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OmniGraffle is known for being the top diagram and wireframing app for the Mac. It’s gathered a loyal following for a feature set used for everything from app design to drawing up plans for a new kitchen.
OmniGraffle 6’s most visible change is the “one-window” design. Inspectors to edit your document no longer float in separate windows; they live within one window alongside your document. While you can still open inspectors in floating panels of their own, this substantial change means the messy and overlapping windows found in previous versions are gone. Instead, there’s a more carefully considered approach to accessing the tools that live at the heart of OmniGraffle, and full-screen support (which arrived a few versions ago) finally sings.
The push to bring everything into one window is reiterated with the type inspector, allowing you to change fonts using a pop-up menu within the new inspector. For those who prefer the OS X font panel, that’s also still available. The type inspector also adds fine-grained control for kerning, and the ability to set up tracking for an entire word.
Managing templates and stencils within OmniGraffle is new, too. There’s no need to dive into the Finder, though it’s worth noting that users of version 5 must manually import any previously created Stencils and Templates in order for them to be used in this version. We also like the in-canvas image masking: no more chopping up images in Photoshop before dragging them into OmniGraffle.
Syncing with OmniGraffle for iPad (and any other Mac you may use) is handled through “OmniPresence,” a free service from The Omni Group. There’s no iCloud sync offered in the Mac App Store version, but OmniPresence is fast, free, and also available as a self-hosted option that companies can run in-house instead of on a third-party server.
We’ve been looking at the standard-edition features so far, but Pro (an additional $100 from the Omni Group’s website, or as an IAP on the Mac App Store) adds big features in version 6 too, particularly if you’re designing apps or working as part of a larger team. resolution-independent display scaling for Retina-accurate wireframes, Xcode Project import, presentation mode, layered Photoshop document export and shared layers across a document may double the price, but for heavy users, they’re worth it.
OmniGraffle 6 balances important big new features with tons of smaller additions. As a result, it’s easier for newcomers, and existing users find themselves even more productive.
The bottom line. OmniGraffle 6 raises the bar for diagramming apps on the Mac, and is easier to use than ever.
Mac running OS X 10.8 or later, 64-bit processor, 50MB disk space
New design is much easier to use. Improves stencil organization. Image masking is fantastic.
Big price jump to Pro version.