Teneo !!!

Aaron’s blog on Networking, and Enterprise Technology

Diagramming with OmniGraffle Pro 5: Useless Subgraphs

The subgraph function of OmniGraffle 5 Pro is shown here

The concept is brilliant but the implementation is useless.  Here is my use case:

I have generated LOTS of diagrams that become so large, it is cumbersome to navigate or view.  Zoom in, zoom out, pan, zoom in again……In the past, I’ve gotten around that by making different pages, and setting actions on certain objects to “go to” a different page.  Like drilling down.  For example, I choose an object that abstracts a detail.  I place that detail on another page, and choose the abstracted object action to “jump to” that page.  This goes for both Visio as well as OmniGraffle.

The subgraph function would be a way to “drill-down” in the same document and abstract it quickly and easily.  Giving a high-level overview, but expanding/drilling-down when asked.

Well, some caveats to using subgraphs:

1).  It does not keep alignment with other neighboring objects.  When collapsed, it aligns to the upper-right corner of the original object group it created.  Perfect if you are making an abstract diagram (doubtful)

2).  When aligning correctly of a collapsed subgraph (fixing caveat #1), when you expand, you overlap neighboring objects.  It’s a double-edged sword.  A catch 22.  A lose-lose situation.  <insert favorite negative idiom here/>

3).  There is no easy way to expand/collapse a subgraph without pulling up a context menu.  A keyboard shortcut key could be handy here.  I got around it by placing the following action on the subgraph.  Works great, when you are in ‘edit’ mode.  But when using the new Presentation Mode of OmniGraffle Pro 5, it fails miserably.  I think it’s because “Presentation Mode” is not built to understand AppleScript, and therefore, cannot read the properties.

if collapsed of self = false then
   set collapsed of self to true
else
   set collapsed of self to false
endif

My thoughts?  This “feature” is more a nuiscance than a convenience.  This was probably the decision of a Development Manager that put this in to fill the road-map, and chose to “add to it” in future releases.

I was stoked to hear about this feature, and utter disappointment followed.  Back to my “go to” jumps.

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