Network Diagrams: VLANs and IP Subnets

One of the most common items that we need to draw are VLANs and Layer 3 segment and there is many ways to create a useful shape. In this post, I want to look at creating a simple, but useful shape that is a single element, and thus easy to use.

Draw a simple line

The first step is to draw a simple line from left to right using the drawing tools.


Now right click on the line, and select the Format, Line (as shown)


What we really want is for this shape to look contained, so it needs some ends. So click on the Line Ends, Begin :


and repeat the same thing, selecting the same design elements for both ends. I use a open square box to leave lots of white space on the page (which makes your drawing more pleasant) and to save ink when printing. Now make the Line Ends a bit larger.


And now your will have the following shape:


Wrap up

Because this shape is a single element, and not a collection of other elements, it is easier to use and will be more flexible in most diagrams. Your connectors will stick to it, and it will bond to the Visio grid in a consistent manner.

Other Posts in A Series On The Same Topic

  1. Network Diagrams: Drawing Overlay Network Layers (14th March 2014)
  2. Network Diagrams: Choosing Better and Free Fonts (10th January 2014)
  3. My New Diagram Colour Scheme "Old Disco Style" (24th September 2013)
  4. On Diagrams and Information (10th September 2013)
  5. Colour Blindness, Network Diagrams and Reliability (3rd March 2011)
  6. Designer or Engineer, Artist or Painter (19th January 2010)
  7. Network Diagrams: Rotating Text on a Line (1st October 2009)
  8. Network Diagrams: Tips for Printing from Visio (22nd September 2009)
  9. Network Diagrams:Zones on a diagram with Visio shape union (31st July 2009)
  10. Network Diagrams: Drawing complex VLAN Networks with IP Addressing (7th July 2009)
  11. Network Diagrams: Drawing Freehand Curves (and then fixing them) (23rd March 2009)
  12. Network Diagrams:Aligning Shapes (12th March 2009)
  13. Network Diagrams:Locking the Background Shape (10th March 2009)
  14. Network Diagrams: Labelling an VLAN/IP Segment (9th March 2009)
  15. Network Diagrams: VLANs and IP Subnets (8th March 2009)
  16. Network Diagrams: Drawing the Background Shape (6th March 2009)
  17. On the Art of Network Diagrams and Presentation (4th March 2009)
About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

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