OmniGraffle for iPad review

OmniGraffle translates the programming depth of Mac software to the iPad quite cleverly. By default, your document will be in a layout and object editing mode. You tap once on an object to select it, and then tap on the info button to bring up a palette that lets you adjust things like fonts, colours, or fills. Tap and hold on an object to move it; tap and hold on one of its handles to resize it. Tap, hold, and release to reveal a contextual menu to copy, paste, delete, group, or lock objects.

Creating objects can be more complex. You can use built-in stencils by dragging and dropping, but to draw your own shapes you need to enter the drawing mode – which itself can toggle between a predefined shape mode or a freehand mode. It’s a bit clunky, even after you’ve mastered the technique.

As we worked with more complicated layouts, we started searching for send to back functionality so we could arrange overlapping objects. That functionality is there: you tap the layers button, and then edit to drag and rearrange the ordering of various objects. It works fine if you have just a few objects, but becomes unmanageable fast.

OmniGraffle wisely sports an Undo button, and we learned a few shortcuts without even trying; we noted that tapping with three fingers immediately pasted whatever we’d copied without needing to trigger the paste menu first.

Occasionally, some edits – like adjusting font size, for example – take far longer than they should. We also encountered some occasional crashes, particularly when editing while zoomed in. We expect that a future update will address these 1.0 bugs.


Overall, creating and editing diagrams and wireframes with OmniGraffle for iPad is fun and functional. Often though, creating new documents on the iPad feels a bit slow. Still, the amount of functionality is astounding.

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