This documentation applies for 3D Visioner 2017. For the documentation of older versions please proceed here.

What's new in Visioner 2017


System Requirements

Software prerequisites

Note: You don’t need to install these prerequisites. Please establish Internet connection and the installer will do it automatically.

Hardware requirements



Ensure that you have Administrator privileges prior installing, or read "Non-admin account" section below. Exit all running instances of Microsoft Visio. Check that you are connected to Internet and run the 3D Visioner exe package you have downloaded. Setup can take time depending of the speed of your internet connection and installed prerequisites. Open or create new drawing in Microsoft Visio and find 3D Visioner Tab on Visio Ribbon. . After installation you can at any moment close 3D Visioner window (via "cross" button in top right corner), or you can temporarily disable it in MS Visio.

Non-admin account

Due to Microsoft Office Add-in architecture, registering and add-in, such as 3D Visioner, requires Administrator priviledges. If you wish to install 3D Visioner for án account that has no Administrator type, please install 3D Visioner while being logged as Administrator and then proceed with activating registry file as described below, when logged as the targer non-admin account.

Multiple user accounts

After 3D Visioner is installed on a PC, it will work automatically for the account that have run the insallation. You can make 3D Visioner active for other user accounts on the same PC. To do this, log in as a user on that account and run registry file (3dv_activate.reg), please download it from here. .

How to buy

3D Visioner is trial ware and in order to continue using it after the end of the 14-day evaluation period you will be asked to purchase the license of your choice in our E-Shop at As soon as your order has been processed (usually within and hour), you will receive your personal license code. To activate it please either enter it in window displayed when Visio starts, or open “About” box in 3D Visioner Ribbon menu. Just enter or paste your personal License Code and press Register in the "About" form illustrated below. .

Transferring your license to a new PC

In a case when your existing installation of 3D Visioner has to be replaced because of, for example, upgrading to a new hardware, you will need to activate your 3D Visioner license key on another machine. 3D Visioner licenses are single-user and single-installation (computer-bound). In order to activate your license that has been in use, you need to revoke it from your current installation, so that it will be released on license server. After this your license key will be ready for activation on a new PC. To revoke you license, start 3D Visioner with online connection and open its "About" panel. Press "Revoke License" button. If transaction with the license server succeeds, you will see the confirmation dialog and your existing copy of 3D Visioner will be deactivated. 3dv_2014_about . .

Creating 3D scene

To create 3D Scene of the active drawing, just open your project and 3D Visioner window automatically will render it as 3D scene. If you wish to add another perspective and see the scene from different angle, you can click Build Active Drawing on 3D Visioner ribbon. .

Change 3D Scene background colors

Click on small arrow on 3D Visioner ribbon and change background colors from Settings dialog that will pop up. Select the desired color for each corner and 3D Visioner will automatically render gradient fill for the scene background. image003   image004-300x253 .

Add, remove and change shapes in 3D Scene

3D scene is always in sync with your Visio drawing, everything is automatic. Just keep 3D Visioner window open and do all you want in Visio and all your changes will be performed in 3D. .

Control what items are visible in 3D Scene

This feature is very useful to keep clean your 3D View from unnecessary connectors and lines or walls & structures. Hide or show specific shapes via "no3d" layer If you wish to have some items to be present on Visio drawing without being visible in Visioner 3D scene, you can control visibility of any shapes, lines or connectors via specific Layer: select any shape or a set of shapes and assign them to the drawing Layer named "no3d" and the will disappear from Visioner 3D view. To do this, go to ribbon bar: "Home" -> "Layers" -> "Assign to Layer" and check mark "no3d" layer. For the first time you just need to create a layer with the name "no3d" if it does not yet exist inside the drawing. To return back visibility of shapes in 3D, un-assign them from "no3d" layer by removing the check mark in "Assign to Layer" dialog. Assign to 'no3d' Layer Assign to 'no3d' Layer Hide or show specific drawing page wish shapes on it It is possible to exclude a complete page from 3D scene with all shapes on it. To do this, open "Page Settings" of Visio drawing, or right click on page label at the bottom of the drawing. Then open Description tab (Page Setup -> Alt Text -> Description) and add "no3d" token to it. .

Set shapes elevation

All typical shapes, inherited from masters, can be adjusted to have their 3D models at certain height above the floor in 3D scene. Right click on a shape and select "3D height and tilt" in the context menu. There it is possible to assign shape elevation in the physical units of measurement according to the drawing page scale settings.       Some special shapes, such as walls, windows and other can be put at height above the floor via corresponding parameter in their Properties data. Right click on Visio shape and select “Properties”. Usually it is Base Elevation, though it may differ for some specific shapes. For example it is Window Header Height for windows and Beam Top Elevation for beams. Change those parameters in shape properties and see it changing in 3D Scene. .

Control vertical size of 3D models

In shape context menu "3D height and tilt" you can adjust shape's 3D model vertical size either as a factor (multiplier) of the default 3D model height, or set it as exact value in physical units of measurement. "Height 3D Lock" option allows retaining current height of 3D model when resizing horizontal dimensions as shape gets resized on the drawing. In following example you can see a set of pianos with 3D height increasing in 25% increments, an arm chair with vertical size adjusted to 1750 mm (to match the tallest piano) and a pair of sofas, with the lager sofa height locked, so it is resized very wide while staying exactly as tall as the normal sofa. .

Change shapes angles in 3D

In shape context menu "3D height and tilt" you also can adjust shape's model inclination angles in 3D scene. This allows having models tilted, tumbled, creating slopes and more. Angles are in degrees and axis alignment as follows: X angle is pitch: rocking model "nose down/nose up", Y angle is yaw: tilting "to sides". Please note that applying and angle may lower or raise .

Controlling 3D properties via shape data

When working with shapes via scripting / Visual Basic for Applications mode, it is possible to control model elevation, vertical size and tilt angles via shape property fields: You can adjust these values via "3D height and tilt" shape context menu and then examine cells for your reference via Visio "Shape Properties" UI. Note, when using cells Prop.Height3D or Prop.Height3DAbs also create User.3DVisionerBEChanged cell to override "Hang on Wall" / "Put on table" of some models that have been assigned to master shapes with these modes. .

Change color and transparency of shapes

3D Visioner models made to react on parent shape color properties – just change the Fill Color and Transparency of shapes in Visio and find them changed in objects in 3D scene. Some models have elements that maintain static color where it is logical: for example hot and cold water knobs will always be red and blue, while you can have kitchen sink in any color you wish! image006 .

Apply backgrounds and styles to 3D scene

Just apply background and styles in Visio and find them applied in 3D. image011 .

Insert images into 3D scene

You can insert any raster image into 3D scene. Drag and drop the picture you want into your MS Visio drawing, select it with right mouse click to open Shape Properties context menu. In the menu, select "Container -> Add to New Container" and the picture will appear in 3D scene on the floor level. You can then right click it and select "3D Height and Tilt" to set it at desired angle and height. .

3D text labels and banners

Text labels can appear in 3D scene at desired position, angle and height. To insert a text object, select Rectangle tool and draw a rectangle on the drawing, then enter any text inside it. Set Fill, Text color, Line color and style as desired, then right click and select "Container -> Add to New Container". You can then right click it and select "3D Height and Tilt" to set it at desired angle and height. image011 .

Creating complex and dynamic master shapes

It is possible to create shape masters that consist of individual masters. Each master maps to a 3D model, so the "complex master" acts as a single unit combining number of shapes in exact arrangement. Such dynamic masters may implement internal scripting, for example, adding or removing its parts based on user choices and other logic. 1. Create or place a set of shapes that will be embedded into a larger master. Select each and drag to the Document Stencil to make them as Masters. 2. Drag Masters of these shapes from Document Stencil back to the drawing. These are now Masters on the drawing. Assign 3D models for these “embedded” masters. Check “BaseID” tag at the bottom of Shape Manager form: this value for each shape master will be needed in the next step. 3. Add custom shape property “DYN_Master” with the value of BaseID of its shape: Shape Properties –> Shape Data -> Define Shape Data. Add DYN_Master as “Label” and as “Name”. Add BaseID of this shape as “Value”. 4. Arrange any combination of these shapes, including angles and elevations as needed. 5. Select the entire group, then Group Up to a single shape: Press Ctrl+G or Right Click -> Group. Drag the grouped shape to the Document Stencil and give this Master some name ending with “DYN”. Dynamic master consisting from embedded shapes is ready for use: Please refer to "Dynamic Master" sample drawing with illustrated instructions. .

Adjusting scene light modes

3D scene rendering is using uniform ambient light. The tone of light can be adjusted for 3D objects to appear in different style. There are 5 presets available: 3 fixed (Default, Warn, Cold) and 2 user-customizable. Default light mode is simulating neutral natural light. Warm light is similar to incandescent lamp color. Cold light is close to overcast daylight or neon light. 2 User modes are adjustable in 3D Visioner Settings ribbon menu. .

Disable 3D Visioner

You can temporarily deactivate 3D Visioner from MS Visio: in Visio ribbon menu go to File -> Options -> Add-ins. Select "Manage", press "Go..." and check or uncheck "3D Visioner" in the list. . .

Making walls and windows


Create walls from space shapes

Using the Space shape in Visio, you can do all this, and more. The Space shape in Visio is designed to help you focus on spaces at an abstract level. You can find the Space shape on the Walls, Doors and Windows stencil. You can create any structure using Space shape and 3D Visioner will render all your actions automatically, making 3D walls, windows, doors and floors. 3D view will automatically follow your actions.

Please read “Quickly sketch a building plan with the Space shape in Visio” tutorial from Microsoft and create you rooms. Another useful hint is to draw and outline with the Line tool and convert it via “Convert to Wall” Visio feature.



Add windows and doors

Just insert doors or a windows shapes into your drawing and they will be added in 3D automatically, creating gap inside the wall at proper position to fit.



Create floors using pages

You can create each floor on a separate page and then place them on the top of each other with Stack page layout feature of 3D Visioner. If you then uncheck Show Pages button and set the Interpage space to None, you will see the whole building with all floors. Pages can be represented in different modes: stacked on top of each other (Stack), on the sale level one-by-one (Tape), or filled as flat grid (Plane). Use Arrangement button on ribbon menu to select what suits you best. With just one click you get your floors arranged in one plane or vertically as you designed for your building. To modify gaps between the floors, change selection in the Space button from 3D Visioner ribbon. image011 .

Create shape-to-page connection

You can create connection from a shape to a shape on another page: Hold the Ctrl+Shift and click a shape in 3D followed by click a page. To remove this kind of connection, find connected shape on Visio drawing, right click - Properties, select “Edit Hyperlinks”, find the link to another shape inside the list and select “Delete” button: . .

Navigate in 3D view

3D Visioner offers easy control mode for viewing 3D scene supporting both mouse actions and keyboard shortcuts. As you see the whole project in 3D, it is very convenient to navigate by selecting objects between 2D drawing and 3D scene. To enable this feature check Sync Selection button on 3D Visioner ribbon. Now, when you click on an object in 3D, it will become selected and centered in Visio drawing, so you don’t need to waste time to find a required object by switching from page to page.


Zoom, rotate and pan 3D scene

Set focus on 3D Visioner window by clicking on any part of it and use mouse wheel to zoom the scene in and out. You can also press “+” and “-“ keys or move mouse with left and right buttons pressed together to get the same functionality. Rotate the view using the left mouse button: click and hold left mouse button and move the mouse. The scene rotates around a rotation center. Initially the rotation center is set at the center of the scene. You can set it to the center of the active page (“pin the page”) by double clicking the left mouse button on required place on that page. In this case the scene will rotate around the center of the active page. The same for any other 3D object, you can pin it with double-click to be the new rotation center. To set the pivot back to the center of the entire scene, double-click left mouse button on an empty space of the scene. To pan the view, move your mouse holding right mouse button pressed and the scene will follow your moving.

View from different points

Use “Left”, “Right”, “Up”, “Down’ arrows and “Page Up”, “Page Down” keys to change the view in 3D scene. To reset the view to default, press “Home” key. You can do the same from drop-down menu in 3D Scene window.

img050_2014 .

Navigation modes

3D Visioner implements two navigation modes: Scene Rotation and First Person View. Scene Rotation mode is the default and it works as explained before. Second navigation mode, First Person View can be switched via "View->First Person View" menu. It simulates observer moving through space, viewing 3D scene from own eyes. Scene floor stays horizontal all the time. When in First Person mode, hold right mouse button and set direction by mouse. Press and hold "W" key to move forward, "A" to strafe left, "D" to strafe right, "S" to move backward. Roll mouse wheel up or down to float higher or lower in vertical axis. To change movement speed to faster or slower, press Space. You can switch back to "scene rotation" navigation method by activating "FirstPerson View" selection in menu again, un-selecting the checkbox next to it. If you wish to set First Person mode as default navigation method in 3D Visioner, change it 3D Visioner Preferences (opens from ribbon menubar). "Invert vertical axis" option switches the way how viewing direction changes up and down when moving mouse forward and backward. img057_2014 .

Look through walls

There is a very useful feature in 3D Visioner that lets you look throw the walls and wall objects: columns, spaces, pilasters, slabs, beams etc. Use this feature to see the interior of rooms and buildings without need of 3D scene rotation. Just check Glass Walls on 3D Visioner ribbon and get the result. To make walls again solid, uncheck the button. This doesn’t affect already transparent walls with transparency set from Visio. image008 .

Use multiple windows for different 3D views

You can open as many 3D windows as you need in each Visio project. All 3D Visioner windows are usual Visio “Anchor Windows”, so you can dock them and work as you get into the way of using them. Rotate, scale and pan the 3D scene of each window to set the most convenient angle of view. Also when you edit your Visio project (add, delete or move Visio shapes, create or delete connections, etc.), all changes are immediately reflected in all opened 3D windows.

 image016 .

Fit scene into the view and Full Screen mode

Press Fit Scene into the View button on 3D scene window toolbar or just press F inside 3D window and the scene will fit the view. You can also quickly switch scene view to Left, Right, Front, Back or enter Full Screen mode using buttons nearby.



Keyboard shortcuts

Action Keyboard Mouse
Default View (Home) Home -
Left View Left Arrow -
Right View Right Arrow -
Front View Up Arrow -
Back View Down Arrow -
Top View Page Up -
Bottom View Page Down -
Fit Scene Into The View F -
Zoom In + Mouse Wheel or Mouse Move with Left and Right buttons pressed
Zoom Out - Mouse Wheel or Mouse Move with Left and Right buttons pressed
Keyboard control in First Person Mode:
Action Keyboard Mouse
Move forward W
Move back S
Strafe left A
Strafe right D
Movement Hold Left Mouse Button
Fly up/down Mouse Wheel
Speed slow/fast Space
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Export options

You can output created 3D scene in the form of a static image or distribute it is in complete 3D-viewable form.

Export 3D scene as OBJ file

Press "Save As…" button on 3D scene window toolbar and select "OBJ Model" to save the entire 3D scene as 3D model in widely used OBJ file. The exported set of file consists of OBJ file, MTL file with materials definitions and PNG files with textures. This OBJ format is current "common ground" in the world of 3D software and can be viewed or edited with the number of 3D editor applications, such as 3D Studio Max, SketchUp, Maya, Blender and many others. Windows 10 standard application, "3D Builder" can view OBJ files. img053_2014 "Art Gallery" sample scene viewed in Windows 10 "3D Builder": .

Save 3D scene as an image

Press "Save As…" button on 3D scene window toolbar to save the visible area of 3D scene in JPEG or PNG image formats. As for printing, there is an option to switch gradient background on or off. img053_2014 .

Print 3D scene

Press "Print" button on 3D scene window toolbar to print the visible area of 3D scene. For printing optimization there is an option to switch gradient background on or off. Use it if you are printing in monochrome, to save ink or get clearer view of objects.


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Share 3D view of your project with others



You can export your 3D scene as OBJ and make it available for anyone by sharing a web link. Our WebView service provides browser access to your exported scenes and other people will need just the web browser and the link to view it. You can store up to 10 scenes, you can remove old scenes and put new as you wish. Using this feature is quite simple: 1. Export your scene as OBJ: in 3D Visioner window, use "Disk" button 2. Log in to WebView customer portal: OrderID can be found in your 3D Visioner purchase receipt e-mail 3. Upload your OBJ files into any free slot 4. When upload is completed, you will see a short link for this slot 5. Sent this link you anyone whom you would like to see your 3D scene in a web browser - In case if you need more than 10 slots, you could purchase an extension in our e-shop. - WebView content will be available as long as you have valid 3D Visioner subscription: WebView expiration date is the same as your 3D Visioner subscription .

WiseViewer application

You can save the 3D scene of your project in Wise Dimensions 3D file and send it to others. To view it, point them to download free Wise 3D Viewer from our site. The Wise 3D Viewer is a standalone application that does not require Visio. It includes all of the viewing functionality of 3D Visioner without editing and saving capabilities. To save the project in *.w3s press “Save As” button on 3D scene window and choose Wise3D Project (*.w3s). img34 . .

Import options


Custom 3D models

“Custom Models” feature available in Enterprise edition allows you to import your own 3D models, associate with Visio shapes and use them in your drawings to visualize any design that is relevant to your domain. 3D Visioner 2014 supports .X and OBJ formats for models import. X format is the former native DirectX 3D format. See “X File Reference” in MSDN for the specification. Stock 3D models are available in the Internet, commercial or free, on digital media catalog sites, for example, is one of well-known such sources. OBJ format is more common and it is available as an export option in many 3D design applications. In 3D Visioner 2014 you can select ".obj" as a file type in import dialog and point to a model in OBJ format. Texturing is supported via .mtl files. Pay attention to keep .mtl files together with related .obj file. In case if textures not showing properly during import, modify invalid path references to .mtl files inside .obj files and restart import. .

Creating 3D models

For best results, please fulfill those conditions for custom 3D models: .

Coloring 3D models

3D Visioner supports Fill Color and Transparency for Shapes so that it applies the same style and color to 3D object as set for its parent 2D shape in Visio drawing. This makes possible to have a wall, a sofa or a shelf in any color you choose. However for many objects some parts should retain certain color, such as green color for plant leaves, red and blue for water knobs, et cetera. In this example image kitchen sink has purple tint as set on its Visio shape, while knobs and metal parts have fixed colors. To achieve the same and make your model reacting on Shape colors, please use following principle:

Please refer to the following code fragment of 3D model .X file:

template Material {
  ColorRGBA faceColor; // Face color = ambient color
  FLOAT power;
  ColorRGB specularColor;
  ColorRGB emissiveColor;
  Material Material__0 {
  0.639216;0.886275;0.854902;1.000000;; // Metal parts, always gray
  Material Material__1 { // Red knob, always red
  Material Material__2 { // Blue knob, always blue
  Material Material__3 { // Sink, will be painted in the Fill color of its Visio shape 

Importing 3D models

1. Create a Visio drawing and include some shapes in it 2. In 3D Visioner tab, select Shape Manager in menu 3. Select desired shape, click “Edit or assign…” button 4. Click “Add..” and point to the 3D model’s .X file or .OBJ file


Model alignment

During import it is possible to change rotation angles and model-to-shape alignment via X and Y offsets in relation to the target shape, shown as a flat thumbnail on the floor level. It is recommended to adjust model scale via "Scale to the shape size" button first.

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Camera FlyView

 Visioner 2014 FlyView edition brings possibility to establish a waypoint route through the scene and launch camera to follow it and record video. You can see in 3D Visioner "About" dialog the label of your edition in "Available features" line.


Setting camera path

To create a path that your camera will follow and fly through in the 3D scene add a number of waypoints in your 2D scene, using "Add Waypoint". Select waypoint parameters according to your needs, defining Elevation and Pitch & yaw angles. Values of Pitch and Yaw are in degrees, range from -180 to 180. Waypoints will form trajectory line, traversing through them as a spline curve. Speed of a waypoint will influence speed change when camera passes through. You can edit a waypoint by selecting needed waypoint and then activating "Edit Waypoint" choice from the 3D Visioner ribbon menu. Note: elevation is in relative units, try to use larger drawing scale (1:200) in Page Setup so that you have more range of values to select into elevation field. Meaning that otherwise you get elevation 0 is on the floor, and elevation 2 is already too high. To avoid this and get better range, use larger drawing scale (File->Print->Page Setup->Drawing Scale). AddWaypoint You can move waypoint shapes and the camera path trajectory will change accordingly. When a waypoint is selected, a camera wireframe model is shown over its marker in 3D scene. You can select "Camera View" button on the ribbon menu and 3D Visioner window will show the perspective of the camera at this waypoint. Select next/previous waypoint using toolbar buttons or manually selecting them with mouse click on their markers on the drawing or 3D scene. waypoints_menu Show Route options allows to show or hide waypoint markers and trajectory line in 3D scene: show_route .

Playback camera path

Pressing Play button will launch the camera on the waypoint path. If Camera View button is switched, the scene will be shown from the perspective of the camera. In normal view mode, you will see the camera traveling in 3D scene along its path. .

Video recording

Pressing Record button will open selection for video frame size and frame rate. You can select between 3 widely used resolutions: 640x480, 1280x720, 1920x1080 and framerates of 30 or 50 FPS. show_route After selecting the Visioner will block the controls, resize its 3D window to the selected size and start generation of video frames. Please note that with the sophisticated camera route with large number of waypoints video creation may take considerable amount of time, up to several hours. At the end of frame generation, video compression will start. Video encoding is performed by efficient MPEG-4 FFMpeg codec, freely available from this link: Please download it and extract the archive to any place ("Program Files"). At the first video recording 3D Visioner will prompt for FFMpeg location -- please point to "ffpmeg.exe" file that is in /bin subfolder of FFMpeg location. FFMpeg will invoke own console output window, showing progress of encoding and statistics information. It produces high quality AVI video files in MPEG-4 format compatible with all modern playback systems. . .