OmniGraffle tips

Eli Cochran eli at
Thu Jul 31 20:05:20 UTC 2008

Thanks for those notes. As a long time user of OmniGraffle, I'll just  
add one a couple things about groups.

Most folks know that, as it is with most drawing programs, Grouping  
and Ungrouping of objects makes it very easy to move stuff around and  
to copy and paste groups of items at once.

However what is not immediately apparent is that Groups can be edited  
without ungrouping them. It is a simple as clicking again on the  
element with in the group to create a "sub-selection" (my term).

Also, stencils are just a Grouped object. So it is easy to change  
stencils and to pull stencils apart so you can use little pieces of  

- Eli

On Jul 31, 2008, at 10:13 AM, Allison Bloodworth wrote:

> Hi there,
> Since much of the Fluid design team (and likely other folks out there
> on this list!) is now using OmniGraffle for our wireframes and
> storyboards and there are others who are new to the program, like me,
> I thought I'd share some advice and tips on things I've learned.
> SHARED LAYERS are great for including the unchanging application
> background on all your mock-ups. Create it by going to Edit ->  
> Layers -
>> New Shared Layer. Then if a change is needed to the background, you
> can change it on all your mockups at once by changing the shared  
> layer.
> INSPECTORS, which usually allow you to set properties on visual
> elements, are your friend. Get familiar with all the different options
> in the inspectors. There are multiple different sections in each
> inspector, represented by a button right under the inspector name. If
> have a small screen, it's helpful to use two screens when working in
> OmniGraffle so you can put the inspectors in one screen and your
> working canvas in another. You can also pull them apart and just put
> relevant ones you are working with on the screen with your working
> canvas.
> be able to move things smaller distances. This drove me crazy before I
> figured out how to turn it off.
> THE |->, |<->|, etc. FIELDS right at the top of your working canvas
> can also help you move things right and left, up and down, and expand
> or contract the width of an element. I used this for small movements
> before I turned off "snap to grid."
> EXPORTING ENTIRE DOCUMENT - If you've created several canvases in one
> OmniGraffle document you can turn them all into JPEGs at once by going
> to File -> Export and then changing the "Export Area" drop-down to
> "Entire Document." "All Objects" is also a helpful option, as it seems
> to remove any whitespace around your drawing (but only exports one
> canvas, not all of them). Since you can't use this option with "Entire
> Document," you may have to select all your canvases and you can go
> into the "CANVAS: SIZE" INSPECTOR and manually adjust the size. I
> tried to use the "Auto-adjust the canvas size," setting in that
> inspector, but it unfortunately didn't seem to work for me...perhaps
> because my drawing was below some minimum size. But that's another
> thing to try.
> STENCILS - Here are some great stencils folks have suggested:
> * Yahoo Design Stencil Kit:
> * Mac OSX Stencils on Graffletopia (which has a TON of other
> stencils):
> * Wireframe Shapes Angeles :
> * UCD Activities & UCD Deliverables:
> * Sakai:
> If others have OmniGraffle tips to share, I'd love to hear them! :)
> Cheers,
> Allison
> Allison Bloodworth
> Senior User Interaction Designer
> Educational Technology Services
> University of California, Berkeley
> (415) 377-8243
> abloodworth at
> _______________________________________________
> fluid-work mailing list
> fluid-work at

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Eli Cochran
user interaction developer
ETS, UC Berkeley

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