How to Convert Pictures to Shapes With Visio

Updated July 20, 2017

Microsoft Visio offers a large range of tools for creating professional-looking diagrams, charts and drawings. In Visio, designs and drawings are produced from shapes. Shapes can have relationships with other shapes or become a member of a group of shapes. They can be created from imported images, and Visio supports most image file types. To work with an image as a shape, it first needs to be converted.

Open Microsoft Visio 2010 by clicking on the Visio icon in the start menu.

Create a new drawing by selecting "Blank Drawing" at the bottom of the opening screen.

Select the "Insert" sub-menu from the top navigation menu. Click the picture icon.

Select an image file from the directory window. Choose "OK" to import the image.

Resize the image by clicking on the corner buttons. Place the imported image on the drawing area by moving the mouse to the desired location.

Select the image by clicking the right mouse button. Select "Group" from the pop-up window. Choose the "Group" option.


Converting an image into a Visio shape allows the image to be connected to other shapes. Images that are vector graphics work better as shapes than raster images.


An image shape takes up more memory and can slow down Visio.

Things You'll Need

  • Image file in JPEG format
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About the Author

Bruce Emmerling began writing in 2009 and has professional experience in the fields of computers, usability research and Web development. His educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in information systems management from the University of Maryland University College and is currently working on a Master of Arts in human-centered computing from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.