I am working on a harness layout diagram in Visio Pro 2016 and see that there are multiple shapes for various number of line busses eg. 2-line, 3-line, 4-line, and 8-line bus, and a corresponding N-line bus elbow for each type of bus.

Example 3-line bus elbow with Context Menu and default name

Why not just have an n-line bus? Place the bus and set the number of busses such that the shape template changes to match the new value. Is this even possible? I've searched but have come up empty. It would be amazing to just pull a connector shape and type in the number of conductors to just have the shape auto adjust instead of manually placing each conductor, which is just maddening. May attempt a macro for connector creation a little later, but figured I'd ask here to save time.


Yes, it is possible. Many shapes in Visio are parameterised like this, even the n-line bus shapes are (or were in Visio 2010 and earlier, I can't say about Visio 2013/2016). Drop a shape on the drawing page, right-click on the shape and select Configure <shape name>. This will change the number of lines displayed but the width will stay constant. The width can be adjusted though using the yellow handle. The 3-line shape is odd though.

  • The Config option for the 2013 style bus lines does not have an option for increasing the number of conductors. – WickedMongoose Jul 31 '17 at 14:25
  • @WickedMongoose - the 3-wire shape is non-standard, try the 2-wire or 4-wire shape. – Paul Herber Jul 31 '17 at 14:26
  • I see it now, but this is still just a dropdown menu in which to select one of the pre-existing 2,3,4,or 8 line bus objects, and not an actual parametrization. Hopes were crushed, dreams shattered. – WickedMongoose Jul 31 '17 at 20:09
  • @WickedMongoose - explain exactly what you mean by parametrization. – Paul Herber Aug 1 '17 at 8:02
  • A parameterized part is like a function in which some aspect of the part has been distilled down to a variable that can have any number placed into it, in order to programatically generate an output. Visio has just hard coded 2,3,4,&8 into the part list, this is by definition, not parameterized. Just say no to hard coding. There should be a "not even once" campaign for compsci majors. – WickedMongoose Aug 8 '17 at 17:27

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