Video: Create a network diagram

From planning a new computer network to documenting an established network, using a template allows you to start work quicker.

Open a network diagram template

  1. Choose File > New.
  1. Pick the Network category.
  1. Click Basic Network Diagram, and press Create.

Turn on AutoConnect

  • Select View, and pick AutoConnect.

Show connection points

  • Find View, and click Connection Points.

Add shapes

  1. Within the Network and Peripherals and Computers and Monitors stencils, drag shapes onto the drawing page.

Tip: Choose More Shapes > Network to explore further network stencils.

  1. Pick a shape on the page, and write a label for it. To finish, choose a blank area of the drawing page.

Note: To shift the text, click the shape and drag the yellow text handle to wherever you want the text to be.

  1. Press Home > Connector.
  1. Draw a line between two shapes.
  1. To complete, click Home > Pointer Tool.

  1. From the Network and Peripherals stencil, drag the legend shape onto the drawing page.
  1. Click Legend Subtitle, and enter a new subtitle.
  1. To finish, pick a blank area of the drawing page.

Want more?

Create a detailed network diagram in Visio linked to external data


Whether you’re planning a simple network or documenting a complex one, a template will give you a head start.

To find network diagram templates, go to File, select New, and choose the Network category.

The Basic Network Diagram is a good choice when you want to map out a simple network. I select it, and then select Create.

The center of this network is a server. So I’ll drag a Server shape onto the drawing page.

I’ll also add a Switch shape, which will connect the computers to the server.

To label the shape, I select it and type the label I want.

I position the label above the shape by dragging the text handle.

To connect shapes in this diagram more easily, I’ll go to View, and select AutoConnect and Connection Points.

Now I can connect new shapes as I add them, and see all the available connection points as I connect existing shapes.

I’ll connect the server to the switch. I go to Home, select Connector, and draw a line from the server to the switch.

Our office has a shared printer, copier, and fax machine, so I drag those shapes onto my diagram.

These peripherals also connect to the server.

To connect the server and the printer, I go to Home, select Connector, and draw a line between them.

Then I select a blank area on my diagram.

I’ll also connect the server to the copier and the fax.

The diagram should include computers, which are on the Computers and Monitors stencil.

My organisation uses desktop computers, which connect to the switch. I point to the switch, point to the arrow in the direction I want to place the desktop computer, and select the PC shape.

We also use laptops, so I drag the Laptop shape onto my diagram and, for inventory control we use tablets. For this, I add the Tablet Device shape.

I’ll add more devices later, but this is a good start. I’ll connect the remaining two devices to the switch.

To help my co-workers read this diagram, I’ll add a legend. I select the Network and Peripherals stencil and drag the Legend shape onto my diagram.

After a moment, it updates with a list of everything that’s in my network, including how many of each.

I’ll type a title in the legend, and my network diagram is finished.

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