Bevel* cells in the Visio shapesheet?

Recently I was exploring the new Visio 2013 shapesheet and came across a series of cells starting with Bevel*.

Thanks to Jim Sun on the Visio team, I received the following answer:

The cells in the Bevel Properties row are grouped into 6 concepts:

  •  Top bevel (BevelTopType, BevelTopWidth, BevelTopHeight)
  • Bottom bevel (BevelBottomType, BevelBottomWidth, BevelBottomHeight)
  • Depth (BevelDepthColor, BevelDepthSize)
  • Contour (BevelContourColor, BevelContourSize)
  • Material (BevelMaterialType)
  • Lighting (BevelLightingType, BevelLightingAngle)

These cells all correspond to settings in the “3-D Format” section of the Format Shape pane. You can quickly experiment through the UI to determine how the different settings affect the shapes. Please note that Bevels are expensive in terms in rendering performance (compared to non-beveled shapes) and a diagram may be overwhelming if all shapes are beveled, so you may want to use bevel sparingly.

Top Bevel

Controls the bevel on the top face of the shape. The top face is fully visible to the screen by default without 3D rotation.

BevelTopType – Enum controlling the type of bevel face:

BevelTopWidth: Point or inch measurement controlling how much space the bevel is allowed to consume around the border of the shape.

BevelTopHeight: Point or inch measurement controlling how tall the bevel is in 3-dimensional space.

Bottom Bevel

Controls the bevel on the bottom face of the shape. The bottom face is not visible to the screen by default without 3D rotation. The cells for the bottom bevel operate in the same way as top bevel.


Creates 3-dimensional “thickness” that is on a normal vector to the bottom-face of the shape. Please note that a top or bottom bevel is not a necessary prerequisite to applying Depth.

BevelDepthSize: Point or inch measurement that determines how thick the depth is.

BevelDepthColor: Specifies the color of the sides of the “thickness” created by Depth. Please note that this color may be modified by the type of lighting and material that is chosen for this shape.


Creates an outline around all edges of a 3-dimensional shape. Requires either the Depth or the Bevel effect to be active in order to render, since it requires that the shape has a non-zero z-axis value.

BevelContourSize: Point or inch measurement that determines the weight of the outline.

BevelContourColor: Specifies the color of the outline.


Specifies a material composition for the shape to emulate (e.g. Plastic, Metal). The material type primarily affects how the light source colors the shape, as different material have different reflective properties.

BevelMaterialType: Enum controlling the material type:


Specifies different light rig setups, which vary on several properties including the number of light sources, location, and type (e.g. neutral, warm, cool).

BevelLightingType: Enum controlling the different light rig presets:

BevelLightingAngle: An angle controlling the rotation of the light source around the shape.

There are also some other areas to explore:

Multi-stop gradients (line and fill)
Reflection, glow, shadows
3D rotation
Rounded Corners (it’s a little tricky to find, it’s available in the line setting)

More fodder for future blogs.

John Marshall… Visio MVP

Published by johnvisiomvp

The original Visio MVP. I have worked with the Visio team since 1993

One thought on “Bevel* cells in the Visio shapesheet?

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