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When an arrow shape is created, there is an extra blue control dot that prevents the arrow head from scaling with the rest of the shape as it is stretched. I cannot seem to find any documentation on this feature - is there some way to create new shapes with this feature? Or hack the file of a stencil to add a control point?

I'm trying to create stencils for isometric boxes, but I've been forced to individually draw a box for each size, since stretching the box skews the isometric view.

Here is an example of the issue:

And here is how the Arrows handle it with the little blue control dot:

How do I create my own little blue dot?
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Welcome to the world of OmniGraffle. Yes, you can do all of that. But rather than trying to answer the questions, it will be better for you (as you progress your learning) if you understand this:

1 That arrow is a sub-standard arrow. Pick up a good one, eg. from the Lines and Shapes tool, or a good stencil. They scale correctly, and they do not have extraneous EditPoints.

2 Start with a good arrow. Select it. EditMenu/MakePointsEditable. Now your arrow (or any other object will have handles (I love it thatyou call them little blue control dots) at every line intersection (and possible Bezier curve splines as well). You can work with the points as you would expect.

To work with the splines, start with this.
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Last edited by DerekAsirvadem; 2010-05-14 at 05:48 AM..
3.1 Isometric. The first problem is your expectation. If you select a handle and drag, you will get a stretched object, there is no suggestion otherwise (ie. that "stretch is rendered isometrically), and some people want that. However, if you drag one of the corner handles while holding the Shift key, it will scale proportionately (isometrically, perfectly. But that's not what you want, you want some parts scaled isometrically and other parts stretched. Second, that is a grouped object; if you are working in an isometric context (mindset), stick with that and work with simple objects or ungroup the grouped object as you need. Third, by definition, a two-dimensional object cannot be drawn isometrically (ok, it is a plane), and does not have isometric properties.

3.2 The second problem is the third dimension, expecting that you can have isometric properties assigned to the object. Correctly (we have to be pedantic here), if you resize the box, the size in the third dimension should change proportionately as well. And that's not what you want. So what you really want is not isometric properties in the object either, but to
take the object apart (into separate planes)
of course now that we have planes, and each plane holds its isometric status, you can easily move the planes around to where to want them (envisioning the final box isometrically)
then resize each plane
then group them back into a single object.

3.3 You, the artist, have to hold the isometric context, you cannot expect the program to do it for you (it can do isometric pefectly, as long as you use it isometrically). OmniGraffle is not AutoCAD, it is a simple (powerful) object-oriented Drawing (plus, plus!) tool, at 1/100th the price.

3.4 Starting with good objects (setting up a good stencil) cannot be over-emphasised. Eg. Your box is fine as a box, quite acceptable to most diagrams, but it is not set up for isometric drawing. Therefore you cannot expect it to behave isometrically when resized vertically, horizontally or both.

3.5 I have Isometric boxes, etc set up in a stencil, which scale perfectly, isometrically, pedantically (if you understand [3.1] and [3.2]). Excellent base objects for isometric drawing, but really, I still need scaling on height and width and 0.5 scaling on the depth. I drew them myself, and they are simple, exact little structures, as befits a stencil, but I have to hold the context (and if you do not, you can use render the isometric box quite silly isometric diagrams).
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3.6 That's all by way of explanation. I think at your stage of learning, once you understand [2], you will find it is much easier to just MakePointsEditable, and move the points around while maintaining the isometric context in your mind.
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4 You never have to hack anything in the standard-complaint world. If you don't like a stencil, yes, you can change it. A stencil is an ordinary OmniGraffle doc (hopefully with carefully thought-out objects) saved as a stencil. You can either create new stencil: StencilMenu/NewStencil, or open up the stencil you want to change and StencilMenu/EditStencil.

To set the default size of the stencil: while you are editing it, change the magnification. Either View/Zoom or bottom right of window. of course to change the displayed size of any stencil (when you are treating the stencil as a stencil) drag the bottom right corner, the window resize icon.

Last edited by DerekAsirvadem; 2010-05-14 at 05:47 AM..
Thanks for your responses, IncisiveOne, but you misread my question slightly.

I'm aware that I can go in and edit points. But, the arrows that the shape tool creates have special points - little blue control points for lack of a better name - that prevent scaling of the arrow end while the rest of the arrow stretches.

Try it out - the arrow shapes behave differently than any other type of shape.

My question is: How can I create my own shapes with the little blue dot so that my shapes can have the same constrained stretching behavior as the arrow shapes?

If I could find a way to do that, I think I could create isometric stencils that would stretch as I want them to.
No worries.

Try it out - the arrow shapes behave differently than any other type of shape.
I did already. My arrows (OG original plus a I tried a couple from the better stencils) scale perfectly. None of them have your extra ControlPoint. I posted an image of same in post 2.

It must be a 5.x feature on Arrows (and other objects) that prevent the ArrowHead being stretched. No idea how to add one of those. I would guess at Option-double-click.

Have you tried moving or removing the extra dot from your arrows (to check the chnged behaviour) ?

How can I create my own shapes with the little blue dot so that my shapes can have the same constrained stretching behavior as the arrow shapes?
I already answered that, you can do that with EditPoints (separate to 5.x ControlPoints), in [2]:

If you want to add an EditPoint, just double-click on the edge (stroke) of the shape.

Last edited by DerekAsirvadem; 2010-05-14 at 09:49 AM..
I found release docs for Omnigraffle referring to smart shapes:

OmniGraffle 5.1
Released November 19 2008 Requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later
New Features

Smart Shapes
We've added a new Smart Shape (akin to the resizable block arrow shapes), it is a wedge/arc shape that can be resized in degrees by dragging the blue smart handles. This shape is found in the Shapes stencil in the Common folder in the Stencil Window.
So, arcs and block arrows are Smart Shapes in Omnigraffle 5.1. How do I create my own?
Originally Posted by IncisiveOne View Post
I already answered that, you can do that with EditPoints (separate to 5.x ControlPoints), in [2]:

If you want to add an EditPoint, just double-click on the edge (stroke) of the shape.
For the record, no. This is not the same thing.
Er,yeah, I am quite aware it is not the same thing; never suggested it was (yeah, sure there was a bit of confusion at the beginning, but that was clarified early); don't need a record to confirm it.

I thought I posted my limited knowledge of new 5.x features; that I am clueless in how to get the exact requirement who want. Anyway, just trying to help. If I had your problem on Wed at 20:00 I would have worked around it by 20:06, because for me, from your description and examples, the workaround is cheaper than either the stall, or the cost of finding out if you can do what you want, when it is not intuitively available.

But you seem to be focused on not only getting that specific requirement, but on the method of getting it as well. therefore your need is beyond me.

It is probably telling that no one has answered you question. Are Joel and Brian at conference ?

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