Microsoft Visio Viewer
Microsoft Office is definitely one of the most comprehensive suites available for the Windows operating system, but one of its disadvantages is that its generated file formats are not natively supported by the OS, meaning they cannot be accessed without a dedicated application, not even to preview their contents.
When it comes to previewing the diagrams created using Microsoft Visio, one can use a standalone tool that opens these files or they can use Microsoft Visio Viewer, an app that allows users to rely on their Internet Explorer to view the diagrams, without being able to modify their contents.
How it works
In other words, after Microsoft Visio Viewer is installed, when tying to open any Visio file, the currently installed version of Internet Explorer launches and it displays the chart.
Supported Microsoft Visio file formats
The benefit of using IE for opening files with the VSD, VSS, VST, VDX, VSX, and VTX extensions is that users get a familiar environment to manage their documents, and do not need to learn new hotkey combinations or get used to other menus.
Microsoft Visio Viewer also offers users the possibility to enlarge the chart to allow them to carefully analyze each detail or to zoom out to get a clear overview of all the components of the diagram. The properties of each shape can be explored, along with the display settings or the markup and layer ones.
Where it falls short
Considering it is basically a viewer, the software does not support stencils, rulers, guides, panes, or guide points, therefore these are not displayed. The same applies to embedded DGN drawings, hyperlinks associated with the drawing page, rotated pages or the drawing page properties.
To conclude, Microsoft Visio Viewer can help users preview their Visio diagrams and explore them within any windows of Internet Explorer they might have on their computer. However, no editing actions are supported, so additional tools are required for modifying the charts.
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