The Omni Group Announces OmniGraffle 4 and OmniGraffle Professional 4

The Omni Group announced Thursday the first public beta release of OmniGraffle 4. The new version is "a major update to the diagramming and drawing application", the company said, and offers a streamlined user interface as well as many new features under the categories of brainstorming, drafting, import and export, and document management.

OmniGraffle 4 include a new dynamic outline view, diagram styles, a Bezier curve drawing tool, and improved import and export options.

The product has an updated interface with 18 inspectors consolidated into three inspector windows, without losing any critical functionality. Each one has tab-like buttons for switching between inspectors. The new utility drawer contains the new outline view, and also lists canvases and their layers.

OmniGraffleis new Bezier curve drawing tool allows a user to create custom shapes with lines made up of curves, straight lines, and control points. OmniGraffle 4 now supports LiveLink, an open source technology designed to facilitate content management. With LiveLink, a user can copy graphics from OmniGraffle to another application and copying an editable copy of the diagram itself. A new vector PICT export format is available as well.

OmniGraffle Professional 4 adds master canvases, notes, tables, document scale, improved Visio XML import and export, and SVG export, and more.

The Omni Group is targeting early summer for the final version of the software. OmniGraffle 4 will cost US$79.95, and OmniGraffle 4 Professional will cost $149.95. Upgrades from OmniGraffle 3 to 4 will cost $29.95, and upgrades from OmniGraffle 3 Professional to OmniGraffle 4 Professional will cost $49.95.

Any OmniGraffle 3 purchases made on or after April 25 will be upgraded for free to OmniGraffle 4 when it ships.