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No Zoom in toolbar? No text size in Inspector? Perplexing. Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
After updating to the latest version and loading a large diagram, I spent a few minutes looking for the Zoom control. Nothing in the toolbar, and the + and - keys didn't do it. Neither did the mouse wheel (eventually I found mention of the Command key usage in another post). Nor was there a context menu.

Turns out a bunch of controls are buried under a frame-advance symbol arbitrarily placed in the middle of the tool strip in the toolbar. Why? The entire expanded collection (including the weird arrow) is less than 700 pixels across. Is someone running this on a 640x480 laptop from 1992? And who deemed Zoom an obscure control?

I finally found the toolbar configuration in Preferences, but these controls shouldn't be buried by default. And I applaud putting this in Preferences instead of just relying on the somewhat obscure (Mac-standard) method of right-clicking on the toolbar, but that method should also be supported.

I then spent too much time poring over the inspector in an attempt to change the size of the text inside a shape. There's offset and rotation, and a multitude of other arcane adjustments, but no size. This is particularly troubling when you consider that OmniGraffle still, after all these versions, DOESN'T RESIZE TEXT WITH SHAPES.

What is up with the text not resizing with the shapes, anyway? Seriously, what could possibly trump that flaw when setting enhancement priorities?

Last edited by Stokestack; 2009-04-06 at 07:12 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokestack View Post
What is up with the text not resizing with the shapes, anyway? Seriously, what could possibly trump that flaw when setting enhancement priorities?
One possibility that comes to mind is that the development team doesn't see that behavior as a flaw....
 
Hi Stokestack,

Thanks very much for your feedback. I hope I can shed some light on why things are the way they are in OmniGraffle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokestack View Post
After updating to the latest version and loading a large diagram, I spent a few minutes looking for the Zoom control. Nothing in the toolbar, and the + and - keys didn't do it. Neither did the mouse wheel (eventually I found mention of the Command key usage in another post). Nor was there a context menu.
There's a zoom control in the lower-right of each document window; that's probably the easiest way to get to a particular zoom level.

In the future, you may find it useful to use the Help menu's search field to find menu commands; when I search for "zoom" in OmniGraffle 5, several relevant menu items and help topics appear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokestack View Post
Turns out a bunch of controls are buried under a frame-advance symbol arbitrarily placed in the middle of the tool strip in the toolbar. Why? The entire expanded collection (including the weird arrow) is less than 700 pixels across. Is someone running this on a 640x480 laptop from 1992? And who deemed Zoom an obscure control?
I'm on a MacBook Air, here, and I find it pretty useful to be able to collapse the tools, especially on a small document. I have quite a few other buttons, so sometimes they fall off the right side of the toolbar and I need to shrink the tools list down to the first five items. Since I rarely use the tools on the right side of the arrow, I often just leave them collapsed.

The zoom keyboard shortcuts, the pop-up in the lower-right of the document window, and the z hot key keep me from needing to click the Zoom tool very often.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokestack View Post
I finally found the toolbar configuration in Preferences, but these controls shouldn't be buried by default. And I applaud putting this in Preferences instead of just relying on the somewhat obscure (Mac-standard) method of right-clicking on the toolbar, but that method should also be supported.
You can always customize the toolbar by choosing Customize Toolbar from the View menu, or by Command-Option-clicking the show toolbar button in the very upper-right of the window. But the order and hot keys for the individual items inside the tools palette are a little bit more involved than the standard Customize Toolbar sheet, so we needed to add our own settings in Preferences.

By the way, if you use the Zoom tool a lot, you can drag it in that list to before the separator. In fact, if you don't want the separator at all, you can drag it to the end of the list and it'll go away completely. A little bit of a hidden trick, but it works!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokestack View Post
I then spent too much time poring over the inspector in an attempt to change the size of the text inside a shape. There's offset and rotation, and a multitude of other arcane adjustments, but no size. This is particularly troubling when you consider that OmniGraffle still, after all these versions, DOESN'T RESIZE TEXT WITH SHAPES.
Since Apple provides its own Font panel, we decided to keep our hands off of those settings and let people use the standard panel. You can get at it by clicking the "A" button on the Text inspector, or by hitting Command-T. You can also always use the Command-Plus and Command-Minus shortcuts that are common in many apps to change text size. Having said that, we are looking into adding controls to our own inspector for some of the common font settings in a future version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stokestack View Post
What is up with the text not resizing with the shapes, anyway? Seriously, what could possibly trump that flaw when setting enhancement priorities?
I think I understand the utility of resizing text with an object, but to tell the truth, we don't hear a whole lot of requests for it. I think that a lot of folks prefer to have a consistent set of text sizes across their document (for instance, the traditional typographical scale including point sizes 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, and so on) rather than many various sizes resulting from minor resizing of objects. In the latter case, you could end up with five adjacent objects, each with its own slightly-different point size: 12, 12.3, 12.75, 13.1, 13.2. For many diagrams, it's the meaning of the objects, not the particulars of where the lines break or how the text flows inside the objects, that's important.

And, of course, that's setting aside the (very common) case where someone is resizing an object because they need more space to type; having the text get bigger would be quite frustrating!

Having said all that, it's possible that we're just not thinking of the same kinds of uses that you are. Can you give us an example of a diagram where you need the text to resize with the object? That might help us figure out why it's bothering you so much. The only cases I can think of are more illustrative than the type of stuff OmniGraffle is really meant for.

Thanks very much for your feedback!
 
In case you didn't already know, there is a workaround that allows you to resize text with the shape - if you copy an object in your OmniGraffle file as a PDF and paste it back, you can then resize it as you wish (e.g. using the shift key to constrain dimensions). However, due to the LinkBack feature, you can still edit it at a later time if you want to change any parameters.

I have an ~3MB film of this in action here.

@ Bill - the downside of this workaround, other than it being a bit clunky is that it isn't just the text that resizes, but also any borders etc. Also, you can't alter the dimensions of the shape and maintain the proportions of the text unless you constrain the change using shift.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Van Hecke View Post
Having said all that, it's possible that we're just not thinking of the same kinds of uses that you are. Can you give us an example of a diagram where you need the text to resize with the object? That might help us figure out why it's bothering you so much. The only cases I can think of are more illustrative than the type of stuff OmniGraffle is really meant for.
It might not be meant for it, but a lot of people use it for illustrative purposes (e.g. posters, presentations, etc). It wouldn't do any harm to have this as a feature, though I'll leave the how of the implementation to better minds than mine.
 
Text resizing with objects is a feature that sits on the line between a diagramming and illustration app. I don't need it in OG either, but it's a feature I'd expect in a vector illustration app like Illustrator. For my purposes it's usually OK to group a bunch of objects, resize it, and then use Cmd-plus/minus to change the text size.

That said, it's occasionally useful to have true resizing and I expect to use JKT's PDF trick in future -- thanks!
 
First of all, thanks for the detailed response. In terms of the toolbar, I did edit my original remarks on it after finding the configuration options under Preferences, and I did find the ability to move the tools to the other side of the divider.

The zoom control in the lower right is OK, but it's coarse and it doesn't center on the cursor position. I know that others have already griped about the non-use of cursor position when zooming, so I won't.

I know that other people have brought up the text-resizing issue, because I've seen many references to the cumbersome PDF workaround. Here's why it's such a huge issue: In many (or even most) cases, you don't know exactly how large a diagram is going to be. As it starts to sprawl, you may have to reduce its size. Or you might find it's not legible enough and size it up. Either way, you're selecting a bunch of objects and using the bounding box to resize them.

As you size down, text that no longer fits inside the shapes gets truncated. Then you have to screw around with text size until every shape's text fits again. Why? I had already laid out the text the way I wanted it, in relation to the shapes.

Thanks for inviting clarification on this.

Last edited by Stokestack; 2009-04-07 at 03:42 PM..
 
Similar to my workaround above, there is another workaround for this too which is effectively the same thing. The graphics in OmniGraffle are all vectors, so if you need to resize them all to a larger size, copy and paste as a PDF to a new canvas at your desired dimensions and resize them using shift to constrain the proportions. The PDF will scale to whatever size you need without any degradation (with the one exception of any bitmap image objects you have included in your file, but this would occur regardless).

However, I'm not going to argue that it would be nice to be able to do this without having to go via the Copy as PDF route. It will just make for an interesting challenge in UI terms as no doubt, people will want both options - the ability resize shapes without text scaling, and the ability to resize them with text scaling. Perhaps the easiest thing to do would be to add a new button to the text inspector palette that you need to click to make this happen.
 
Thanks.

Isn't the diagram no longer editable after being copied to PDF?

In terms of UI, I don't think I've seen an app that didn't scale text with the shapes before. I never gave it a second thought in Corel Draw, Illustrator, Inkscape... don't remember Lineform (it had too many other bugs to work with)... and I haven't used Visio since the '90s. Anyway, I'd think a simple flag in the preferences would be enough to start with.

If this were addressed, it would make OmniGraffle a viable option for a new group of people. How many? I don't know. I'm guessing more than one.

Last edited by Stokestack; 2009-04-24 at 12:59 PM..
 
Well there's the problem - with the exception of Visio, all those apps are first and foremost illustration apps and not diagramming apps. OmniGraffle is first and foremost a diagramming app and is not intended to be an illustration app. Personally, I wish it was to a much greater degree, but there are arguments for and against feature creep.

Btw, the PDF itself is not editable, but double clicking it opens the LinkBack original version of the image which is editable.
 
 


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