Alternatives to OmniGraffle on ipad

I’ve been trying to use omnigraffle on the ipad, and finding it really confusing, awkward to use and buggy. I only use it every so often, and the re-learning curve is very steep. It feels like the app is unloved.

Can you suggest an alternative?

I want to use the app on my ipad and Mac. I really only want to basic shapes and link them up with arrows. (I want Visio, really). I need iCloud (or other) sync. And I want it to be easy.

Thank you, in advance.


You could use PowerPoint or Keynote for simple shapes. The drawing tools are good enough, esp on the Mac.

Another option for iPad only (?) is Grafio. Quite powerful and the closest to Visio-like operations I have seen.

1 Like

:+1: for Grafio. OmniGraffle is bloated and poorly designed, IMO – Grafio gets the job done without getting in the way. There is also a Grafio Reader app for macOS. … but

but …The reader app is rarely updated and still contains a dead link to a video supposedly announcing a macOS version of Grafio, which has never been delivered.

1 Like

Another option I’d suggest taking a look at is TouchDraw, which has a nice simple interface without much of a learning curve.

Affinity Designer, maybe? It’s a vector graphic app for Mac + iPad.

1 Like

Thanks! If grafio has a Mac version I would pounce in it. Especially since I own it.

Your comment made me realise that was a requirement, so thank you!

Weirdly, I realised that google has a very simple slides app. I have PowerPoint and keynote, but I decided to give Slides a go and it works perfectly! Plus it’s handy because I can use it with others in the web. Thanks!

1 Like

I had a look - I own it but have been intimidated by it - and it’s major flaw for my purposes is that you can’t connect the arrows to the boxes, so that everything moves

Thanks for your time though.

That looks interesting Roger. I will give it a go.

If you want to draw different types of shapes connected by arrows, and have the arrows follow wherever you move the shapes, then a Mindmapper may be better than a general purpose vector app. There are two competing apps, Mindnode and iThoughts, which tend to have similar features such as syncing between Mac and iOS. I prefer iThoughts, probably because I found it first and just like its appearance and the developer’s mindset. A mindmap is really the same structure as an outline, so it should be a single-parent hierarchy. iThoughts allows you to bend the rules by creating more than one parent on a drawing and by allowing summary shapes which appear to link to multiple parents; it also includes finger-drawn vector doodles, images and text notes.

Graphic, formerly known as iDraw, is a full-featured vector drawing app that seems to carry on the spirit of the original MacDraw; it can do scale drawings, and is therefore handy for room layouts. You could also try out Vectornator, which is free and seems more design oriented.

You can select multiple items at once and move them all at the same time.

Really? Visio is about as ornery as an app can get for drawing arrows connecting anything. I had a fight with this - selected straight arrows, selected straight on the individual arrow, still got 2 right angles in the connector. Turns out the stencil for the file was overriding whatever I asked it to do, and applies at the file level not the page level as you might expect. I am sure we can do better than Visio on the Mac :slight_smile:

1 Like