updated 01:25 pm EST, Sat December 1, 2007
OmniGraffle 5 public beta
The Omni Group recently announced a public beta for OmniGraffle 5.0, its diagramming and concept visualization software, adding in the ability to directly open Visio VSD files. The new version uses an entirely new engine in order to increase the speed of drawing and laying out ideas, and has more powerful tools, like the standalone and connecting line tools creating bezier curves. The toolbar has also been updated, allowing for easier access to common text and object formatting tools. The beta is currently underway, and The Omni Group will sell the Standard and Professional versions for $100 and $200 respectively.
A new shared-layers feature lets users share common elements with multiple canvases, while complex diagrams are easier to manage with the new Subgraphs function, which allows diagram elements to be visually grouped, collapsed and expanded.
The company says that OmniGraffle 5 can access a large number of community-created stencils through Graffletopia directly from the application. The app can also perform online and local searches for a specific stencil. OmniGraffle has been optimized for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and includes a number of Leopard-specific functions, such as the ability to use Quick Look with OmniGraffle files.