Microsoft KB Archive/254653

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PSS ID Number: 254653

Article Last Modified on 6/4/2003

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Visio 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Visio 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Visio 2000 Technical Edition
  • Microsoft Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visio Standard 5.0x
  • Microsoft Visio Professional 5.0x
  • Microsoft Visio Technical 5.0x
  • Microsoft Visio Enterprise 5.0x

This article was previously published under Q254653


When you print shapes with patterned fills, the fill pattern appears to be solid, especially on high-resolution printers, such as a Hewlett Packard LaserJet 4.


In Visio, you cannot define the density of fill patterns because Visio uses standard Windows Graphical Device Interface (GDI) patterned fills. These patterned fills are device dependent;therefore, the only way to change them is to change the device settings. For example, you can decrease the printer resolution. In all versions of Windows, the fill attribute consists of an 8x8-pixel square grid filled with dots that are turned on or off. The higher the resolution the smaller the dots are. The same set of on/off bits that displays on the screen (VGA=approx. 95 dpi) is sent to your 300 or 600 dpi laser printer. Because dots are smaller at a higher resolution, more dots fit in the same area, which in turn makes the density of the pattern finer. When you print this pattern on a 600 dpi printer, it can look the same as a gray fill.

Why Don't Visio Products Have Custom Fills?

A Windows-based program can have custom patterned fills, but adding this functionality to Visio at this time would slow the speed of Visio. If a future release of Windows provides better bitmap printing capabilities, future versions of Visio products are likely to support custom fills.


Although you cannot control the density of fill patterns in Visio, there are a few tips that can give you better printed results.

  • If you are printing to a plotter, you will get the best results with fill patterns numbered 2-7.
  • Depending on your printer, sometimes changing the video driver to the standard VGA that comes with Windows improves printed fill patterns.
  • Decrease the printer resolution to make the dots in the fill larger.

Additional query words: prb

Keywords: kbprb kbprint KB254653
Technology: kbVisio2000Search kbVisio500xSearch kbVisioSearch kbZNotKeyword3