Measure shapes in Visio

There are five different ways to measure shapes in Microsoft Office Visio 2007. Which way is best depends on the type of measurements that you need and whether you want to display the measurements in your drawing.

What do you want to do?


View the overall width, height, and angle of a shape

Status bar displaying width, height, and angle of a selected shape.

  1. Select the shape in your drawing.
  2. Look at the status bar to see the width, height, and angle of the shape.

Top of Page Top of Page

View the area or perimeter measurement of a shape

The Area and Perimeter dialog box showing the measurements for a selected shape.

 Note   The Shape Area and Perimeter dialog box is available only in Microsoft Office Visio Professional.

  1. Select the shape in your drawing.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Add-Ons, click Visio Extras, and then click Shape Area and Perimeter.

The Shape Area and Perimeter dialog box opens and displays the measurements of the shape.

  1. To see the measurements in different units, select the units that you want in either the Total area box or the Total perimeter box.

Top of Page Top of Page

Display the width, height, and angle of a shape inside the shape

A rectangle with the shape's height and width showing in the text box.

If you want to display the overall measurements of only a few shapes, you can quickly add measurement fields to the shapes' text boxes. If you have Office Visio Professional 2007 and you want to display the measurements of many shapes, you can save time by using data graphics, as described in the section Display width, height, and angle next to a shape.

  1. Click the shape that you want to add fields to.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Field.
  3. In the Field dialog box, in the Category list, click Geometry.

The Field dialog box showing the fields that can be entered into a shape's text box.

  1. In the Field name list, click the measurement that you want to display.

 Tip   To add units such as feet to the numbers, click Data Format, and then choose new units in the Data Format dialog box.

  1. Click OK.
  2. Repeat steps 2 through 5 for each field that you want to add.

 Tip   To display the height and width with an x between them, insert the first field in the text box of the shape, and then type a space, type x, type another space, and then insert the second field.

 Note   The measurements in fields update automatically when you resize a shape.

Top of Page Top of Page

Display the width, height, and angle of a shape next to a shape

A shrub shape showing width, height, and angle in a data graphic.

 Note   The data graphics features are available only in Office Visio Professional 2007.

Data graphics provide a quick way to display the height, width, and angle of shapes as well as other shape data. This article describes how to display measurements. For information about how to make full use of data graphics, see Enhance your data with data graphics.

  1. On the Data menu, click Display Data on Shapes.
  2. In the Data Graphics task pane, under Create a new data graphic, click New Data Graphic.
  3. In the New Data Graphic dialog box, click New Item, and then click Text.

The Data Graphics task pane and the New Data Graphic dialog box.

Callout 1 The Data Graphics task pane
Callout 2 The New Data Graphic command
Callout 3 The New Data Graphic dialog box with the New Item box and the Text command

  1. In the New Text dialog box, under Display, in the Data field list, click More Fields.
  2. In the Field dialog box, in the Category list, click Geometry.
  3. In the Field name list, click the measurement that you want to display, and then click OK.

The Field dialog box, showing the fields that can be entered into a data graphic.

  1. In the New Text dialog box, under Details, in the Label box, type a name for your measurement (such as Width, Height, or Angle) and then click OK.
  2. Repeat steps 3 through 7 for each measurement that you want to display.
  3. In the New Data Graphic dialog box, click OK.

The new data graphic appears in the Data Graphics task pane, under Apply a data graphic.

  1. Select the shapes in your drawing that you want to display measurements for, and then, in the Data Graphics task pane, click the data graphic that you created.

The new data graphic is applied to the selected shapes.

Three tree shapes with a newly created data graphic applied.

Top of Page Top of Page

Display the measurements of parts of shapes

A cubicle shape with dimensioning shapes showing measurements.

 Note   The dimension shapes are available only in Office Visio Professional 2007.

You can use dimension shapes to measure other shapes. When you glue a dimension shape to the shape that you want to measure, the shape's measurements are displayed on the dimension shape. The measurements are updated automatically as you resize the original shape.

There are many dimension shapes, and each one measures a different aspect. You can get a good idea of what the different dimension shapes can measure by looking at the stencils. The figure below shows the shapes on the Dimensioning - Engineering stencil.

The Dimensioning - Engineering stencil.

To give you an idea of how dimension shapes work, the following procedure demonstrates how to use one of the dimension shapes to measure a piano in a home plan.

  1. On the File menu, click New, click Maps and Floor Plans, and then click Home Plan.
  2. Click the title bar of the Furniture stencil, and drag the Grand Piano shape onto the drawing page.
  3. Click the title bar of the Dimensioning - Architectural stencil, and drag the Horizontal dimension shape to the drawing page above the piano shape.

A Grand Piano shape with a Horizontal dimensioning shape above it.

  1. Drag the green shape handle on the right side of the Horizontal dimension shape to the right edge of the piano shape, until the red box appears indicating that the shapes are glued together.

A dimensioning shape connected to one shape handle of a piano shape.

  1. Drag the green shape handle on the left side of the Horizontal shape to the left edge of the piano shape.

A dimensioning shape connected to two shape handles on a piano shape.

  1. Drag the yellow diamond that is on the right side of the dimension shape to a position above the piano so that the dimension lines do not obscure the piano shape.

A dimensioning shape with extension lines lengthened, connected to a piano shape.

 Note   To change measurement units, right-click the dimension shape and click Precision & Units on the shortcut menu.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Visio 2007