Microsoft recently announced the ability to access the shapes in the document stencil whilst using Visio for Web … if you have a Visio Plan 2 license. So, I thought I would make it clear what that means for custom shape developers. There are now three licenses that provide the ability to edit Visio diagrams in the web browser.
- Visio in Microsoft 365 – now provided to all commercial M385 subscribers, it is a light version of Visio for Web
- Visio Plan 1 – a subscription that provides Visio for Web in a browser, with more templates and features than Visio in M365
- Visio Plan 2 – a subscription that provides Visio for Desktop on Windows, in addition to Visio for Web in a browser anywhere
Typically, Visio solution developers create smart custom shapes that are deployed as masters in a stencil. None of the licenses currently provide the ability to deploy custom stencils for use by Visio in the web browser, however Visio Plan 2 license holders can access custom masters in the document stencil. This increases the ability of these users to use custom Visio documents on non-Windows devices. However, Visio in M365 users cannot edit Visio documents with custom masters, and Visio Plan 1 users cannot access the local document stencil.
The Learn More link provides information about the types of diagrams that are supported in Visio in Microsoft 365.
However, it is possible to provide custom shapes that can be used in Visio in M365 by removing all the custom masters. This is not suitable for all types of diagrams since it increases the file size, and requires users to copy or duplicate existing shapes. It can break many solutions that require shapes to be instances of masters.
Of course, the viewing experience is the same for all the different type of Visio license holders, and they can all add comments.
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