I've recently been working on creating a visio web drawing with our office floorplan so that employees can search for other employees and find where they sit. I display the floorplan in visio using the Visio Web Access web part and then I connect it to a custom webpart with a dropdown that contains a list of our employees.

The employees are stored in a list which I have linked into the Visio drawing so that each employee is associated with a shape (a "Space" in this case). I've changed the title column of the list to be entitled "Name" so that when I link an item in the list with a shape it correctly sets the name property.

The problem is that when I send the name that they select from my custom webpart to the Visio Web Access web part it does not do anything. I learned from this article that the shape name that the Visio Web Access web part is wanting is not the actual "Name" property but an auto-generated property that shows up in the Shape Data window. This is auto-generated using the type of the shape and the order in which it was inserted into the drawing.

Visio Shape Data - Shape Name

The problem is that we would now have to maintain not only the friendly shape name (the employee's name) but also this auto-generated name in our list of employees. This is not the ideal solution because we would like to have a non-IT admin maintain this seating chart information and it's not intuitive to have enter this random ID.

Is there any way to change this property to make it user-friendly or is it a read-only property?

1 Answer 1


Yes, in microsoft visio you will need to enable the developer tab (File->Options->Advanced->Developer Mode) after doing so you will get a developer tab which has a "shape name" button. Click the shape then click the button and you can change that property.

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