Opening VSS files

Have a problem opening a .VSS file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what VSS files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .VSS file type?

Denoting the Microsoft Visio Stencil (.vss) file type, the filename extension .vss is assigned to stencil files created and used by Microsoft Visio, a proprietary flowchart design and technical drawing solution by Microsoft Corporation that is part of the Microsoft Office suite. In Microsoft Visio, a stencil is a collection of ready-made vector shapes that belong to a given template (.vst) and can be used throughout documents that are based on that template.

Microsoft Visio stencils are saved as .vss files. In binary form, each .vss file contains a series of definitions of shapes or symbols to be used in Microsoft Visio drawings. Internally, the .vss file is an OLE2 Compound Document Storage entity, which is Microsoft's proprietary file format that was used by default for Microsoft Office documents before version 2007. Microsoft Visio continued using the .vss format for stencil files through version 2010, switching later to the newer Office Open XML (OOXML) format (.vssx).

On systems with Microsoft Visio installed, the default location of custom stencil (.vss) files is the %UserProfile%\Documents\My Shapes folder. The .vss file type is silently pre-associated with Microsoft Visio during its installation. Besides Microsoft Visio itself, VSS files can be limitedly imported in other flowcharting software.

Software to open or convert VSS files

You can open VSS files with the following programs: 

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