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

LaunchBar 6.9 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
MacFamilyTree 8.2.1 - Create and explore...
MacFamilyTree gives genealogy a facelift: modern, interactive, convenient and fast. Explore your family tree and your family history in a way generations of chroniclers before you would have loved.... Read more
Spotify 1.0.57.474. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
VOX 2.8.26 - Music player that supports...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
beaTunes 5.0.1 - Organize your music col...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
LibreOffice 5.3.4.2 - Free, open-source...
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
Sparkle Pro 2.2 - $79.99
Sparkle Pro will change your mind if you thought building websites wasn't for you. Sparkle is the intuitive site builder that lets you create sites for your online portfolio, team or band pages, or... Read more
calibre 3.1.1 - Complete e-book library...
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
calibre 3.1.1 - Complete e-book library...
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
Sparkle Pro 2.2 - $79.99
Sparkle Pro will change your mind if you thought building websites wasn't for you. Sparkle is the intuitive site builder that lets you create sites for your online portfolio, team or band pages, or... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This War of Mine gets a new ending and m...
This War of Mine just got a big new update, featuring free DLC that adds a new ending to the game, among other exciting changes. The update is celebrating the game's two-year release anniversary. Apart from the new ending, which will be quite... | Read more »
Summon eight new heroes in Fire Emblem H...
Nintendo keeps coming at us with Fire Emblem Heroes updates, and it doesn't look like that trend is stopping anytime soon. The folks behind the game have just announced the new War of the Clerics Voting Gauntlet, expected to start next Tuesday. [... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
iOS publishers are pulling out all the stops this week -- there's a huge number of seriously great games at discounted prices this week. Let's not waste any time and get right down to business. [Read more] | Read more »
The House of da Vinci (Games)
The House of da Vinci 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enter The House of Da Vinci, a new must-try 3D puzzle adventure game. Solve mechanical puzzles, discover hidden... | Read more »
Solve the disappearance of history’s gre...
Blue Brain Games invites you to indulge in an immersive hands-on 3D puzzle adventure in similar vein to The Room series, with its debut release The House of Da Vinci. Set during the historic period of the Italian Renaissance (when Leonardo himself... | Read more »
Age of Rivals (Games)
Age of Rivals 3.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 3.3 (iTunes) Description: Deep civilization-building strategy in a fast-paced card game! | Read more »
Panthera Frontier (Games)
Panthera Frontier 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Angry Birds Evolution beginner's gu...
Angry Birds changes things up a fair bit in its latest iteration, Angry Birds Evolution. The familiar sling-shot physics mechanics are still there, but the game now features team-based gameplay, RPG elements, and a new top-down view. With all of... | Read more »
Sega Forever is for the retro game fans
Sega is launching a new retro games service titled Sega Forever, in a move that's sure to delight games enthusiasts with a bit of nostalgia. Sega's releasing five classic games for free. The titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II,... | Read more »
The Little Acre (Games)
The Little Acre 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

ABBYY TextGrabber 6 for iOS Implements Instan...
ABBYY has announced the release of TextGrabber 6.0.0, an important feature update to the company’s productivity app developed for iOS and Android devices. TextGrabber 6.0 now offers Real-Time... Read more
vPhone, First Smartphone That Can’t Be Lost,...
Austin, Texas based Hypori has introduced the vPhone, a virtual smartphone that affords every business user the benefits of separate work and personal phones, conveniently delivered on a single... Read more
Save this weekend with 2016 refurbished MacBo...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros by as much as $590 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
New 27-inch 3.4GHz iMac on sale for $1699, sa...
MacMall has the new 2017 27″ 3.4GHz iMac (MNE92LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1699 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Clearance 2016 MacBook Pros available for up...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $400 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple Ranks 9th In comScore Top 50 U.S. Digit...
comScore, Inc. has released its monthly ranking of U.S. online activity at the top digital media properties for May 2017 based on data from comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform. * Entity has... Read more
10.5-inch iPad Pros available for up to $20 o...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 10.5″ iPad Pros available for up to $20 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 64GB iPad Pro WiFi: $649 - 256GB iPad Pro WiFi: $749 - 512GB... Read more
Three Off-The-Beaten-Track iOS Apps That Dese...
One of the great things about using iPads and iPhones is the vast selection of apps available for most anything you want or need to do. The three outlined in this article have been in my core app... Read more
Apple No. 1 Spot In Gartner Top 100 Vendors i...
Gartner, Inc. has unveiled the top global 100 vendors in IT in 2016 based on their revenue across IT (excluding communication services) and component market segments. In the Gartner Global Top 100:... Read more
Clearance iMacs available for up to $300 off...
B&H Photo has clearance 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs available starting at $949, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $1999 $300 off original MSRP - 27″... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* News Product Marketing Mgr., Publish...
…organizational consensus on strategy and vision for publisher tools, authoring, and Apple News Format.Carries this strategy and vision across the organization to Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple I...
…integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:Quantitative* Year over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant till v%u00E5r...
…ethics, integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:QuantitativeYear over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.