flexible enough to work with any Visio stencil, shape, and drawing type.  Because of this flexibility, QuotePix requires some initial setup so that it knows what to count in its Bill of Materials (BOM) calculations. 

The default templates open Visio Standard or Professional stencils.  If these symbols are sufficient for your drawing, you can begin your design by dragging from the stencil to the page.
As you draw, note that many of the shapes display a SmartTag  to designate that it will appear in the Bill of Materials.  That is because this QuotePix template has been set to recognize the Shape Data (Custom Properties) field “Part number” as the information that identifies an item to be counted.  You can see this in the Define BOM Items dialog from the QuotePix menu.

The above values are the default for the HVAC template included with QuotePix.  If you have a set of shapes that use other Properties (like "Part #" instead of "Part Number"), you can change what QuotePix will look for by selecting another Property in this dialog.

  • You can turn off the SmartTag display by clicking the  icon in the QuotePix toolbar. You may want to do this if your drawing becomes dense with BOM items.
  • Click the SmartTag and uncheck the box to change it to  if you do NOT want the item to be included in the BOM.
  • Not all of the shapes on the standard Visio stencils have Part number fields for Shape Data.  If you have shapes in the drawing that you want to include in a BOM, select one or more of them on the Visio drawing and then click QuotePix>Convert Shape(s) to BOM item(s).  QuotePix will add the Shape Data field that is designated in the Define BOM Items dialog to identify shapes as BOM items.

Comments (1)
Can I prevent the VisiTools toolbar from displaying without uninstalling VisiTools?- Sunday, March 17, 2013

Yes, but in Visio 2003 it requires changes to the Windows Registry.  Please see the following Knowledge Base article: 

In Visio 2007 it's much easier and you can use this technique for any COM Add-in program for Visio.  Select Tools>Trust Center then Add-ins.  Towards the bottom of the screen select COM Add-ins and then click Go.  You will see a list of the installed COM Add-ins (like the VisiTools Toolbar) and you can check which ones you want active or disabled.  You can change this setting at any time to bring the Toolbar back.

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