Omnigraffle 7 Still sooo much slower then ver 5


Hello. Long time Omnigraffle user. Omnigraffle 5 was a loved cornerstone of our company for years. But a couple years after the Ver6/7 transition everything still just seems worse. What is the direction of Omnigraffle?

• It was fast to use, now it is slow on big drawings and the interface on all machines tested.
• Slow diagramming is losing value as a fast place to do software architecture and flow charting
• It hasn’t keep up in GUI/UI development, lacking components like Sketch/Invision/Affinity
• It can no longer copy/paste to other mac apps with native PDF vectors without errors

Don’t know what the internal goal was, it seems you replaced the native Cocoa PDF draw environment with something else (JS/SVG?). What was the reasoning? Where are you headed?


Let me start here first. We’re still using the native PDF-based CoreGraphics primitives to draw that we’ve used in every version of OmniGraffle. With Retina resolutions (four times as many pixels on a screen) and wide color gamut (more bits per pixel), those primitives do have to push a lot more bits around than they used to in the past. CPUs haven’t gotten a lot faster over the same period of time, so they have a lot more work to do—unless the software you’re using is able to offload some of that work to the GPU, which has gotten a lot faster. I believe most of CoreGraphics is still CPU-based; we might have to explore other drawing technologies to get more benefit from those faster GPUs. But we’re still using CoreGraphics at the moment.

The JavaScript support that we’ve added to OmniGraffle 7 lets you manipulate the canvas with your own scripts, and the SVG support we’ve added lets you import and export the web vector format most commonly used in web development. But the app itself doesn’t use either of those technologies internally, they’re only used when you’re interacting with it in one of those formats.

• It was fast to use, now it is slow on big drawings and the interface on all machines tested.
• Slow diagramming is losing value as a fast place to do software architecture and flow charting

Are you only seeing this when you have lots of documents open? Or are you also seeing it when you have just a single document open? We recently identified a performance issue related OmniGraffle’s flexible inspector options (where the user is able to choose which inspectors should be attached to the document window and which should float as separate windows), which has been making the currently shipping app slower the more windows you have open. This performance issue has been fixed for OmniGraffle 7.9, and the app feels much more responsive as a result.

• It can no longer copy/paste to other mac apps with native PDF vectors without errors

Could you elaborate on the errors you’re seeing? I know that I rely on being able to copy/paste PDF from OmniGraffle to other Mac apps, and it’s important to us that this continue to work well for all of our customers.

OK, now let me return to the original question in that post, namely:

What is the direction of Omnigraffle?

Every January, I share our roadmap for the upcoming year. Here’s what I shared in this year’s roadmap:

We’re kicking off the year with a free OmniGraffle 7 update for Mac, v7.6—also known as “The Big Stencils Update.” You can now place the Stencil Browser in the left sidebar of your document, so it’s available while you work on your canvas and inspect other objects. (You can also place it in the right sidebar, or a popover, or open the whole browser—or even just individual stencils—in their own floating windows.) And it’s easier than ever to customize lightweight stencil collections by dragging objects from the canvas right onto the stencil browser (rather than having to open the stencil in a separate editing window).

Customers have been writing to tell us how much more efficient 7.6’s updated stencil design is for their workflow; if you haven’t tried it yet, I hope you’ll do so and let us know what you think! (Again: if you already own OmniGraffle 7, this is a free update. If not, we have a free two-week trial available!)

Right on the heels of 7.6, we’ve already started the public test for 7.7, which focuses on improving our support for importing and exporting SVG. And after that, 7.8 will be focused on diagramming improvements—so if you have any diagramming needs you’d like us to be thinking about, we’d love to hear from you: please email us at!

Of course, we’ve already shipped v7.8, so all of those things are now done! What we’re working on now for v7.9 are performance improvements (as noted above) and Mojave support (including support for Mojave’s headline feature, Dark Mode).

Of course, we’re also starting to think about next year’s roadmap. If you have thoughts on where you’d like us to focus our attention next year, please don’t hesitate to let us know!


Same here, the newer versions did not make things better

  • very very slow performance with large drawings…
  • magnets not working, I have to cmd-X remove object and cmd-V paste object and than the magnets work again
  • orthogonal lines do not make 90degree angles between objects but always de default x is in a slightly off position, now I always have to move the x to make 90degree angles

Not a very happy customer anymore… :-(


I do use OmniGraffle when I need flexible connectors between shapes (better supported than in Sketch).

Very useful for short-trips when another taxi can always be quickly hailed after the occasional glitch or breakdown, and speed is not essential.

(Possibly not the right vehicle, though, for long inter-city hauls on deadlines).


The 2nd bullet points seem to me that you are saying the new line routing isn’t working for you. To go back to the earlier line routing, select your orthogonal lines, then in the Properties inspector, Under Connections, uncheck Route From Object Centers. Just unchecking that should return you to old line routing in most cases, if you prefer that.

As far as the poor performance, we have reports of a slow down from some people after updating to Mojave. If this is when it started, could you please email us an example document with steps to reproduce it? The team is actively investigating this, and it is much easier for us to fix any cases we can reproduce here. Please email to and keep in mind, you can use Contact Omni from the help menu and check to Anonymize files, which replaces your text with the letter X for privacy. I’m sorry to hear about the bad experience.