How to create a flowchart in OmniGraffle 7

Flowcharts are diagrams that use shapes, lines, and connections between the two to convey ideas, processes, and more. Here’s a brand new tutorial to get you started.

OmniGraffle Stories: How Andrew from Lickability architects better apps

We created OmniGraffle because we wanted a powerful tool for building beautiful graphics, diagrams, process charts, and wireframes for websites and apps. Considering all those abilities, and more, up OmniGraffle’s sleeve, we wanted to share some of the interesting and inspiring ways our customers use it.

First up, an iOS developer from a company that has worked with the likes of The New Yorker, Tumblr, and more.

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Andrew Harrison, and I am currently a partner at Lickability.

Star Trek, Star Wars, both, or neither?

Both for different reasons. Star Trek because it’s focused on the characters. It’s an optimistic view into what our world could be like. Star Wars because who doesn’t like lightsabers?

What is OmniGraffle to you—How do you use it at work and/or home?

Omnigraffle, to me, is a great planning and documentation tool. I use it to document existing application architecture for the iOS apps that I build, or to plan out what the architecture should be.

If you could be any character from the Marvel or D.C. universes, who would you be and what would you do with your powers? Would you fight supernatural criminals, or levitate a glass of wine across the living room out of laziness?

Probably Hawkeye or Batman. They go out there every time without a super strength or a suit of armor and do great things. That’s something people in real life can aspire to. I probably wouldn’t fight more than I had to. It’s pretty scary.

What is the coolest or most surprising use of OmniGraffle you’ve heard from another user, or seen written about online?

Being able to drag a .xcodeproj into Omnigraffle and have it diagram out all the classes. I think the first time I saw that my brain broke a little bit.

If there was one OmniGraffle feature you wish you could tell someone about, maybe something other users miss or don’t realize it can do, what would it be?

I like being able to double click on a line to add a point that you can use to curve the line. Not sure if it’s really that hidden, but it’s a nice feature that I find pretty useful.

Do you have a favorite book or TV show? (any genre: fiction, self-help, comic books, non-fiction, etc.)

My favorite TV show is a space opera by the name of Farscape. It’s great.

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself, or say to the readers?

Hi!


We thank Andrew for taking the time to answer our questions and share a little about how OmniGraffle fits into his work. If you have an interesting OmniGraffle story or use case to share, please let us know, and we might feature you on Inside OmniGraffle!

Add margins when exporting selected objects

In OmniGraffle, exporting your current selection is super easy: select Export from the File menu, and then change the “Export area” to “Selection (Current Canvas).” That’s it!

If you’re exporting for the web or an app, you might need an extra 10 pixels on each side. Or maybe it’s print, so inches are preferred: select “Include margin,” enter a value like 20 px or 1 inch, and export. Really easy, really fast.

If you need a transparent background, make sure you have that selected at the top of Export popover.

Use line hops to better illustrate wiring diagrams

Turning on Line Hops is an easy way to differentiate which line is which in your Graffle document—especially on wiring diagrams that might have a close proximity to each other. They add another dimension and make each line distinct from what they cross over.

Here we’re also using color. But if colors (or stroke dash patterns) aren’t useful for a real-world mockup, line hops do wonders!

Line Hops help to differentiate

Come on down to OmniGraffle’s Stenciltown

Got an idea for a project, but need the right visual tools to bring it to life? OmniGraffle ships with a great selection of built-in stencils for all sorts of projects, and you can also create your own. But if you could use a little external help or inspiration, swing by Stenciltown.

A screenshot of Stenciltown.

Stenciltown is a site where you can find a variety of new stencils for all kinds of projects, many of them created by other OmniGraffle users. There’s a watchOS Suite for designing the next great wrist-able app, a Modern Landscape for realizing your next great living room, Flowers for the right occasion, and Hand Drawn Objects for that human touch. Be sure to check out the categories menu (in the top left), there is surely something that can help help jumpstart your project.

If you’re in the mood to inspire others, though, you can always submit your own stencils to the town. Simply sign up for an Omni ID and follow the submission instructions.

We hope Stenciltown can be a useful resource for our OmniGraffle community. As always, let us know what you think in the forums or on Twitter.

Customize OmniGraffle 7.2’s many different Touch Bar screens

Many of us at Omni just got our new MacBook Pros (with Touch Bar). Now it’s time to customize the Touch Bar items available in the apps you use most.

A few have written about how the Touch Bar can help with discoverability in complex apps, but it’s also painfully obvious when you don’t know exactly what one of those Touch Bar icons _does_ do. But if you can access the View › Customize Touch Bar menu item, you can quickly find out and customize the different items an app offers.

In OmniGraffle, there are four different Touch Bar palettes, or screens:

  • Empty (no selection)
  • Shape
  • Line
  • Text (when actively editing text in an object)

Then, configure each palette (individually) by selecting Customize Touch Bar from the View menu bar. Next time you select a shape or a line, your controls are what you decide they are.

OmniGraffle 7.2 is ready for the Touch Bar

Sure, it’s not yet available for purchase…but we’re very excited about the brand new MacBook Pro and its Touch Bar. OmniGraffle’s PM, Dan, writes about the new features included with the Touch Bar release on our blog. With luck we’ll get our new MacBook Pros soon, too. Enjoy!

A few different screens on Touch Bar.