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

 
AAPL
$111.78
Apple Inc.
-0.87
MSFT
$47.66
Microsoft Corpora
+0.14
GOOG
$516.35
Google Inc.
+5.25

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

NeoOffice 2014.6 - Mac-tailored, OpenOff...
NeoOffice is a complete office suite for OS X. With NeoOffice, users can view, edit, and save OpenOffice documents, PDF files, and most Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. NeoOffice 3.x... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.5.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
CleanApp 5.0.0 Beta 5 - Application dein...
CleanApp is an application deinstaller and archiver.... Your hard drive gets fuller day by day, but do you know why? CleanApp 5 provides you with insights how to reclaim disk space. There are... Read more
Monolingual 1.6.2 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
NetShade 6.1 - Browse privately using an...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
calibre 2.13 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Mellel 3.3.7 - Powerful word processor w...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
ScreenFlow 5.0.1 - Create screen recordi...
Save 10% with the exclusive MacUpdate coupon code: AFMacUpdate10 Buy now! ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your... Read more
Simon 4.0 - Monitor changes and crashes...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
BBEdit 11.0.2 - Powerful text and HTML e...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Make your own Tribez Figures (and More)...
Make your own Tribez Figures (and More) with Toyze Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
So Many Holiday iOS Sales Oh My Goodness...
The holiday season is in full-swing, which means a whole lot of iOS apps and games are going on sale. A bunch already have, in fact. Naturally this means we’re putting together a hand-picked list of the best discounts and sales we can find in order... | Read more »
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode f...
It’s Bird vs. Bird in the New PvP Mode for Angry Birds Epic Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minec...
Telltale Games and Mojang Announce Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their...
WarChest and Splash Damage Annouce Their New Game: Tempo Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] WarChest Ltd and Splash Damage Ltd are teaming up again to work | Read more »
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary...
BulkyPix Celebrates its 6th Anniversary with a Bunch of Free Games Posted by Jessica Fisher on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] BulkyPix has | Read more »
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking F...
Indulge in Japanese cuisine in Cooking Fever’s new sushi-themed update Posted by Simon Reed on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Lithuanian developer Nordcurrent has yet again updated its restaurant simulat | Read more »
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to C...
Badland Daydream Level Pack Arrives to Celebrate 20 Million Downloads Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Desti...
Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Destiny, and Beyond – AppSpy Takes a Look at AAA Companion Apps Posted by Rob Rich on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] These day | Read more »
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Fre...
A Bunch of Halfbrick Games Are Going Free for the Holidays Posted by Ellis Spice on December 19th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.6GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Best Buy has lowered their price on the 2014 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro to $1149.99 on their online store for a limited time. That’s $150 off MSRP and the lowest price available for this... Read more
Kodak Returns to CES With New Consumer Produ...
Former photography colossus Kodak is returning to CES for the first time in three years where the Kodak booth (#21818 South Hall 1) will showcase a wide range of innovative, imaging-related products... Read more
Invaluable Launches New Eponymously -Named A...
Invaluable, the world’s largest online live auction marketplace, hhas announced the official launch of the Invaluable app for iPad, now available for download in the iTunes App Store. Invaluable... Read more
IDC Reveals Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Appli...
International Data Corporation (IDC) last week hosted the IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Mobile Enterprise Applications and Solutions 2015 Predictions Web conference. The session provided organizations... Read more
Hello Vino Wine App Launches “Safe Ride Home”...
Hello Vino has announced addition of a new “Get a Safe Ride Home” feature in its Food & Drink app with a direct connection to Uber, the technology platform that connects users with rides. The... Read more
DEVON-technologies Releases DEVONthink To Go...
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho based DEVON-technologies, LLC has updated DEVONthink To Go, its mobile companion to DEVONthink, to version 1.5. The update includes an iOS 8 extension, compatibility with the... Read more
The Apple Store offering free next-day shippi...
The Apple Store is now offering free next-day shipping on all in stock items if ordered before 12/23/14 at 10:00am PT. Local store pickup is also available within an hour of ordering for any in stock... Read more
It’s 1992 Again At Sony Pictures, Except For...
Techcrunch’s John Biggs interviewed a Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) employee, who quite understandably wished to remain anonymous, regarding post-hack conditions in SPE’s L.A office, explaining “... Read more
OtterBox Defender Series Case For iPad mini 3...
With their innovative Touch ID technology and ultrathin profile, the latest tranche of Apple iPads are more desirable than ever, and OtterBox has just announced the Defender Series custom-engineered... Read more
Holiday sales this weekend: MacBook Pros for...
 B&H Photo has new MacBook Pros on sale for up to $300 off MSRP as part of their Holiday pricing. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1699... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Store Leader Program (US) - Apple, I...
…Summary Learn and grow as you explore the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll master our retail business inside and out through training, hands-on experience, Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.