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Suggestions for improvements (organization charts) Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm a relatively new user but have loved making logic models in OmniGraffle - not only ease of use but logical and fun - all of that good Mac stuff.

I have used MS' Org Chart previously for organizational charts, which is clunky and somewhat stupid, but its capabilities still seem to be better than OmniGraffle's for this particular purpose. Perhaps I have missed something ...

However, I have just wasted the better part of 90 minutes (and time is very scarce these days, as for all of us) trying to do a very simple org chart in OmniGraffle. I have used several words which I'm gonna have to pay for in the Bad Word Jar in our house, and have now given up. I surfed the Forum and reviewed (again) the videos on the Omniwebsite, incorporated all ideas I found, and have in the end concluded that I cannot do the following critical tasks (all of which I can do even in MS Org Chart):
- stack the boxes in some parts of the org chart (the non-focal parts of the organisation) to make more room for the vertical levels of the org chart (the focal parts)
- print a chart which should easily fit onto one page, on one page
- change the box size and font size for groups of boxes

Hope we'll see these features in a future version of OmniGraffle.

Thank you.
I'm not sure what you mean by the stacking; perhaps an experienced hand would have no trouble doing it if you provided an example. As an inexperienced hand, I knocked out the depicted chart in about 10 minutes, and I think it shows all of your requests (except the stacking one).

I used the Org Chart template (plain), and typed the data into the outline view. Then I selected groups of boxes, brought up the inspectors (style and properties) and changed fill, fill pattern, font size, box size. I also used the inspector (canvas) to tell it to print the canvas on 1 sheet, and page setup to set the orientation of the printout, which I did to PDF.
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I will try these ... perhaps I just didn't try / look hard enough.

Here is what I mean by stacked boxes - see attached - I don't want to have to do these manually as there are a lot to be done if I'm to get this on one page.

While I'm here, I want to express my appreciation for your many responses in these forums, I have often benefited from your suggestions. Thank you.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf stackedboxes.pdf (16.9 KB, 604 views)
Ah, now I see what you mean. Yeah, I don't know what the most expedient way to do that would beI'd send a message directly to the Omnigraffle support gang ( and ask them if no one chimes in here.
There may be a faster way to create a stack like the one in your picture, but this works:

Select the items to be stacked and set them to have four magnets, N,S,E,W in the Properties:Connections Inspector pulldown for magnets

Make sure that the connectors in the stack are orthogonal style. Use the Style:Lines and Shapes Inspector, top center pulldown in the line-style box (lower half of the panel).

Make the connectors to objects within the stack connect to the West magnet on the object. (Or the East if you want the connectors on the other side.)

Arrange and align the stack objects vertically. (You could do this first.)

You could start with just two magnets E,W instead of four magnets N,S,E,W. The choice may result in some additional line-alignment tweaking; which one is better may depend on how you created the objects.

If you do an automatic layout of the org chart later, the stacking will be lost, so save this step until you're almost finished with the chart. It's not hard to recreate the stack, though, since the objects have the right properties and the connectors connect to the right places. All you have to do to recreate it is arrange and align.

Last edited by john.gersh; 2011-01-12 at 06:39 AM..
If you group the stacked boxes, then they will retain their relative alignment to each other when you do an automatic layout. You might still have to move the stack to a better position but you won't have to re-create the stack.

You can also lock them, in which case they will retain their absolute position on the canvas.
I'm facing the same problem. I would like to be able mix hierarchical org charts with stacked ones. This is important for more efficient use of the page area. As an earlier reader noted, this is a basic capability in the crude MS Org Chart program. I tried creating a template that organizes in a stacked formation but with no success. I end up having to manually create the stacks. Very cumbersome!

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