Understanding Shapes in Visio

TimeTable uses custom Visio shapes, learn how they work.

Shapes vs Stencils

Think of stencils as groups of related shapes.

The WBS Container

2 WBS Containers, 1 nested in the other

A brief history of WBS

WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) are the current standard organizational structure convention used in schedules. Before WBS was used, Activity Codes (think tags or hashtags) were prominent in the construction industry in the 20th century. The 21st century brought in a hierarchy and thus WBS was born.

WBS in TimeTable

Visio uses shapes called containers, that puts a box around other shapes. TimeTable uses containers to group WBS. In the diagram above, there are 2 containers with Phase 1 nested in Construction.

WBS Containers are locked by default, which means no tasks can be moved out or deleted from them without unlocking them first. This can be done in the Ribbon.

Activities, Tasks, & Milestones

Activities, Tasks, and Milestones are all technically the same 2D shape in Visio.

Tasks vs Activities:

Activities are imported and can't be moved in time (horizontally) Tasks are manually placed and can move freely.


Links are 1D shapes that represent the relationship between tasks.