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drzow 2009-09-02 09:34 AM

Connecting objects between shared layers
Good day,

I'm slowing getting into using OmniGraffle (Pro, 5.2) for more and more diagraming work for technical documentation. I'm trying to produce diagrams for multiple sites which have a lot of similarity between them, and I've found shared layers to be really useful; I can just create the clusters of equipment once on a shared layer and then just add that layer to the sites that have that particular cluster of equipment.

Now my problem is that I'm trying to draw lines to show how the equipment is connected together. I can draw a line between two objects on the same layer, but I can't draw a line between two objects on different shared layers. I'm afraid this might be by design, but I can't find anything conclusive in the documentation or forums to that effect. I mean, there's always the question, "What if the shared layer is on a canvas that doesn't include the shared layer of the destination of the connection?" Well, then you don't see the line on that canvas, just like if you delete an object, the line gets deleted as well.

So my first question is: does anyone know if this is actually the way it's supposed to work.
My second is: if so, how do people deal with this?


Joel 2009-09-02 11:27 AM

The primary reason for not allowing objects on a shared layer to connect to objects on other layers is due to the implications of automatic layout -- Since you can lay out differently from canvas to canvas, this would upset those objects that are on a shared layer, and lead to a good deal of confusion.

drzow 2009-09-03 07:40 AM

Thank you
Thanks for the explanation Joel! It took me a minute to really think about that, but yeah, I can see how that would be a problem. Kind of unfortunate since I'm effectively doing space planning, so I don't use automatic layout, but I'm sure you don't want to go special casing (if(!automatic_layout)...) your code all over the place -- that just becomes a code maintenance nightmare.

Thanks again!

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