Anyone who works extensively with diagrams will be hard-pressed to find a more full-featured application than OmniGraffle. It packs all the functions anyone needs to create attractive and professional charts, graphs and diagrams.

But how about those of us with less formal diagramming needs? How does OmniGraffle work for us? We’ll be exploring this question today as we uncover the power of this mainstay of the Mac environment.

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I believe in preparing for the uneventful. Because if you’re not, technology can be unforgiving. Hardware failure or human carelessness can easily cause you to lose files that are important to you. Even while writing this article, I managed to rid myself of the screenshots I had just gathered!

That instant, when you realize you’ve lost something dear, is absolutely horrifying. And yet everyone – yes, every single one of you – makes these kind of mistakes.

You throw away an old folder without checking its contents, or prematurely decide you won’t be needing a certain file anymore. That’s why you should consider using an application like Disk Drill; to protect you against yourself and the fancies of technology.

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Skype is one of those programs that is used by almost everyone in one way or another. Whether you have it open all day, or just fire it up to chat with family when you’re away on holiday, most Mac users will have encountered it at some point.

Last week, Skype announced the release of a new Beta for Mac users – Skype 5.0. This new version takes a radical departure from the old Skype interface, in an effort to adopt a “one window” approach and make using the app much simpler.

Although I really like the thinking behind this new version – tighter OS X integration, and a simpler interface – I was really disappointed with a few aspects of the design. Most notably the spacing between elements, which quickly becomes a complete nightmare if you have a long list of contacts.

At the very least, I’d have expected an option to scale down the font size, or switch to a more compact view. At present, it feels like the “one window” approach uses up twice as much desktop space, while only showing half the information I’m used to.

If you haven’t tried it yet, download the beta and let us know what you think! Do you agree with me, or are you impressed with the new, roomier interface?

If you’ve never come across Pixelmator before, you’re really missing out. Pixelmator is an absolutely incredible image editor for the Mac, exuding quality, style, and speed. It’s a piece of software I use every day, and it’s a pleasure to feature one of the founding partners – Saulius Dailide – today.

Saulius co-founded Pixelmator in 2007, and since then it has seen a great deal of success. Today we’ll be chatting about his motivation for creating the app, taking a look inside their incredible “iOffice”, and getting a better picture of what goes on behind the scenes at Pixelmator!

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Have you ever thought that there just has to be an easier way for interacting with the web? How about not having to type the same information into forms repeatedly, or just logging into a website with one single click instead of half a dozen?

With Fake, an app by the developer of the widely popular Fluid, you can finally automate your web-based workflow to save you lots of time and unnecessary clicks. Intrigued? Then read on after the jump.

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I’d like to take a few moments to say thank you to our weekly sponsor, CleanMyMac. This is a great tool for keeping your Mac in tip-top shape, and packs an impressive functionality punch for the price.

You can uninstall software more effectively, manage and delete plugins and extensions, clean up system caches and logs, remove unnecessary language files, and so much more. I run CleanMyMac every couple of months, and it always manages to free up several gigabytes of unnecessary data.

Although most of this functionality can be achieved for free if you’re a Terminal whizz-kid, I find that $30 (or $15 for a 6 month license) is an absolute bargain for so many helpful tools wrapped up in a gorgeous interface.

Check out the full feature list, watch the introductory video, and free up some time this week to give your Mac a thorough spring autumn clean!

Apple does a pretty good job providing us with an array of smart looking icons as part of OS X. Most software companies that develop for Mac do the same. Their clientele is just a little more conscious of great icon design – or maybe just more easily persuaded with something shiny.

Whatever the case, sometimes we find an icon lacking for one reason or another. Sometimes we feel the need to add a little personal touch. Icon designers have answered the call and there are now millions (I’m guessing here, but there are a lot!) of beautifully designed icons for us to use.

It’s not too tough to change an icon with Mac OS X, but it’s not the most straightforward process either. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some utility to manage all these fancy little things? Turns out there is – and it’s called IconBox. Read on to find out more!

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When Mac OS X Leopard (10.5) was released, one of the tent-pole features was Time Machine, Apple’s extremely simple, all-encompassing backup solution. With Time Machine, you simply connected your external hard drive, configured a few settings and the utility began backing up your entire computer.

So long as your hard drive is connected, Time Machine continues to make backups on an hourly basis. The hourly backups are consolidated into a single day, every 24 hours and the days consolidated into a week, and so on, as disk space allows.

So your all good, correct? Your data is backed up, you’ve done your job and no matter what happens to your computer, you’ll still have everything in your backup. Well, ideally – yes. In reality, not necessarily.

The entire reason you are backing up your computer is because hard drives fail. A bad drop, a liquid spill, or simply old age, a hard drive will not last forever. So you back up your computer’s hard drive…to another hard drive. Now, if your internal hard drive fails, you have an external hard drive containing a second copy of everything… but as I said, hard drives fail. It’s inevitable. So what to do?

Make triple and quadruple backups? Sure, if you’ve got the time and money, but an easier and more economical solution is simply to check your backups every now and then. Make sure they are running properly, make sure your data is being backed up properly, make sure your the data is not corrupt, make sure you can recover your files properly. A little care and preparation can go a long way.

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We’re constantly striving to make AppStorm the go-to place for discovering high quality Mac software, and I really value the time you dedicate to reading what we have to say. It means a lot! For this reason, if we haven’t extensively tried and tested a piece of software, it’s unlikely to be featured on the site.

Although Quick Look has been a great way for developers to get the word out about their apps on AppStorm, it’s difficult to write about – and recommend – a piece of software that we aren’t completely familiar with.

For this reason, we’re phasing out Quick Look, and introducing a new way for developers to share their latest and greatest apps with you. Weekly Sponsorships will involve one extra post per week, highlighting a particular developer or application that we personally recommend.

We’re setting a really high standard for the sponsors we accept on AppStorm, and will only be recommending software that we’re tried, tested, and use ourselves on a regular basis!

I hope this will give you a chance to find out about great new software that you haven’t come across before, while at the same time maintaining the high quality of coverage you’ve come to expect from AppStorm.

If you’re a developer and would like to find out more, you can read all about Weekly Sponsorships here. We’re launching this service on Mac.AppStorm next week, with Web.AppStorm and iPhone.AppStorm to follow shortly.

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