Drawing on Experience

by Derek Reiff on September 20, 2012

OmniGraffle’s drawing tools have changed! In a great, really-saves-you-time kind of way.

You’re no longer entering a “mode,” per se, but rather enabling an additional set of drawing tool buttons.

The big change here is that we’re moving back to a more desktop-esque experience and away from our first assumptions about touch. At least for the drawing tools.

Joel, OmniGraffle’s PM, wrote a post about this when it was first implemented:

The interaction model is very quickly moving towards the established behavior on the desktop despite being a touch interface — Mimicking the desktop behavior is proving to be a huge win most probably due to its familiarity. While some may say that thinking of finger touches and the like as if they were a mouse click is flat-out wrong on a touch device, maintaining expected results here is more important (emphasis added), in my opinion. It’s the same application on two different platforms, and should act in similar fashion to itself unless completely warranted by the features of the platform it’s running on.

It’s very easy to use, even if you’re unfamiliar with OmniGraffle for Mac:

  • You’ll see the new Draw button in the toolbar, far right; tap it.
  • Tap the tool you’d like to use; tap again if you’d like the tool to stay active.
  • The tool inspector button lets you style the tool you currently have selected, before you draw the next shape, line, or text.
  • You can collapse the Draw Toolbar whenever, or select the Selection Tool to modify objects without closing the toolbar.

We put together a quick video, too.