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How do I add color to a Visio 2003 flowchart?

Posted on 2007-11-29
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Last Modified: 2008-05-06
I want to add color to the background of a Visio flowchart I'm making, instead of the canned backgrounds that come with the program--or the default white--but I can't sort out how to do this from the help information. Anybody know how to do this?
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Question by:rsw64
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Expert Comment

by:Scott Helmers
ID: 20377060
Two techniques -- actually two variations on the same technique, one is strictly do-it-yourself, the other uses pre-built backgrounds.

The answer in both cases is to create a background page. Let's start with the pre-built method.

Select File/Stencils from the Visio main menu, then on the submenu select Visio Extras. You should find a stencil called "Borders". Click the stencil name to open it. (If you don't see Visio Extras, it's probably because you have Visio Standard instead of Professional. Rummage through the various folders you do have and you will probably find a stencil full of borders.)

In the stencil, you'll find a variety of background images that you can apply to your page. There should be one called "Background Solid" or words to that effect. Drag it onto your drawing page and you'll have a solid background, most likely white. To change the color, look at the page tabs at the bottom of the screen and notice that you have one called Background-1. Click on that tab and you'll find that the page contains a page-sized rectangle. Click on the rectangle to select it, then use the fill color button to apply any color you'd like. Now go back to your drawing page and admire the result!

I suspect that the above will suffice for what you need. If not, you can create a background page yourself, add a rectangle or any other shape(s) to it, add color, then apply it to your drawing page. You’ll find the instructions for doing so in the Visio help text – just look up “background” – but the pre-built backgrounds make it pretty simple.
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Author Comment

by:rsw64
ID: 20377508
There is no Files/Stencils on the Visio 2003 main menu, so I'm kind of stymied from the start on your suggestion. It's the complexity and non-intuitiveness that prevents me from simply using the Visio help file on creating a new color background. I just want to make a solid--or gradient--background. Could you be a  little more specific on the steps?
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Expert Comment

by:Scott Helmers
ID: 20378049
My mistake -- click the File menu and you'll find Shapes (not Stencils). Everything should work from there as described previously.
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Accepted Solution

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Scott Helmers earned 500 total points
ID: 20378094
If you want to do it manually:

1) Select Insert/New Page... from the Visio main menu
2) Click Background (the default is Foreground) for page type
3) Click OK
4) On the new page called Background-1, add a shape of any size and type (e.g., a full-page rectangle)
5) Select the shape and apply your desired fill color
6) Click on the page tab for the page to which you'd like to apply the background
7) Select File/Page Setup... from  the Visio main menu
8) Click the Page Properties tab
9) Select Background-1 from the dropdown list to the right of Background
10) Click apply

Your colored background shape should now be visible on your page.
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