Microsoft Visio Professional 2003

Microsoft Visio Professional 2003
  • Microsoft Visio Professional 2003
  • Microsoft Visio Professional 2003
  • Microsoft Visio Professional 2003
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5


  • Easy and intuitive diagramming, tight integration with Office.


  • Professional add-ins may be excess for smaller users.

Bottom Line

An essential tool for frequent users of business diagrams.

Would you buy this?

Microsoft's Office suite included numerous tools for generating visual information, including the drawing tools in Word, the charting options in Excel and the numerous layout settings in PowerPoint. However, those options aren't suitable for creating more complex diagrams, such as floor plans, engineering diagrams or organisational charts.

Visio fills that gap, providing an extensive range of diagramming tools for creating all sorts of professional visual output. Visio has long made use of an Office-style interface, a process that has only accelerated following Microsoft's acquisition of the original developer in 2000.

Visio is now sold as part of the Office family, but separately from the core package. For this review, we examined the Professional Version, which is somewhat pricier ($862 for new users or $433 for upgrades) but includes a much wider range of chart and diagram types, including engineering layouts, network rack diagrams, floor plan options, and extra options for IT professionals such as software engineers, database designers and network administrators. Many users will be just as satisfied with the Standard release, which excludes those extra diagramming options but still includes every type of visual most average users will want and is considerably cheaper ($348 for new users and $173 for upgrades).

Whatever type of diagram you want to create, Visio uses an easy-to-understand system of templates that come complete with all the options you're likely to require. The floor plan template, for instance, includes building elements such as walls, doors and cabling. These can be dragged onto the main plan, resized as required, and connected to other elements. Each element acts intelligently depending on its type (so if you move a wall, for instance, the associated door will also move). More advanced options allow you to associate executable scripts with diagram elements and export them online for use as (for instance) process maps.

As well as the copious volumes of templates in the main program, additional templates can be downloaded from the Office Online site. Well-designed tutorials take you through the main program elements, although basic diagram creation is intuitive enough to not really require this.

Files are saved in VSD format, but can also be exported in other formats (including JPG, TIF, AutoCAD and HTML). A free Visio viewer is available so you can share your creations with other users who don't have the main Visio viewer.

While the price is probably high enough to deter casual purchasers, Visio represents excellent value for money, and has matured into an essential tool for professionals who frequently find themselves needing to create diagrams.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?