View a Visio file without Visio software

I’ve been sent a .vsdx file to view and I’ve figured out it’s a Visio file – but how can I view it without paying for Visio?”    Chris P, Austin TX.

Anyone can view a Visio file, once you know the trick.

Visio is the diagramming / flowchart part of Microsoft Office.  It’s usually sold in the commercial bundles of Office.

Like other Office programs there was a switch from the older, binary file types (.vsd, .vdx, .vdw,, .vst, .vtx) to the newer, smaller, safer XML based formats (.vsdx, .vsdm,  .vstx, .vstm).  Be especially wary of any files sent in the older file formats because they are more prone to virus infection.

Visio 2016 Viewer

Download the Microsoft Visio 2016 Viewer from here.  It’s free and works with Windows 10, 8.1, 8 and 7 with Internet Explorer.

That’s right the Internet Explorer browser that Microsoft has largely disowned in favor of the Edge browser. ‘IE’ still has some uses.

Once installed, double-click/open any Visio file and it will open in Internet Explorer.  There are some view / zoom options plus layers and comments.