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Visio – Creating Double-Lined Shapes

[2013-08-13] Visio 2013 features built-in support for double-lined shapes. See this post.


Visio shapes typically have a single line around the edge (or no line at all), but sometimes you want to create a line with *two* edges.

Single Line:


Double lines:


Typically someone will try to do this by drawing two shapes. With one shape whose sole purpose is to draw the extra line. This technique has a couple of disadvantages:

  • Now you have two shapes to deal with
  • It can be hard to make the extra shape curve correctly to match the original shape

On the other hand, it is apparently the only solution available.

Except that it isn’t. It’s entirely possible to create a single shape with two lines in Visio. It just isn’t obvious how. The solution is to create your own Line Pattern.

So for example in the list of Line Patterns, you’ll see a custom one:




Although I provide the basic instructions at the bottom of the blog post, there are some nuances that are much more easily grasped by watching the screencast below.



  • Show the Drawing Explorer
  • Create a new line pattern by right clicking on the Line Patterns node and select New Pattern
  • Set the name of the Line pattern to “Double Line” and press OK
  • Right-click on the new pattern that was created and select Edit Pattern Shape
  • Draw two filled rectangles such that the shape looks something like this
    • image
  • Close the window with the pattern
  • Now pick any shape you want and set the line pattern to “Double Line”

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Reader Comments (6)

Nice video, Saveen!

Here's a note to Visio 2010 users on how to show the Drawing Explorer using the new Ribbon interface:

1. Right-click the Ribbon and choose Customize Ribbon
2. Check “Developer” under Main Tabs on the right of the Visio Options dialog
3. On the Developer Ribbon tab, check Drawing Explorer in the Show/Hide group

October 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVisio Guy

Excellent - Just what i needed to know. I used this technique to make a QuadLine - 4 lines to show how we connected our network sites.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChuck

Thanks Saveen - this helped me loads!

June 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlly Drew

Where's the like button? This is pretty cool!
By the way, this also works in Visio 2003.

August 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTitaniumlegs

how you do this with Visio 2010?

December 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJun

very very very helpful thanks million I am really thankful for your work. I appreciate your demo.
Thanks brother.

April 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermohammed

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