TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Kool Tools: OmniGraffle Professional 5

Volume Number: 24 (2008)
Issue Number: 07
Column Tag: Kool Tools

Kool Tools: OmniGraffle Professional 5

by Dennis Sellers

If you're having problems with a design project, don't grapple with it: Graffle it. OmniGraffle, that is. The Mac OS X diagramming application from the Omni Group was recently updated to version 5.0, adding Mac OS X 10.5 ("Leopard") compatibility, faster layout speed and new automatic layout options thanks to the addition of the Graphviz layout engine.

OmniGraffle lets you drag and drop to create flow charts, org charts, network diagrams, family trees, project processes, office layouts–pretty much anything you can think of that can be represented by symbols and lines. The Leopard compatibility in version 5.0 means that, among other things, OmniGraffle Pro supports Mac OS X 10.5's Quick Look preview feature. With Leopard's Quick Look, you can view the contents of a file without even opening it. In other words, like many other file types, you can look at OmniGraffle Pro 5 files in Leopard even if the Omni Group software isn't open.

In the latest version several of the standard OmniGraffle tools have been beefed up, including the line tools. OmniGraffle 5 includes Bézier lines, so you can create custom shapes with lines made up of curves, straight lines, and control points. The new version also adds a "mini inspector" that makes the most common inspector controls more accessible. You can change object size, location, fill, stroke and other key attributes right at the top of a document window.

The latest version of OmniGraffle offers support for multiple page ("canvas") documents. You can choose, add, duplicate, and remove canvases using the status bar or the Canvases inspector. Both the status bar and the Canvas inspector depict the various canvases in icon mode; this lets you see which shapes are on which canvases. Canvases can be different sizes, and can be rotated 90 degrees when printed. You can mix landscape and portrait modes.


Outlining has been enhanced in OmniGraffle Pro 5. There's improved integration with the Omni Group's OmniOutliner, which–as you can probably guess from the name–is a tool for creating, collecting and organizing information. You can use OmniGraffle's outline styles as filters if you import OmniOutliner documents, by mapping styles to your OmniOutliner document structure. When you enter text information in OmniGraffle's Outline view, the graphical objects that are created can be styled and restyled in a variety of ways. The software can even associate a different style with each level in your outline.

OmniGraffle Pro 5 has improved import and export options. For example, a vector PICT export format is now available. OmniGraffle can both copy as vector PICT and export to that format; this makes it easier to do things such as copy and paste between OmniGraffle diagrams and applications such as Microsoft Word or PowerPoint. Hyperlinks are supported on export to PDF, as is exporting files with multiple canvases as a single, multiple-page PDF file.

With Smart Guides, when you move a shape, distance markers pop up and tell you when your new shape is going to form an equally-spaced row or column with any other shapes. The Automatic Layout inspector rearranges your diagram according to rules you specify. For example, you can choose "hierarchical" to lay out your document in the familiar "tree" format. Force-directed, radial, and circular layout styles are also available.

With its updated Visio compatibility, OmniGraffle Professional 5 can import Microsoft Visio VSD files directly with continued support for import and export of Visio XML files, as well as import of Visio stencils and templates. In fact, this feature works so well you may consider leaving Visio behind entirely.

OmniGraffle Pro has manual guides to help you in laying out your drawings. Guides can be dragged out onto your canvas from the top, bottom, or side; the shapes snap to the guides that you place.

OmniGraffle has a large community of users that develop and share free stencils. Version 5.0 of the software has new local and online search capabilities in the stencil window that makes it simpler to search, organize and download these stencils. You can retool the shapes from the office layout stencil, as well as stretch and rotate an existing graphic with one of the shape tools. Also, OmniGraffle Pro 5 offers the ability to search Graffletopia, a third-party library of free OmniGraffle stencils.

Overall improvements in version 5 have made the process of drawing and creating in OmniGraffle easier and more intuitive than ever. Anyone who has to diagram anything–from a process chart to a web site mock-up–should download the OmniGraffle 5 demo and see exactly what the software has to offer.

OmniGraffle 5 costs US $99.95. Upgrades from OmniGraffle 4 are available for $39.95. OmniGraffle Professional 5 is available for $199.95 with upgrades from OmniGraffle Professional 4 costing $74.95.

Available from www.omnigroup.com

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Pocket Arcade Story (Games)
Pocket Arcade Story 1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.00 (iTunes) Description: Here comes a new challenger: it's the arcade simulation game you've been waiting for! Build your very own gaming... | Read more »
How to get coins faster in Rodeo Stamped...
There comes a time in a cowboy or cowgirl's life when all the riding and lassoing skills in the world aren't enough. You're going to need some cold, hard cash to keep your sky zoo expanding in Rodeo Stampede. [Read more] | Read more »
How to out-do Cam Newton in Can You Dab?
The thing about dance crazes is that you're never really sure when they've run their course. Take the Dab, for instance. Propelled by its adoption as the touchdown celebration of choice for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, the Dab seemed... | Read more »
Artik Games releases Splashy Cats for An...
Splashy Cats had us hooked from the title alone, and when we found out the game was literally just zig-zagging one of our favourite pop-culture references, guised as a playable cat character, down a river – our appetites were whetted to say the... | Read more »
Battle Cars (Games)
Battle Cars 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Welcome to the world of Battle Cars. Battle Cars is a classic arcade top-down racing game with fast mini cars and funny weapons to... | Read more »
How to get started with live.ly
One could be forgiven for thinking that there are already plenty of streaming video apps out there. It's just that the App Store charts would insist that you're mistaken. [Read more] | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede: Guide to all Savannah an...
A "gotta catch 'em all" joke seems appropriate here, even though we're talking animals in Rodeo Stampede and not pocket monsters. By now you've probably had plenty of rides, tamed some animals and built yourself a pretty nice zoo | Read more »
Is there cross-platform play in slither....
So you've sunken plenty of hours into crawling around in slither.io on your iPhone or iPad. You've got your stories of tragedy and triumph, the times you coiled four snakes at one time balanced out by the others when you had a length of more than... | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede guide to running a better...
In Rodeo Stampede, honing your skills so you can jump from animal to animal and outrun the herd as long as possible is only half the fun. Once you've tamed a few animals, you can bring them home with you. [Read more] | Read more »
VoxSyn (Music)
VoxSyn 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: VoxSyn turns your voice into the most flexible vocal sound generator ever. Instantly following even subtle modulations of pitch and... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Why Use Indie Opera And Vivaldi Instead Of Sa...
For many years my web browser workhorses were various permutations and spinoffs of the Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox Open Source platform, and the Norwegian indie browser Opera, which I took a shine to... Read more
Western Digital Launches Worlds Fastest 256GB...
At the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai Western Digital Corporation this week introduced a new suite of 256 gigabyte (GB) microSD cards, which includes the new 256GB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I... Read more
KeyCue 8.1 Integrates With Typinator To Displ...
Ergonis Software has released KeyCue 8.1, a new version of the company’s keyboard shortcut cheat sheet. KeyCue 8 introduced a new way to define a wide variety of triggers, which can be used to... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
21-inch 2.8GHz iMac on sale for $1199, save $...
Amazon has the 21″ 2.8GHz iMac (model #MK442LL/A) on sale for $1199.99 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Apple refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for up to $50-$100 off M...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $849 $50 off list price - 11″ 1.... Read more
Brexit Vote Result Forecast To Slash UK 2016...
Uncertainty and economic volatility can be expected to increase over the next nine months, as the Brexit and concerns over the future of the EU hit IT investment, say Canalys market analysts, with... Read more
13-inch 256GB MacBook Air on sale for $1149,...
Amazon has the 2016 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (model MMGG2LL/A) on sale for $1149.99 including free shipping. Their price is also $50 off MSRP. Read more
Haven App Launches New Age Of Wirless 911 Eme...
Haven from RapidSOS represents a transformation in access to emergency services from a phone call solely dependent on voice to a robust data connection for voice, text, medical/demographic data.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Willow...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.