Visio Insights
The official blog of the Microsoft Visio product team

Automatic Page Sizing in Visio 2010

Automatic Page Sizing in Visio 2010

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When you start a new diagram, you typically begin with a single drawing page that is the size of a standard piece of printer paper.  Many diagrams grow beyond the size of a single printed sheet.  Visio 2010 adds a dynamic page sizing capability that responds as you draw, so you no longer have to manually adjust your page size to your diagram.

As you draw beyond the edge of the current page, Visio expands the page in that direction by one additional tile, or printer paper sheet.

image

image

If you live preview adding a shape with AutoConnect, Visio also previews the tiles that will be added.  As you drag shapes outside the current page or drag shapes from the Shapes window, Visio shows a translucent preview of the new tiles that will be added if the shape is dropped in its current location.

image 

All sorts of things can affect the size of your diagram when printed, including adding shapes, deleting shapes, moving shapes, adding or removing text and changing text properties.  Any of these will alert Visio to update the page larger or smaller to keep the drawing within full tiles.

Start with this: image
Add more text: image
Delete the shape: image

You may also notice that the depiction of page breaks and margins is different than in Visio 2007.  We simplified the look of page breaks and many people will find them similar to Excel’s.  Margins are now a clear white area around the entire page.  We think you will find this much more clear than the grey bars in past versions of Visio.  We also enable showing page breaks and margins by default in new drawings, to help make it clear how Visio is adjusting your page.

This auto sizing behavior is controlled using the Auto Size toggle button on the Design tab.  If you click the dialog launcher and open the Page Setup dialog, you’ll see we replaced the now-defunct “Same as printer paper size” option with “Let Visio expand the page as needed”.  The sharp-eyed Visio expert will notice that the “Size to fit drawing contents” option is also gone from the dialog.  Since that item was more of a one-time action than a persistent state of tightly fitting the page to the diagram, we moved it to the Page Size dropdown and renamed it “Fit to Drawing”.

image image

Since we’re talking about page sizing, it’s also worth taking a quick look at manual page adjustments.  The Orientation and Size dropdown buttons on the Design tab surface the most commonly-used items from the Page Setup dialog.

image image

When Auto Size is enabled, these reflect the orientation and size of the printer paper (the tiles in the drawing page), because Auto Size controls the size of the page based on the printer paper settings.  Changing them changes the orientation and size of the printer paper settings.  If you change these, the number of tiles required to contain the diagram may also change, so your drawing page may change size.

Size = Letter (8.5” x 11”)
Orientation = Landscape
image
Size = Letter (8.5” x 11”)
Orientation = Portrait
image

When Auto Size is disabled, these reflect the orientation and size of the drawing page, because you are controlling it, not Visio.  Changing them sets both the drawing page and the printer paper settings, to keep them in sync.

Size = Letter (8.5” x 11”)
Orientation = Landscape
image
Size = Letter (8.5” x 11”)
Orientation = Portrait
image

Essentially, we made Orientation and Size work as expected depending on context – whether Auto Size is on or off.  That is, whether you have Visio taking care of the page size or if you are doing it.

We hope these additions will help you to more easily, and more fluidly, build and edit your diagrams.  As usual, send us any feedback you have using Send a Smile or through a comment on the blog.

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  • Excellent!!  I've needed this feature since 2003.  Database diagrams often overlap the printed page and I end up calculating page sizes manually.

    I would upgrade for this one feature alone.

  • This feature is terrible, but I'm thankful for this blog entry that alerted me to it and how to turn it off.  I have a Visio document that I use as a template for patent drawings.  When I first opened the document in Visio 2010, a text box I have at the top of the page in the header area was moved from right and up from its position in Visio 2007, and a sample flow diagram on the page was also similarly shifted.  I selected the top text box and hit the down and left arrows expecting to move it back into position, and the sheet itself starts moving all over the place instead of the text box.  I hit left, the sheet moves left, very bizarre, as if the sheet is running away from my text box and refusing to let me put it in the position I want it in.  So I try grabbing the entire flow diagram (by drawing a selection box around it), then I click and grab the whole thing and start moving it.  Surprise, again the sheet starts dancing all over the place and getting bigger.  Finally I read this blog and had to go to each sheet one by one and turn off Auto Size.  Really wish this didn't just default to "on" in old documents.  It's also a bad feature for me because I commonly use the off-sheet area to temporarily move shapes to when I am composing a drawing and don't need a shape for a moment.  I don't intend for the sheet to get bigger when I set something to the side.  For patent drawings, I am under very strict Patent Office requirements that the page size be A4 paper, so anything that changes the sheet size leaves me with a potential filing error and a rejection of my drawings.  

    Another thing that is very annoying, where did the little x's go that used to denote the centerpoint of a text box even when it was not selected?  I used to use that to align other shapes to, and now I cannot easily tell where the text box's center is without actually selecting it.  Only once I've selected it that defeats the purpose because it is a shape other than the text box that I want to select and move.  Any help in setting up Visio 2010 to be more like 2007 in this respect would be appreciated, as I don't see an option for it.  I would hate to think I lost features by upgrading.  

  • Honestly, I'm not sure if this is a great addition. It took me hours to figure this! lots of wasted time, not impressed

  • Honestly, I'm not sure if this is a great addition. It took me hours to figure this! lots of wasted time, not impressed

  • You've wasted 4 hours of my time as I now must go page by page, and turn this rediculous feature off.  Not to mention, when you switch it, the page is off to the left, right or anywhere by centered under the ACTIVE Content.

    Thanks for a terrible & useless upgrade.

  • I agree, terrible feature. I as well actually stopped using 2010 and reverted to 2007 due to all my drawings getting jacked when I'd try to do any sort of editing.

    Disabled.

  • Ok, I have a large document (75 pages) that I created in Visio 2003.  I now have 2010.  When I try to change the Page Setup and turn off the Auto Size one page at a time, the program freezes up and has the "Not Responding" error message. I'm assuming this is because the document is so large.  Is there a way to turn off the Auto Size for all 75 pages at once?? Please help.

  • I installed Visio 2010 pro in a clean windows 7 x64. I installed all the updates as of Feb 15, 2011. When I tried to draw a simple flow chart with about 10 blocks, Visio 2010 just stops responding, and close. I redrew the whole thing again, then when I tried to save it, again it stops responding, and closes and restarts. Something has got to be wrong, right?

    I have MS office 2010 home installed too. I initially thought Bluetooth was causing the crashes like in Office 2007, but I already tried disabling that, and it didn't help.

  • Nice article, very useful.

    Thanks

  • for all that's Holly and Sacred, PLEASE implement "turn off auto-sizing for all pages in document" at the earliest. So far 6 hours spent cleaning up the mess this feature has created when we started opening Visio 2007 docs in Visio 2010. This feature is as loathed as Clippy as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps even more.

  • I hate this feature. I agree. Please tell us how to turn this off. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  • I used to be able to draw something and then afterwards click fit to contents and it would do so perfectly. Now, even if ass that command, it's disabled.  Thanks guys.

  • When you have to look up a function it implies that the function is not intuitive.  It also adds time to the task at hand.  I do not like this feature.

  • I have thrown away many hours already fighting this functionality. Please add a turn it off button ASAP. Many people bcome frustrated, I will advise to use other software in every other project I start from now on. Very bad job, as you can read it frustrates me a lot

  • I wish it were possible to control the amount of border that gets added around the edge of a diagram.

    Most of my visios end up embedded in a word document and I find the default margin too large when I select "fit to page"

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