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Why is Omnigraffle so unintuitive? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I spend about 25% of my time working with Omnigraffle googling how to do things in Omnigraffle. So many controls are hidden, or conditional, or just not there. Documentation is all but nonexistent. Furthermore I seem to consistently land on forum posts where someone has asked a question and no one has answered. Why? Why is Omnigraffle so difficult to use?
For example, I just placed a double-ended arrow on my canvas from my Stencils palette. I would like to rotate it so that it's vertical instead of horizontal. I hold CMD, hoping the rotational icon shows, but it doesn't. You would think that since holding CMD on other objects displays the rotational control, that the same would happen for lines and arrows. Nope. I hold CMD and click either the green/red control points. Suddenly the arrow shoots off in a random diagonal direction and becomes 10x longer. Why? How is that intuitive?

For another example, I would like to have page numbers on each of my canvases. I create a shared layer for my first canvas, and then add the following code: "<%#%> of <%TotalCanvases%>" This seems pretty straightforward; you would think this would display "1 of 10," or whatever. Turns out it does. But then I add and delete a few canvases, each time copying this shared layer between canvases, and suddenly my pagination is all out of whack. First canvas is 1 of 10. Second canvas is 5 of 10. Third canvas is also 5 of 10. Fourth canvas is 2 of 10. How? Why?

For a third example, I would like all of the text I place on a canvas to be 18pt and bold (or whatever). Search google, can't find a way to do this. Finally write to Omni and get the answer: You have to click the Text tool icon, then release your mouse click, then Option+click the Text tool again, and only at that point can you select a formatting style that will remain consistent. Most unintuitive sequence ever! Nothing about this in the documentation, no answers to people's questions about this in the forums, just some little-known Omnigraffle secret.

Stuff like this is so frustrating. How can you make a productivity product and have its UX be this unintuitive? It baffles me.
Also, sorry to get mean (not intended), but vBulletin for your forums? Your website, and its design? Is it 2003?

What I'm trying to say is, I love Omnigraffle (and its what I have to use at work!) but gosh darn it, I would love it if it were easier to use.
See the built-in documentation for "Inspecting a tool", or page 32 of the downloadable manual. You'll be better off if you actually read the documentation instead of just trying to search for "how do I do XYZ?" as the former will give you the overall approach so that you'll instinctively do the right thing, and the latter may not be explicitly spelled out in terms that every search will find.

The inspector operation you characterize as so confusing is rather straightforward and consistent. If you make changes in the inspector with something selected, the changes affect the selected item(s). If you option click the tool first, you are setting the defaults (options) for anything subsequently created with that tool.

I'm not seeing your canvas behavior, though I wonder if perhaps you are being confused by the default canvas names (which stay with the canvas as it moves around in the sidebar, and do not reflect the position in the stack).

What benefit would be derived from switching to a different forum solution, in your estimation? Are you using the default style, or the Omni style? As for the lack of answers to specific questions in the forum, this is not intended as the primary support channel, but a place where users can help each other. If you want an answer from Omni, contact them directly. The Omni staffers participate here as time permits, but there's no guarantee any given post will be seen and handled by the appropriate person.

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