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Updating stencil instances Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I was hoping that by using stencils I could edit a single instance and have it change throughout my multipage document. It seems this is not possible or am I missing something? Is it possible to accomplish this somehow?
Stencils don't work in the manner that you want, they're really just objects on special read-only documents that can be dragged to a canvas.

We do have it in mind to look at implementing some sort of reference object library in the future.

You might be able to get what you're after here with copying a shape as a PDF and using LinkBack to get the behavior sought.

That all said, the Selection Inspector can quickly filter and select similar objects throughout a document, and then you can apply style changes en masse.
"Vroom! Vroom!!"
Hi Joel!

That all said, the Selection Inspector can quickly filter and select similar objects throughout a document, and then you can apply style changes en masse.
Well, if I group some objects together and inside those groups there is each an object I want to change en masse - How can I select them all in the selection filter? It hides them for me and only shows the groups. Any Help?

Cheers! Great Tool! Without it, my Thesis would look like crap ;)
The selection inspector treats grouped objects as if they were a single shape, but we can file a feature request on making this change so the rest of the team knows you'd like to see this added in the future. Thanks!

Well if you are taking the requirement seriously, then it needs a bit of thought re the method, what exactly are we looking for.

I would suggest that, while drawing a diagram using a stencil, if one opens and edits the stencil, upon saving the stencil, there could be an option to "change the objects in the diagram to match the characteristics of the [changed] objects in the stencil".

Personally, I think not. I think it would be better (for many reasons) to instead enhance the Style Brush, to pick up the full set of styles from an initial object, and then be able to change any object that one touches with it. In multi-action mode of course.

Add me to requesting this feature also.

I acknowledge that stencils / updating objects is a complex issue. I would like to see features introduced that help manage stencils, provide the ability to update documents (re-linking) while not requiring this. Something along the lines of master objects or linkback-ing only more powerful.

I just want to jump in here as it's been more than four years since the OP had asked whether OmniGraffle will support propagating changes to multiple stencil instances (this has been asked various times, including this post from way back in 2009)

The option to automatically update stencil instances, at least for me, is one of the most useful tools OmniGraffle could possibly implement. Sure OG is an amazingly fast tool for small to medium graffle-sized projects, but I'm finding myself asking 'why?' when I'm needlessly copying/pasting revisions across multiple pages.

Could Omni Group Please look at how Axure uses Masters, or how Illustrator uses Symbols? How about when creating an OG Stencil, the user could change it's behaviour from type 'one-off' (as per todays implementation') to type 'persistent' where changes to it would propagate throughout the document? Such a powerful update would fill one of OmniGraffle's few holes as a heavyweight UX tool.

Also, (and to touch on Joel's point above) I'm really not sure about the current 'copy as PDF' to create a linkback implementation. Besides the need for a control panel area (ala Stencils) to easily maintain such a library of reusable assets, I find the files quickly become corrupted when saving, not to mention the very strange alignment bugs as mentioned (and sadly not responded to) in this post and this).

So having used OmniGraffle solidly for a number of years, I'm sad to say that I'm actively looking for other software to fit my needs. I had hoped that when I had posted on OmniGraffle's Facebook page back in early December, there'd at least be some mention of an ETA for a future product. But with no indication that any instance of the above will be implemented, and the fact that there was no mention to improved OmniGraffle in Omni Group's blog post (late December), I'm really forced to look elsewhere for a product which can deliver what I need to for my clients, which is unfortunate.

As somewhat of a side note:
Other features I would see as improvements to OG would be shared libraries across multiple documents; online syncing/revision control to enable multiple users to work on the same document; and more sufficient use of interactions - i.e. actions on steroids - but for now Axure is fine for heavier duty prototyping.

Thanks for reading.
(To get a response you may need to send a copy through Help > Send Feedback in the OGfl menu.)
Originally Posted by andyshan View Post

I just want to jump in here as it's been more than four years since the OP had asked whether OmniGraffle will support propagating changes to multiple stencil instances... [clipped due to forum not allowing urls for new users]
With multiple designers, we could save so much time and inevitable redundant work by quickly sharing assets. Not only that, it standardizes everyones elements off the bat. Couple that with symbols and you're future-proof.

Perhaps this has been on the backburner as a low-priority feature because it's the 200pg mega-doc user edge case (which also happens to be a B to develop). I see this more about creating consistency and being in lock-step with teammates, core. Think for us, app!

Thanks for being awesome and I hope you become awesomer.

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