Printing and Exporting
If you need to get data out of OmniFocus and into another format — either physically or digitally — the options for doing so are outlined below.
Printing your OmniFocus data is pretty straightforward: set up a window that contains exactly the data you want by focusing, selecting items in the sidebar, or expanding and collapsing rows in the main outline. Then choose Print from the File menu. OmniFocus resizes the content to fit horizontally on the paper you’ve chosen.
To print on unusually-sized paper:
- Choose File ▸ Page Setup (Shift-Command-P).
- Make sure the Settings popup menu is set to Page Attributes.
- Choose your printer from the Format popup menu.
See if the paper you want to use is listed in the Paper Size popup menu. If it is, choose that paper size and click OK to save your changes.
If the paper size you need isn’t available, choose Manage Custom Sizes from the Paper Size popup menu and then use the Custom Paper Sizes window to define the page specs you need.
Your data belongs to you; if you want to send it to other applications, run scripts on it, publish it on the web, or do other exciting stuff with it that we haven’t even thought of, you’re more than welcome to write it out to the format of your liking.
To export your database, choose File ▸ Export, and then choose a format and a location. The available formats are:
OmniFocus Document — This is an ordinary OmniFocus document, just like the one that you use as your database. If you open such a file in OmniFocus, it appears in its own window and you can work with it normally, but settings specific to your database (such as custom perspectives and view options) don’t come along with it.
Plain Text — This is a lightweight plain-text representation of your data, able to be opened in the text editor of your choice.
OmniFocus’s plain text export is inspired by TaskPaper, the light to-do application from Hog Bay Software. As such the output should be roughly compatible and able to be imported to TaskPaper with a minimum of fuss. If that’s your jam you might want to give it a try!
Simple HTML — This is a single-file HTML representation of your data; the stylesheet and even the icons are embedded in the HTML. If you are proficient with CSS, you should be able to restyle the result however you like.
Comma Separated Values (CSV and CSV UTF–16) — CSV is a kind of lingua franca for applications old and new on all platforms, as it’s just all of your data in a plain text file with its columns separated by commas. Once you have your data in CSV format, it’s easy to run scripts on it, convert it to some other format, or open it in applications that understand it (like OmniPlan!). If you’re having trouble persuading other applications to read the non-ASCII characters in your CSV file, such as accented letters or non-Roman characters, try exporting with the UTF–16 CSV option, and importing that into the other application. This makes it easier for some applications to detect the correct encoding and interpret your characters properly.
Backup Document (OmniFocus) — This export option creates a file in a format (.ofocus-backup) that is essentially the same as the standard OmniFocus database format, with one key difference.
Unlike a standard OmniFocus database file, when you open a Backup Document in OmniFocus, the option to Revert to This Backup appears as a button in the upper right of the document window. Click this button to replace your local default database with the database contained in the Backup Document.