How to make an object snap from its centre?


I have a circle that is 3 grid units diameter, so it will only snap relative to its borders. I want to have it snap to its centre, which in this case is in the middle of a grid square? Is this possible?



Is there any way to do this?

This isn’t currently an option in OmniGraffle 6, I’m afraid! There’s an open feature request to add this snap option in a future update, so I’ll add your comments to that ticket in our tracker. Sorry to disappoint!

OK thanks. I found a workaround by temporarily setting the number of sub-grid lines higher, so a suitable snapping point exists.

Is this feature available in Omnigraffle 7? It would simplify my life hugely.



We’ve made some big changes to the Inspectors in OmniGraffle 7!

After repositioning your object along the grid in OmniGraffle 7, you can click the Align centers to grid option in the Object:Alignment Inspector to snap the object to align from its center.

Awesome! Thanks.

I just noticed, though, that if you snap an object to the grid and then subsequently drag it, it is no longer centered on the grid point. Is that a feature?

Hi David,

The behavior you describe is currently expected. The Align centers to grid button is a onetime operation that you can apply to a selected object on your canvas. I’m sorry, but it’s not a persistent toggle, so you’d need to click it again after repositioning the object in order to reapply the setting.

If a persistent toggle-able state for objects would be important for your use, we’d appreciate if you could send us an email at describing your workflow and use case in greater detail. That information will help our development team better understand the use cases that require this, so we can try to better accommodate those workflows in the future. Thank you!

Problem Definition

The problem here is one of understanding. If you do not define the problem accurately, no amount of New Features or added features will help.

One of the many important features of a Grid (some would say, the whole point of a Grid) is to be able SnapToGrid, either Edges XOR Centres. So before you start drawing serious diagrams, you need to think about what you want to draw (the objects and symbols) and what Grid you need to draw said objects. That means that all your objects should be:

  • consistently sized (relative to each other, proportionate or not, etc)
  • and The Grid should be sized for those objects (considering SnapToEdge or SnapTo Centre).

If you do that, you will not have this “problem” where most of your objects are multiples of Grid units and align as intended (eg. Edge), but some of your objects are not multiples of Grid units and they must align to Centre.

  • The Grid is not for aligning one object here and another object there.
  • The Grid is for aligning all your objects, and aligning them relative to each other
  • The bottom line in that is, all your objects will be sized such that they are an even number of Grid units
  • The deeper bottom line is, you have to think for yourself, the drawing tool cannot do any thinking for you. It is just a fixed piece of code that does what you tell it to do (most of the time!)

You will experience this “problem” in even slightly complex drawings.

  • Alignment of objects on the canvas is a key to making drawings that look great.

Problem Not Understood is a Bar to Progress

If you think this “problem” is bad, just wait until you start manipulating Magnets on your objects and line connections, the “problem” becomes much worse. Because the objects are not thoughtfully aligned on the Grid, the lines too, with not be aligned on the Grid. You will spend half your life fiddling with Magnet positions.

That is to say, if you do not understand that this as a core issue in a drawing, and do not address it correctly, as your drawings advance in complexity, the problem gets worse. For really beautiful drawing not only your objects, but your lines, have to be aligned. That’s why the positioning of the Magnets are important, and that’s why the Magnets have to be aligned on the Grid units.

So the point is, the problem correctly defined is, your Grid is incorrect.


  • The one and only solution is as described above.

  • In your case the Grid/MinorGridSteps must be twice as that which you have.

  • Get used to using that Grid, and not the Grid you think you need.

It is not a workaround. It is the permanent solution. However, if you do not understand my explanation above, you will not perceive the problem correctly, thus you will not have a permanent solution, and you will experience this “problem” in all your drawings.

Not a Solution

The problem now is this.

  • If you do not understand my post

    • you might think that this function somehow addresses the “problem”.
    • Its only benefit (and that on an object by object basis) is to allow new users to draw diagrams without careful thought, and to continue thinking that the solution lies in the drawing tool.
    • That prevents them from understanding the problem and progressing wih their ability to draw diagrams.
    • Therefore it is a negative benefit, a hindrance to progress.
  • If you do understand my post

    • Yes, the function is useful for the few objects you have that might be incorrectly sized (on an object by object basis)

    • the function is useless to those who have consistent objects and Grids.


Hey David!

Like Aaron mentioned, the Align centers option is currently a single action button and not a mode that continuously aligns to centers but I think there could be value in having some sort of mode. There are a couple different ways to implement such a feature so if you’re interested we’d like to know how you would use it in your workflow. Knowing how people use the app helps us design features that help the widest range of scenarios.

Personally I’ve run into this when I organizing icons or similar illustrations that I get from designers. Often the graphics are nearly the same size but slightly different due to the designer’s use of negative space. Aligning to the centers creates a visually appealing layout.


There is a session-level (persistent) setting to do that. It is in Inspector/Canvas/Grid. It is an option with two radio buttons (one choice allowed, either/or), right next to the AlignToGrid button:

  • Center on Grid
  • Edges on Grid

Further, one can select a bunch of objects, change the setting, eg. to Centre, and AlignToGrid. Using that appropriately will allow you to have all your objects properly AlignedToEdges, and a selected group of objects (eg. a vertical group of slightly different icons) AlignedToCenter.

Therefore I do not understand what this “New Feature” will do.