Change Color Palette Without Using Theme
We create Visio templates that have all of our device graphics (little renders of our products), power system stencils, and brand icons. This way, anyone in our company who wants to create a drawing can open up our template and have correctly sized, colored, and formatted drawing elements.
However, we would also like to be able to set a custom color palette so that we can display our brand colors by default when a user draws a new line, shape, or item that doesn't already exist in our template. The only way we can do this currently is to duplicate and edit a Visio "theme," which allows us to set a custom color palette, but also applies all kinds of features to our graphics, icons, and stencils that we do NOT want and that we cannot find to turn off, in some cases. For instance, it changes all of our brand icons from gray to random colors as soon as we drag them into the workspace. Or, it changes our rounded line ends to square line ends. Or it changes the font on our device graphics to something else when it is pasted into a Word or PowerPoint document later on.
In short--can we please have a way of changing the default color palette individually without having to bastardize a theme to do so?
Peter Ring commented
Also, make interaction between templates, masters and themes more traceable and predictable. Way too much magic in themes in Visio 2016.
Assuming Visio 2016 (or at least 2013):
You can protect masters in your custom stencils from undue theme interaction in a number of ways. Here is the most straightforward:
Enable the Developer tab on the ribbon, Select a master in your custom stencil, right-click and select Edit Master/Edit Master Shape. Select the shape, and in the Developer tab, in the Shape Design group, click Protection. Check "From Theme ..." checkboxes and click OK.
Other ways involve editing ShapeSheets and for example the THEMEGUARD function.
For user drawn shapes, you can set some default properties in a number of not-so-evident ways: http://visguy.com/vgforum/index.php?topic=6985.msg29259#msg29259