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Visio 2013 - Why all the "open" files in my task bar

Posted on 2013-12-30
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Last Modified: 2014-01-07
I just hovered my mouse at the Visio Icon at the bottom of my screen and came up with a bunch of stencils, in addition to my visio drawings.  I don't need to see my stencils at the bottom of my screen.  

any way to suppress this?
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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Visio_Guy earned 1000 total points
ID: 39748029
Hi BT, that seems a bit strange...UNLESS you have stencils open as separate windows, instead of docked in the My Shapes task pane.

Do these stencils show up when you click on the Switch Windows button in the lower-right corner? Or alternatively, can you Ctrl + Tab between these stencils? If so, they are open as separate documents, which generally is not how Visio is intended to work.

If you open them via the More Shapes task pane, they shouldn't show in the Windows task bar.
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by:Darr247
ID: 39748231
Do you mean you pinned it to the taskbar and now it's showing you the list of recent files opened in Visio?
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Author Comment

by:brothertruffle880
ID: 39750348
Yes.  these  stencil files show up when I hover my mouse over the VISIO icon at the bottom of my Windows 7 taskbar.  
Yikes.  Something is wrong here.
I opened a file called DIAGRAM.VSD.  (BTW, This is a file I inherited from another employee.)  When I open this file I get the diagram AND when I hover my mouse at the bottom of my screen, I see all of these stencils too!  (See graphic)

Another oddity:  when I close DIAGRAM.VSD, my stencil files all remain open. (See graphic again)  I should have a blank screen.  Correct?

stencils that remain open
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Visio_Guy
ID: 39752649
My guess is that the stencil is still open in Visio and minimized, possibly out of view somehow. In very old Visio versions, stencils were opened as separate windows, not docked in a task pane. Some of these files have lived through the ages...
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by:brothertruffle880
ID: 39753847
Yikes!  I thought I knew it all about shapes and stencils.
Question: What is the relationship of Stencil files to the shapes window (aka shape pane) on the left side of my visio screen?  When do I need to have my stencil files open?
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Expert Comment

by:Visio_Guy
ID: 39753979
The shapes pane displays stencils, which are external files. There is one exception: the stencil named "Document Stencil" (if you have it visible) holds copies of masters that have been dragged into the document you are working on.

In fact, all Visio documents are the same: they have drawing pages and internal stencils. It's just that vss/vssx files display as stencils by default and have an empty page, while documents display pages, and usually have their document stencil hidden.
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Author Comment

by:brothertruffle880
ID: 39754512
So there's no way of avoiding the huge array of stencil files appearing at the bottom of my screen when I hover my mouse over the Visio task? (see graphic above  ID: 39750348)
--Because I use a lot of different shapes.
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Assisted Solution

by:Scott Helmers
Scott Helmers earned 1000 total points
ID: 39754978
If I may jump in... the file you posted as an example in this question yesterday exhibits the same behavior: lots of spurious stencil windows that can't be docked.

I think Chris is probably right that these are vestiges of a diagram created in an old version of Visio, or are stencils that were opened from File>Open rather than from within the Shapes windows.

To correct the problem, I manually viewed each stencil window and then closed it, until I finally had just the basic drawing with several stencils docked in the Shapes window. Then I saved the diagram and reopened it and none of the extraneous stencil windows opened. If you want those stencils to be available at this point, simply use More Shapes> in the Shapes window to open them as docked stencils.
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Expert Comment

by:Visio_Guy
ID: 39761600
Some keyboard shortcuts to make this easier:

Ctrl + Tab will cycle through the open windows within Visio.

If you cycle to a stencil window, Ctrl + F4 will close it. You can rapidly cleanup documents that open with all these separate stencil windows using these key combinations.
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