OmniFocus 3 Reference Manual for macOS

Appendix A

Menu Commands and Keyboard Shortcuts

This appendix explains the function of each of the items found in OmniFocus’s drop-down menus, and lists default keyboard shortcuts for them where they exist.

OmniFocus Menu

The OmniFocus menu holds commands related specifically to the administration of the OmniFocus application itself. Check for updates, view and modify your preferences, and enter new license information here.

About OmniFocus

Open a window with details about your copy of OmniFocus. This is good for checking exactly which version you’re using.

In-App Purchase (Mac App Store Only)

Open the in-app purchase window to choose the version of OmniFocus you would like to buy: the free 14-day trial, the Standard Edition, or the Pro Edition.

Check for Updates (Omni Store Only)

See if there is a new version of OmniFocus available to download. You can also set up automatic checking in Update preferences. (The Mac App Store version of OmniFocus delivers updates through the App Store.)

Preferences (Command-,)

Open the OmniFocus Preferences window, where you can customize how the application works for you.

Licenses (Omni Store Only)

Show the Licenses dialog, where you can review your OmniFocus software licenses.

Unlock OmniFocus

Sign in to your Omni Account to associate this copy of OmniFocus with it.

Manage Omni Account and Purchases

Open the Omni Account window, where you can manage your Omni Account and your OmniFocus licenses. This command appears after you have signed in for the first time.

Free Trial Mode

If you’re running a trial version of OmniFocus, these commands switch between the Pro and Standard versions of the app so you can compare features.

Learn About Pro

Open a sheet with information about features included in the Pro version of OmniFocus.


Access system-wide macOS services offered by other applications.

Hide OmniFocus (Command-H)

Temporarily hide all of OmniFocus’s windows.

Hide Others (Option-Command-H)

Temporarily hide windows of all other applications so you can concentrate on OmniFocus.

Show All

Show all windows of all applications.

Quit OmniFocus (Command-Q)

Stop using OmniFocus and put it away for now. Your database is automatically saved.

File Menu

The File menu contains commands related to OmniFocus on a database level. Add new items or Quick Open others; importing, exporting, archiving, and restoring your database also happen here.

New Action (Command-N)

Create a new action in the currently selected project, or create a new item in the inbox.

New Project (Shift-Command-N)

Create a new project in Projects or in a custom perspective An icon indicating that this feature is part of OmniFocus Pro. that groups by entire project.

New Folder

Create a new folder for organizing projects.

New Single-Action List

Create a new list for keeping track of individual actions that don’t fit into projects.

New Tag (Control-Command-N)

Create a new tag in Tags, Flagged, or in a custom perspective An icon indicating that this feature is part of OmniFocus Pro. that groups by individual actions.

New Window (Option-Command-N)

Open a new window just like the frontmost one.

New Tab (Option-Command-T)

Open a new tab in the current window, displaying the same content as the current tab.

Quick Open (Command-O)

Open the Quick Open dialog to seek out and display a specific perspective, folder, project, or tag in your database.

Close (Command-W)

Close the frontmost window. Even if you close the last remaining OmniFocus window, you can always open a new one.

Import OmniOutliner Document

Import the content of an OmniOutliner document to your OmniFocus database, with its rows converted to OmniFocus items and columns to metadata fields associated with those items.


Export your OmniFocus database in a variety of formats.

Synchronize with Server (Command-S)

If you have set up synchronization in Sync preferences, coordinate with the server database and make sure that both sides have all of the recent changes you’ve made.

Replace Server Database

Replace the version of your database stored on the sync server with the one stored on your Mac. This the tool to use when you encounter a sync conflict and you’re sure that the version of your database you have now is the one you want going forward.

Show Backups in Finder

If you run into trouble with your OmniFocus database, you can always go back to an older, backed up version. With this command you can browse to the backup file you want, then open and inspect it. If it looks good, click Revert to this backup in the focus bar and your entire database is reverted to how it looked at the time you made the backup.

Show OmniFocus Database in Finder

Hold down option to reveal this menu command, which replaces Show Backups in Finder. Instead of showing the Backups folder, the folder containing your main OmniFocus database file (OmniFocus.ofocus by default) opens instead.

This can be useful when troubleshooting with the help of Omni Support. Under normal circumstances you should not interact with your OmniFocus database file directly.

Rebuild Database

Analyze and consolidate all of the entries in your OmniFocus database to make sure they are consistent. This is essentially equivalent to backing up and then restoring your database. If you are having problems with your database, this may help.

Reset Database

Hold down option to reveal this menu command, which replaces Rebuild Database. Instead of rebuilding, this command completely removes your existing database and returns you to the app’s initial setup dialog.

Compact Database

Take the database changes OmniFocus has logged and condense them. If OmniFocus doesn’t feel as fast as it used to, this may help. This command is only available when not syncing; if you have sync set up, compacting happens automatically.

Migrate Database

This item becomes available when a new OmniFocus database format is released. You’ll typically migrate as soon as you install the version of OmniFocus that supports the new format, but if for some reason you don’t (other devices are still using the older format, for example), you can prompt a migration here.

Move Old Data to Archive

Store away some of your completed or dropped items in an archive, thus keeping your database slim and making OmniFocus faster.

Open Archive

See the old data you’ve archived.

Page Setup (Shift-Command-P)

Open the standard macOS Page Setup window, where you can change some settings for printing (or exporting to a PDF file). These settings are saved even if you quit OmniFocus.

Open the standard macOS Print window, with a variety of options for printing (or creating a PDF file).

Edit Menu

The Edit menu holds commands related to modifying the contents of actions, projects, tags, and groups. Cut, Copy, Paste, and Undo are all found here.

Undo (Command-Z)

Reverse the most recent change you made. You can keep stepping backwards like this if there are more changes you want to undo.

Redo (Shift-Command-Z)

Reenact the last change you undid. You can keep stepping forward through however many Undo commands you made.

Cut (Command-X)

Remove the selected text or items, putting them on the clipboard so you can paste them somewhere.

Copy (Command-C)

Put a copy of the selected text or items on the clipboard, so you can paste them somewhere.

Put a link to the selected items on the clipboard; when you paste it, you get an address for each item.

Copy As TaskPaper

Copy the selected items with the tag syntax used by Hog Bay Software’s TaskPaper to-do list app.

See Copy as TaskPaper for further details on the feature, and this support article for a list of supported tags.

Paste (Command-V)

Take whatever’s on the clipboard and insert it at the current selection. If the clipboard contains only text (not whole items), and you are editing the text of an item, the text is pasted at the insertion point. Otherwise, the contents of the clipboard are pasted as new items.

Paste and Match Style (Option-Shift-Command-V)

Ignore any styles on the text you’re pasting and use the style already there at the place you’re pasting into. This only makes a difference in notes, since that’s the only place where you can have special styles.


Remove the selected item(s) or text from your database.

Select All (Command-A)

Select everything in the outline, or if you are editing an item’s text, all text in the cell.

Deselect All (Shift-Command-A)

Clear the selection completely so that nothing is selected.

Duplicate (Command-D)

Make another item just like the selected one, immediately after it.

Edit Note (Command-’)

Move from the item text to the note area of an item, or move back from the note area to the item text.

Convert to Project (Command-!)

Convert the selected items from actions to projects.


Choose from this submenu to change the status for the selected item.

  • Active
  • On Hold
  • Completed (Space)
  • Dropped (Option-Space)

With one or more items selected in the outline, press Space to mark them complete or switch them back to active. Press Option-Space to mark them dropped or switch them back to active.

Mark Reviewed (Shift-Command-R)

Indicate that you’ve reviewed the selected project, thus resetting its next-review date.

Set/Clear Flag (Shift-Command-L)

Put flags on the selected items, or remove the flags if the selected items already have them.

Attach File

Choose a file to insert in the note area of the selected item.

Create or edit a hyperlink to an item within OmniFocus, or beyond.

Insert Time Stamp

Automatically type the current date or time, as defined by the Short Date, Long Date, and Time formats set up in macOS System Preferences’ Language & Region pane.

  • Short Date
  • Short Date and Time
  • Time
  • Long Date
  • Long Date and Time


This submenu contains the standard Find commands included in many macOS applications: Find (which opens a window where you can use regular expressions and search-and-replace), Find Next, Find Previous, Use Selection for Find (which enters the selected text as the text to search for), and Jump to Selection.

  • Go to Search Field (Option-Command-F)
  • Find (Command-F)
  • Find Next (Command-G)
  • Find Previous (Shift-Command-G)
  • Use Selection for Find (Command-E)
  • Jump to Selection (Command-J)

Unlike searching using the toolbar (which narrows what you see in the outline), the Find dialog looks through all the fields currently visible in the outline and highlights results instead, providing a theme for them which you can browse through until you find what you need.

The Find dialog supports the use of regular expressions to match more complex text strings and combinations. See the NSRegularExpression developer documentation for technical details on the regex syntax, including a list of supported characters and operators.

Spelling and Grammar

This submenu contains the standard Spelling commands for the macOS spell checking system: Spelling (which opens the Spelling window), Check Spelling (which checks spelling in the document once), and Check Spelling While Typing (which turns the automatic spell checking on or off).

  • Show/Hide Spelling and Grammar (Command-:)
  • Check Spelling (Command-;)
  • Check Spelling While Typing


With text selected, use this submenu to choose which components of macOS text substitution to use in OmniFocus. Learn more at this Apple support article.


This submenu contains commands that apply to selected text in the outline, sidebar, and inspector, to convert it to completely upper case, lowercase, or capitalize each selected word, respectively.

  • Make Upper Case
  • Make Lower Case
  • Capitalize


This submenu contains the Start Speaking and Stop Speaking commands, which you can use to make the macOS text-to-speech system say the selected text out loud.

  • Start Speaking
  • Stop Speaking

Start Dictation (fn fn)

With dictation enabled in the macOS System Preferences Dictation & Speech pane, select an editable text field and use this command to enter text via the spoken word.

Emoji and Symbols (Control-Command-Space)

Open the macOS Character Palette for assistance inserting emoji or other special characters.

Organize Menu

The Organize menu contains commands that manipulate items in your database based on their hierarchical position. This is primarily useful when working with nested projects and groups.

Clean Up (Command-K)

Make OmniFocus tidy up after itself, so that all items obey your view settings. Also, take any inbox items you’ve assigned projects or tags to and move them to where they belong in your library.

Add Inside (Shift-Command-])

Create a new item belonging to the selected item; for instance if you have a project selected, this adds an action to the project.

Add Outside (Shift-Command-[)

Create a new item at the same level as the selected item’s parent; for instance if you have an action selected at the top level of a project, this creates a new project.


These commands rearrange the currently selected item in the outline hierarchy without affecting deselected items. Move Up and Move Down change an item’s location in relation to its siblings. Move Right and Move Left increase or decrease an item’s indentation level. When items move, their descendants move with them.

  • Move Down (Control-Command-Down Arrow)
  • Move Right (Control-Command-Right Arrow)
  • Move Up (Control-Command-Up Arrow)
  • Move Left (Control-Command-Left Arrow)

Indent (Command-])

Move the selected item to the right, turning it into a child of the item before it in the outline.

Outdent (Command-[)

Move the selected item to the left, making it a sibling of what was its parent. This doesn’t change the location of the item’s former siblings; only the selected item’s position in the hierarchy is affected.

Group (Option-Command-G)

In the sidebar, group projects into folders or group tags hierarchically. In the outline, group actions into projects or action groups.

Ungroup (Option-Command-U)

Move all of the child items out of the selected item, and get rid of the selected item completely.

Sort Once

Using one of the parameters in this submenu, perform a one-time sort of the selected items in the sidebar or the outline (as long as you’ve selected something that can be reordered).

  • By Name
  • By Status
  • By Date Added
  • By Date Completed
  • By Date Due
  • By Defer Date

View Menu

The View menu contains options for configuring your database view on the fly. Show and hide various parts of the interface, and expand or collapse the details of items in the outline here.

Expand All (Control-Command-9)

Show all descendants of all currently collapsed items in the sidebar or the outline.

Collapse All (Control-Command-0)

Collapse everything in the sidebar or the outline to the top level only.

Expand Item (Command-9)

Show the children of the selected items.

Collapse Item (Command-0)

Hide the children of the selected items.

Show/Hide All Notes (Control-Command-’)

Show or hide all note areas with content.

Show/Hide Note (Option-Command-’)

Show or hide the note of the selected item.

Show Full Item Title Always/When Selected

Choosing When Selected from the submenu causes items with long titles to end with ellipses (...) rather than wrap to a new line when those items are not selected. Otherwise, the full item title will always be shown.

Focus on Selected Projects/Unfocus (Shift-Command-F) An icon indicating that this feature is part of OmniFocus Pro.

If you’re using OmniFocus Pro and you want to concentrate for a while on a particular project, folder, or combination of items, the Focus feature can get everything else out of your way.

To focus:

  1. Select a project or folder (or any combination of projects and folders) in the sidebar or outline.

  2. Click the Focus toolbar button, or choose View > Focus on (Selected Items) (Shift-Command-F).

Everything outside your selection disappears from the sidebar, and a notice bar appears beneath the toolbar to indicate that you’re in a special view of your database.

As you move between perspectives, OmniFocus ignores everything outside of your focus, as if the items you’re focusing on are the only items in your library.

When you’re done focusing, choose View > Unfocus (Shift-Command-F), or click the Unfocus button in the focus bar to restore the full view on your library.

When you find yourself using a certain set of tags, focus, and View options pretty often, you might want to save them as a custom perspective.

Focusing inside a custom perspective that includes a focus as part of its parameters will display the intersection of the two focus areas.

Show in Projects/Tags (Option-Command-R)

Switch to either Projects or Tags and select the same items you have selected in the current perspective.

Show/Hide Sidebar (Option-Command-S)

Show the sidebar complete with perspective tabs, or hide it away.

Show/Hide Inspector (Option-Command-I)

Summon up the inspector, or put it away.

Go to Sidebar (Option-Command-1)

Switch to navigate the sidebar (tab, return, esc, etc. affect items and fields in the sidebar).

Go to Outline (Option-Command-2)

Switch to navigate the outline (tab, return, esc, etc. affect items and fields in the outline).

Go to Inspector (Option-Command-3)

Switch to navigate the inspector (tab, return, esc, and so on affect fields in the inspector).

Show/Hide View Options (Shift-Command-V)

Open the View options for the current perspective.

Show/Hide Tab Bar

Show or hide the macOS tab bar on the current OmniFocus window.

Show All Tabs/Exit Tab Overview

Switch to a view that displays thumbnail contents of each tab as a tile in the OmniFocus window, or return to the standard full view.

Show/Hide Toolbar

Show or hide the toolbar.

Customize Toolbar

Choose which controls appear in the main window’s toolbar.

Enter/Exit Full Screen (Control-Command-F)

View OmniFocus at the glorious full dimensions of your screen, or return it to a modest window.

Perspectives Menu

The Perspectives menu holds commands for quick navigation to all things related to both the default, built-in perspectives and the custom perspectives available in OmniFocus Pro. Keyboard shortcuts assigned to custom perspectives appear in this menu as well.

Show Perspectives (Control-Command-P) An icon indicating that this feature is part of OmniFocus Pro.

Summon or dismiss the Perspectives window, where you can manage your custom perspectives.

Add Perspective An icon indicating that this feature is part of OmniFocus Pro.

Open the Perspectives window with a new perspective created in the list, ready to be named and customized to your heart’s content.

Inbox (Command-1)

Open the built-in Inbox perspective in the current OmniFocus window.

Projects (Command-2)

Open the built-in Projects perspective in the current OmniFocus window.

Tags (Command-3)

Open the built-in Tags perspective in the current OmniFocus window.

Forecast (Command-4)

Open the built-in Forecast perspective in the current OmniFocus window.

Flagged (Command-5)

Open the built-in Flagged perspective in the current OmniFocus window.

Review (Command-6)

Open the built-in Review perspective in the current OmniFocus window.


Open the built-in Completed perspective in the current OmniFocus window to view your completed actions and projects. Unlike other built-in perspectives, Completed doesn’t stick around in your sidebar when you switch away from it; choose this menu item again to reopen it.


Open the built-in Changed perspective in the current OmniFocus window to view recent changes you’ve made. Unlike other built-in perspectives, Changed doesn’t stick around in your sidebar when you switch away from it; choose this menu item again to reopen it.

With OmniFocus Pro, at the bottom of the Perspectives menu you’ll find a list of all of your custom perspectives; choose one to switch to it in the current window.

Format Menu

Styling of note text in OmniFocus is the domain of the Format menu, with options available for all common text styles you’re familiar with in macOS.

Formatting commands are only applicable in note fields.

Copy Style (Option-Command-C)

Copy the style of the selected text, so that you can apply it elsewhere with the Paste Style command. This uses a special style clipboard, so you don’t lose the data in the normal clipboard.

Paste Style (Option-Command-V)

Apply the style in the style clipboard (obtained using the Copy Style command) to the selected text.

Clear Style (Control-Command-Delete)

Remove all styling from the selected text, thus reverting it to the default style. This is useful for getting rid of weird styles in notes that you pasted from other applications.

Show/Hide Fonts (Command-T)

Show and hide the Fonts window.

Show/Hide Colors (Shift-Command-C)

Show and hide the Colors window.

Bold (Command-B)

Embolden the selected text.

Italic (Command-I)

Italicize the selected text.

Underline (Command-U)

Underline the selected text.

Bigger (Command-+)

Increase the size of the selected text.

Smaller (Command-–)

Decrease the size of the selected text.

Automation Menu An icon indicating that this feature is part of OmniFocus Pro.

With OmniFocus Pro, use JavaScript plug-ins to automate task management in OmniFocus.

Installed Plug-Ins

Any Omni Automation Plug-Ins that you have installed are displayed in a list at the top of the menu. Choose one of them from the list to run the plug-in.

Show Console

Opens the Automation Console.

Clear Console (Command-K)

Clears the Automation Console of any previous input.

Console Text Size

Choose from Regular, Medium, or Large as the size of the text in the Automation Console.

API Reference

Learn more about what you can do with Omni Automation in OmniFocus by viewing the available classes along with their constructors, functions, and properties.


Opens the OmniFocus Plug-Ins window, where you can add, remove, and manage your Omni Automation Plug-Ins.

For information on installing plug-ins, see Installing Omni Automation Plug-Ins.

For sample plug-ins and to learn more about scripting OmniFocus, visit the Omni Automation website.

Window Menu

When you have multiple database windows open in OmniFocus, use the Window menu to choose between them. This menu also accesses Quick Entry and the Attachment List, two of OmniFocus’s specialized window types.

Minimize Window (Command-M)

Shrink the frontmost window down into the Dock.


Switch the frontmost window between the biggest size possible and the last size you set.

Show Previous Tab

With OmniFocus open in multiple tabs, navigate to the previous tab in the bar.

Show Next Tab

With OmniFocus open in multiple tabs, navigate to the next tab in the bar.

Move Tab to New Window

With OmniFocus open in multiple tabs, move the current tab to a new OmniFocus window.

Merge All Windows

With OmniFocus open in multiple windows, merge all of them into a single window with multiple tabs.

Show/Hide Quick Entry

Show or hide the Quick Entry window; note that you can customize a keyboard shortcut for this, and use the shortcut from within any application.

Main Window

Foreground the main OmniFocus window (instead of a secondary window like the Attachment List or Preferences). If multiple OmniFocus windows are open, the closest one to the front is considered main for purposes of this command.

Attachment List

Open a list of all attachments in your database.

Bring All to Front

Gather all of your OmniFocus windows up in front of other applications’ windows.

At the bottom of the Window menu is a list of all of your OmniFocus windows; choose one to bring it to the front.

Help Menu

Access a variety of support resources using the Help menu in OmniFocus, including this documentation, release notes, and contact with our friendly Support Humans.

Search OmniFocus Help (this document), and filter commands across all of OmniFocus’s menus to find and select a specific command. Results appear as a list of menu items and help topics respectively.

OmniFocus Help

View the help documentation available in the in-app help viewer.


View the latest information from Omni about changes to OmniFocus or macOS that affect your use of the app. (This item only appears when there is news to share.)

Release Notes

Check out what’s new since the last version of OmniFocus.

OmniFocus Product Page

Visit the OmniFocus page on the Omni Group web site.

OmniFocus Forums

Stop by the official OmniFocus forums to view and share insights with other users.

Sign Up for the Omni Newsletter

Visit the Omni website, where you can subscribe to our email newsletter. You’ll get nothing but the latest news and tips for OmniFocus and the other apps in the Omni Group family.

Open Scripts Folder An icon indicating that this feature is part of OmniFocus Pro.

Open the designated Finder folder for storing AppleScript scripts that you want to access from the toolbar.

Add Tutorial Project

When you first launch OmniFocus a sample project is added to your database to help you get started. If you want it back, choose this command to recreate it (it’ll be added to your existing projects non-destructively).

Anonymize Database

Create a copy of your current database with all identifying text and attachments converted to anonymous entities. This is useful for exchanges with Omni support, or for sharing your database with other OmniFocus users without divulging the details of your private goings-on.

Contact Omni

Compose an email to the OmniFocus support team. We’d be happy to give advice, answer questions, or listen to your feedback.

If you’d like to set up a keyboard shortcut for a menu item that doesn’t have one, open the Keyboard pane of macOS System Preferences and choose the Shortcuts tab. Pick App Shortcuts from the list on the left, then click the plus button beneath.

Choose from the Application drop down list that appears, then enter the exact text of the menu command you’d like a shortcut for in the Menu Title field. Put your cursor in the Keyboard Shortcut field, then press the key combination you want for the shortcut. Finally, click Add to save your new custom shortcut.

Return to OmniFocus and give it a try!