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In fact, Automatic Layout's current outline-layout algorithm is not incapable of generating genuinely eye-watering levels of unintelligibility.

This example does at least look as symmetrical as the Automatic Layout sample in the gallery on the OmniGraffle product page, but how many unambiguous lines can you find below the three blue parent nodes at the top ?

Possibly not many ...

That geometry is pretty good for straight connectors:

but it really doesn't work for orthogonal links.

The value of orthogonal links is that they reveal the connection between the horizontal and the vertical they make the sibling structure and the parental structure equally visible and they let the eye immediately see the balanced connection between the two.

To do that, however, orthogonal links really do depend on orthogonal layouts hiding non-orthogonal layouts behind orthogonal connectors is just asking for ambiguity and dysfunction and if Graphviz struggles to provide simple child-centred layouts, then perhaps it really isn't the right tool.

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Last edited by RobTrew; 2011-11-08 at 12:37 PM.. Reason: Added sample file