Join Jason Osder for an in-depth discussion in this video Automatic layouts with OmniGraffle, part of OmniGraffle 6 Essential Training.
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OmniGraffle has a feature called automatic layouts and, as the name implies, this is a very quick way to change the layout of your entire diagram. This works particularly well with a hierarchical style diagram as we have here. And we find layouts in our canvass inspector, so that's the middle one here. That deals with things that are canvas wide, and you can see that I've closed down a lot of our different inspectors just to reveal the Diagram Layout Inspector.
And, as you can see, we've got some options revealed here, and we are currently highlighted as a vertical, top to bottom hierarchy, but in one click, we can make this a bottom to top hierarchy. So, we select that and then we layout now and we switch everything around. I should point out that if you check Auto Layout, there's no need to hit the Layout Now button. Every change will take place in real time. So, for efficiency, let's ahead and click Auto Layout and see some other options.
We can also go left to right or right to left and you can see, in just one click, we get back to where we started, which is top to bottom. Here we have the distances between objects, both vertically and horizontally. So, if we want vertical, but we want things just a little bit tighter, I can go to a half inch and again, as long as Auto Layout is checked, these changes happen as soon as I make them. This menu, right here, is very, very powerful because we're not stuck with just Hierarchical.
We also have some other options that tend to go center-out with slightly different rules. So, we'll look at a couple of these, but I also encourage you to play a little bit because this is one of those tools where tweaking and adjusting can get you different results. So, let's take look at Force Directed, and you can see that this is almost like a force field pushing your objects apart, and as you slide out for more distance between them, you get a slightly different look. This is the distance between everything.
And this is the distance between just the objects connected by the lines. So, you're literally playing with this idea of as if they had different force fields around them. These other ones are fairly similar, but again, the best way to use them is to click on them, see what parameters are available and then start to adjust. So, circular tends to put everything out from the center but the rules are slightly different than with force directed. And same with radial. Another version of things in the center and radiating out.
And then you tweak for the sizing and get different layouts. In this case, I think most people are used to a hierarchical layout for this type of thing. But I really like the diagrammed layout inspector, because it lets you make radical changes to your entire layout really, really quickly.
- Create your first diagram
- Getting around the interface
- Working with shapes
- Adding and modifying text
- Create custom stencils
- Replicating shapes and styles
- Customizing the toolbar
- Using templates
- Adjusting units and scale
- Import images and folder structures from Finder
- Using Presentation mode