Microsoft 365 Business Now Includes Visio for No Extra Cost

Microsoft Visio is now a part of the Microsoft 365 Business subscription. It’s expected to be rolled out to all Microsoft 365 business subscribers worldwide by the end of January 2022. This web-based version of the diagramming application allows for the creation of basic visuals, such as Business Matrixes and Flowcharts.

Neater than Whiteboard yet more flexible than the visuals on offer in PowerPoint, Visio in Microsoft 365 is a tool that makes visual communication and process documentation simpler and more efficient.

Visual tools can greatly improve communication, especially during online meetings. The decision to bundle Visio with Microsoft 365 shows how Microsoft is enhancing its productivity suite for the virtual working world.

What Are the Main Benefits of Visio in Microsoft 365?

Do you need to create a quick employee chart? Do you want to visualize a sales funnel? Maybe you need to show the results of a SWOT Analysis or to produce a Venn Diagram?

Visio in Microsoft 365 includes templates that allow you to quickly take care of these basic tasks. The alternative would be to spend hours diagramming in PowerPoint, not a good way to maintain a work-life balance. Scheduling time with a graphic designer might be a possibility for you. But can you really afford the delay?

Visio in Microsoft 365 can help you knock out simple diagrams and save time across your organization.

Screenshot of templates in Microsoft Visio

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What Are the Key Features of Visio in Microsoft 365?

Visio in Microsoft 365 is a basic version of a more powerful application. It still includes enough features to satisfy most users.

Key features include:

  • Collaboration with colleagues via the web app and Teams.
  • Add, remove, and annotate shapes while preserving the diagram layout.
  • Start with a wide range of templates.
  • Use a stencil or your fingers to work with shapes.
  • Add hyperlinks to web pages or files.
  • All work is automatically saved to OneDrive.

Other Microsoft Visio offerings include Vision Plan 1 and Vision Plan 2.

Visio Plan 1 is a browser-based version of the app. It includes more templates and connectors than Visio in Microsoft 365.

Visio Plan 2 has many advanced features and a desktop app. It’s meant for power users who need a wider range of options and can’t settle for a Visio alternative.

Related: Microsoft Office Has a New UI: What We Like and Dislike About It

Visio in Microsoft 365 Practical Uses

Here are four suggestions for users wanting to get started with this new addition to Microsoft 365.

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1. Add a Visual to Your Next Presentation

Microsoft PowerPoint may usually be your main tool for creating presentations. The SmartArt included with PowerPoint is pretty simple though. Instead, try a Visio template to drop in a SWOT Analysis diagram, Flowchart, or Mind Map.

2. Replace Whiteboard

Visio in Microsoft 365 works well within Microsoft Teams. Try using it instead of the Whiteboard app during your next virtual brainstorming session.

All participants can open the same drawing and begin inserting and making connections between ideas. This is much neater than working in Whiteboard. The result can quickly be turned into a process document.

3. Create a Project Timeline

Maybe you need to explain an upcoming project. Grab a Process Diagram template and visually map out a timeline of steps.

Finally, you may need to view Visio files created by a co-worker with Visio Plan 2. Previously, the picture would have been exported and shared with you.

Now, you can comment directly on the file or even on a specific shape using Visio in Microsoft 365.

Related: Office 2021 vs. Microsoft 365: Which One Should You Use?

How to Start Working With Visio in Microsoft 365

To use Viso in Microsoft 365, first launch a web browser and navigate to any of the following sites:

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Sign in with your Microsoft 365 business subscription

Screenshot of

Sign in with your Microsoft 365 business subscription. Then go to All Apps > Visio.

Screenshot of app list

Alternatively, you can launch Microsoft Teams and take the following steps: Teams > Files > New > Visio drawing.

A screenshot of Files tap in Microsoft Teams

Or, launch Microsoft Excel in a web browser and follow these steps: Insert > Add-ins > Microsoft Visio Data Visualizer.

A screenshot of the Visio add-on for Microsoft Excel

Visio in Microsoft 365 Improves Your Visualization Skills

Visio in Microsoft 365 is a strong choice for creating quick diagrams. It is especially well suited to virtual working environments. Since visual communication is increasingly important Visio helps you improve in this area.

It has the potential to save you time while also taking your general work and presentation skills to a new level.

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