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Attaching files in OmniFocus

This article has not been updated for OmniFocus 4.

OmniFocus 3 for Mac and iOS both support any type of file as an attachment, but there are distinct differences in how attachments can be added on the two different platforms.

Adding attachments in OmniFocus 3 for iOS:

While any kind of file can be an attachment in the iOS app, there are only two types of files that can natively be from within the app:

  • Images (chosen from either Photos or taken at that moment using the device camera)
  • Audio Recordings (recorded in-app)

You can add image attachments and audio recordings in the “Attachments” pane of the Inspector.

However, there are several other methods that allow for adding other types of files as attachments in the iOS app:

  • iPad only: You can use our Drag and Drop support to attach an arbitrary file like a PDF from another app into OmniFocus. Using Drag and Drop, you can drop a PDF into the main outline to create a new task with that file attached, or into the Attachments tab of the action editor on an existing item to add this file on an existing task.
  • Pro only: You can install this Omni Automation plug-in, which then allows you to add any kind of file to a selected task. For more on installing and running plug-ins, please visit here.
  • You can use Mail Drop to send emails that include attachments into your OmniFocus database, and any attachments in teh email will be included as embedded attachments with the new task added to your Inbox.
  • You can use our Add Item shortcut, part of our support for the iOS Shortcuts app, which includes the option to add attachments. Here is an example shortcut to try. For more information on our Shortcuts supports, see our user manual.


As an alternative to embedding attachments, you can record PDFs and other file attachments by placing a URL in the Notes field to link to a file repository.

While any kind of file can be added as an attachment, you may not be able to open all file types from within OmniFocus 3 for iOS. This will be dependent on whether you have an app installed that supports the file.

Adding attachments in OmniFocus 3 for Mac:

  • Control-click (or right-click / two-finger click) on a task row, then click Attach File in the contextual menu. You’ll then be presented with a Document Picker.
  • Click to select a task row, then use the Edit > Attach File… Menubar option. You’ll then be presented with a Document Picker.
  • If you have downloaded an attachment from the internet, an email, or have a Finder window open with an attachment you’d like to add, you can use Drag and Drop to add the attachment to a task. We recommend opening the Inspector and activating the Notes field in OmniFocus before dropping the file in.


Due to the differences in file format support between iOS and Mac (and depending on what iOS apps you have), not all attachments in OmniFocus for Mac can be opened from OmniFocus for iOS.

Should I embed or link an attachment?

  • The embed option is chosen for attachments in the Mac app, by default. When an attachment is embedded, the file gets copied into your OmniFocus database and is stored on the sync server so it can be pulled down whenever you need access to it. This is a good option if you’re wanting to access the file on other devices running OmniFocus.
  • If you attach a file as a link, it stays locally on your system and isn’t included with the rest of your OmniFocus data. This is a good option for when you’re trying to maintain a minimal OmniFocus database size.


If you add a file as a linked attachment in the Mac app, that link will only work on the Mac where it was added. If, however, you add a URL to a file in a synced file repository (like iCloud Drive), then that link will work from OmniFocus on any device.

Last Modified: Dec 13, 2023

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