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The new Visio start experience

The new Visio start experience is all about helping you
quickly and easily find the template you need to begin your diagramming
experience. You’ll see that we’ve updated all our template icons to be simpler
and easier to quickly scan.   We’ve also
color coded them, so that, for example, all the flowchart related templates are
green. Additionally, new search functionality will make it easy to find exactly
what you’re looking for to get started creating your diagram.

Ultimately, we think these
improvements will make it a lot faster to go from booting Visio to drawing your

Visio 2013 start experience

If you don’t yet have the Visio Preview, you can find instructions
for getting it here so
that you can try the changes out for yourself.


Templates front and center

One of the first things you’ll notice in the new
start experience is that templates are presented in a single flat list that
lets you see the breadth of content the new Visio has to offer. We also put our
most popular templates first, so that they are easier to access. 

Visio 2013 start screen

All of the new Visio’s template icons have been redesigned
to be simpler and easier to scan, as well as color coded by template type. For
example, all of your business and scheduling templates are blue, flowcharts are
green, network, software and database are orange, etc. We found this made it
even faster for folks to quickly scan the list of templates and find the one
they’re looking for.



The new Visio has enabled its entire template
library to be searchable via the search bar on the start experience. Simply
type in the template you’re looking for or click one of the “Suggested
searches” links to get started. And, if you liked our old template categories,
you’ll notice we’ve pre-populated them as the suggested searches, so they’re only
a click away. 

Visio start search

example, searching for “uml” returns all the Visio templates related to UML
diagram notation.

Visio start search results


Template order

Over time, based on usage data from the new Visio, we plan
to modify our start experience’s template order to reflect changes in template
usage. For example, if we learn that most folks really enjoy our new Timeline
or BPMN templates, we may move them up higher in the Featured tab view so that
the start experience is optimized to be as fast as possible for the largest
number of people possible.



Of course, if you do have a few favorite
templates that you don’t want us moving around, we also have an easy way to pin
things to the top of the list. To do so, simply hover over the template you
want to pin, and click the pin icon. You’ll see the template move to the top of
your templates list and it will stay there, until you tell us otherwise. 

Visio start template pin

unpin the template, simply hover over the template and click the pin icon
again. The next time you launch Visio, the template will be back in its
original un-pinned location. 

Visio start template unpin


Enhanced Template Preview

When you’ve found a template you’d like to use, you can
single-click it to display the Enhanced Template Preview, which will provide
you with a larger preview image of the template icon, a description of the
template, and allow you to select your template unit type (US/Metric).

If you prefer to jump right into the template,
simply double-click the template icon from the Start screen. This will use the
units you selected last time you opened this template.

Visio start enhanced template preview


“Featured” vs “Categories” tabs

Above the template icons, you’ll notice two different tabs:
“Featured” and “Categories”. If you do prefer the hierarchical view of our
templates from Visio 2010, it’s still available. Simply click on the “Categories”
tab above the template icons and your view will change to display templates
organized by type. You’ll still get all of the modern and color coded template
icons too.

However, by default your view is set to the
Featured tab, where you will see the flat list of templates ordered by
popularity and your own usage over time. 

Visio start categories tab view

The Categories tab is also where you’ll find “New from
existing…” and any templates that were installed with an add-on. Having a
dedicated area for this content will make it easier and faster for users to
find and we’re really excited to provide our more advanced users this

Finally, you can set the Categories tab to be your default
view using group policy:

Policy Name:

Registry Path +
Value:[ HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice15.0VisioApplication]
– “OfficeStartDefaultTab”

0 = Featured tab

2 = Categories tab


Custom templates

If you have custom personal templates you can
view them in the new Start experience in a separate tab. Just go to Options and under Save add the path of your templates folder where it says “Default personal templates location“. 

Visio start custom personal templates dialog



With the new Visio’s start experience, we hope it’s easier
than ever for you to both find the template you’re looking for, and discover
new templates you may have never knew Visio offered. We encourage you to
explore- look through all the templates we provide and try opening a few you’ve
never seen before.   You’d be amazed at wide
array of content we’ve got in here!

To learn more about the Start experience across
all of your Office apps, stay tuned for an upcoming post on the Office Next blog.

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