Network Diagrams: Labelling an VLAN/IP Segment

Yesterday I covered how to create a simple Visio object that you can use to display a network segment for VLANs or IP subnet which would be useful for a high level or overview type diagram.

Lets assume that we now need to turn this object into something that we can use on a daily basis. That is, we want to add the following details:

  • VLAN name
  • VLAN number
  • IP Subnet
  • VRF name

Detailed Information

The first step is to select the segment and Double Click. This will take you into the text mode:


Lets enter some text for the VLAN number and IP subnet:


This isn’t very useful because the visual part of the line is lost. So double click the text again, and press the enter key to insert a new line.


Now we need to make the line “come through”. By default, Visio inserts the text block with a solid background…we can change that by right clicking the line and select Format, Text,


Now, go Text Block and set the Text Background to be ‘None’ and press OK.


So now our segment object looks like:


When you are in an MPLS network, or need a description, then use the second line to put some more information.


In most diagrams, I would always use the font Arial Narrow so that I can get more text in less space. There is never enough space in a Visio diagram. Check the difference in this graphic.



Again, because this is a single element (not a combined object) it will line up on the grid, select more efficiently and be easier to use.

Other Posts in A Series On The Same Topic

  1. Free Custom Handwriting Font for Network Designs (14th August 2014)
  2. Network Diagrams: Font Selection and Production Context. Choosing Slab or Thin fonts (9th June 2014)
  3. Book Release: Tips on Using Visio To Make Network Diagrams (27th March 2014)
  4. Network Diagrams: Drawing Overlay Network Layers (14th March 2014)
  5. Network Diagrams: Choosing Better and Free Fonts (10th January 2014)
  6. My New Diagram Colour Scheme "Old Disco Style" (24th September 2013)
  7. On Diagrams and Information (10th September 2013)
  8. Colour Blindness, Network Diagrams and Reliability (3rd March 2011)
  9. Designer or Engineer, Artist or Painter (19th January 2010)
  10. Network Diagrams: Rotating Text on a Line (1st October 2009)
  11. Network Diagrams: Tips for Printing from Visio (22nd September 2009)
  12. Network Diagrams:Zones on a diagram with Visio shape union (31st July 2009)
  13. Network Diagrams: Drawing complex VLAN Networks with IP Addressing (7th July 2009)
  14. Network Diagrams: Drawing Freehand Curves (and then fixing them) (23rd March 2009)
  15. Network Diagrams:Aligning Shapes (12th March 2009)
  16. Network Diagrams:Locking the Background Shape (10th March 2009)
  17. Network Diagrams: Labelling an VLAN/IP Segment (9th March 2009)
  18. Network Diagrams: VLANs and IP Subnets (8th March 2009)
  19. Network Diagrams: Drawing the Background Shape (6th March 2009)
  20. On the Art of Network Diagrams and Presentation (4th March 2009)
  • Falk


    It’s nice to see someone show how they draw their network diagrams.

    When we are documenting our systems I always try to put a logical network diagram with the system documentation.

    But I find it hard to do a diagram that are easy to understand, with the info that is important without being cluttered with info..

    Regards Falk

    • Greg Ferro

      I am thinking of writing a mini-book of the topic and using an on demand publisher so you could buy it. I would put as many tips as I know and lessons I have learned.

      Do you think that would work ?

      • Falk

        That sounds like a great idea.

        There are alot of communities that discusses networking in general, but there is still no one that concentrates on sumfink like network diagrams.

        Regards Falk

    • Greg Ferro

      I will try to put some more posts up over the next few days. It seems a lot of people think this is a good topic. Thanks for the feedback.

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  • steve

    Excellent tip, this has been a big frustration for me. Now I need a 1-click macro to do the transparency step and this would be great.

  • Raj

    How to layer the text in the segment so that I can turn says ip addressing on and off?

    Found this blog today, excellent site. Yes, onDemand book specifically on network will be brilliance idea.

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