VSTX - Microsoft Visio File Format

Last modified by Farooq Sheikh on 2019/10/11 06:07

Files with VSTX extensions are drawing template files created with Microsoft Visio 2013 and above. These VSTX files provide starting point for creating Visio drawings, saved as .VSDX files, with default layout and settings. In general, Visio files are used to create drawings that contain visual objects, flow charts, UML diagram, information flow, organizational charts, software diagrams, network layout, database models, objects mapping and other similar information. Files generated using Visio can also be exported to different file formats such as PNGBMPPDF and others. Programs that open VSTX files include Microsoft Visio for Windows and Mac that let you open these files for viewing and editing. It also allows to convert Visio file formats to a number of other formats.

VSTX File Format

The "X" in the file extension refer to the OpenOffice file format that was introduced by Microsoft as a ZIP archive file format for replacement of binary file formats supported earlier. VSTX files, thus, are based on the XML file format of OpenOffice specifications unlike the .VST file format which is in binary format.

VSDX files are based on the Open Packaging Conventions and XML and developers can benefit from this format by learning how to work with these file programmatically. The format inherits many of the same XML structures as its parts from the Visio XML Drawing file format (.vdx). Interoperability with Visio files is greatly increased since third-party software can manipulate Visio files at a file format level.

Certain other file types that comprise the Visio 2013 file format include:

  • .vsdm (Visio macro-enabled drawing)
  • .vssx (Visio stencil)
  • .vssm (Visio macro-enabled stencil)
  • .vstx (Visio template)
  • .vstm (Visio macro-enabled template)

Under the hood, the Visio 2013 file format uses a structured means to store application data together with related resources in an archive such as ZIP. The ZIP file can be extracted using any standard extraction utility where it contains other types of files as well. You can just replace the .VSTX file extension with .ZIP in windows explore to see the contents inside the VSTX file.

Each Visio file is termed as package that holds other files or parts. A package part can be an XML file, an image or even a VBA solution.The parts within the package can be devided into "document" and "relationship" parts. 


The document parts contain the actual content and metadata of the Visio file, like the name of the file, the first page and all of the shapes that it contains, and even the data connections for the shapes. Images and text files within the package are considered document parts.


The relationship parts of a Visio file are stored in "_rels" folder and describe how the parts within the package are related to each. It also provides the structure of the file. A standalone XML document uses the parent/child relationship of elements to determine the relationship of entities to each other. A valid Visio 2013 file format contains the correct set of parts and the package contains the relationships between the parts.

Relationship parts are XML documents that describe the relationships between different document parts within the package. They define an association between two items: a specified source (defined by the name and location of the relationship file) and a specified target document part. For example, relationship parts are used to describe which shape masters are associated with the file, how pages relate to the file and to each other, or how images and objects relate to a specific page.



Created by Kashif Iqbal on 2019/09/10 02:59