In Visio I need to put shapes on a map (image). I am trying to put circles around cities on a map, but the circle covers the map content. How do I put make this circle transparent, allowing the content in within the circle to be seen?

2 Answers 2


In Visio 2016 (See File/Account and then click on About Visio to check this) you have a way to modify most picture attributes - including transparency - through the Format Ribbon:

enter image description here

Which brings up this:

enter image description here

Posting it here because it took me ages to find. This Format Picture dialog should obviously be an option when you right click a picture, but somehow they forgot it.


The exact menu details depend upon your version of Visio.

Select the circle shape and

Home -> Fill -> Fill Options and set the transparency or right-click -> Format -> Fill -> Fill Options and set the transparency.

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