I'm using Visio 2013. I dragged and dropped a PNG image onto the drawing surface. I click on the image and the resize handles are displayed at each corner and a rotation handle is displayed at the top.

I simply want to resize the image and maintain its aspect ratio (I don't want any image distortion). I've tried using the Shift key when grabbing the corner handles, but it doesn't seem to preserve the aspect ratio when resizing. I'm surprised because this convention works in other office apps like PowerPoint.

I opened up the "Size & Position" tool window so I can edit the size directly, but without my doing the math, it seems I can't require resizing to maintain the aspect ratio.

What am I missing? There must be an easy way in Visio to resize objects and maintain their aspect ratio. Is there some mode or setting I'm missing?

4 Answers 4


Looks like there is a protection feature set that includes an Aspect Ratio option. You'll need to run in Developer mode and then you'll get some extra options. Check out the Office support article with instructions here:


  • 2
    Wow. There are lots of powerful shape settings buried on that Protection page. Thanks. Dec 2, 2015 at 18:44
  • 2
    Two excellent answers now. I still like this answer best because once the shape is protected you can even use the Size & Position toolbox and change the width to a numeric value and the height will change accordingly. Dec 2, 2015 at 19:05

Use the Shift key like you tried, but use the handles on one of the sides instead of a corner. I'm not sure why ratio is kept via side handles but not corners, but that's how it's working for me.

  • 1
    That works too, but that is just weird. It is the opposite convention of PowerPoint. In PowerPoint Shift-Side handle does NOT preserve aspect ration. Shift-Corner handle does. That is very odd. Dec 2, 2015 at 19:04
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    And, just to make it more confusing I tested this in Word. In Word, dragging corner handles without Shift preserves aspect ratio. Dragging side handles does not preserve aspect ratio in Word (even with Shift pressed). So, I tested three apps today: Word, Visio, and Powerpoint and they all handle resizing differently. No wonder I was confused. Dec 2, 2015 at 19:09
  • Thanks that is good to know panhandel I never would have thought it would be a side and not a corner like decades of tradition in image programs where it's the corner. edit: Although resizing the shapes worked for me the text I had inside the shapes did not resize it overflowed the now smaller shapes.
    – dghughes
    Nov 18, 2018 at 17:48

In Visio you do not need to hold the shift key down. Just drag a corner and it sizes the object and constrains proportions.


Alternative solution which I've been using and teaching for years: CTRL and corner handles in Visio. SHIFT and corner handles in other MS Office software.

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