Prevent or allow changes to shapes

Applies to: Office 365 Subscription, Office 2019, Office 2016, Office 2013, Office 2010.

Stopping changes to shape attributes in Visio (like width or height) and locking shapes from being selected are useful means of impeding changes to your drawings.

Shape protection needs the Developer tab to be seen. Automatically, this tab is out of view.

Enable the Developer tab

  1. Select the File tab and then press Options.
  1. Choose Advanced, and scroll down to the General section.
Run in developer mode check box
  1. Click Run in developer mode and then press OK.

Prevent or allow changes to shape attributes

  1. Choose a shape in your drawing.
  1. On the Developer tab, in the Shape Design group, pick Protection.

Protection in Shape Desgin on the Developer tab in Visio 2016

  1. Click the shape attributes that you want to lock, or empty the check boxes for your sought attributes to be unlocked, and then press OK.

Note: If an ink shape can be chosen for editing (with one of the available pen tools), the ink strokes can be applied to or deleted from the ink shape regardless of when different shape attributes are picked in the Protection dialogue box. To preclude any changes to an ink shape, lock the shape against choice.

Lock or unlock shapes from selection

  1. Pick the shape or shapes that you want to protect.
  1. On the Developer tab, in the Shape Design group, press Protection. Visio opens the Protection dialogue box.

Note: To learn more about all the various options on this dialogue box, see Protection dialogue box.

  1. Choose the From selection check box, and then press OK twice.
From selection in the Protection dialog box in Visio 2016
  1. On the Developer tab, In the Show/Hide group, click the Drawing Explorer check box.
Drawing Explorer selected on the Developer tab in Visio 2016
  1. In the Drawing Explorer window, right-click the name of the drawing, and then select Protect Document.
Protect Document in Drawing Explorer in Visio 2016
  1. Under Protect, pick Shapes, and then choose OK.
Shapes selected in Protect Document in Visio 2016

To enable shapes to be picked again, follow the past steps, but clear the Shapes check box, and then select OK.

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