Flat File versus Package

I have looked online to try and find the answer to this issue, but I can’t really find anything that explains it. What are the disadvantages of using a flat file? Before I go saving flies as flat by default, I want to know what that decision means for me.

Can someone point me to a document/explanation?

Thanks in advance

The “Automatic” format is usually our recommended option to stick with, hence it being the default! In a very general sense, file packages can offer better performance and disk conservation than flat files due to being a bundled file format, whereas flat files can be easier to work with when sending files over the internet. Most users shouldn’t have to worry about picking one versus the other, so the “Automatic” option will take out this guesswork and automatically switch between a package or flat file, to offer the best performance based on the characteristics of your document.

With the “Automatic” option selected, OmniGraffle documents will start off as a flat file until you place an image file onto your canvas, after which it’ll get saved as a file package. I hope this helps!

The problem and disadvantage with Packages is that they don’t behave very well in mixed environments, particularly where you are saving to SharePoint or OneDrive - you WILL lose your data since these turn your Packages into folders and lose the contents. Same happens with Keynote.


Google Drive also has a problems with them as well. Whenever I save an Omnigraffle file to the shared drive we have for some of our work areas they are unable to sync, saving them as a flat file always works.

I’d highly recommend changing to Flat File by default if you use any Microsoft file sharing systems by going to File > Resource Browser right click on your default template and Edit it. Go to the Document Inspector and change to Flat File, save the template.


I can confirm - modifying the default template works as intended. Thanks!

Ugh - I wish I knew this was an issue with SharePoint.

Any tools that can recover the data?