How to create a visio network diagram from excel data

Updated April 17, 2017

One of the benefits of using the Microsoft Office suite of programs is that the applications work so well together. Another advantage is the availability of templates for all sorts of document types. Combining the two can make creating complex files much simpler. For instance, you can create a detailed network diagram in Visio 2010 by starting with a template and then importing associated information from an existing Excel file, linking data in the worksheet to the shapes in the diagram.

Start Visio and click on the "File" tab. Click "New" in the left pane and select "Network." Choose "Detailed Network Diagram" and click "Create."

Drag a ring network shape or Ethernet shape from the "Network and Peripherals" group onto the page. Drag the appropriate devices from the "Computers and Monitors" or "Network and Peripherals" section onto the page.

Connect the device shapes to the network shape. Click on the network or Ethernet shape and hover the mouse pointer over the yellow, diamond-shaped control handle. When the pointer changes to a four-way arrow, drag toward the first device to draw a connector. Repeat with the remaining devices.

Import Excel data into the diagram. Go to the "Data" tab. Click on "Link Data to Shapes" in the "External Data" group. The Data Selector Wizard opens.

Select "Microsoft Excel Workbook" as the type of data source you want to use and click "Next." Browse to the workbook you want to use and click "Insert." Complete the wizard.

Drag a row of the imported Excel data to a shape in the diagram to add it to the shape data. Repeat for the remaining shapes and information.

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About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.