Visio 2010: Better with Windows 7

Windows 7 is here, and it makes it easier to find and work with your favorite applications. This post details the work we did in Visio 2010 to take advantage of new Windows 7 features, to make working with Visio documents even easier.

Multiple Documents in Visio 2010 and the new Windows 7 Taskbar

The new Windows 7 taskbar presents a unified interface for launching and switching between applications and documents within them. With Windows 7 and Visio 2010, it is now easier to work with multiple Visio documents at the same time.

We received lots of feedback on the Technical Preview asking for the ability to preview open Visio documents as multiple taskbar items. We listened, and now in the Visio 2010 Beta you can see previews of each Visio document directly from the taskbar, similar to Word and PowerPoint:


By clicking on a thumbnail, you can switch directly to a specific Visio document. If you hover over a thumbnail, Windows shows you a full-size preview of what that window looks like, through a feature called Aero Peek. With Visio 2010 and Windows 7, working with multiple documents at the same time is simple.

For more on the Windows 7 task bar, see this blog post on the Engineering Windows 7 Blog.

Dual Display Support

Another common request we receive is to enable Visio documents to be edited on separate monitors, similar to Word and PowerPoint. While Visio still displays multiple documents in the same application window, there is a workaround to enable dual display support: launch two instances of Visio.

You can do this in Windows 7 by launching Visio, and then right clicking the Visio icon and clicking on the “Microsoft Visio 2010” item. This will launch a second instance of Visio.


Now that you have two instances running, move one instance of Visio to your second monitor. You can then open two separate files in two separate windows. Even though you’re running two instances of Visio, they are both represented by the same icon in the Windows 7 taskbar, so it’s easy to switch between documents.


Multi Touch in Visio 2010

If you have a touch-enabled device, Windows 7 allows you to interact with your PC with your fingers. This feature, called Windows Touch, brings a set of gestures to the operating system that can be used in the OS and several applications.

We’ve integrated support for several Windows Touch gestures in Visio 2010:

  • Panning: You can use one or two fingers to pan and scroll a document. This makes it easy to navigate Visio diagrams.


  • Zooming: With two fingers, you can pinch and pull on an area of your Visio document to zoom in on it or zoom out.


  • Two Finger Tap: If you tap the screen with two fingers, Visio will restore your view by invoking the “Fit page to current window” command.


The above scenarios work directly on the drawing surface, and in full screen mode! Check out the video below to see multi touch in action!  (Note: there is no audio).















As seen in the video, we have also integrated the same touch support in the Visio Viewer and in Outlook 2010 preview mode. If you receive a Visio diagram as an attachment, you can use these touch gestures to navigate the diagram directly in Outlook 2010. Click here for more information about Windows Touch

As usual, feel free to drop us a comment on the blog or use the Send a Smile feature in the Visio 2010 Beta to let us know what you think.

Comments (6)

  1. Visio Guy says:

    For shortcut fans, you can quickly launch a second instance of Visio by holding down the [Shift] key, then clicking on the Visio icon in the taskbar.

    This trick actually works for most applications.

  2. gopal says:

    This trick actually works for most applications.

  3. MarcCharest says:

    This is somewhat not what i Expected. launching the software twice and the go open my visio file is not what i had in mind. If i try and open 2 previous files i worked on, they will open in the same window… why not make it a simple option that allow the software toopen in multiple windows, no matter how you proceed, either by using the application shortcut OR by simply opening .vsd files.


  4. Brandon says:

    The current multitouch support is great for viewing Visio documents! However, I'd love to see multitouch support enabled for creating documents. I still have to use the mouse if I need to drag a shape from the shape toolbar or resize a shape in a document I'm editing.

  5. David says:

    I have a Visio project that every time I open it, it opens two seperate screens of the same project? When I try to close one of them they both close? Any Ideas whats going on here?

  6. chrispitude says:

    Hello Visio team!

    For "Multiple Documents in Visio 2010", I see that Visio 2010 does not properly populate the taskbar when multiple documents are open and the taskbar buttons are set to "Never combine" in the taskbar Properties dialog. Other Office 2010 applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) show each document taskbar button – placed directly adjacent to each other, but separated from other applications, as is the new convention in Windows 7 (which I really like).

    I frequently work with multiple documents and I am used to glancing at the task bar to see what I have open. The new ribbon UI does not provide quick visual access to this information, because you have to click to the View Tab, then click again on the Switch Windows drop-down.

    Can you please fix this "Never combine" taskbar bug so that Visio 2010's behavior is consistent with the other Office 2010 applications? Thanks!

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