When you need to communicate some information, a text document isn't always the best vehicle. Especially if you are trying to explain some sort of process or organization. This is where a picture can come in real handy. Sure, you can use a drawing package, but it may get tedious to create all sorts of symbols over and over again. If only there was a program that would let you create charts with ease. Enter OmniGraffle...
To create a diagram, you first need some shapes to build your diagram with. Fortunately, OmniGraffle comes with several palettes of shapes that are ready to use. The included palettes are Basic, Magnetized, FlowChart, OrgChart and UML. If the included palettes don't offer what you need, you can create your own palette, using a wide variety of included shapes.
The FlowChart Palette
Once you've selected a palette, you can start taking shapes and placing them on your new diagram. After placing several shapes, you'll probably want to connect them with arrows, in order to show a process flow or relationship. The good news is that, rather than going through the tedium of selecting the exact center of a shape, each shape contains a "magnet" that will become visible as one bring a line near it. This will help create a professional chart with a minimum of effort.
Create a Professional Flowchar in Minutes
(Click for a larger image)
Once you are done with your masterpiece, you can save it in OmniGraffle format, to share with other OmniGraffle users, or you can export it for less fortunate users who may not be using a Mac. You can export in many popular formats, such as TIFF, PDF, JPEG, GIF, PNG and EPS. This should cover just about anyone you'd be likely to share your creation with.
So get those great ideas out of your head, and start drawing them with OmniGraffle.
Have any other Mac OS X gadgets that help you express yourself? Send an email to John, and he'll check it out pronto.
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John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at