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Feature requests and annoyances: compendium Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I've used Powerpoint for the last 8 years as a wireframing tool (yes, really). It only took 2 weeks of using Omnigraffle for me to know I'm never going back to PPT, and it's a constant pleasure to work in a well-designed application.

However, I've gradually built up a sizable list of annoyances and feature requests. I'm posting it on the forum since other users may have answers or want to add their views, but let me know if I should submit feature requests elsewhere. (Organised by priority 1-3, from most to least important.)

I'm using OmniGraffle Pro 4.2.2 on Tiger 10.4.11 on a 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo Powerbook with 2GB RAM.

Paste in Place makes no sense (priority: 1)
One of the most useful features in Powerpoint is that an element is always pasted in the same location on the page as where it was copied. To do this on OG, I have to copy, paste, undo, copy again, and paste again. This is just weird and a huge time-waster.

Shift-drag constrains. Alt-drag copies. Why can't I combine them? (priority: 1)
This is a baffling omission and very frustrating.

Shift-arrow keys to nudge objects by larger increments (priority: 1)
(Like Photoshop.) Moving objects using the arrow keys is too slow unless nudging very small distances.

Make it easy to repeat a duplicate + move operation by consistent increments (priority: 1)
Freehand does this very well. If you Alt-drag to copy, then Cmd-D to duplicate, the new object should be placed the same distance and direction as the first move. Very, very useful. (You can sort of kludge this by moving, then undoing, then duplicating, but it works only once.)

After an undo operation, the previous selection should still be selected so that you don't have to re-select (priority: 1)
Again, something Powerpoint does right. It's annoying to have to repeat a complicated selection.

[Bug] The longer OG stays open, the slower it seems to run (priority: 1)
Editing actions eventually become painfully sluggish (e.g. double-clicking a shape to edit text can over a second to work; same with zooming and panning). This may be partially due to a large number of other apps open, but OG claims 20-30% processor usage, usually the highest of all my apps. (I don't get a beachball, the app is just slow.)

[Bug] When OG becomes painfully slow, editing bugs start appearing (priority: 1)
E.g. double-clicking to activate a text box often has the effect of changing the text colour, if the text box contains text of more than one colour.

Object alignment doesn't work in an intuitive way (priority: 2)
Align Top, Align Left, etc., moves all elements to the edge of the *nearest* object, not the furthest. This differs from every other graphics application I've used.

Combine Alt with arrow keys to nudge and duplicate at the same time (priority: 2)
And like Photoshop, you should be able to combine this with Shift as well to nudge by a larger increment.

Text formatting should include paragraph spacing (above/below), not just leading (priority: 2)
Another advantage Powerpoint has over OG. This is probably a major feature request, but I would use it constantly.

When zooming, always center the screen around the selection (priority: 2)
Powerpoint does this, and it is very intuitive. Cmd-Opt-J is not a useful replacement, since it usually zooms in closer than you'd like.

Cmd-scrollwheel zoom would've been great if it wasn't unusably slow (priority: 2)
This feature (especially combined with centering around the selected object) would be invaluable, but at its current performance it's useless. I think it tries to be too smooth. I'm using an Apple mighty mouse. And see my system specs at the top of the post: not slow.

I'd like the ability to define custom variables (priority: 3)
I'd use it, for example, for version number (currently I have to edit it in 3 places on my document.)

I want a shortcut key for Zoom to Fit (priority: 3)
I'd use it constantly.

Home / End with nothing selected should go to first / last canvas (priority: 3)
Powerpoint does this.

Cmd-Home/End in text box should go to beginning / end of paragraph (priority: 3)
Most Windows apps do this. Just seems like an omission to me. (Kudos to OG for being one of the very few Mac apps to make use of the Home/End keys.)

Find / Replace formatting (priority: 3)
E.g. finding all occurrences of red text and replacing it with blue. Or all 10pt text and replace with 12pt. Probably quite a major development, but would be useful.

Provide option to paste as unformatted text (priority: 3)
This is something most MS Office apps have as Edit: Paste Special: Unformatted Text. Should be an option under the Edit menu, ideally with a shortcut key, e.g. Cmd-Alt-Shift-V.

When launched, OG doesn't remember my window settings from last time (priority: 3)
I.e. the size of the document window and its placement on the screen. I always have to re-enlarge it and move it into the top-left corner of the screen.

Let ESC key deselect selections (priority: 3)
It already changes an edited text box into a selected object, which is correct, but it would be useful if another press of ESC deselected the object entirely. (Powerpoint does this.)

Can't undo text edit operations inside Search / Replace dialog box (priority: 3)
Instead, it undos the last action on the canvas. This differs from most applications, where you can undo/redo edit actions inside of text fields in dialog boxes.

Add ability to hyperlink text (Browse actions) inside a paragraph (priority: 3)
This would be very helpful when simulating the behaviour of web sites.
 
It'll be easier for the support ninjas to get this feedback properly into our system if you send it in an email to omnigraffle@omnigroup.com.

Thanks!
 
Thanks Brian, will do!
 
(Note to admins: I will also email this to Omnigraffle Support, but I post it here in case other users want to chime in.)

My previous feature request compendium was nearly a year ago [OG #297187] I tend to let feature requests pile up until I get time to write to you. At the time I was still using OG4, but have since upgraded to OG5. OG5 fixed some things, but introduced several new annoyances.

I don't mean to sound negative. OmniGraffle is a fabulous application, with generally great usability and some remarkable features, and since adopting it more than a year ago I have regularly evangelised it. But it's marred by some really frustrating user interface problems that bother me every time I use it (which is nearly every day).

1. Canvas numbers in sidebar: please! (Priority: 1)

First reported here. See my rationale here.

2. Please also put the Canvas Name and Number in the status area below the main workspace. (Priority: 2)

There is plenty of room for it there. Bear in mind canvas names are usually truncated in the sidebar, and the title is not always visible in the current view.

3. The new OG5 keyboard zoom shortcuts are unusable. (Priority: 1)

I've reverted to using the Z key with the mouse button, but this requires me to take my hands off the keyboard. I understand you needed to change due to Universal Access, but why can't you just adopt Photoshop's zoom shortcuts? (Cmd-Space / Alt-Space is currently unused.)

Also reported here.

4. Cumbersome and confusing to select colours (Priority: 1)

Why is it necessary to click the swatch in a Style inspector first, before clicking on a colour in the Colors palette? Why not just let a click on a colour take effect on the currently-active Style of the selected object?

5. Allow user to set page zoom across multiple canvases simultaneously. (Priority: 2)

Also reported here.

6. Provide a keyboard shortcut for "Fit in Window" zoom level. (Priority: 2)

Reported in my previous feature request compendium [OG #297187], but I didn't get a response on this one.

7. Back/Forward Canvas (Priority: 1)

Need keyboard shortcuts (or toolbar buttons) for Back/Forward Canvas (the previous/next one viewed). This would save me an enormous amount of scrolling over the sidebar. (Made worse by lack of canvas numbers.)

8. The behaviour of Locked elements is confusing and counter-intuitive (Priority: 3)

They can't be moved or deleted, but they can still be selected and copied and pasted. I don't see the rationale for this.

9. Copy Style (Ctrl-Shift-C) should not clear the normal clipboard buffer. (Priority: 3)

Also reported here.

10. Working with bitmap images has several problems:

10a. It's bizarre that Copy/Paste Style on a bitmap also changes the bitmap itself. (Priority: 2)

I can't imagine when this would ever be the desired behaviour. This means I cannot transfer stroke/shadow styles from one placed bitmap to another.

10b. The system for cropping a bitmap image in OG is unusable. (Priority: 1)

The intuitive way would be a mode where you crop an image by dragging its edges.

11. Working with Guides has several problems (Priority: 2):

11a. Please make Guides work like Photoshop's, where they snap to object edges.

11b. Can't find a "Clear Guides" option

11c. Can't easily hide Guides (annoying to accidentally click on rulers). Needs a keyboard shortcut.

11d. Would like a "generate Guides according to a grid" tool. (It generates guides according to measurement increments you provide.)

12. In the Line Spacing dialog box, let Enter submit. (Priority: 2)

Allow user to accept changes and dismiss dialog using Enter key (not just OK button).

13. Search/Replace doesn't include Canvas titles. (Priority: 2)

This is a huge oversight and has wasted a lot of my time.

14. After a Search & Replace, confirm somewhere how many replacements were made (Priority: 3)

15. Printing has several problems, to the extent that I never print from OG, only from Preview: (Priority: 2)

15a. Lacks "Fit on paper" option
15b. Lacks live print preview (inside the dialog box)
15c. Lacks "current page" option
15d. Lacks ability to print discontiguous pages (e.g. 1, 3, 5-10)

16. Would like a "Regroup" command (Priority: 3)

This is a useful feature found in Powerpoint. An object remembers what's the last group it was part of.

17. Can't duplicate a line using Cmd-Alt-arrow (Priority: 3)

For some reason you can't duplicate lines like you can duplicate every other kind of object.

18. Please copy Photoshop's ability to hide all palettes using Tab (Priority: 2)

And also F to cycle through view modes, from windowed to full-screen

19. Provide a Thumbnails view of all canvases (Priority: 2)

Like Powerpoint's "slide sorter" view, with configurable thumbnail sizes.

I would like to reiterate the following items from my previous feature request compendium 11 months ago [OG #297187]:

> > *Shift-drag constrains. Alt-drag copies. Why can't I combine them?
> > (priority: 1)*
> > This is a baffling omission and very frustrating.

> Indeed, this does work in OmniGraffle 5.


No, it doesn't.

> *Paste in Place makes no sense (priority: 1)*
> > One of the most useful features in Powerpoint is that an element is
> > always pasted in the same location on the page as where it was copied.
> > To do this on OG, I have to copy, paste, undo, copy again, and paste
> > again. This is just weird and a huge time-waster.

> We've got a open Feature Request for this, Iíve added your name to it.


Please fix this!

> > *After an undo operation, the previous selection should still be
> > selected so that you don't have to re-select (priority: 1)*
> > Again, something Powerpoint does right. It's annoying to have to repeat
> > a complicated selection.

> Most of the time, this is the case, although there are some bugs
> related to this, particularly with tables.


No, it's not mostly the case. For example: select multiple items, duplicate them, and undo. The selection is gone.

> > *Home / End with nothing selected should go to first / last canvas
> > (priority: 3)*
> > Powerpoint does this.

> Another feature request Iíll add you toÖ


*Please* do this one. It's not complicated. At the moment, to get to the title page of my document, it takes a lot of scrolling over the sidebar and a click.


Thanks in advance!

Francois Jordaan
 
Fjordaan wrote:
"3. The new OG5 keyboard zoom shortcuts are unusable. (Priority: 1)

I've reverted to using the Z key with the mouse button, but this requires me to take my hands off the keyboard. I understand you needed to change due to Universal Access, but why can't you just adopt Photoshop's zoom shortcuts? (Cmd-Space / Alt-Space is currently unused.)"

Except that Cmd-Space is not unused, at least on all keyboards I've known. It's irritating enough that when they introduced Spotlight, Apple decided to set Cmd-Space as the shortcut key for that, reversing the practice of decades and one that is standard on Windows too, that Cmd-Space switches keyboards. At least you can revert to this standard through the System Preferences, but if the OmniGroup hijacked that key combination, it would make life misery for all those of us who use multiple languages through different keyboards.
 
I know Cmd-Space clashes irritatingly with Spotlight, but I decided not to mention it as it's easy to avoid, as long as you learn to press Space first.
 
A lot of your keyboard shortcut issues are easily solved using System Preferences>Keyboard and Mouse>Keyboard Shortcuts:



 
Btw, this is true of almost any application in OS X.

Btw 2, that post wasn't to demean your requests - they are mostly very valid though some seem a bit like personal preferences (e.g. matching the Photoshop way).
 
Thanks, Jonathan. I will definitely go and define some keyboard shortcuts. And if I remember, I'll share them here. Have any other users ever shared their favourite custom shortcuts?

I guess I was reluctant to go down this route before as it still seems unfamiliar to me to customise application shortcuts in System Preferences.

But I would still feel as if I'm doing something that the application should've done in the first place. Most users don't like customising software. My favourite applications are those that anticipated the features used most often and put a lot of thinking into defining the best possible shortcuts for them. The touchstone for me is Photoshop -- not only does almost every single key have a function, but they've done really well to keep chording to a minimum. (They'll first consider whether there's a single key that'll do the job in that context.)

Creating a keyboard shortcut takes time that you usually don't have when you're on a deadline, and a lot of thinking to decide on the best combination. And then, when you work on a different machine, they're all gone. You're also forced to create complicated chords. I couldn't, for example, define the "Home" key to go to the first page if I'm not inside an edit box.

Anyway, just a gripe. I'll follow up with the issues above that I manage to solve by defining custom shortcuts.

Last edited by fjordaan; 2009-04-03 at 10:55 AM..
 
Unfortunately, the Photoshop way also exemplifies a problem with assigning (almost) every action with a shortcut - with so many you inevitably end up clashing with something that either means something else in another app or is already taken by the OS. Another issue is that some shortcuts that make sense on a US keyboard are completely non-sensical on a foreign language or UK English keyboard because the keys either don't exist or they are located in totally different places.

Once you get to grips with adding shortcuts using system preferences (and btw, I try to use the three key "command-alt-ctrl" chord as it definitely doesn't clash with anything else, yet it is still incredibly easy to press), I think you end up preferring it. Not only do the shortcuts make sense to you (so they are easier to remember) whereas in-app ones very often don't once you get beyond the most common commands, it also makes it a lot easier to apply them to the same actions in all other apps when they exist. However, the major downside is when you move to another persons Mac and they don't have any set up!
 
 


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