wire spoolsSIX 2013 allows you to very easily assign specific shapes to Products/Categories/Subcategories for use within the Visio interface via the Assign Shape function. Not only can you specify the shapes, but you can specify the properties/attributes of the shapes as well. The shape properties will vary with each shape but can include options like: Icon Size, Mount Type, Show Model, etc. In the past, customizing the look of your shapes was often viewed as only for “advanced” users of Visio, and really, many of you may not do much customization. However, there is one thing that most users want to customize, and that is the color of their wires on schematic drawings.

In Visio, make sure that you are on a Schematic page.

Choose to display your Products “By Category” and also choose to “Display Subcategory”:

display subcategory

Expand the Wire and Cable Category and select a Subcategory, in this example I chose “Audio”. Right-click and choose Shape->Assign:

wire and cable

Choose the Finish Wire shape from the Wire Shapes stencil and click [OK].

finish wire

Because the “Display shape data on assignment” option is checked, this will open the Shape Data window where you can set your properties for the wire. In this example, I want all “Audio” wire to be blue.

shape data window wire color

Now, every time a wire that is assigned a subcategory of “Audio”  is dropped on a schematic page, it will be blue:

blue audio wire

You can also get more granular with this by assigning specific colors to specific wires vs. Subcategories, e.g. different colored CAT6 wire.

specific wire assign

-Seth Enos