I just started working for a new employer that makes heavy use of Visio. I need to manage some existing documents, and one change that's been requested of me is that I make some minor changes to an embedded Visio object on the document.

When I double click on the object, I get an error message that states

The server application, source file, or item cannot be found.

Make sure the application is properly installed, and that it has not been deleted, moved, renamed, or blocked by policy.

Regarding environment, I'm using 64-bit Windows 10 Pro and all of these install attempts are with 64-bit versions. Originally, I had Office 2016 Pro installed, as well as Visio 2016. I first installed Office, then Visio. These were separate installs and from my experience, I haven't found an integrated Office installation with Word/Excel/Access/etc. and Visio.

After multiple attempts with Office 2016/Visio 2016 failed and attempting after repairing both installs, I uninstalled both, installed Office 365 (downloaded from portal.office.com) and then re-installed Visio 2016. Again, this failed, even after repairing both installs.

To be clear, the object is certainly a Visio embedded object. My co-worker can double-click on these objects on his machine and modify them within Word. If he right-clicks on the object, he can see details stating it's a Visio object. When I right-click on the object, I see an "Unknown object..." menu option.

What might I be doing wrong in setting up Office with Visio?

FYI, I was given access to Office 365, and I also have an MSDN account. I can install Office 2016 or use the Office 365 install-- my employer doesn't have a preference, so long as I can do my job and change embedded Visio objects within Office documents. Any clue what's going on and how to fix it, or how to further diagnose the problem?


Here are the current version details for these installed applications.

Word 2016: Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus, version 1807 (Build 10325.20082 Click-to-Run)

Visio 2016: Microsoft Visio Professional 2016, version 1807 (Build 10325.20082 Click-to-Run)

  • What's your detailed Visio 2016 version? If you are using Office 365 ProPlus on current computer, please install click-to-run version of Visio 2016 to work on the same computer. If you are using volume licensed MSI version of Office 2016, choose to install volume license Visio 2016 for coexisting.
    – WinniL
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 9:41
  • @WinniL See my changes. I think I already have these apps installed as you've suggested.
    – RLH
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 19:29
  • 1
    Create a new Visio file, drag some shapes. Save it then insert this new Visio file to Word document. Click it and confirm if the inserted Visio object can be opened or edited.
    – WinniL
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 8:59
  • @WinniL. Interesting, I can copy-and-paste Visio details into a Word document, and from there I can edit them within the embedded Visio editor in Word. However, this doesn't fix the problem for Visio objects already in the document. To be clear, I am no seeing Visio editing, but only for content I'm adding. Existing content is still uneditable and I still get the same errors when I double-click on those Visio objects.
    – RLH
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 12:51
  • Do you have any link for the existing inserted Visio object before? If the issue only happens on your computer, try to open the document on a working computer, copy the Visio object in a blank Visio drawing, then insert the Visio object again to Word, save it and open this file on your problematic computer to have a check.
    – WinniL
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 9:51

1 Answer 1


I had this issue as well where I had a Visio 2013 (.vsdx) and it would not allow editing of embedded Excel files. So I had to convert one of two ways: 1. On a machine with Office 2013 save the file as an older version on Visio (.vsd) and then open it on the Office 365 machine and it works fine. Also, you will be able to save the file back to a .vsdx file on the Office 365 machine and open and edit it normally.

It appears that once you save it as a .vsd file on 2013 environment, then open the file, edit it on 365 environments and then save back to the .vsdx file. After this, the file can be edited normally on the Office 365 machine.

It appears Office adds all the versions to the file so that it is now editable in any office environment (2013, 2016, 365). But you have to start with saving the file as .vsd on an Office 2013 machine.

The issue is that Office 365 and Office 2016 apps do not work well on the same machine.

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