Network Diagrams: Drawing Freehand Curves (and then fixing them)

Draw a line freehand…. yeah its gonna look bad

Select the Freeform tool from menu bar:


Make your best attempt at drawing a nice curve while using a mouse. Yeah, right, drawing with a mouse is specialist skill ….


Now try to get it as close as possible to the connection point on the object on the right.


So now you have a line that looks something like this:


Deleting Freeform points

The line has a number of green dots with crosses. Lets delete the points on the line that are causing it to deviate. Position your cursor over the a point and click to select (the cursor will change to crosshairs when you are above the point):


And now press the delete key to remove the point. Visio will recalculate the Bezier curve and straighten it up.


Lets move some points around

So our line isn’t quite in the shape that we want. We can select and move the points around until the line is in the shape that we want:


Wrap Up

And now you have a proper looking line. The freehand tool has a couple of other possibilities that can make it even more useful and I think I will save them for another blog post.

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.

  • Mike

    Not sure I get the point? Why not just use a curved connector?


    • Greg Ferro

      Curved Connectors are fixed shape and you can’t control where they go. Sometimes you need to go around things in a very large network diagram and this is the right tool to use in that case.

  • shef

    Greg, as I know, you use Mac. How you use Visio in such case? You have dual-boot configuration?

    • MrPaul

      He probably uses parallels, vmware, bootcamp, or some other virtualization software.

    • Greg Ferro

      MrPaul is correct. I use Parallels for emulation. I tried Vmware but didn’t like it so much. I think Parallels is faster and doesn’t crash so much.

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