The Omni Group Announces OmniGraffle 3.0, OmniGraffle Pro

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The good folks of The Omni Group have announced two new versions of OmniGraffle, OmniGraffle 3.0 and OmniGraffle Pro. OmniGraffle is a flowchart and diagramming application designed to allow users to put together visual layouts of everything from family trees to office layouts. Version 3.0 adds a number of new features and other enhancements. The Pro version includes a number of souped-up features designed for presentation, corporate, and other high-end uses. The lengthy press release from the Omni Group:

The Omni Group is announcing a major new version of OmniGraffle, the premiere Mac OS X diagramming and drawing application. Targeted for early April 2003, The Omni Group will be shipping OmniGraffle 3.0, as well as a new Professional version. OmniGraffle 3.0 adds a multitude of new features designed to help users create superior charts and drawings, while OmniGraffle 3.0 Professional provides a powerful toolset for advanced document manipulation and presentation options. OmniGraffle Standard 3.0 and OmniGraffle 3.0 Professional require Mac OS X 10.2.

New to OmniGraffle 3.0 are "smart guides": when moving a shape, distance markers will pop up and tell you when your new shape would form an equally-spaced row or column with two other shapes. Also when moving a shape, centerlines (or edge lines) will draw when you are horizontally or vertically perfectly in line with another shape in your drawing, or the centerline of the canvas. When rotating or resizing a shape, markers tell you when your rotation/size matches that of other shapes on your canvas.

New features in OmniGraffle 3.0 also include a complete redesign of OmniGraffleis Info panels which makes it easier to see whatis on them, easier to hide and show all the tools, and easier to arrange them the way you like. Individual panel improvements include:

  • Style & Selection: The comprehensive new Style & Selection panel allows you to see what styles make up any shape in your document, and drag and drop styles onto other shapes to duplicate them. Styles can be dragged separately to apply only a certain attribute to a shape (i.e., a blue dashed line only) or as a group to copy the entire style. Additionally, there is a new Style Brush tool that allows you to copy styles by selecting a shape and "painting" the style onto other shapes you click on.
  • Shadows: The Shadows panel has been completely re-invented to provide many more options for rendering complex shadow schemes, and you can print or save to PDF with transparency intact.
  • Image: Using the Image panel, you can offset images inside a shape by dragging them in the inspector, and images can be zoomed in or out inside a shape. This is very useful for creating tiled backgrounds at the right scale, as well as placing pictures inside frames.
  • Canvas Size: The Canvas Size panel allows you to set the canvas to be any size you want. Printer margins can be set manually or you can use the new option to use the maximum printable area for the selected printer and paper. OmniGraffle 3.0 will print to any margin size that a printer is capable of handling, even full bleeds.
  • Improvements to the toolbar in OmniGraffle 3.0 provide a drop-down menu to display the various styles used on a per-document basis, so even if youire editing someone elseis document itis easy to make your additions match perfectly with the original authoris work.
  • Other new features include a new caching architecture that increases speed, improved AppleScript support, improved support for importing OmniOutliner files, the ability to choose patterns for shape fills, an improved Selection tool, and much, much more.

OmniGraffle Pro features:

  • OmniGraffle 3.0 Professional allows you to import and export multiple-page Visio 2002 files. Additional export options allow you to export multiple pages as a multipage HTML document, with links between pages.
  • New page layout features include mouseless editing (aka "Brainstorming mode") which allows you to create shapes that are connected or unconnected to other shapes using only the keyboard.
  • New multi-page document support allows the Pro user to hyperlink from within a document to a specific section of a specific page. Presentation Mode allows you to create multipage slideshows from clickable shapes in your document.
  • OmniGraffle 3.0 Professional offers advanced editing capabilities, such as the new "Workspace" Save and Restore function which makes it easy for you to save multiple configurations of your Info panels for different editing functions and switch between them.
  • The ability to have multiple editing windows on the same document has also been added, so you can work on different parts of one document in multiple windows. Users can configure their "favorite" styles for use over and over again; for instance, if you find yourself frequently drawing a rounded rectangle with a reddish background a 50% shadow, you can just add this to your favorites. New manual shape placement guides have rulers you can drag from either side of your document to create new guides.
  • To ensure your professional documents will print exactly as youive designed them, ColorSync Workflow & Proofing has been added to provide in-depth proofing.

OmniGraffle 3.0 is being offered for US$24.95 to those upgrading, and the full version is priced at US$69.95. As of March 15th, anyone who purchased version 2.x will get a free upgrade. The Pro version is priced at US$119.95. The company is offering an upgrade path from version 2.0 to the professional version for US$49.95. Version 3.0 upgrades will be priced at US$59.95 for a limited time.

The OmniGraffle page at the Omni Groupis Web site still references version 2.x.

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