For the last two major versions, Omnigraffle has incorporated Linkback functionality. A Linkback allows you to create multiple instances of an object group. When a Linkback instance is modified, all instances dynamically update. You can have multiple Linkbacks (different object groups), and multiple instances of a Linkback in your document. It’s akin to the old Classic Mac OS Publish and Subscribe, or Microsoft’s OLE. If you’re a Photoshop user, it’s similar to a Smart Object.
When creating wireframes, there are often several objects that are repeated throughout the deck — Headers, footers, navigation, and sidebar widgets are all good candidates for Linkback. Nothing is more tedious than having to go into your document and change each instance by hand. Using a Linkback makes fast work of global changes.
Why not use Master Layers? Master Layers have their place, but they lack the flexibility of the Linkback. Master Layers are locked in location across all canvases. If you want to move an instance of a widget to another location in only one canvas using Master Layers, you’re out of luck. Linkbacks by contrast, are object-based, not layer/canvas based, so you can position them wherever you want.
Creating a Linkback is easy. Watch the video for a tutorial, or follow these steps:
Updating a Linkback is also fairly straightforward:
Yes, I am aware of the typo in the screencast :-P
If you have questions, or if there is a tutorial on Omnigraffle you’d like to see, let me know in the comments.
Earlier: Your App Needs an Editor