So, you’ve been using OmniGraffle for a little while, and you’re pretty darn good at drawing things. You’re proud of them, and you’d like to share them with everyone else who uses OmniGraffle.
Welcome to Stenciltown.
This is where you get to help other OmniGraffle users out: You draw the thing you need, save it as a Stencil, and then share that on Stenciltown. Yes, we can hear you…“But I have to do that work?!”. Yes. But, karma being what it is, you can gain Karma Points on Stenciltown as more and more people download your stencil. In return, hopefully this inspires other OmniGraffle users to share the things they draw as well. See? Karma.
All you need is OmniGraffle. You can simply search inside the Stencil window. But you can also browse and download stencils via your favorite web browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome, OmniWeb). If you want to create stencils, just sign up for an account. You’ll then be able to upload stencils from your Mac, iPad, or iPhone. (You can only upload to Stenciltown from OmniGraffle on your iOS device.)
Your favorite web browser and this website! Once you’re on Stenciltown you can search for, download, and upload stencils from your Mac. (To upload, you’ll need to create an account first.)
Right here! Just click Sign Up at the top of the page to establish your Omni ID and create an account on Stenciltown.
Your Omni ID is, at the moment, your way of signing into and sharing stencils on Stenciltown. Your Omni ID consists of a username, your email address, and a password. That’s all of the information we require; just make sure that your password is secure. We don’t need your mailing address, names of your children or pets, or anything like that.
Nope. If all you want to do is find and download stencils, you’re in the right place. You can also search for stencils on Stenciltown directly from OmniGraffle for Mac and iOS.
In OmniGraffle for Mac, choose Window ▸ Stencils, and then use the Search field to find like-named stencils on your Mac and on Stenciltown:
Look under Stenciltown in the search results. Click a result to preview the stencil before you download it:
On iOS, the story is a little different. Start by tapping at the upper-right corner of the screen; this opens the Stencil Library. Next, tap Stenciltown to search Stenciltown, then tap in the Search field, enter a keyword for the stencil you desire, and press Search.
Tap one of the results to preview the stencil before downloading it to your iOS device:
The main purpose of the website is for setting up your account to use with Stenciltown; that is, creating your Omni ID and setting a password to use. The huge benefit of the website is that, once you find that perfect stencil you’ve been searching for, you can copy the link and send it to your friends and colleagues.
A stencil is a pre-drawn object that you drag to the Canvas in OmniGraffle. A stencil can be a single object or a bunch of objects that have been grouped together to be a single “thing”.
A high-rise building is a perfect example. You could have a tall rectangle for the building’s shape, and a bunch of smaller rectangles to denote the windows. Once you have all of those objects arranged just so, select the objects and choose Arrange ▸ Group (Shift-Command-G). An “object group” is a bunch of objects that have been grouped together to make a single object, which can then be exported as a stencil.
A Stencil is a single object (or a single thing consisting of a group of objects), whereas a Stencil Set consists of two or more stencils of similar meaning. For example, Stencil Set could contain all of the icons for your website, or the ingredients you need for various baking projects you’re trying to illustrate.
It looks like this:
Here, the Butter stencil consists of six different groups of objects: all six groups can be dragged to the canvas as One Thing.
When you look at a stencil in OmniGraffle for Mac’s Stencil Library, you can see all kinds of information about that stencil, such as its name, size, whether it’s part of a Stencil Set, and more. If you’re creating stencils, here’s where all of that information comes from:
The maximum file size for your stencil is 500 MB.
When you are ready to upload your stencil to Stenciltown, you will need the following things:
No...maybe. Let us explain...
If uploading a stencil directly from OmniGraffle, the Stenciltown website uses the file’s preview image as the default. If you’re okay with how that appears, great! However, if you aren’t happy with that preview, you can create a custom preview image and then upload that to your stencil on the Stenciltown website. To do that, log in to your Stenciltown account, locate the stencil in question, and click Edit to make changes to the stencil’s profile on Stenciltown.
Piece of cake! Just follow these general guidelines, depending on your platform:
You can upload stencils to Stenciltown directly from OmniGraffle using the Resource Browser, which you can get to by choosing File ▸ Resource Browser (Shift-Command-N).
With the Resource Browser open, follow these steps:
If you already have a Stenciltown account, enter your Omni ID and password to log in. If you haven’t set up a Stenciltown account, click Sign Up.
You can upload stencils to Stenciltown directly from OmniGraffle using the Resource Browser. To reveal the stencil files in your current folder, swipe down on the screen and choose Show stencils from the options along the top of the screen.
With the Resource Browser open, and your stencil files clearly displayed, follow these steps:
With OmniGraffle Pro, you can assign Names and Descriptions to your stencils using the Note inspector, but that inspector isn’t available in OmniGraffle Standard. To get around that limitation, you can upload stencils to Stenciltown using Safari on your Mac.
(That said, Stenciltown—the website—does not offer the ability to name and add descriptions to individual stencils in a Stencil Set. For that, you will need access to OmniGraffle Pro’s Note inspector.)
Uploading stencils to Stenciltown from your Mac, however, becomes a little trickier because OmniGraffle saves stencil files (those ending with a .gstencil file extension) to a directory hidden within OmniGraffle’s container. The first thing that you will need to do to make it easier to upload stencils to Stenciltown is to add the Stencils folder to the Finder’s sidebar. To do that, follow these steps:
With the Stencils folder added to the Finder’s sidebar, now you can upload stencils from your Mac; follow these steps:
This opens the file chooser sheet within Safari:
After your stencil has successfully uploaded, you are taken to your account view so you can see the stencil as it appears on Stenciltown.
Are they similar or part of a collection? If so, create a Stencil Set by placing all of those things on the same canvas in one OmniGraffle document and save that as a stencil file. If they aren’t part of a collection, you’ll want to upload them individually to properly name and attach preview images. If this is something you intend to do regularly, though, let us know and maybe we can streamline the process.
Maybe. If you can open the Visio stencil in OmniGraffle, you can upload it to Stenciltown. Although, while you have the Visio stencil open in OmniGraffle, you could always Export that to a native OmniGraffle stencil file and save your fellow OmniGraffle users from possibly missing something awesome.