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Joining lines into a shape? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I often encounter this situation: I want to draw a shape that cannot be drawn in one piece, but it's easy to put together by joining a few lines.

Can OmniGraffle join one or more lines that form a closed path, and combine those lines in a single shape that can be FILLED and otherwise behaves like a standard shape?

I see that OG can do fancy operations with shapes, but not with lines?

It seems like a natural feature for a program like this.

Originally Posted by germ View Post
Can OmniGraffle join one or more lines that form a closed path, and combine those lines in a single shape
that can be FILLED and otherwise behaves like a standard shape?

However you can easily get what you want. With some caveats. Try trawling the forum via Search.

It appears that you want some line elements and some shape elements in your desired object. The Fill property is only for shapes (so forget about building your object from lines). The best option is to learn about shapes, especially irregular shapes, a little bit more. First build some simple shapes:
Start with a shape from the shape tool.
Add points and move them around
pay particular attention to the Arc shape (it is an un-closed line, but allows Fill).
also play with the Bezier curves and handles to manipulate them

Next, look at building your object from a series of simple shapes which overlap:
select two or more shapes and play with Edit/Shapes/SubtractShapes
... UnionShapes
... IntersectShapes
Until you produce a single true shape that suits your need
Derek, thanks for your reply.

The method you suggest will possibly achieve what I am looking for.

However, I cannot understand why OG lacks such a basic and natural feature.
I agree with germ ... I find myself wanting this feature all the time. I usually find ways to accomplish what I want without it but they are less natural. This is a fairly common function in drawing programs.
My pleasure.

OG is in essence an object oriented drawing tool; it is not Freehand or Illustrator, and it is a fraction of the price.

I have been using drawing tools for 26 years, for a fairly large variety of drawings, and I have not had need for this feature (that is not to say that others do not have need for it) and I have not seen it as a "common feature" in all those drawing tools. Like others, I now use OG exclusively for all my drawings, without this feature. But then I do not have the problem where I need this feature and have some cumbersome or un-natural method of creating the required object, and I am certainly not repeating said process over and over again (I create my required objects once, and place them in a Stencil).

Maybe if you post an image along with an exact specific requirement, we can help. It is possible there are ways of creating the required shape using methods other than that which you are using (and which are less un-natural or cumbersome).

If you really want it as a feature in OG, make an official request via Help/SendFeedback. Others can vote for or against it. There is no use debating whether is "should" be a OG feature or not, or whether any drawing tool "should" have such a feature or not, because all that is based on your personal need and thus heavily biased.

Last edited by DerekAsirvadem; 2010-09-30 at 01:46 PM..
Thank you for the tutorial it was appreciated but quite unnecessary. I know what OG is, I have been using it for many years. I know what it cost because I have paid for it (several times), and I know what other tools cost because I have bought them also.

I, too, use OG as my primary drawing tool and I know how to submit requests to support.

No where did I say that they SHOULD put this feature in. I was merely supporting another poster who was looking for a feature that I am also interested in.

Finally .... if you look at how the .graffleshapes file is defined, closed shapes are simply a concatenation of line and bezier segments. There is nothing inconsistent with the fact that OG is an object oriented tool for me to suggest that I could DRAW the lines and beziers and ask the program to create the closed region from that. It might be hard for them to do....They might choose never to do it.... but I don't believe there is any blasphemy involved.
It's a fairly popular request; I encourage those who'd like it to drop us a line at so we can be sure to record it.
I was merely answering germ's post.

I have no idea why others think I am responding to them, or why they take post that are unrelated to them so personally.
Your reply helped me, DerekAsirvadem. Thanks much!

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