THE diagramming software tool for OS X
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February 07, 2019

THE diagramming software tool for OS X

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with OmniGraffle

I use OmniGraffle the same way that others use Micrfosoft Visio, primarily for technical diagrams for my documentation. In my particular case, I am the only person using it, and that is because I came into this position as a user of Apple products for years and continue to use it at home. This department uses all Windows notebooks for Windows server support. The bad news for me is that there isn't a version that runs on a PC, so if I'm working on a drawing in Visio at the office and want to take it home and work on it, I can import it into Visio, but complex arcs don't import cleanly due to its algorithms for computing sine and co-sine values during the import.
  • OmniGraffle is fairly simple to use, but the one thing I think it does best is working with curved lines, particularly if you are using some of the available arc templates. Drop an arc onto your page, then tell it the dimensions it needs to be, and viola! Done. Manipulating the arcs is as simple as clicking and dragging offset points.
  • OmniGraffle has also done an excellent job in stirring up the creative minds of many people who create templates and tools to work with OmniGraffle (not that Microsoft hasn't done so either), and managed to get the bulk of those into well organized repositories.
  • What it all boils down to for me is: it just works. One doesn't need to have a computer science degree to work with it either. It is as simple or complex as you want it to be.
  • The ability to import Visio drawings is important to a lot of people. However, if one is importing a Visio drawing that has a complex arcs in it, they are not going to import properly. You end up with a drawing in OmniGraffle that doesn't look like it does in Visio - the arc lines are all off.
  • If one has a very complex diagram that needs to fit on one page but extends close to the margins, you could end up getting a little frustrated because the program keeps wanting to drag another page into the fray.
  • It may be something very simple to do, but I haven't yet found out how to specify exact page sizes for my drawings. If I just take the default, I'll get an 8/5" x 11" portrait page and have to focus on ensuring everything fits right. On the other hand, if I create a large page to start with because I know it isn't all going to fit on one letter-size page, resizing the page when I'm done is not a pretty picture.
  • ROI really hasn't come into the picture for me. I purchased OmniGraffle Pro for my own use at home, and to a limited degree import work files from Visio.
  • When it comes to my personal use at home, OmniGraffle has paid for itself many times over with the diagrams I have made for charting path-of-travel for Motorcycle Safety Foundation riding exercises. It has subjectively enriched my documentation of subjects important to me.
OmniGraffle has a standard and "Pro" version just like Microsoft Visio does.
OmniGraffle works exclusively on Macs, while Visio can run on both Windows and OS X.
I probably would be using Visio today if I did not have a Mac background. Even in my past job where I supported hundreds of Microsoft Windows servers using a Macbook Pro notebook, Omnigraffle was THE tool for me to use when diagramming. I picked OmniGraffle over Visio at the time because I had a Macbook and Visio did not run on OS X then. I've stayed with it ever since, and don't regret it for a minute.
As I said earlier in this review, OmniGraffle does an excellent job with arcs if they are created in OmniGraffle. The same is not true if the drawing I'm working on was imported from Visio. In that case, I need to just start all over with the arc lines, and that is not often a reasonable option.