I have a Visio diagram with a special shape, which I like very much. It looks like a rectangle with a fancy label. When I want to make a new diagram, the first thing I do is copy-paste this rectangle.

However, what if I ever lose all my example diagrams where this shape appears? I want to know how to make it from scratch. I assume this is one of the standard shapes, but I don't know which one.

How can I find out the type of a shape I have an my diagram? I tried doing "Format Shape" on it, but I don't see the name/type anywhere, only its properties (like fill type, colour, etc).

  • View -> Drawing-Explorer displays the shape names.
    – DavidPostill
    Feb 12, 2020 at 13:33

1 Answer 1


There are 2 things that can be done. One, to capture the name you can look into Drawing Explorer outlined in blue steps

  1. Switch to the Developer Tab
  2. Open Drawing Explorer
  3. Open the pages to find the name of the shape

Another Option is to save the shape into your own personal Stencil Library, steps in red.

  1. Click More Shapes
  2. Create a new Stencil
  3. Drag the shape into the empty stencil

From there you can rename your stencil library and save it. You can also rename the shape to whatever you want. Going forth, you will always have this stencil library on this PC to grab the shape from.

2 options

  • 1
    I don't have the Developer Tab, but I can show Drawing Explorer using another way: right-click the View ribbon, click "Customize the Ribbon", click "All Commands", and then I can add "Drawing Explorer" to the View ribbon.
    – anatolyg
    Feb 12, 2020 at 13:46
  • 2
    Every Visio user has the Developer tab, but it is hidden. Go to Options -> Advanced and down at the bottom you will see an option "Run in developer mode". Feb 12, 2020 at 17:52
  • Drawing Explorer calls my shape Sheet.1001 and Stencil/Favourites calls my shape Master.9. It's an arrow, but I doubt I'll be able to find it again - at least I can use it from my Favourites.
    – PeterX
    Nov 4, 2021 at 5:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.