Create subprocesses and reuse them in a process diagram

Large processes are often composed of subprocesses that can be thought of as self-contained units that can be diagrammed on their own page. That way, you can make the overview diagram cleaner by using a single shape to represent the subprocess and hyperlinking it to the detailed drawing. To jump to the subprocess page, press the CTRL key and then click the linked shape, or right-click the shape and then click the named hyperlink.

Subprocesses can be on separate pages in a single document, or, if you have subprocesses that you might use in multiple diagrams, you can create the subprocess diagram once and save it. Then you can link to that diagram from subprocess shapes in other diagrams.

Create a new, blank subprocess

  1. Select a shape in the diagram that will contain a link to the new subprocess.

  2. On the Process tab, in the Subprocess group, click Create New.

Visio adds a new page to the diagram for the subprocess, and creates a hyperlink from the selected shape to that page.

Extract selected shapes into a subprocess

  1. Select the shapes you want to move to the subprocess.

  2. On the Process tab, in the Subprocess group, click Create from Selection.

The selected shapes are moved to a new page, and a new shape is added to the source diagram to represent the subprocess. The new shape is linked to the new page.

If the process overview is a cross-functional flowchart, the new subprocess page will include swimlanes and phases that match the overview page.

Link to an existing subprocess

  1. Select the shape you want to link to the subprocess.

  2. On the Process tab, in the Subprocess group, click Link to Existing.

    A menu opens that lists the pages in the diagram, and also gives the option to link to a different document.

  3. Click the page you want to link to, or click Browse to Other Document to link the shape to a different document.

Quick Tasks



Remove a hyperlink.

Right-click the shape, and then click Edit Hyperlinks. In the Hyperlinks dialog box, click Delete to remove the hyperlink that is currently selected in the list.

Link to a specific page in a different diagram.

Right-click the shape, and then click Edit Hyperlinks. If you don't have an existing hyperlink, click New to create a new hyperlink, and click Browse next to the Address box to select the diagram to link to. Click Browse next to the Sub-address box to specify the page to link to.

Link from the subprocess to the overview process diagram.

Select the shape you want to add the link to, or add a new shape to the page. On the Insert tab, click Hyperlink. Specify the target process diagram by using the Address and Sub-address boxes.

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