What is MS Visio and How Does it Work

Microsoft Visio is an applications in the MS 365 platform. MS Visio is a program that can be used to create diagrams and flowcharts. The service is a free addition to MS 365 business subscriptions. In this blog Tech-Wales will explain exactly what MS Visio is and how does it work.

What is Microsoft Visio?

MS Visio is a part of MS 365 that allows someone to create diagrams and flowcharts. The application is widely used for creating flowcharts, (office) floor plans, data models and other diagrams. Because there is an underlying structure in Visio diagrams, these types of diagrams remain more manageable than similar diagrams that are often drawn in Excel or PowerPoint. With MS Visio it is also possible to automatically generate a schedule based on a data source such as an Excel file or database.

Visio has been around since 1992, making it almost 30 years old. Microsoft acquired the product in 2000. Since then it has been further developed and integrated into MS 365.

MS Visio Integration

Through integration with Microsoft 365, diagrams can be generated from external data sources and other diagrams can be edited within other applications. The user can link Excel files to create diagrams with Visio’s Data Visualiser. Another commonly used data source is Active Directory, which makes it possible to visually display the organisational structure of a company.

The integration also makes it possible for employees to work together, for example by having them edit a diagram together in MS Teams and including created diagrams in a Power BI visualisation.

What is MS Visio and How Does it Work

MS Visio Online

MS Visio Online service is part of the existing business and enterprise subscriptions of Microsoft 365. This is a version with limited functionality. For many organisations, the desired diagrams are not too complex and this light version interface is sufficient. This can be compared to the online versions of other Office applications such as Word and Excel, which have many of the basic options, but are not equal to the desktop applications for more complex scenarios.

Businesses with more complex needs are best advised to continue using the desktop application. The Visio 1 and Visio 2 licenses will therefore continue to exist. These allow use of the Visio web app and the Visio desktop application, both of which still offer more extensive features compared to the online version of Visio.

Users who only view or comment on the diagrams do not need a license. Microsoft has a Visio Viewer program that can be used for free to open, view and comment on Visio diagrams. It is not possible to adjust a diagram in this app. The Viewer apps of other MS 365 applications such as Word and Excel are no longer made available and reference is made to the use of the online versions. It is expected that this will also happen with the Visio Viewer now that more and more energy is being put into the online version of Visio.

Tech-Wales – Microsoft 365 Consultancy for Business

At Tech-Wales we are experts in MS Office 365 consultancy. We can provide you with you with essential support and advice when you want to set up MS 365 for your business or want to streamline MS 365 to get the most out of the software. Combined with our excellent business IT support we can provide your organisation with the complete package. Feel free to contact us to discuss.