Hyperlink Problem in Internet Explorer 7

We’re seeing quite a few reports in the newsgroups about a new issue involving hyperlinks in Visio’s HTML output and Internet Explorer 7. Basically, clicking a hyperlink in a drawing saved as HTML from Visio 2003 results in an error that says “Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site. Operation aborted.”




In this post, we’ll talk about why this happens and some ways to work around it.


The problem occurs only with Visio 2003 (not with earlier versions or with Visio 2007, which will soon be available) and only when the Web output format is VML. Essentially, the way Visio 2003 structures the hyperlinks in VML output is not supported in IE 7, and hyperlinks that worked fine in IE 6 will fail in IE 7. Here are a couple of ways to work around the problem:


Workaround 1: Edit the hyperlinks in the Web output so they will work in IE 7

Look for the VML_1.HTM file in the set of supporting files included with the main .HTM file saved from Visio. (If there is more than one page in the Visio drawing, there will be one of these files for each page: VML_1.HTM, VML_2.HTM, VML_3.HTM, etc.)  Open it in a text editor such as Notepad and find the block of HTML that represents each hyperlink. Here is an example of an uncorrected hyperlink to Microsoft.com:


[Edit #2:  Because the blog software keeps trying to interpret our HTML as real code, we've turned the HTML into a picture.]



Tip: Use search & replace in Notepad to accomplish this quickly for all the hyperlinks at once.


Workaround 2: Use an output format other than VML

While VML is the default output format when Visio drawings are saved as HTML, you can use one of the other formats, such as JPG or GIF, to work around this problem. The downside is that you won’t get some of the enhanced functionality provided with VML, such as the ability to pan and zoom the drawing on the Web page.


To save the Visio drawing in a Web format other than VML:

1.       Go to File>Save As Web Page.

2.       Click the Publish button in the Save As dialog box.

3.       In the Save As Web Page dialog box, click the Advanced tab.

4.       Pick a different format in the Output Formats drop-down list.

5.       Click OK.




Comments (14)

  1. If you use Save As Web, make sure to check out this post .

  2. Thanks to Susan for bringing this one to my attention. If you click on a clicking a hyperlink in a drawing

  3. We have created a correction tool for easy update of files.

    you can get it for free at:

    Englische Seite: http://www.dataassist.de/en/index.php?id=64


  4. Visio Team says:

    Apologies for the multiple edits on this post.  We’ve discovered that the blog tries to interpret our HTML sample code as the real thing.

    Visio Team

  5. Hi,

    we have creted a correction tool that can be downloaded for free from our website at http://www.dataassist.de and there in the downlaods section.

  6. Markus says:

    Will an update to Visio be issued in the near future?

    I would prefer not to use a third-party tool, altough it is interesting that DataAssist is quicker than MS.

  7. Carly says:

    I still cannot get FireFox 2 to display this zoom and pan functionality.  I replaced href with style="cursor:pointer;" in the vml webpages and this allowed the zoom and pan functionality to work in  IE7.  Any ideas?

  8. kgurr says:


    I was referred today by a customer because of this error. This customer made the decision for Visio because Visio is an Microsoft product. He hoped to get no difficulties with updates of Visio and the IE!

    This customer bought 12 licenses of Visio 2003 this year and stored almost 1000 Visio files as HTML sides. The solutions represented above are not acceptable and too expensive for the customer.

    Not only that many customers particularly bought visio for creating HTML-sides but also Microsoft recommened to update XP computers to IE 7!

    Are there statements of Microsoft whether a Patch for Visio 2003 is to be provided?

    From my view this is only acceptable and reasonable way to solve this problem.

  9. Markus says:

    Could we *please* get a timeline for a Visio patch?

  10. Visio Team says:

    Hi everyone,

    Your queries are not going unheard, but there is no information to provide about a timeline for a patch.

    Sorry that I couldn’t be of more assistance.

    Mark Nelson

  11. Joe says:

    How difficult can it be to release a patch?

    From what I can see, Very easy.

  12. Oyvind says:

    The patch provided by Senaj Lelic, DataAssist e. K. does not work for me. I corrected the VML files manually and linking to doc files worked fine. Linking to Excel files however, resulted in an OK-box with a message saying that the file could not be found. Still, when OK-ing, the correct file appeared. Anyone know of a fix to this?

  13. Markus says:

    This is an embarrassment for Microsoft, not being able to provide a simple patch to their own program.

    Microsoft’s focus is evidently the new Visio release and not their existing customers.

    We have now used the patch provided by DataAssist and it works perfectly. Many thanks to Senaj Lelic for helping us out.

  14. Karel says:

    This is really unacceptable. Didn’t Microsoft do enough testing before they released IE7 – or couldn’t they then bring out a patch together with the new IE7 if they knew that this could cause problems? And yes – how long does it take for these guys to bring out a new patch?! I didn’t expect that from Microsoft!

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