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The Drawing Explorer window contains a breakdown of all the objects and elements in your drawing. Related items are grouped together. For example, there is a folder for all the foreground pages. Inside this folder is a icon for each page, identified by the page name. When you select a page icon, that page opens in the diagram area.

Under each page are subfolders that contain icons for all the shapes and layers on that page. If a shape is composed of a group of smaller shapes, all of those smaller shapes are represented in a subfolder under the main shape icon. You can select any shape on a diagram page, or any subshape in a group, by selecting it in the Drawing Explorer window.

To view the Drawing Explorer window, you must have the Developer tab visible. By default, this tab is hidden.

View the Developer tab

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Under Visio, click Options.

  3. Click Advanced, and scroll down to the General section.

  4. Select Run in developer mode.

Use the Drawing Explorer window

  1. On the Developer tab, in the Show/Hide group, select Drawing Explorer.

  2. Do one or more of the following:

    • To open or close a folder, double-click it.

    • To change the name of an item, press F2, type over the highlighted text, and then press ENTER. This changes the shape's name but does not affect the text in the shape's label.

      To immediately undo a name change, press ESC.

    • To select a shape in the diagram window, in the Drawing Explorer window, click the plus sign next to the Foreground Pages or Background Pages folder, expand the page, and then click the shape you want.

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