A Microsoft Office Visio drawing is more than a picture―it's also a valuable way to store data. A shape can act as a visual database field that stores data you can retrieve in a report. For example, a flowchart shape can store data about the cost, duration, and resources involved in the process step the shape represents.
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Many shapes already have custom properties
Many Visio shapes have predefined custom properties so you can associate data with or affect the appearance of the shape. For example:
Many of the flowchart shapes have custom properties in which you can enter cost, duration, and resources information. Some office layout shapes have custom properties in which you can enter information such as inventory number and owner. Some shapes have properties that change the appearance of the shape, such as the dimension, type, and offset properties of the shapes on the Walls, Doors and Windows stencil.
You can enter the data into these properties if you want to track that information, or leave them blank.
Add or edit custom properties
Custom property sets
To add a group of the same custom properties to many shapes on a drawing or on a custom stencil, create a custom property set. For example, to add Employee Number, Start Date, and Salary properties to the shapes in an organization chart, you could create a custom property set with those properties and then add it to all of the shapes in an organization chart.
Linking custom properties to a database
You can link the data in custom properties to a database so that changes in the database are reflected in your Visio drawing.
Custom properties in the ShapeSheet spreadsheet
Custom properties are stored in their own section of the shape's ShapeSheet. If you are developing your own shapes, you can add or edit custom properties in the ShapeSheet window.
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You can also use the custom properties of a shape to control the shape's behavior. For example, you can develop a door shape that changes appearance when you choose a door type in the Custom Properties dialog box.
Generate a report on custom properties
You can create reports on the custom properties of shapes in your drawing. For more information, see About property reports.