Automatically document Visio process diagrams in Microsoft Word

Published Sep 18 2018 09:00 AM 9,348 Views

Visio’s bread-and-butter is business process management (BPM). Since its launch, Visio has helped millions of users discover, visualize, analyze, measure, improve, and optimize their business processes. We’ve made countless investments in this space over the years, from thousands of new shapes to expedited methods for creating data-linked diagrams, like Data Visualizer.


That momentum continues today with Export to Word, Visio’s latest BPM feature that allows you to automatically document your Visio process diagrams in Microsoft Word. Export to Word is currently only available to Office Insiders with a Visio Online Plan 2 subscription (Visio desktop version 16.0.10219 or later). Visit the Office support site if you need help determining your version.


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While Visio is the perfect tool for modeling business processes, people found it difficult to document those processes for communication, auditing, planning, compliance, and recordkeeping purposes. Users were often stuck manually creating their own process documentation, pasting diagram parts into Word, entering and refreshing metadata, and writing descriptions. This kind of workaround is hugely time consuming and primed for mistakes, which can cause significant problems during process execution. Plus, inconsistent formatting can frustrate executives who need to quickly understand critical processes, while increased emphasis on corporate accountability and governance has put extra demands on BPM documentation.


Export to Word helps alleviate these issues. Thanks to an intuitive, wizard-like guide, Visio makes it easy to select all the appropriate diagram elements for your documentation, including specific shapes and their metadata (e.g., owner, cost, phase, etc.), and, in one click, export those elements to a Word document.



The resulting document pairs each element with its metadata, organized in a table, to give you a quick but detailed written reference for all diagram properties. Once done, you can easily share your document with critical stakeholders directly from within Word.


Export to Word can help users in a variety of roles across industries. Here are just a few use cases to spark ideas for your company.


  • Operating manual: A business analyst uses Data Visualizer to create a service request process map diagram in Visio. She exports the resulting diagram to Word to create an easy-to-read operating manual for all service personnel. The manual clearly defines all tasks and responsible parties for handling requests.
  • KPIs report: Using the same service request process map in Visio, the analyst adds to each shape a data graphic that tracks cost data, which is stored on an internal database. She could add other KPIs, like duration and status, too. The analyst exports the diagram and its cost metadata to Word, then shares the report each month with executives. Since the data graphics reflect the latest cost data, the executive reports always have the most up-to-date information.
  • HR open positions report: The HR manager is tasked with creating a report that shows current headcounts, open positions, and budgets for each department. He uses Visio to create an org chart and link it to the appropriate data sources, then exports it to Word to add more written context.
  • System updates: The IT team for a major retailer is constantly adding innovative services to the company’s website and customer app. These updates require input from a variety of departments, including sales and customer service. The team creates a diagram to visualize the implementation process, exports the process map to Word, then shares the document across the company to clearly define roles and responsibilities.
  • Financial audit: A financial institution has spent several months visualizing different customer interaction processes in Visio. To prepare for an upcoming audit, analysts export those process diagrams to Word. The resulting documents are provided to auditors as additional compliance evidence.


Visit our support site for step-by-step guidance on how to use Export to Word. Please reach out to us at if you have additional questions about the feature or suggestions for improving it. We also invite you to send us your suggestions about this and other features through the Visio UserVoice site. Lastly, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter and join our Tech Community to keep up on the latest Visio news. 




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‎Nov 08 2021 02:02 PM
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