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Show, hide, or change the grid in Visio

The lines of the grid crisscross each drawing page like the lines on traditional graph paper. The grid helps you position shapes on the drawing page. You have the option to turn on "snap to grid" so that when you are moving or creating shapes, they automatically align to the grid lines.

Show or hide the grid

  • On the View tab, in the Show group, select or clear the Grid checkbox.

    Tip: The grid is not usually printed, but you can specify that you want it to print: right-click the page tab, click Page Setup, and on the Print Setup tab, select the Gridlines checkbox.

Change grid spacing and size

Most of the templates in Microsoft Visio use a variable grid by default. Variable grid lines change as you zoom in or out of your drawing, and are useful when you want to align shapes precisely.

For example, these gridlines are set at Normal, and when zoomed out, appear 5 feet apart.

Variable grid, zoomed out

However, when the view is zoomed in, they appear 1 foot apart.

Variable grid, zoomed in

For some drawings, it might help you to have a fixed grid, which means the grid shows the same spacing regardless of magnification. For example, with a fixed grid and Minimum spacing of 1 foot, the gridlines show 1-foot squares no matter how far in or out you zoom the drawing view.

Fixed gridline spacing

  1. On the View tab, click the Show dialog box launcher .

    Show group

  2. In the Ruler & Grid box, under Grid, in the Grid spacing lists, click Fixed. Enter the spacing distance that you want into the Minimum spacing boxes—the fixed grid won’t work without a number entered for Minimum Spacing.

    For a variable grid, at Grid spacing, in the Horizontal and Vertical lists, click Fine, Normal, or Coarse.

    Fine is the smallest grid spacing.

    Gridlines at "fine" setting

    Coarse is the largest.

    Grids in "coarse" setting

Change the origin of the grid

The grid origin is set to the same position as the ruler zero point. If you move the ruler zero point, the grid origin also moves. You can, however, set the grid origin independently from the ruler zero point.

  1. On the View tab, in the Show group, click the Ruler & Grid Dialog Box Launcher.

  2. Under Grid origin, enter x (horizontal) and y (vertical) coordinates for the point from which you want the grid to originate, and then click OK.

Make the grid color easier to see

Although it's not possible to change the color of grid lines in Visio itself, you can make them easier to see by turning on high contrast mode in Windows

See Also

Adjust snap strength or turn snap off

Note: Both gridlines and the ability to "snap to grid" are not available in Visio in Microsoft 365, the free version of the web-based Visio app.

Show or hide the grid

  • On the View tab of the ribbon, select or clear the Grid checkbox.

    On the view tab, you can toggle the display of gridlines on or off.

    Alternatively, you can right-click the canvas and select The Grid icon in Visio for the web. Show Grid or Hide Grid.

Change grid spacing and size

  • On the View tab of the ribbon, in the Grid Size box, use the up or down arrow to adjust the grid size, or enter a value in the box and press Enter.

    ON the View tab, you can adjust the size of the grid.

    This box lets you change the size in steps of 0.1 inches or 0.25 cm depending on your locale and the measurement units used in your file.

Turn snap to grid" on or off

  • On the View tab of the ribbon, select or clear the Snap to Grid checkbox.

    On the View tab, you can turn "snap to grid" on or off.

See Also

Adjust snap strength or turn snap off

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