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Creating connections that always go straight down? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi there. I have OmniGraffle 5 Pro. Is there a way to create connections that always remain horizontal or vertical, no matter what?

Basically, the closest I'm getting so far is holding alt so it won't snap to a magnet or the centre, but of course that way it won't connect at all.

I need this to draw connections from objects down to a time line. The objects themselves can be connected to each other, but I want to indicate the time at which the events that they signify took place.
Hi Dannythefool,

Could you post a diagram explaining what you want to achieve? It's a bit unclear to me what you are trying to achieve.
I'm attaching a screenshot of the basic idea. My question was about the vertical arrows that connect the boxes to the timeline at the bottom. If I do actually connect them to the timeline, they will either point at its centre, or at some magnet. If I don't connect them to the timeline, when I move the boxes, the arrows will still point at the same location and the lines will no longer be directly vertical. What I want to achieve is have these arrows connected to both the box and the timeline, but in a way that they always go straight down to the point on the timeline directly below the box, regardless of where I move the box.
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As a kludge, could you create a small shape, with no stroke and perhaps no fill, but with a magnet at its centre. Position this vertically below the box where you want it, draw the arrow down to that shape then group the whole. Then you can move it around as you like and the arrow will remain in the same apparent orientation to the box, and you can place the shape wherever you want it to be in relation to the timeline.

Any good?
Thank you for the suggestion. Unfortunately I wouldn't be able to move the box up or down that way without the arrow ending at the wrong height. I can achieve the same by holding alt to position the arrow freely and then grouping the box and the arrow.
This behavior sounds similar to what folks are looking for from an ethernet bus stencil (ala Visio) as mentioned here. Perpendicular connections can be made anywhere on a line and stay perpendicular as they are moved back and forth.

Unfortunately, Omnigraffle doesn't appear to support any non-manual way to do this now, but there are a few folks who have asked for this functionality. Email the support ninjas and add your vote!
Thanks! You're a genius. Reminding me of what ethernet buses look like in diagrams brought me one step closer. Now my best workaround is one whose only drawback is that the arrowhead is missing, which I can live with. I imagine this would work for an ethernet bus as well.

What I do now is create a small box with one magnet at its left or right side. I set the boxes I use to represent events to have two magnets (N and S). Then I use the orthogonal line tool to connect the box (not its magnets) to the magnet of the small box. That way the connection will go straight up or down, but never sideways. If I move my timeline over the horizontal part of the connections so it obscures them as well as the box, then I get exactly what I want, minus the arrowheads.
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I'll have to give that a try for an ethernet bus.

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