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Importing a Visio Diagram

One feature of the iGrafx platform currently being developed is the ability to convert Microsoft Visio VSD and VSDX diagrams into iGrafx IGXW diagrams. 

Step-by-step guide

  1. Make sure that the Visio Import feature flag is activated in the iGrafx Platform
  2. Navigate to the desired repository and desired parent object.
  3. Click the Add Object button 
  4. Select 'Diagram' from the Type dropdown
  5. Select Import > Import From File
  6. Select the desired VSD or VSDX file from the Browse prompt or drag it into the specified area
  7. Click Finish
  • As Visio diagrams actually contain multiple diagram "pages", top level "diagrams" are imported as folders containing each individual generated "page" diagram. For example, importing a Visio diagram named MySampleDiagram.vsdx with three pages called Page 1, Page 2 and Page 3 will produce a folder object called MySampleDiagram containing three diagram objects named Page 1, Page 2 and Page 3. 

Limitations and known issues with importing Visio diagrams

When importing a Visio diagram there are limitations that you will need to look out for. These limitations are as follows:


Visio diagrams can have "back pages" with diagram elements that are displayed behind each other page in the diagram. These diagram elements are currently not being imported in any way. Visio headers and footers are currently not imported.

Diagram Type

Currently all Visio diagrams are imported as a BPMN diagram and have that rule set applied to them in the iGrafx Platform


Visio contains a much larger selection of shapes than the iGrafx platform supports. All shapes which are not supported in iGrafx are currently imported as generic tasks. This includes non-shape images which appear in diagrams. A full list of the supported shapes can be found here.

  • Tasks / Activities
    Collapsed Sub Processes are handled differently in Visio than with the iGrafx Platform. A collapsed subprocess in a Visio page will link to another page in the same diagram, whereas a collapsed subprocess in iGrafx will contain a sub diagram which only exists in the context of the parent diagram. As we did not see much value in attempting to duplicate the connected diagram within the collapsed subprocess, we are currently not doing anything with them on import. The connected Visio page will still be imported as its own diagram so there is no risk of any data being lost.

  • Gateways
    In the iGrafx platform, the 'X' indicator for exclusive gateways is configurable on a diagram level (i.e. either all exclusive gateways have the indicator or none do). In Visio on the other hand, they are configurable on an individual level. As a result, X indicator settings for individual shapes are disregarded on import.

  • Events
    Border thickness for BPMN events indicates whether the given shape is a start, intermediate, or end event. While this is manually configurable for individual event shapes in Visio, the iGrafx platform automatically determines them based on the event's position in the diagram. As a result, configured start/intermediate/end event data is currently disregarded on import.
    Known bug: Event background fill colors sometimes do not get imported correctly.

  • Pools/Lanes
    Known bug: Some lanes do not get imported with the correct height/position
    Known bug: Some shapes contained in pools do not correctly recognize their parent pool and thus will appear to be "behind" the pool. A work around for this is to simply slightly adjust the position of the given shape and it will be brought into the pool.   
    Vertical Pools are not yet supported

  • Color
    In the iGrafx Platform, shapes can only have two fill colors (body fill and line fill). Some shapes in Visio can have three. This will result in some colors being inaccurate.

  • Text Shapes
    Text shapes are not yet supported.


  • Known Bug: Lines which are not connected to any shapes cannot be imported currently.
  • Connectors are imported as starting and ending in the middle of the face of shape they are connected to
  • Arrowhead styles are imported as directly as possible, however there are some exceptions:
  • Squares are imported as circles
  • Triple lines are imported as double lines
  • Circle followed by a line are imported as a line followed by a circle
  • Circle with a diamond are imported as just a circle
  • Double triangle imported as single triangle
  • triangle followed by a line is imported as a triangle
  • Sizes are imported, but they have been adjusted and won't accurately represent what is shown in Visio for larger sizes
  • Known bug: some lines are connected to the wrong face of a shape


  • Font
    Shapes using a default font size are imported with 8pt font in the iGrafx Platform
    Text font is not supported at this time and all text inside a diagram will be our default font
    Some shape text may appear larger or smaller when viewed in the platform.
  • Alignment
    Vertical alignment of text in a Visio diagram is not supported and will be imported as center aligned, Horizontal alignment does work
    If text has multiple horizontal alignments we currently only support one in the iGrafx Platform and will import text as the first horizontal alignment that is found within that text
  • Lists
    Lists that are imported from a Visio Diagram will be imported as our default list style
  • Labels
    Some labels are imported with slightly inaccurate coordinates
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