How to display fractions for measurements in visio

Written by lisa m. mcmahon
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How to display fractions for measurements in visio
Use Visio to create detailed floor plans. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Microsoft Visio is a professional diagramming program that uses vector graphics to create diagrams. Visio includes many templates to get you started. Each template has an accompanying library of shapes that you can add to as needed. The house plan template, for example, has shapes for walls, furniture, electrical, plumbing, cabinets and many more. Select the "US Units" version of the template to use feet and inches -- the room shape then automatically shows the dimensions in feet and inches. Use special "Dimension - Architectural" shapes to show the dimensions of other items.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Show Shape Dimensions

  1. 1

    Launch Microsoft Visio. Select "Maps and Floor Plans" from the "Template Categories" grouping. Select "Floor Plan" under "Choose a Template." Select "US Units" and then click "Create."

  2. 2

    Select "Walls, Shell and Structure" from the "Shapes" menu on the left side of your program. Click, drag and drop the "Wall" shape onto your page. Drag either end's connection point, indicated with a blue box, to increase or decrease your line's length.

  3. 3

    Drag and drop another wall onto your page so that one connection point of the new wall is touching an end point of the first wall. The connection points turn into a red box when they are connected. Click and drag the other end of the second wall so that the two walls are perpendicular. Adjust the length as needed.

  4. 4

    Drag and drop two more walls onto the page, connecting the ends until you have a four-sided room. When you select a single wall, Visio displays its length in feet and inches. When unselected, however, the dimensions for the wall or the entire room are not displayed.

  5. 5

    Select "Dimensioning - Architectural" from the "Shapes" menu. Drag and drop the "Room measure" shape onto your page inside the room you created. Adjust the room measure shape by clicking and dragging on the blue boxes located in the middle of a side rather than a corner blue box -- this expands both height and width at the same time.

  6. 6

    Double-click on the width portion of the displayed dimensions so that it is the only part highlighted. Right-click it and select "Insert Field." Click "Data Format."

  7. 7

    Select "Fraction" from the Category list. On the right, you can select the fraction type and whether or not to show units. "Sample data format" at the bottom of the dialogue box shows you an example based upon your selections. Click "OK" twice. Repeat for the length dimension.

    Display Dimensions Next to a Shape

  1. 1

    Launch Visio. Open an existing drawing or create a new drawing. Assuming you have opened an existing drawing, click the shape to which you want to add measurement fields.

  2. 2

    Select "Field" from the "Text" group on the "Insert" tab of the Office ribbon. In some cases, this item is dimmed, which means it is unavailable for the specific shape you have selected. Select "Geometry" from "Category" and then select "Width."

  3. 3

    Select "Data Format." Select "Fraction" from "Category." Select a fraction type and whether or not to show units and how. Click "OK" twice.

  4. 4

    Double-click the width dimension to select the text box, then single-click after the dimension to get the I-beam cursor to enter text. Type a space, then "x" and then another space. Select "Field" from the "Text" group on the "Insert" tab.

  5. 5

    Select "Geometry" from "Category" and "Height" from "Field name." Click "Data Format" and select "Fraction" from Category," then configure the fraction type and units. Click "OK" twice.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use the "Room Measure" shape in the "Dimensions - Architectural" group for any rectangular-shaped object, not just rooms. Change the label's text by double-clicking it.
  • If you are not using one of the "Maps and Floor Plans" or "Engineering" templates that is included with Visio, you can still access the shape libraries through the "More Shapes" item on the "Shapes" menu.
  • You can change ruler measurement units and spacing of ruler subdivisions if the default values are not what you need.
  • There is no way to display dimensions automatically in fractions for most shapes in Visio, nor is there a global setting to switch this "on" for all shapes.

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