OmniGraffle use cases

Hi, I’m considering getting OmniGraffle, and I’m curious what people use it for. Right now I use Curio for organizing things, and I’m happy with that, but since Adobe Illustrator has gone to a subscription only situation, I’m looking for ways to produce vector graphics for scientific (i.e. not too complicated) illustrations. I’ve played with Inkscape a bit, and I have some concerns. I think OmniGraffle might be a good way to create simple graphics, but not so much for more complicated things. In any case, I’d love to hear what you all typically do with OmniGraffle. Thanks!

I’ve done some testing, and some reading, and (perhaps this should have been obvious) but Omnigraffle seems to be meant as an MS Visio replacement for the Mac. I’ve tried reading in a PDF that was created in Matlab, and the PDF is all messed up. I tried the same PDFs on Illustrator 5.1, and it reads in fine. I’m not a graphic designer, but rather a scientist that is looking for way to make figures for papers, so take my thoughts with this background in mind.

My conclusion: OmniGraffle is not a replacement for Illustrator, nor yet a high powered vector graphics engine. It seems a good way to make diagrams or user interface stuff, and it might be a good substitute for Visio, but it seems to have issues with PDFs. I also am guessing the lack of a response to my post indicates that no one shares my goals for vector graphics software.

I tried the same PDF in Affinity Designer and Inkscape, and it displays properly and is readily editable. Omni developers, I am glad to send you the PDF file if you want to play with it. So, for a rough test by an incompetent tester I rate, as an illustrator replacement: Affinity comes in first, Inkscape, then Omnigraffle. I expect if I wanted to make a flow chart, OmniGraffle would be my first choice.

I have no idea how OG reads in PDFs. My guess is not very well (as you noticed).

OG is not an Illustrator replacement: that would be something like Affinity Designer.

Yes, it is more akin to MS Visio on the Mac. It’s great for visual models and scientific drawings. It’s much more template based relative to Illustrator.

Maybe you are approaching your testing with at not-very-useful frame of reference.

That’s why I asked what people did with OG. My frame of reference is the need I have (mostly editing nightmarish matlab PDFs), and since no one responded to my initial post, I figured I’d give my impressions in case others out there have similar needs. I’m sure OG is good for the things you mention.

I have no idea what formats MatLab will export to. Unfortunately PDFs won’t work well with OG. If MatLab exports to SVGs or Visio, or some other options then there might be hope.

Thanks. I’d bet it will export to SVG. But in the meantime, I have found an effective workflow with Affinity. Thanks for your help!

That’s great. I mainly use Affinity Photo, but my experience is that all the Affinity products are really well made. I have Affinity Designer and have used it for some specialized needs. It seems very intuitive (to me). OG better for nice looking visual models, flow charts, and the such. Designer better for more open-ended drawing needs.