How to Draw a Border or Grouping With Visio

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Learn to draw a simple border to work faster and more efficiently in Microsoft Visio. Users who create diagrams often waste time by moving, resizing and rotating shapes one at a time; if you draw a border around your shapes and click a couple of buttons, you can move all shapes as a group. Grouping also helps you resize and rotate multiple shapes quickly.

  • Launch Visio and drag two shapes from the Shapes panel onto the drawing area. Click “Home” and draw a border around those shapes to create a rectangle.

  • Click the "Group" button in the ribbon's Arrange section and select the "Group" menu option. Visio groups all shapes that reside in the rectangle you drew. Small handles appear along the rectangle's edges.

  • Click a handle, hold down your left mouse button and drag the handle in any direction. Visio resizes all shapes in the group.

  • Click the small circle that sits near the top of the rectangle, hold down your left mouse button and move your mouse in any direction. Visio rotates all the shapes at once. For instance, if you drag the mouse to the right the shapes rotate clockwise.

  • Move your cursor over one of the rectangle’s edges to change your cursor into a crosshair. Click the edge, hold down your left mouse button and drag your mouse in any direction to move the shapes to a new location.

Tips & Warnings

  • When you click outside the rectangle that surrounds a group of shapes, the rectangle disappears to ensure that the border does not appear in printouts. Make the border reappear by clicking any shape that in the group.
  • Ungroup shapes by clicking a shape, clicking "Home" and then clicking the ribbon's "Group" button. Click "Ungroup" to remove all shapes from the group.
  • A vertical line extends down from the circle that sits above a group's rectangle. You'll also see a small circle at the bottom of that line. Because the line resides in the rectangle's center, shapes rotate around the center. If you'd like them to rotate around a different axis point, click the small circle and drag it horizontally to a new location within the rectangle. For example, if you want shapes to rotate around an axis that's half an inch from the rectangle's center, drag the small circle to the left half an inch. You can then rotate the group using your mouse.
  • These steps describe working in Visio 2013. Your steps may differ depending on the version you use.

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