I like to write. I write for a living. However, working with words to craft sentences is not all I do. My job title is “Senior Technical Documentation Specialist.” Documentation includes more than verbal descriptions. Sometimes, I need to create the perfect diagram.
My job provides me with a MacBook Pro and software. While I often use Dia for diagramming on Linux, at work I use OmniGraffle Pro. Both are quality programs for creating diagrams quickly and easily with good results. They are both similar to Microsoft’s Visio.
I recently had the privilege of reading OmniGraffle 5: Diagramming Essentials by Ruben Olsen.
This may be the strongest title I have read from Packt Publishing. In the past, I have been quite hard on them for poor editing and weak expression of ideas. This is not the case here. The book is well written, clear, and filled with useful information.
I sat down over the last week and worked through all of the book’s examples after reading through the text. I learned a number of new tricks and shortcuts that will make using the program easier and more enjoyable.
The book begins with an introductory chapter that helps ease the novice into using OmniGraffle for the first time. The chapter includes an extended, step-by-step walkthrough to help the new user create her first diagram. It ends with a set of guidelines that everyone should learn for creating quality visual diagrams. This chapter is the base on which the rest of the book is built. The author leads the reader through stencils and templates, including how to import and use those built for Visio. Then he directs attention to shapes, tools, editing, and making diagrams look good. The book contained no filler or fluff, every page was useful and clear.
If you use OmniGraffle and want a written resource to help you learn it better or for the first time, this book is worth a closer look.
Disclosures: I was given my copy of this book free by Packt Publishing as a review copy.