When you print a Microsoft Visio drawing that contains transparent shapes, you may find that the colors of the shapes are inconsistent in the resulting printout. For example, shapes that use the same percentage of transparency may print either a darker color or a lighter color than expected.


This problem may occur when you print a drawing that contains transparent shapes to a PostScript printer.


To work around this problem, try printing in Printer Control Language (PCL) mode by using a PCL driver for your printer. For more information about how to obtain a PCL driver for your printer, contact your printer manufacturer.

For information about how to contact your printer manufacturer, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Or, publish the drawing as an PDF document. To do this, follow these steps:

  • On the File menu, click Publish as PDF or XPS*.

  • In the Save as type list, click PDF (*.pdf), and then click Publish.

You can now open the PDF, and then print it.

Note You must download the "Publish as PDF or XPS" add-in to have it appear on the File menu in Microsoft Office Visio. To download this add-in from the Microsoft Downloads Center, visit the following Microsoft Web site:


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

More Information

In Visio, you can apply transparency to shapes, text, lines, fills, and shadows so that you can see through them. You can vary the percentage of transparency of objects from 0 percent (completely opaque) to 100 percent (completely transparent). Follow these steps to apply transparency to shapes in your drawing:

  1. In your drawing, select the shape or shapes that you want to make transparent.

  2. On the Format Shape toolbar, click the Transparency button.

  3. Move the Shape Transparency slider to the percentage of transparency that you want for the shape.

  4. Click OK.

Need more help?

Expand your skills
Explore Training
Get new features first
Join Microsoft Insiders

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!