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I use Omnigraffle a lot for wireframing. I'd often like to be able to just draw a straight line in a position of my choice. I don't want the line to connect to anything. How can I draw a straight line exactly where I want it, without having to connect it to other objects? Whatever I try, it always seems to only let me snap to existing objects rather than just freely draw a line wherever I like.
There may be other approaches, but I usually:
  • add another layer to the diagram,
  • lock the layers below (containing the snappable objects),
  • and draw lines on the new top layer.

This prevents OG from trying to marry the straight lines to the objects.

(Step 2 is essential).
I have no problem drawing precise lines that do not snap to the magnets of shapes.

Just choose a clear part of your canvas that does not have many shapes in it. Auto-attraction of lines (at least on my OGP 4) is only within 0.4cm.

Draw, holding ⇧ down, if you want straight lines on the cardinal axes or diagonals. Get the exact length you want either using the ruler (watch the dotted lines move on the ruler) or the Inspector/Properties/Geometry.

Pick the line up and move it where you want (eg. where there may be many shapes that would invite a snap).

You can lock a line or shape, so that further changes are prevented.

In the Inspector/Properties/Magnets, You can also turn off all magnets or remove specific magnets from shapes, useful for shapes that you do not want lines auto-snapping to them.

Thanks for the suggestions. I particularly like Rob's suggestion of creating a new lawyer and locking the ones below. It's still messy, but it's easier for me to do that, drawing the line 'in place' than it is to try and draw a line of the right length and angle elsewhere within the document only to have to move it in to place afterwards!

I really wish there was a button or menu command I could press that toggles on/off "draw line in place" mode, or basically "i want the line to start where I click and end where i click, not snap somewhere else" mode!
try holding down <alt> (option) while clicking, this should do the trick.

-- Morgan
Originally Posted by priceless View Post
try holding down <alt> (option) while clicking, this should do the trick.

-- Morgan
Oh. My. God.

Priceless, you've just rocked my world. That is awesome! Thank you!
Happy to help :)
Originally Posted by priceless View Post
try holding down <alt> (option) while clicking, this should do the trick.

-- Morgan
I was actually reconsidering buying Omnigraffle Pro 5 after struggling with this issue. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
You can also Option-click the Line Tool to inspect it and turn off connectivity in the Connections Inspector, if you're not going to make use of lines that connect to shapes at all -- That's what I do as I tend to use Graffle as an illustrative tool.
"Vroom! Vroom!!"

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