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I am trying out the demo to find out if OmniGraffle works for my needs.
I have bee using mindjet manager, but am not entirely satisfied with their layout capabilities.

The problem comes from wanting to generate connections between objects that follow a variety of paths (not just from one magnet to another). An example would be an org-chart layout. I see that this is accomplished for a simple org chart using diagram style. I would like to be able to do this for a variety of tree structures. However, when I change the org-chart layout in almost any way, it gets messed up, reflecting the way it is put together.

For example, changing the org chart from top-down to left->right makes a mess of the connecting lines. This can be fixed by changing the magnets from N-S to E-W. However, there are some connections that I have not been able to generate (easily). An example is a tree structure. I am able to do this by reformatting and realigning all of the daughter topics. However, adding a new topic causes the layout to fall apart.

Is there a way to generate any of these other layout structures? This seems like a fairly basic application for a graphic layout package like this. At a minimum, could someone tell me how to force newly added topics to conform to a style so that I don't need to reset the style on everything?

What you need to investigate is OmniGraffle's "Choose diagram style" option, available from the process button at the bottom left corner of the OG window.

Diagram Styles can include both the layout direction of the tree and the magnet positions on the nodes.

Switching between the two attached diagram styles will, for example, allow you to change cleanly between top-down and left-right orthogonally linked trees, and new nodes will behave in the manner defined by the prevailing diagram style.

(Just switching layout, rather than diagram style, can cause a mess because the magnet positions will not have changed).

You can create your own diagram styles (File > New Resource > New Diagram Style), and by default, they are stored in:

~/Library/Application Support/OmniGraffle/Diagram Styles/

Last edited by RobTrew; 2011-07-05 at 07:46 AM..
I think I am still missing something.
In particular, is there a way to force segments of the connecting lines to always overlap? This would make it much easier.

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