Create stunning diagrams with these free OmniGraffle stencils

Ethan Schoonover’s Solarized color palette is popular in software development circles, but it’s spreading to a more diverse range of applications. Designed to reduce eye-strain, the carefully selected palette is easy to read despite the low-contrast color choices. I find Solarized easier to work with than the common black-on-white color scheme.

Solarized theme example

Solarized theme example (photo credit: Ethan Schoonover)

Despite its text-based origins, Solarized also works well for presentations and diagrams. OmniOutliner includes templates based on the Solarized palette, but there isn’t anything similar in OmniGraffle.

Stenciltown and Graffletopia both offer a good selection of stencils if you’re looking for a head-start on a project. I was surprised to find that neither had a stencil based on the Solarized color scheme, so I’ve created one.

1. Install the Solarized color palette

This step isn’t essential but makes color selection simpler. You’ll be able to easily select from the palette in any Mac application.

  1. Download the latest version of Solarized and expand the zip file.
  2. Open the apple-colorpalette-solarized folder.
  3. Copy the Solarized.clr file to ~/Library/Colors. (Press Shift + Cmd + G in Finder and paste ~/Library/Colors into the dialog box to get to it quickly).
Solarized palette

Solarized palette

2. Download the Solarized OmniGraffle stencils

Light side Dark side

3. Install the stencil

  1. Open your Downloads folder in Finder.
  2. Double-click the stencil file.
  3. Click Move. This makes the stencil available through the Resource Browser and Stencil Inspector in OmniGraffle.

Now you can quickly add formatted objects from the Stencil Inspector to the drawing canvas.

Drag objects from the Stencil Inspector to add them to the drawing canvas (click to enlarge)

Drag objects from the Stencil Inspector to add them to the drawing canvas (click to enlarge)

Feedback

I’m no OmniGraffle guru so I’m sure there’s plenty of scope to improve these stencils. Let me know if you find any issues or have suggestions for improvements.

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1 Response

  1. January 27, 2016

    […] Far more attractive diagrams await: Create stunning diagrams with these free OmniGraffle stencils […]

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