Mac OS X products continue to flow as a glance at just about any day’s worth of MacCentral news makes obvious. But there are still some interesting, unique products that manage to slip under the radar. Several of them come from the
One such goodie is OmniGraffle. It’s written in Cocoa — Apple’s object-oriented development platform — and makes full use of Mac OS X’s Aqua interface. The app is great for making make diagrams, org charts, layouts, flow charts, or any other graphic presentations of relationships and labeled parts.
You can choose between 22 kinds of shapes, and change ’em — turning, for instance, a square into a circle, after you’ve placed them. Lines drawn between shapes or other lines “stick” to their origins and destinations. And they automatically move when their origin or destination is moved. Up to three text labels can be attached to a line. The label can be positioned anywhere along the line, with the text reading horizontally, vertically, parallel or perpendicular to the line.
You can color your shapes and lines with partially transparent ink. Exporting options include PNG, PDF, TIFF, JPEG and GIF formats. When exporting, full transparency information is preserved to the degree allowed by the target format, although the Omni Group recommends using PNG when producing content that’s partially transparent.
There are two styles of graph layout: hierarchical and force-directed. The former is great for org charts and family trees, or (mathematically speaking) any graph with no cycles. The latter is for charts that aren’t simple trees. With a force directed layout, it will even animate as it’s moving your graphics around. You can rearrange your chart and force-directed layout will start with your new layout, allowing you to tweak positions visually and still “beautify” everything afterwards.
A selection panel lets you select all objects of a particular type for modifying an entire group. OmniGraffle offers built-in palettes for doing basic graphs, org charts, flow charts, and object-oriented design, plus loadable palettes so third parties can design them for any specific field.
OmniGraffle can be used for free to view, print, and save any Graffle document. You can also use it at no charge to edit documents with less than 20 items in them. But if you want to edit documents with more than 20 items, you can buy a license. Licenses are available in network (for users on a network), machine (for users on a machine or machines for which the license was bought), and personal (one person) flavors.
The Omni Group also makes several other Mac OS X savvy products.
is the first native, full-featured Adobe Portable Document Format file viewer for Mac OS X. It lets you search the text of PDF files, and select, copy, and save text. It also supports hypertext links, bookmarks, thumbnails, and annotations.
is a tool for outlining and organizing thoughts, tasks, project components, etc.
is a utility for creating free space on your hard drives. It highlights the biggest files on your disks, and notes which files are used by the system.
You can get more info on all these products at the Omni Web site. Note, however, that some of them are still in the beta stage.