Choose colors for new color picker


I’m pleased that there is now an easier way to set the Fill color for objects …

It may well be on the backlog, but can I request a feature that these swatches are editable? E.g. drag and drop from native color picker, or load from a palette file or something (first 30 colors in the palette I guess) - or perhaps pick some objects and then generate swatches from them.

While talking about colors - any reason why the colors in the dropdown aren’t editable?
(image in post below as I’m a new user and can only add 1 per post)

I know they never have been (it’s not just an OmniGraffle 7 thing), but it seems like there might be an opportunity for cross-pollination with the new feature. For example, the dropdown entries could optionally match the color swatches in some way.

Very pleased with the new beta so far!


Existing dropdown:


Apple has had it for decades, and OG has had it for some time. It works perfectly in OG 4 & 5.

  • Go to the Colors Inspector
  • Choose ColourPallettes tab
  • use the Action button (next to the ColourPallette name drop-down) and choose New
  • now just drag and drop from anywhere


I appreciate your help, but I don’t think that’s what I’m asking for. I’m asking for the color list within the OmniGraffle interface to be editable. I’m not sure where that list comes from, but it doesn’t represent the colors I use most often.

I think what you’re saying is to use OSX’s native color inspector, which works fine as you describe but takes longer to get to.

If I could alter the colors from within OmniGraffle itself, it would be a quicker way to get to the colors I most commonly use and not involve another floating window (soon gets crowded on some resolutions and desktop setups).

Hope this helps to clarify.

That is the purpose of the Apple colour picker. You alter the colours in it. From OG. From any Mac app. As stated, there is no way on earth that a developer could reach the functionality of that, with a home-brewed freaky picker.

[quote]… it would be a quicker way …
and not involve another floating window (soon gets crowded on some resolutions and desktop setups).[/quote]

I must be missing something. Regardless of which colour picker we are discussing (either Apple or freaky bob), it has to be in a window. It is 2016, and all windows float. So there is not one additional window, but one for the Apple colour picker, XOR one for freaky bob. One uses just one colour picker (ie. one does not flip back and forth, especially if one has a set of their own commonly-used colours). Therefore there is no additional window to speak of.

Altering the colours in freaky bob is not advised. Why ? Because one day OG will wake up, find out about the Apple colour picker, implement that, and send bob back to the bayou, so that he can beta in a beta place. Then you will lose all those colours that you put there, and you will have to put them in the Apple colour picker, once, and forever.

But if you still insist, altering the colours on freaky bob has a yet another story. He would have to write it. And then the fact that it is a sub-standard mess that cannot be changed, will be exposed. Bob will go out the back and top himself. So you will have to find his sister, freaky jane. She will not want to touch bob’s um affairs, so she will start from scratch. In another year or three she will have a new beta ready for unit testing by prospects, and post it on the internet. But of course it will look different, and have a completely different six colours. Jane never liked Bob.

Meanwhile, down at the farm, where the boys know how to wrangle a steer without killing either themselves or it, we use the Apple colour picker. And we do not touch home-grown or in-bred freaky anything, or apps that contain same.

I am almost too scared out to ask, but here goes. What does “Other …” result in ? Con-joined twins ?

I’m afraid you’re quite wrong - there is a dropdown in OmniGraffle 6 that lets you choose a color of an object. You can see it in the second screenshot I posted. Go ahead and look at the Fill dialog in version 6 and come back. The “Other” in the dropdown takes you to the Apple Picker.

In OmniGraffle 7 (which is this forum topic by the way, and I mentioned in my post), there is the same dropdown, plus some additional color swatches - also implemented by OmniGraffle.

I don’t mean to be unpleasant or rude, but please do check out OmniGraffle 6 at least - and if possible, see what I mean about version 7.

No offence taken.

OG 6: I did. I couldn’t find it. Which is why I posted what I did.

OG 7: Could not care less. Would not try unless you paid me. The OG 6 bugs are too many to list, and they are not being fixed. I am not stupid enough to try OG 7, and a beta, which (as evidenced in other threads), has not been unit tested.

Ok, I found it. It is in the Inspector/Object.

Ok, so what I stated stands.

  • it is an idiotic, freaky bob, sub-standard mess, that has very limited capability.

  • No wonder you were pleased with the “new” OG 7 colour picker

  • it is still gross compared to the Apple colour picker

  • it is virtual identical to the Windows 98 menu drop-downs. Just a tiny bit out-of-date, and foreign.

  • you don’t need to use “Other”, you can simply have the Apple colour picker sitting there, like any Inspector. Eg. Font picker.

  • that works across all apps.

  • In which you place your personal colours

  • once

  • it takes the same number of clicks to change the fill of a shape, in both OG 5 or 6

  • two clicks for the first fill colour change, and then one click thereafter

  • it takes the same number of clicks to change the fill of a shape, using either the Apple colour picker xor the OG freaky bob (click the arrow part of the drop-down, not the main part)

  • I was not missing anything of import in my previous posts

  • (except taking down OG 5, so that OG 6 doesn’t clobber it, and looking for the Fill drop-down).

  • a drop-down for Fill remains freaky, sub-standard, a regression, since OG 4 & 5 has a colour swatch.


One big problem is, compared to the OG 5 Inspectors and GUI, OG 6 is badly broken, and has features removed, a regression. I can imagine that OG 7 is more, not less, broken, and has less features still.

  • Whereas, in OG 5, many such operations, take just one click. Even the first change. It has a much better understanding of Context than OG 6, which starts from scratch.

Now, why on earth would OG 7 have both the OG 6 freaky bob colour fill drop-down and the new colour swatches (your two images) ??? It is a good way to contradict oneself and to confuse users. You now have not one but two private locations that you can use to keep your preferred colours, in just one app. Which one (or both) do you want to be able to modify as a private OG colour picker ?

I found this thread while looking for how to load different ‘palettes’ in to the dropdown menu. I want to be able to set the few colours I use here. so when selecting other objects it is easy to set the colours I have used.

I am currently having to write down the colours I am using and then find them each time via ‘other’ quite far from ideal. It also sound like even if I use the OS X colour palette stuff the changes will not be reflected in this drop down.

What your asking for here makes a lot of sense to me, I have not found a quick way of working with colours in omnigraffle yet.

Using Omnigraffle 6.6

The quick way is to learn the Mac, first, then learn OG, which uses Apple facilities. We stopped writing down colour codes twenty years ago.

It does not make any sense to store a personal colour list is an app which has (or in this case has not, but has a request to) a facility to save those colours.

  • Why ?
    Because Apple provides the facility, in OSX, and it is mature. It is now, and always will be, streets ahead of anything a developer can provide in an app.

  • Why is it better ?
    Because then you can use you personal colour list across all apps, and when you upgrade the app, you will not have to re-store your personal colour list.

Ease of use.

  • For the first time ( select a particular object, then select the colour you want), there is no difference. The no of drags; clicks; etc, are exactly the same with using the Apple Colour Picker directly from OG, and using the OG drop-down. As posted above, I have already tried it and counted.

  • If you count the scroll down the down-down, the Apple Colour Picker is one less movement.

  • For the second and subsequent time (next object, same or different colour), the Apple Colour Picker is one less click. And one less movement.

  • If you Expand the screen shot, you can see this. That is the Apple Colour Picker, containing my personal colour list with names that are meaningful to me, on the left. I can go from my OG diagram/object (everything on the screen except the Apple Colour Picker), to the Apple Colour Picker, and back, and forth, without losing context or switching of any kind.

You can’t load a colour list into an app. You can load a colour list into the Apple Colour Picker. And name them, using names that are meaningful to you.

Yes. But if you use the Apple Colour Picker, then you would not use the OG Drop-down. The two are mutually exclusive. The point is null.

The changes are in one place, and you can access that one place from any app. You do not need to duplicate the content of the Apple Colour Picker into an app, or refresh it or whatever.

The easiest thing to do is to try it out. Discussing something you do not know is fraught with problems.

Please could you refrain from commenting further on this thread? I appreciate your comments and opinion, and you’re clearly not interested in the version 7 beta, so it would be good to allow people to focus on features relevant to that specifically, which is why this post was created.

Thanks again.


Your post fails logic on several counts, which would take too long to address.

Let me scope my response to that which we have as mutual interest:

  1. The thread is about OmniGraffle.
  • If not for its existence, OmniGraffle 7 would not exist; Omni would not be soliciting wishes for the future; and we would not responding.

  • On the contrary, I am very interested in OmniGraffle 7, it is the future of the product that I use the most on my Mac.

  • I am not interested in performing unit and integrity testing, without payment. Which is quite a different thing.

  • Such a position, or even some other position, does not disqualify anyone from posting on the thread.

  1. The site is owned by Omni, not you. The thread is owned by Omni, not you.

  2. In case you believe in democracy, then your comments are as “equal” as mine.

  • They may not be valid, but that can only be determined by discussion of facts
  1. In case you are a newbie to Apple, then my comments are more informed. But every one has the opportunity to post, so please feel free.

  2. In case you are a newbie to OmniGraffle, then my comments are more informed. But every one has the opportunity to post, so please feel free.

  3. Attempting to censor the content of the thread is unreasonable on several counts. A few are:

  • Newbies would get their ill-thought-out requests front-and-centre, and old hands would be drowned out.

  • The product might garner the “likes” of newbies, but it would suffer in the long term, because it would have silly features that only newbies will use, and be absent features that Apple users and serious diagrammers can use.

  • The point of a discussion forum is discussion, not censorship to get your own way, the way of a marginal group that is ignorant (that is the only word) of the facilities that are available.

  1. The thread for the wish list is labelled What are your wishes for OmniGraffle 7 ?. This thread is labelled Choose color for new colour picker.
  • If you wish to elevate this request to the wish list, I suggest you post it there. My comments would be posted there as well.

  • As it stands, this is a thread discussing the feature, period (it exists in OmniGraffle 6), as well as the future (in OmniGraffle 7 Epsilon).

  • In case you have little experience with fora, the above is a Good Thing: one thread for all requests, and one thread each for discussion of each request, is a great way of organising information, especially when one has no control of how people comment.

  1. The bottom line is:
  • you want a private colour picker inside OG. That request is relevant only for someone who (a) has no knowledge of Apple, of Macs, of the superior methods available. And (b) who is unwilling to learn about them.

  • If Omni listened to you alone, they would end up committing resources (which could be better used elsewhere) to a non-Apple method that a few newbies can use.

  • The Apple Colour Picker is already there, so no expense is required to furnish it.

  • In a year or three, when you learn how a Mac works, the feature will fall into disuse. Any effort writing it would be a complete waste.

  • I want to (a) inform people who can be informed, such that (b) they understand the whole issue; the resources available; such that © the requests can be evaluated in full context. And (d) to commit Omni resources to features that are useful, rather than useless-but-requested.

  • Fixing the bugs would be a good place to start.

  • Brining back the features that previous releases had, that have been removed in recent releases, would be a great idea. These are seriously useful, and removal reduced the capability of the product.

  • implementing a private feature that already exists in and Apple facility would be a very silly thing to do.

  1. I have posted facts, not opinions. You are (evidently, if you read the thread) in denial of those facts, and thus can post only opinions.
  • You do not respond to the facts, but post further opinions (eg. “I’m afraid you’re quite wrong”) in denial of facts. You did not count the keystrokes or movements, but maintain the opinion that the private colour picker is somehow “easier”.

  • Or worse, in effect, you want (unscientific desire) a private colour picker, in denial of the facts (real world evidence in time and space), the existence and feature set of the Apple colour picker.

  • Here is an opinion from me, if only for you to perceive the difference. Note also that I have not previously stated it:

  1. In view of the extant and full-featured Apple Colour Picker, the OmniGraffle colour picker in the current version, OG 6, and the presented OG 7 beta (but not OG 4 and 5), is totally redundant.
  • The fact that the colour picker drop-down exists, in OG 6 and 7 (image in second post), is ready evidence that the developer who produced it is a Windoze person: it is a classic Windozy, non-Apple, drop-down, replete with windead names.

  • Separately, it is ugly as sin, completely different from the rest of the inspectors.

  • Further, they are evidently unaware of (a) the operation of the same feature in the previous release of OG, and (b) the Apple Colour Picker.

  • it causes confusion for newbies who are unaware of the former, and who will thus requests enhancements to the latter.

  • None of which (the enhancements) can ever reach the feature set or maturity of the former, due to the fact that Apple has far more oversight; their facility is far more advanced, and continue to advance; and they have a somewhat larger budget.

  • Any effort spent by (a) the developer developing the private feature, as well as (b) the newbies using it, would be a waste, because if and when the newbies overcome their denial, and find and use the Apple feature, all the effort (b) has to the redone, and the effort (a) would therefore be a waste.

  • Oops, that turned out to be fact as well, not opinion. Pardon me, I am an old-school scientist, who thinks in terms of facts and logic. Evidently you appreciate opinion in denial of facts, and absent logic, so let me try again.

  1. The colour swatches in OmniGraffle 7 beta (first image in the first post) are worse than that in OmniGraffle 6. For all the reasons above.
  • It is more seductive, and will attract more newbies into doing the wrong thing

  • the colours are given in a backward sequence, going from dark to light, whereas the human mind operates forwards, going from light to dark. (Refer to any of the Apple or non-Apple colour pickers, for what people have standardised upon, over the decades.)

  • four wells per major colour is totally inadequate (refer to my screen shot, post 5, for an understanding of what an experienced hand does use [OG 4, 5, 6], and wants to use, and will use [OG 7] )

  • it takes up an awful lot of real estate, which is to be minimised.

  • Whereas, what is required, is a single small colour well that calls up the Apple Colour Picker (as in OG 4 & 5), and thus eliminates the confusion and investment in the second option.

  • Oops, that turned out to be fact as well, not opinion. Pardon me, I am an old-school scientist. Forgive me if I do not try again.

Um OK - well, you succeeded in none of your aims. Congratulations. I’m not sure what kind of science you practise, but best of luck to you.

GG, Martin’s post is CLEARLY about v7. That’s why I’m here also.

Thank you.

My posts are about OmniGraffle 7. You may wish to re-read them with that in mind.

That’s why I am here too.

  1. Right now it isn’t useable, but hopefully in a year or three, OG 7 will be useful. I am hoping to influence its usefulness. In that regard, I have posted relevant info re OG 5, 6, & 7. That background will be helpful to people other than OP who look up this thread. It is also there for completeness (this is referenced from other topics).

  2. I have provided further and specific info in my posts in response to the OP. That is specific to OG 7.