How to Draw a Spiral in Visio

by Jason Artman

Microsoft Visio 2010 does not include a pre-rendered shape that allows you to quickly add a spiral to a document. However, you can add this capability using a document with an embedded Visual Basic script that generates spirals. Download the Spiral Shape Maker from the Visio Guy website, enter the specifications of the spiral you want to draw and copy the finished shape into a document.

1

Open a Web browser and navigate to the download page for the Visio Guy Spiral Shape Maker (visguy.com). Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Visio Spiral Shape Maker (Visio 2002 & 2003) (177.01 KB)" link. Save the file Visio-Spiral-Maker-Visio-2003-2002.zip to your desktop.

2

Right-click the file Visio-Spiral-Maker-Visio-2003-2002.zip and select Extract All to extract the ZIP file to a folder on the desktop.

3

Double-click the file "Visio Spiral Maker (Visio 2003).vsd" to open it in Visio. Although the file specifies Visio 2003, it works in Visio 2010.

4

Click the "Enable Content" button at the top of the window to allow the document's background Visual Basic scripts to run.

5

Click the text field next to the first pre-rendered spiral near the top of the document. Push the "Backspace" key to delete the original number, and type a new number indicating the number of turns you would like the spiral to have.

6

Double-click the gray area above the field to generate the spiral.

7

Right-click the spiral and select Copy.

8

Open the document that you want to add the spiral to. Right-click the document and select Paste to paste the spiral. You can click and drag the boxes around the shape to manipulate it by changing its size and orientation, as you would other shapes in Visio.

Tip

  • check The Spiral Shape Maker can also use mathematical formulas to generate spirals. The formula you use must be a valid ShapeSheet expression.

About the Author

Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.