The only Windows-based application I missed, after switching
to an OS X-powered laptop in 2005, was Microsoft Visio. Thankfully, The Omni Group’s OmniGraffle program filled the
void. OmniGraffle excels at building diagrams, flow charts, wire frames,
technical documents, user interactions and user experience graphics on Macs and
even iPads.

In keeping with Apple’s simplicity philosophy, the
“graffling” software enables users to construct complex and elaborate diagrams by
combining the power of simple elements — namely, canvases, layers, shapes, lines,
images, text, and fonts. 

Numerous stencils and templates are included as well:

  • Templates save formatting time by presenting ready-to-use options for iOS and
    Mac app icons, iOS screens, Mac
    toolbars, floor plans, traditional document pages (both metric and Imperial), and various backgrounds
  • Stencils present preformatted resources for
    generating maps, circuit diagrams, flow charts, plumbing fixtures, appliances, furniture, walls, and window drawings

The app works equally well, whether users are creating simple mockups
and drafts or fine-tuning final presentation materials. Thanks to the
integrated OmniPresence feature, synchronizing Graffle documents across
multiple devices is easy, too.

OmniGraffle version 6, released in the fall of 2013, possesses numerous
improvements. The interface and icons are updated and feature a cleaner, fresher
look that mimic some of the changes many users associate with iOS 7. The application
works better in full-screen mode and better utilizes high-resolution displays,
a task that comes in handy when prepping web pages and elements.

Canvases and layers now live in a single sidebar, providing
a better view of the document being created. The new guide inspector also simplifies
managing horizontal and vertical guides. Layers are easy to share across multiple canvases — and canvases
can be exported directly to Photoshop, with layers included.

The inspector sidebar automatically changes to present relevant
tabs based on the object selected. Shapes are easier to work with, too, and
font and stroke scaling are now included. Shapes can be combined, even tweaked for size and shape, without having
to recreate them. Yet another improvement is the resource browser, which
enables users to customize the many available stencils and templates.

Business users accustomed to purchasing, managing, and
updating software applications using the Apple App Store will be pleased to find
OmniGraffle 6 is available for $99.99 (USD) within the store itself. Businesses no
longer need to purchase the software outside the App Store or directly from the
manufacturer, which makes it easier to manage software procurement and track
licensing.

Diehard fans can keep track of version updates, special
pricing promotions, and time-saving tips by visiting the manufacturer’s blog. That’s just one more reason, following years
of use and factoring the latest improvements, why it’s clear that OmniGraffle 6 sets the
diagramming software standard on OS X and iOS platforms.

Do you use OmniGraffle? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.