Sharing Diagrams with Visio Services


Visio Services on a phoneThe new Visio offers a number of new capabilities – the modern look of the app, new themes and shapes for making professional-looking diagrams, new ways to collaborate with multiple authors and reviewers. We’ve also made it much easier to share those diagrams with your coworkers and friends – even if they don’t have Visio. That’s where Visio Services comes in. Visio Services lets you share great-looking diagrams using SharePoint or Office 365 with up to the minute data.

Full fidelity viewing, no publishing

Visio Services is a part of Microsoft SharePoint and O365 that offers a fast and simple way to consume Visio diagrams. You just need to have a Visio document stored in SharePoint and a browser – no Visio client is required. We present the diagram with the same visual fidelity as the Visio client, including your themes and cool effects. Visio 2010 users will recall that diagrams had to be published to a special web format (.VDW) for viewing. No longer! Visio Services works with the new native Visio file format (.VSDX) so that any document saved in SharePoint is viewable – no publishing required. (Visio Services will still support your existing .VDW files.)

Visio Full Page web access

Collaborate on diagrams with commenting

One great reason to share your diagrams with others is to get feedback on them. With Visio Services your reviewers can add comments to the diagram – as well as see the comments from others. In fact, you may have people commenting on the diagram using the Visio client and people commenting in the browser at the same time. See the collaboration blog article for more details about the new commenting and collaboration features in Visio and Visio Services.

Comments in Visio Services

See the latest information

The information in Visio diagrams is not always static. You can connect a diagram to a variety of data sources to show dynamic information in a visual context. Visio Services can refresh the data and update the shapes in the diagram that are linked to data.

Embedded Visio Services web part

You can even incorporate diagrams into rich dashboards or larger SharePoint solutions. Below is an example of a SharePoint website for a University dorm. Visio diagrams are embedded in this site to give information about upcoming residence hall events and up to date information about dorm facilities. Diagrams are also available in document libraries for easy access to view in the browser or edit in Visio.


SharePoint site with Visio Services web parts

Access wherever you need it

Since Visio Services works through your browser, you can use it with a wide variety of devices – desktops, laptops, mobile phones, or tablets. It works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari to give you access using your platform of choice. We’ve also added enhancements for touch and for mobile devices with smaller screens.

Try it yourself

Now that you know what Visio Services is all about, why don’t you try it yourself? Visio Services is part of SharePoint and SharePoint Online in Office 365. You can get a trial Office 365 Preview account, drop some Visio diagrams in a SharePoint document library, and then see Visio Services in action. We’ve attached some Visio files to this article for starters. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Sign up for the Office 365 Enterprise Preview
  • In the Office 365 Preview admin center, navigate to the SharePoint sites by clicking on the Sites button in the blue header.
  • Go to the Team site to upload a Visio diagram to the Document collection by clicking on “new document” > “Upload existing file” (You may use the example file contained within this zip download)
  • Click a Visio diagram in the document collection to view in the web browser

For more information and resources about the Office 365 Preview, check out this Office Preview Getting Started Guide.

Visio Services is a way to share modern diagrams across your organization with the latest business information. It’s a great complement to Visio and SharePoint.