Import a Device42 Dependency or Topology Chart Into Visio

Have you ever wanted to import one of Device42’s pretty Topology or Dependency Diagrams into Visio to go along with a Microsoft Visio document you’ve assembled? Maybe you’d like to map the impact of a switch outage on the Visio graph featuring the switch, or maybe you’re looking to include a diagram that shows the applications with dependencies on a given piece of hardware in your Visio diagram?


It’s easier that you might think!


The TL;DR is as follows:

1) Export a Topology Chart or Application Map as SVG – You can do this from any Topology page.

2) Import the exported SVG into Microsoft Visio.

Besides a few minor details and a couple of tricks we’ll share, that’s the jist of it! So let’s get to it. Here’s how you can get your favorite Device42 diagram into your next Visio:

The Topology Import Process

  1. Start by bringing up the Application Dependency or Topology chart you are interested in including in your Visio document. [Do this by browsing to anything from an Application Component for dependencies, or a device or server for topology, etc. See the docs for more info] I’ve brought one up that simply shows lab machines running in our VMware DEV environment here at the office.
  2. Select the “Create Image” button from the top of the screen. In the windows that comes up, choose which you’d like to export: either the “Global” or “Local” view, and then choose the export format. You’ll want to choose “SVG”, and then click the “Download button”.
  3. There are two ways to get your exported SVG into Visio. Locate the downloaded SVG file. It will probably be named “devices_diagram.svg” or “OTHERNAME”, and you should be able to find it in your default downloads folder. You should also see it at the bottom of your browser as a recent download, or optionally can hit CTRL + J (or CMD+J on Mac) to open “recent downloads” in Chrome or Firefox (and probably Safari and most other popular browsers, too).
      1. Import the SVG into a new or existing Visio document (best for existing drawings):
        1. Open a new blank (or existing) Visio document. From the “Insert” menu on the ribbon, choose “Pictures”. Choose “Scalable Vector Graphics (*.svg;..) from the dropdown above the “Open” button:
        2. Browse to the SVG file you exported, and choose “Open”. Visio will insert it into your drawing!
      2. Open the SVG directly within Visio (best for a new drawing):
        1. Launch Visio and Choose “Open”. Select “Scalable Vector Graphic” from the drop down, and browse to your file:
        2. Simply select your file, and press “Open”. Your Device42 Topology is now available in Microsoft Visio!

Not only does this simple process allow you to make convenient additions to your Visio drawings, but the topology charts imported from Device42 are fully editable!


Each piece that makes up the SVG is editable, meaning updating text, an arrow, or repositioning any or all items can be done natively in Visio! Need to rename a server, or remove an application or dependency to mock up effects of a possible change, or illustrate an outage scenario? Simply click the desired item and move it [or delete it!], or text item and edit it …

Modifying an imported Device42 Toplogy:

You’ll notice that ‘USNHCTVH006’ has been moved from the top, and that ‘USNHCTVMWPROD’ now reads “NEW NAME HERE!”


Save time on your next Visio presentation, and start with an automatically generated diagram from Device42.



If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post, or email [email protected]. We would love to see how you used this tip in your organization!


If you aren’t already a Device42 user, download your free 30-day trial today!

Share this post

About the author