Microsoft Visio Version Comparison

Is there any real value in upgrading Microsoft Visio? These new Visio features make upgrading from one version of Microsoft Visio to another a good idea.

Why would you want to compare Microsoft Visio? It’s simple really. Microsoft has released many versions of the software over the years. Like with any of Microsoft’s products, consumers wonder if there is any real value in upgrading. What are the new features that make upgrading from one version of Microsoft Visio a good idea?

Do you get your money’s worth if you pay money to upgrade to a newer version of Visio?

The answer to these questions lies in how you are using your software and the performance you expect to get from Microsoft Visio. Let’s take a look at why you might want to compare versions of Microsoft Visio.

Microsoft Visio Comparison

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What is Microsoft Visio

Before we determine whether or not you want to compare versions of Microsoft Visio, let’s take a look at what Microsoft Visio is and why you would use it. This will give us a better look into why you may or may not want to upgrade from an older version of Microsoft Visio to a newer version of Visio.

What is Microsoft Visio used for? A lot of people aren’t familiar with Visio and how powerful it is. Visio is used to create bold, detailed diagrams. It is a visual representation software. That is the sole purpose of Visio, but it is an important purpose if you need the graphing capability.

Whether you’re making flow charts, floor plans, or sales and data graphs of any kind, Visio is the software that allows you to do it effectively. Visio can handle any job necessary to bring your information into a visual format. It is the go-to charting software for many major companies. It’s a part of certain business editions of Microsoft Office or as a stand-alone product. 

Any version of Visio comes with a giant collection of built-in shapes, objects, and stencils users can work with to create their charts and diagrams faster. You also have the freedom to create custom shapes and import them for use in your Visio Visions. The goal of Visio is to make diagramming easy.

The good news is, even someone who has never worked with diagrams and charting can open up Visio and begin creating diagrams and other stunning visuals without a lot of effort. You can diagram like a pro with Visio right out of the box, which makes it very attractive to business owners and other consumers who want to start taking advantage of diagrams and other visual elements in their day-to-day routines.

Don’t worry, though. Yes, Visio’s target audience is big business and professionals, but there are a lot of home users who can make use of Visio as well. It’s also a great tool for hobbyists. With Viso, you can create 3D map diagrams too. Make maps, create plans for models, etc. Visio is compatible and integrates well with other Microsoft products.

For instance, you can import information from Excel or Access to use in building your charts and diagrams. This is a great way to take advantage of the resources you have compiled during research.

Microsoft Visio Standard vs Microsoft Visio Professional

What is the difference between Visio Standard and Visio Professional? The differences are minor if you are just using Visio for creating charts and diagrams. Visio Professional adds increased functionality like some collaborative features, which you might need in larger organizations and companies. There are some increased security measures in professionals as well.

Users who need to import real-world data into Visio files can take advantage of the new Live Data Overlay, Data to Diagram, One-step Data Linking, and Data Refresh feature. Companies using Office 365 or SharePoint make use of co-authoring capabilities.

The Professional edition has these extra features, but unless you are working on a larger scale, Visio Standard will save you money and give you all the features you need.

As mentioned above, one of the best features of Visio Professional is the ability to link diagrams, plans, and processes to real-time data. Link Visio shapes to multiple data sources including Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Excel Services, Active Directory, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft SQL Azure, and Microsoft SharePoint Lists and Business Connectivity Services. Visio Professional includes data graphics like icons, symbols, colors, and bar graphs so you can visually display the data.

Visio Professional can automatically identify the data source, import the data, link data to shapes, and apply data graphics. Change diagrams into dashboards and monitor progress or performance in real-time. You can also keep diagrams connected to a data source and refresh it automatically so that your diagram reflects any changes in the underlying data.

Visio Professional also includes advanced features such as sub-process creation and validation rules. There are extra templates too and more shapes. You can also further control your diagrams and other creations with Microsoft file protection technologies which offer persistent Information Rights Management (IRM) protection of email messages and attachments as well as diagram files. Because Visio Professional 2016 supports Information Rights Management (IRM), you can control document rights at the individual user level.

Of course, if you want all of the power of Visio, you want to look at the newest version, Viso 2019. Microsoft Visio, Visio 2019 offers a host of new features, powerful tools, better integration with the cloud, inking features, and the ability to create dynamic diagrams, charts, plans, etc. 

In today’s professional world, how you present your ideas is the difference between success and failure. With Microsoft Visio Professional 2019, you get updated tools and features designed to create professional-level graphs, diagrams, and professional visuals right out of the box. Visio Professional 2019 comes packed with new stencils, templates, and creation tools to help you take your visual info to another level.

Bring ideas to life with Visio wireframe, a detailed visual model like a blueprint. Take advantage of starter diagrams and website templates to create design sketches for presentations. 

You can even use improved AutoCAD support that lets you import or open files from AutoCAD pre-2017. This is important for working on Visio started in other software. It’s time-saving and can benefit big companies that have Visio that need to be followed closely in other versions of Visio.

As we mentioned above, Visio is useful for professionals in business, but it can also be useful for hobbyists, home designers, model makers, and anybody else who needs to create complex diagrams of Visio. Standard is sufficient for most users, but the Visio Professional offers advanced functionality design professionals will want.

Do I need the Latest Version of MS Visio?

The good news is you don’t need to invest in Visio 2019 to be able to take advantage of the power of Visio. You can still get Visio 2010, Visio 2013, and Visio 2016 and save yourself a lot of money while still getting all of the important features that allow you to create detailed graphs and charts.

Microsoft Visio Version Differences 

Visio 2010: 

Visio 2010

You get loads of templates with Visio 2010, including refreshed templates for maps and floor plans. You also get drawing canvas auto-size, auto-align and space of shapes, the ability to import DWG files into Visio, easy shape customization, subprocesses to break complex processes into manageable pieces, an option to validate diagrams using built-in and extendable business rules, commenting, ability to link diagram shapes to data from multiple sources, including Excel, Excel Services, SharePoint Lists, SharePoint Business Connectivity Services, and SQL Server, the ability to refresh data automatically, either on a defined schedule or manually, the ability to save to SharePoint and view diagrams in Visio Services with data refresh, and much more. If you aren’t concerned with a lot of the cloud and collaborative features found in the newer versions of Visio, you can effectively use 2010 and save money.

Visio 2013: 

Visio 2013

This version can still save you money while bringing some additional features to the table that you might find useful. You get everything you get in Visio 2010 with Visio 2013 (much of it improved), with the addition of some new stuff like better containers for classifying shapes, support for various process standards including Business Process Modeling and Notation (BPMN) 2.0, shape effect options—shadow, bevel, glow, etc., a streamlined print preview showing diagram page breaks and pan/zoom capability, simple diagram sharing through a web browser and commenting through Visio Services, co-authoring features, automatic generation of an organizational chart from data sources such as Excel, Exchange or Active Directory Domain Services, new XML-based file format, touch support on virtually any device through Visio Services, 365 subscription availability, compatibility with Windows 10, and much more.

Again, you get a great many new features with Visio 2013 while still saving money.

Visio 2016:

Everything from the two earlier versions plus the addition of a new electrical solution with Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) compliance, new starter diagrams, and contextual tips and tricks, Tell Me integration to navigate through commands, turn on/off the page auto-size for files from Visio 2007 and earlier, turn on or off the high-resolution image import, compress enabled if picture size is more than 30 megapixels or change value to increase or decrease the maximum size allowed, Delve support for team document discovery, rapid data connectivity with Excel tables and ability to swap data graphics with one click, and more.

All of these Visio products are available as a perpetual license Visio. The backward compatibility to open Visio 2013, Visio 2010, Visio 2007, Visio 2003, and Visio 2000 files. This means you don’t need to worry about losing work created in early versions.

Which Version is Right for me?

The right version depends on what you want to get out of the software and what your goals are.

Are you a casual home user who simply wants to create some diagrams? If you don’t require a lot of collaborative features and you don’t care about online connectivity, you will be able to use the earliest version of Visio available and get everything out of it you need.

You can even add some of the extra templates and other features and still be good with 2013 or 2016 while saving some money. The big question is do you need to invest in the latest version, Visio 2019. Now, some people have to have the latest version of everything. 

If you are one of those people, you can certainly spend the money on Microsoft Visio 2019 and you will be getting your money’s worth. As we pointed out earlier in this article, there are a lot of great new features that make Visio 2019 a great upgrade.

If you are moving from one of the earlier versions, like 2010 or 2013, you will feel like you are using a completely new piece of software. That’s because you will be. The differences between Visio 2010 and Visio 2019 are enormous.

If you are running a business, upgrading from the earlier version is a recommendation we would give. Simply put, there are many features aimed at big businesses and corporations that will streamline the work you do. If you make a living creating charts and diagrams in any way, upgrading to the latest version, Visio 2019, is probably a very good idea.

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