How to resize an open shape?

Hi… this has happened to me a couple of times, and it’s probably obvious, but has stumped me…

I’ve drawn an open shape using the Line tool (in my particular case it’s a rectangular box that doesn’t completely close on itself, and has an arrowhead on one end.)

I would like to resize it using the mouse, as I would, say, a regular rectangle, but:

  1. There are no bounding box handles around the edges
  2. My one intuition is to try to group the line to itself, in effect, so that it sprouts a bounding box, but since it’s a single object I’m not allowed to do that.

I’ve come up with a couple of workarounds (group it to a transparent rectangle, manipulate pairs of points in sequence)… but I feel like there must be a way to just do this directly with the mouse without a workaround…

Is there?


Welcome to the world of OmniGraffle.

The first requirement is to be clear; to understand what you are doing; and trying to do. Calling a donkey a horse will cause problems, not in the donkey, not in the horse (since it does not exist), but in the person who does the mis-labelling.

No. It isn’t possible to draw a Shape using the Line tool, you have drawn a Line using the Line tool. A Line is not a Shape; a Shape is not a Line. Yes, they have some common elements. No, you cannot treat them the same.

You can’t treat a Line as a Shape, you can’t treat a Shape as a Line. (Ok, you can, but then you will encounter problems when interacting with Lines and Shapes.)

You are best advised to (a) learn the drawing tool, and then (b) how to do what you want using the drawing tool, rather than (x) imposing your beliefs onto the drawing tool.

Since Lines acting as Lines, and Shapes acting as Shapes, is not a bug, therefore what you want is not a workaround.

An “open rectangle” (there is no such thing, but that description is understandable) is what you want, and you want to know how to do it. Again, better to find out how to do it using the drawing tool, rather than making it wrong because it doesn’t treat Lines as Shapes and Shapes as Lines.

If I group @jpgringo with @jpgringo, I will still have just one @jpgringo, I will not have a group of @jpgringo. Now I may be confused, but we don’t want OG to be confused like that, we want it to be clear.

Which is a most desirable feature. Otherwise people would be horribly confused by the tool.

Yes, only Shapes and Groups have (a) Handles, and (b) Edges. Lines do not have either (a) or (b), and (c ) a Line is not an edge.

Yes, that is the correct method. It gives you the unrestricted ability to manipulate:

  • the Line as a Line
    • EndPoints; MidPoints Stroke; etc
  • the Shape as a Shape
    • this will hold the outer dimensions of a real rectangle, so that you can obtain an “open rectangle”
    • transparent is correct
    • there are no EndPoints; MidPoints Stroke; etc in a Shape
    • a Shape has Handles for resizing
    • make sure to draw the Line such that its Stroke coincides with the Edges of the rectangle Shape
  • the Group as a Group
    • this will give you Group Handles, and define the outer dimensions of the Grouped Object.
    • this is ultimately what you want to manipulate, rather than the elements (Line or Shape) within the Group.


wow, what a crazily convoluted and condescending answer to say: “bravo: you already figured it out, there is no other way.” Thanks…?

Sorry, it must be me who is wrong again. If you “already figured it out” there would be no question to ask. But you did ask a question, you said you were “stumped”.

It may be worth considering that this is a forum, for people seeking help with OmniGraffle, it is not a private communication channel between you and me. Maintaining a professional position in technical matters, I have no idea about your personality, it is ignored, and it may be a good idea for you to ignore mine.

I write for everyone reading the forum, hopefully with clarity, condescension is not intended. Other readers might learn something that you did not.

I was hoping that my instructions got you out of the place that you were stuck in. Yes, it was crazy. I now realise, to the crazy, crazy is “sanity”, and sanity is “crazy”. Ok.

If you don’t mind, I will pass on the “Thanks…?”. I receive quite enough of the genuine kind, from folks who appreciate the detail and clarity I provide, that sustain me.