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The Microsoft SharePoint Workflow templates have shapes for actions and conditions of SharePoint workflows. You can design a SharePoint workflow in Visio Professional, or you can import a workflow from SharePoint Designer and Visio will generate a diagram for you.

To find the right template to start from, go to File > New and, in the search box, type SharePoint.

There are separate templates for SharePoint 2010 workflows and SharePoint 2013 workflows. 

Design a workflow in Visio

Start all diagrams with the Start shape, and end with the Terminate shape, to avoid validation errors.

  1. From the Shapes window, drag a Start shape onto the drawing page.

  2. Drag action and condition shapes to the workflow.

    Note: You can replace the default shape text with a more specific and accurate description of the workflow activity. This helps the person implementing your workflow in SharePoint Designer understand the business intention of your workflow.

  3. Link each activity to the next one using connectors. To add a label to a connector, right-click the connector, and then click a label option.

  4. At the end of the workflow, add a Terminate shape.

Validate a workflow

When you export a SharePoint workflow from Visio to SharePoint Designer, the diagram is validated. If the workflow diagram has errors, an Issues window appears with a list of issues to fix before the workflow can be exported.

  1. On the Process tab, in the Diagram Validation group, click Check Diagram.

  2. Fix any issues in the Issues window.

To see where an error is located, click it in the Issues pane. The affected shape or connector is highlighted in the drawing page. For information about validation issues and how to fix them, see SharePoint Workflow validation issues in Visio.

Export a workflow to SharePoint

When you finish authoring your workflow in Visio, you can export the workflow as a Visio Workflow Interchange (.vwi) file that can be imported directly into SharePoint Designer.

  1. On the Process tab, in the SharePoint Workflow group, click Export.

  2. In the Export Workflow dialog box, navigate to the location where you want to save the .vwi file, and then click Save.

Import a workflow from SharePoint

Visio and SharePoint Designer can open and edit the same .vwi file, going back and forth, with one exception: Visio doesn’t support steps. Step information that has been added in SharePoint Designer may be lost when the workflow is opened in Visio and then re-imported into SharePoint Designer.

  1. In Visio, start a new, blank Microsoft SharePoint Workflow diagram.

  2. On the Process tab, in the SharePoint Workflow group, click Import.

  3. In the Import Workflow dialog box, click the .vwi file you want to import, and then click Open.

To see how the workflow shapes in Visio compare to the workflow activities in SharePoint Designer 2010, see SharePoint Workflow activities guide

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