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Visio: Open two windows

August 5, 2016

I’ve been doing a bit of work with Visio files for my main client. I am NOT a Visio expert in anyone’s imagination, least of all mine!

One of the things that’s frustrated me as I’ve tried to copy objects from one Visio diagram to another is that, by default, Visio only opens a single instance of the program, with each file within the same window. This is REALLY frustrating when you have two monitors and want your files side-by-side for comparison or copying purposes. There had to be a way to open the files in separate windows that you could move around the screen(s). And there is.

There are a couple of simple ways to do this, which I’ll discuss here. There’s also a way to do it via a Registry setting so that Visio always opens a new window each time you open a file. I won’t discuss that method — you can Google it.

The instructions below are for Windows 7 and Visio 2010, though I believe the same/similar techniques also work in later versions.

Simple method 1

  1. Open Visio from the Programs list off the Start button.
  2. Repeat step 1.
  3. Once you have your two instances open (yes, you can have more — just keep repeating Step 1), use File > Open or File > Recent to open an existing file.

Simple method 2

  1. Open Visio.
  2. Hold down the Shift key as you click the Visio icon in the taskbar — this opens a new instance of Visio.
  3. Once you have your two instances open (for more, repeat Step 2), use File > Open or File > Recent to open an existing file.

Simple method 3

  1. Open Visio.
  2. Right-click the Visio icon in the taskbar and select Microsoft Visio — this opens a new instance of Visio.
  3. Once you have your two instances open (for more, repeat Step 2), use File > Open or File > Recent to open an existing file.

 

One comment

  1. Great tip! Now, for the reverse — my Visio 2016 keeps opening every file I open from the Windows Explorer in a new instance of Visio. I’d like to stop that — any ideas? Thanks.



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