Change formatting for a line in Visio

  1. Select a line.
  2. On the Format menu, click Line, and then select the options you want:
    • Line patterns  Select one of the 23 available line patterns; including solid, dotted, dashed, and various mixed patterns.

Examples of available line patterns.

  • Line weight  Select one of the six available line thicknesses, or click Custom and in the Custom Line Weight box, enter the custom line weight in points. For example, enter 18 pt. for a line thickness of a quarter inch. (A point is a traditional measure used by typesetters and is equal to 1/72 of an inch.)

Examples of available line weights.

  • Line cap  Select one of the three available options for the end of a line: Callout 1  round, Callout 2  square, or Callout 3  extended. Line caps are obvious only on lines with a thick line weight.

Round, Square, and Extended line caps.

  • Line ends  Select one of the 43 available ways to draw the ends of lines; including arrow heads, slashes, and boxes. You can add line ends to the beginning point, ending point, or both.

Examples of line endings that can be used at the beginning and ending of a line.

 Note   The distinction between line caps and line ends is that line caps are the way the ends of the line are rendered, where line ends are additional lines added to the shape.

Other settings you can make in the Line dialog box are color, transparency, relative size between the beginning and end of the line, and the degree to which corners are rounded.

  1. Click OK.


  • In the Preview box, you can see how the options you selected will look.
  • To set line formatting before you start drawing lines, make sure that nothing is selected in your drawing, and then open the Line dialog box from the Format menu. The options you select will apply to every new line you create. When you close and reopen Visio again, the line formatting reverts to the default settings.
  • In some drawing types, the ability to change line formatting is restricted or prevented. These restrictions are related to the functionality that underlies the particular drawing type. For more information on working with drawing types, search for information on the specific drawing type you're working with.
  • If the line is part of a shape that is protected against selection or formatting changes, is on a locked layer, or is in a drawing that has Track Markup enabled, you must remove the protection before making changes. See the help topics: Prevent or allow changes to shapes, Lock or unlock a layer, and Start or stop tracking markup.