Task Panes provide additional functionality to the user interface. You can use task panes to customize or add parameters to an object. The Shapes pane which is there by default, is an example of a Task Pane.
Task Panes can be floating or docked and can be resized as needed. Apart from the Shapes task pane, there are quite a few other panes, which can be accessed from the Task Panes dropdown menu in the View tab of the Ribbon.
The Shape Data pane allows entry of additional shape metadata. This metadata is contextual and depends on the shape being selected.
The Pan & Zoom pane allows to navigate and zoom to any part of the drawing easily. Pan & Zoom’s slider makes it easy to exactly zoom into a specific part of the diagram. This is especially useful while working with complex diagrams.
The Size & Position pane allows you to change the dimensions of a selected shape. This allows to set precise measurements of a shape. You can also change the angle of orientation of the shape and the pin position from which the measurements are to be considered.
The Navigation pane is available only in the Office 365 version of Visio. It basically lists all the elements of the diagram and makes it easy to navigate to each of them. This is especially useful if the diagram has varied shapes and you want to navigate to a specific shape type. Selecting the name of the shape in the Navigation pane selects it in the canvas.