Microsoft Visio 2010 : Building Detailed Network Diagrams


The information in this section applies only to the Professional and Premium editions of Visio 2010.

The Professional and Premium editions of Visio 2010 include an advanced network diagram template that offers additional stencils you can use to create more sophisticated diagrams.

In this exercise, you will create a new drawing from the Detailed Network Diagram template. Then you will paste a copy of the network diagram you created in the previous section into the new drawing. Finally, you will add a network segment to the diagram by using shapes from the Detailed Network Diagram stencils.

Set Up

If you completed the preceding exercise, continue working with the Network Diagram (Basic) drawing.

  1. Click the File tab, and then click New. In the Template Categories section, click Network, and then double-click the Detailed Network Diagram thumbnail to create a new drawing. Save the drawing as Network Diagram (Detailed).


    If the Shapes window opens with a scroll bar in the stencil titles section, drag the separator between the title bars and the shapes down to reveal all of the stencil titles.


    The primary differences between the Basic and Detailed network templates are visible in the Shapes window. The Basic template (on the left in the following graphic) includes just two stencils: Network And Peripherals and Computers And Monitors. The Detailed template (on the right) includes those two, plus six additional stencils you can use to create more sophisticated diagrams.

  2. Switch to the Visio window that contains the Network Diagram (Basic) drawing that you opened to set up this exercise.
  3. Press Ctrl+A to select all shapes on the page, and then press Ctrl+C to copy them.
  4. Switch Visio windows to return to the Network Diagram (Detailed) drawing and press Ctrl+V to paste the basic network diagram onto Page-1.


    The enhanced paste function in Visio 2010 places the copied network shapes into the same location on the new page that they occupied on the original page.

  5. Drag an Ethernet shape from the Network and Peripherals stencil onto the drawing page and position it in the lower-right corner of the page.
  6. Drag the left resize handle until the Ethernet segment is approximately 100 mm (4 inches) long, and then type Data Center to label the network segment.
  7. Drag and glue a yellow control handle from the Data Center network to the router in the center of the page.
  8. Drag a File server from the Servers stencil onto the page and position it on the left end and above the Data Center network segment.
  9. Drag one of each of the following server shapes from the Servers stencil: File serverWeb serverDatabase serverPrint server, and Directory server. Position each server to the immediate right of the previous one.
  10. Drag and glue a yellow control handle from the Data Center Ethernet to each server.
  11. Drag a PC shape from the Computers and Monitors stencil; position it below and attach it to the Data Center network segment. Your new network segment should look something like the following graphic.

Clean Up

Save your changes to the Network Diagram (Detailed) drawing but leave it open if you are continuing with the next exercise.

You have created a stylized view of the equipment attached to the Data Center network. In all likelihood, the actual equipment in the data center does not consist of stand-alone PCs, but consists of equipment mounted in racks. In two upcoming exercises, you will build a data center rack that contains equipment that is equivalent to the previous graphic.


The stencils that are part of the Detailed Network Diagram template include many more shapes than just the ones you used in this exercise. If you work with networks, it would be a good idea to spend a few minutes exploring the shapes in the other stencils before moving on to the next exercise.

The Servers stencil you used in this exercise contains 16 customized shapes that you can use to represent specific server types. The Rack Mounted Servers stencil, which is also opened with the Detailed Network Server template, contains a corresponding set of 16 rack-mounted server shapes.

If you would like to create your own customized server shapes, see the article on the Visio Guy website at

Microsoft created a collection of server and network shapes for use in wall posters depicting product deployment scenarios. Though you may not need to create posters containing network shapes, the free, downloadable stencils offer an alternative to the usual shapes. To download these stencils, go to