Learn tips and tricks for using the software more effectively. Join Visio MVP Scott Helmers as he demonstrates how to use Visio layers to select multiple objects at once, as well as how to use layers to prevent shapes from being selected.
- [Instructor] If you're familiar with the use of layers in computer-aided design programs like AutoCAD, you'll find that layers in Visio serve a different purpose. In Visio, layers are a way to organize collections of shapes so you can apply or remove the same properties for all shapes on the layer. Much of what you can do with Visio layers is outside the scope of this course. However, I do want to show you how you can use layers to select a set of related shapes, or to prevent a set of related shapes from being selected. Let's say that I want to apply a color to all of the walls, doors, and windows in this diagram.
I could manually select every single one of them, but that would take forever. And chances are, I'd miss some along the way. But I happen to know that all of those shapes are organized on a layer called the building envelope. The secret to selecting them all is at the right end of the home tab. In the editing group, click select. Select by type, and then in this dialog, click layer, and now you can click one or more layers. I'll choose building envelope.
Click okay. And with just those couple of clicks, every door, window, and wall is selected. Now I can apply a color and achieve my goal. We just selected all the shapes on a layer, but there could be times when you want to do the opposite, to prevent all shapes on a layer from being selected. The scenario we'll use is this. We want to select some of the shapes in an office, but we don't want to be forced to select them with a high degree of accuracy. So we'll use a bounding box.
The default behavior for a bounding box is to select only those shapes that are completely surrounded. For example, let's zoom to three offices in the upper row of this diagram. And I'm going to draw a bounding box that includes the desk, part of the chair, and part of the plant. When I let go of the mouse button, only the desk is selected, and that's the proper default behavior in Visio. Only fully selected objects are included in the selection.
Now let's change the default option and see what happens to partially-selected shapes. Click file, options, on the advanced page, let's add a check mark in front of "Select shapes partially within area", and then click okay. Now let's draw the same bounding box. Part of the chair, part of the plant, all of the desk, and we got a whole lot more than we bargained for. We did get the chair and the plant, because they were partially selected, but we also got miscellaneous doors and windows that were also included in the selection rectangle.
Let's use layer properties to eliminate some of the clutter from this selection. In particular, let's use layer locking to prevent selection of the doors and windows on this floor plan. Back to the home tab, let's click the layers button. And layer properties. I could, at this point, lock the door and window and wall's layers, but I do know that all of those are also on the building envelope layer, so one check in the lock column for building envelope should do the trick.
Click okay, and now let's repeat that bounding box. Once again, all of the desk, part of the chair, part of the plant. Those are the three items that are now selected. The walls and doors are locked. They can't be selected. Layers in Visio have seven properties. In this video, you've seen how you can use layers to select all shapes on a layer, as well as the opposite. Use one of those properties, the lock property, to prevent all shapes on a layer from being selected.
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- Decoding Visio versions and editions
- Setting Visio options
- Navigating like a pro
- Taking advantage of hyperlinks
- Managing text on shapes
- Annotating diagrams with comments and callouts
- Inserting text display fields
- Working more efficiently
- Mastering Visio keyboard shortcuts
- Aligning and sizing shapes on a page
- Managing connectors and connection points
- Copying, pasting, and duplicating shapes