Friday, January 29, 2010

OmniGraffle and multi-language diagrams

Sometimes I need diagrams in different languages for different purposes. E.g., for presentations on international conferences, I use english labels, while I need german labels for my thesis (which is written in German). I sometimes change my diagrams, I don't want to have two version of a diagram, one in english, another one in german. Because I always export my diagrams to PDF, I'm using two smart export scripts in conjunction with layers, used for internationalization (i18n). First of all, I add a layer for each language. In order to distinguish these internationalization layers from other layers, I use a prefix "lang_". All language specific labels and elements are added to that layer. Other things are placed on layers without my language prefix. Usually, I initially create the diagram in one language, and then move all language specific stuff to the language layer. I then copy all that language specific stuff and paste it onto another language layer (or, simply duplicate the layer), where it is translated. By changing the visibility of the language layers, I can change the language of the diagram. Since it is one diagram, changes on the shared layer are reflected in all language versions, language dependant things have to be adjusted (and translated) manually. The following screenshots show a sample diagram with three layers for shared, english and german elements. In order to create language specific PDFs, I have modified a script I published here some time ago. Here is the modified version:
-- converts selected OmniGraffle files to PDF with internationalization -- based on Greg Titus's script found at -- -- -- by jevopi, 2010 global export_language, layer_prefix set export_language to "de" set layer_prefix to "lang_" tell application "Finder" set these_items to the selection end tell repeat with i from 1 to the count of these_items set this_item to (item i of these_items) as alias set this_info to info for this_item -- insert actions here for: this_item set item_path to POSIX path of this_item set item_folder to (parent of (item i of these_items)) as string set item_name to name of (item i of these_items) set item_ext to name extension of (item i of these_items) set exp_name to my rename(item_name, item_ext, "pdf") set exp_path to item_folder & exp_name set msg to "Path: " & item_path & ", Exp: " & exp_path --display dialog msg buttons {"OK"} default button 1 my omniConvert(this_item, item_path, exp_path) end repeat -- this sub-routine just comes up with the new name on rename(item_name, item_ext, new_extension) tell application "Finder" if the item_ext is "" then set the trimmed_name to the file_name else set the trimmed_name to text 1 thru -((length of item_ext) + 2) of the item_name end if set target_name to (the trimmed_name & "_" & export_language & "." & new_extension) as string end tell return the target_name end rename -- this sub-routine does the export on omniConvert(source_file, source_path, target_path) with timeout of 900 seconds tell application "OmniGraffle Professional 5" -- save the current export settings so we can replace them later set oldAreaType to area type of current export settings set oldBorder to include border of current export settings set oldBackground to draws background of current export settings -- here is where you set the export settings you want set area type of current export settings to all graphics set include border of current export settings to false set draws background of current export settings to false set export scale of current export settings to 1 set border amount of current export settings to 0 -- open the file if it isn't already open set needToOpen to (count (documents whose path is source_path)) is 0 if needToOpen then open source_file end if -- do the export set docsWithPath to documents whose path is source_path set theDoc to first item of docsWithPath set allLayers to layers of first canvas of the theDoc repeat with i from 1 to the count of allLayers set theLayer to (item i of allLayers) -- repeat with theLayer in layers of first canvas of theDoc set theName to name of theLayer if (offset of layer_prefix in theName) > 0 then if theName = layer_prefix & export_language then set visible of theLayer to true else set visible of theLayer to false end if end if end repeat save theDoc in file target_path -- if the file wasn't already open, close it again if needToOpen then close theDoc saving no end if -- put the original export settings back set area type of current export settings to oldAreaType set include border of current export settings to oldBorder set draws background of current export settings to oldBackground end tell end timeout end omniConvert
This script exports an OmniGraffle diagram to PDF. Besides, only one language specific layer is made visible and the langauge id is added to the filename. The language is defined in line
set export_language to "de"
That is, this script automatically creates a german version of the diagram. I have a script for each language (and one w/o i18n) in my script folder, e.g. After applying the both i18n-scripts to the diagram, two PDFs are created from my diagram: This technique works pretty well with text and connection labels. Unfortunately labels placed on shapes cannot be moved on a layer different from the shape. So, in these cases you have to move the whole shape to the language layer. If you translate a diagram after you have created it, this works pretty well. It may become a little bit annoying if you have to change the diagram, but at least you are aware of the changes and don't have to work with two separate files.