Visio by DPTPB: Maintaining font size while ungrouping background images

Yesterday I wrote about possible solution for issue related using Windows Enhanced Metafiles, an issue originally identified in post Visio by DPTPB: Reducing size of complex Visio shapes V2.

In my original post I also identified another possible issue with ungrouping an image. This issue is related to the fact that Visio cannot render fonts that are smaller than 1 pt in size. With some images there is some text, like “UID” or “USB”, to label some elements of the image. And once you ungroup that image, the text size suddenly increases.


Problem: Wrong font size used for text after ungrouping an image

Example: Original Image on the bottom, ungrouped image on the top


  • All objects with top image selected, so you can see the it is made of many tiny elements = ungrouped image
  • Text can be found in both images
    • Surrounded by red boxes to be more easily identifiable
  • The font size is too large for the ungrouped image
    • when compared to the original image, where the text nicely fits within the label boxes surrounding the text (USB and VGA)
    • The font size for the text in ungrouped image is now 1 pt
    • it should be smaller to match the original image
    • but since Visio can’t render fonts in smaller size than 1pt
    • it will have to use the smallest font size available

Solution is very simple

Once again one of those moments, why didn’t I figure this out before…

In the above example I used drawing scale 1:16. Now what would happen if  I used more zoomed in scale like 1:2?

Example: the same example but with 1:2 drawing scale instead of 1:16


  • Ungroup original image again
  • changing drawing scale with already ungrouped images does not seem to work
  • neither does copying already ungrouped images from 1:16 scale page to 1:2 scale page
  • And by magic the text in both images is now the same size
  • Why?
  • With 1:2 scale Visio can render the font size now correctly, as it has some room to play with the font size
  • The font size in ungrouped image is now 4,5 pt
  • So this could be done also with some scale between 1:16 and 1:2, where the font size would end up any size larger than 1 pt

Example: lets try 1:8


  • Nope, fairly close, but the text in ungrouped image is slightly larger and misplaced
  • font size is 1 pt

Example: how about 1:6?


  • Yes, maybe, the font in both images appears to be the same size
  • However with top image (ungrouped) text seems to have moved slightly to right
    • Font size is now: 1,03 pt
      • Visio had some room for rendering the font
      • Not so round number, unlikely that the original image was created at this scale
    • With 1:2 scale font size is nice round number :4,5, more likely candidate for scale used while creating the original image

Let try some other original shape

Example: 1:16


  • Lots of text in with wrong font size with the ungrouped image (top image)
    • “1”,”2″,”MGMT”,”UID”, “UID LED”

Example 1:6


  • Very close, but with ungrouped image “MGMT” text might be slightly larger
  • But font size is 1,31 pt, so Visio was not hitting the 1 pt limitation
  • Not sure what is going on

Example 1:2


  • Even closer, hard to see any difference in the font sizes
  • However it seems that the text has moved slightly to right with the ungrouped (top) image
  • Font size is now 3,93 pt, not so round number. Either the developer of the original image was using not so round numbers for font sizes or scale might have been something like 1:2.1


While not a perfect solution, using 1:2 scale when ungrouping images seems to retain the font size correctly.

Why not perfect?

In some cases the text on the ungrouped images seems to move horizontally to the right. However this movement is so tiny that it is not noticeable, unless you have the original image right next the ungrouped image and compare the images.

Close enough, another Visio mystery solved



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