OmniFocus 4 Reference Manual

Custom Perspectives (Pro)

This chapter needs revision, and does not fully reflect the current state of OmniFocus 4.

With OmniFocus Pro, you can create custom perspectives: filtered views of your OmniFocus data, that allows you to quickly surface actions and projects for specific situations.

Custom perspectives offer tremendous flexibility in how they display your work, so you can tailor them to the specific aspects of your professional or personal life that you want to highlight — a weekly work meeting, a home renovation project, or a tax preparation period, for example.

This chapter describes how to create and edit custom perspectives, and details the various rules you can adjust to get the perfect view on your actions and projects.

Related information can be found in the OmniFocus 3 Reference Manual for macOS and iOS.

This chapter currently focuses on Custom Perspectives on iPhone and iPad; the updated Mac experience still needs to be integrated into this chapter.

Please note that perspectives created in OmniFocus 4 use the editor described in this chapter. You can still sync perspectives created in earlier versions of OmniFocus, but you will need to upgrade them.

Creating Custom Perspectives

To make a new custom perspective, tap Add Perspective in the Quick Open bottom bar. This opens the perspective editor, ready for you to start customizing.

When creating or editing a custom perspective, the perspective editor provides tools to customize your view settings in nigh-countless ways. The options in the perspective editor are identical whether setting up a new perspective or editing an existing one.

Editing and Deleting Custom Perspectives

To edit an existing custom perspective, navigate to it and open the editor by tapping View Options and then Edit Perspective Rules. Alternatively, touch and hold the perspective in Quick Open and choose Edit from the shortcut menu that appears.

To delete an existing custom perspective, touch and hold the perspective in Quick Open and choose Edit from the shortcut menu that appears.

To delete a custom perspective, scroll to the bottom of its editor and choose Delete Perspective.

Name, Icon, and Color

Tap the name field to enter a name for a new perspective or change an existing one.

Tap the icon to open the icon picker, where you can choose from among a set of Omni-designed icons included with OmniFocus. You can also tap Custom to open the Files browser and choose your own icon from any image you have stored locally or in the cloud, or tap Use Image From Clipboard to use a copied image from elsewhere.

Tap Color in the icon picker’s title bar to choose a custom color for your perspective and its iconography throughout the app.


This section of the editor determines which items the perspective includes. Items are included by setting filters with the parameters for specific item attributes: if an item matches the filter rules, it is included in the perspective. If an item doesn’t match the rules, it won’t appear.

Filter rules are set up in a hierarchy, with All of the following, Any of the following, or None of the following at the top of the list. This indicates that all, any, or none of the rules inside it must apply to items for them to be included in the perspective. (This forms the root of the hierarchy, and therefore can’t be deleted.)

By default, a new custom perspective includes one Availability: Remaining rule as an example. Since it is nested beneath All of the following:, this rule means that the perspective will only show items with an availability status of Remaining (completed and dropped items will not appear).

If you don’t want to include the default rule in your perspective, tap on the three dots in the row, and then either Disable or Delete it. You can also modify the existing rule; in this case, Availability: Remaining can be changed to

Tap Add a new rule to choose from among the list of available rules to apply to items in the perspective.

When adding a filter rule, note that it will apply based on its position in the hierarchy. All rules added beneath the root use its logic: either Any, All, or None of them must apply for items meeting those criteria to appear in the perspective.

The bottom of the filter rule list contains options for further refining the hierarchy by nesting additional operations. As with the root operation, you can choose the condition that applies to rules in the group:

  • All of the following: Each of the rules in the group must be true for an item to appear in the perspective (or for it to be considered by the rules above it in the hierarchy). This corresponds to a Boolean AND operation.
  • Any of the following: If an item meets even one of the rules nested below Any of the following, it will be included in the perspective (provided it also meets conditions described elsewhere in the tree). This corresponds to a Boolean OR operation.
  • None of the following: If an item meets one of the rules nested below it, it will be excluded from the perspective regardless of any other rules applied. This corresponds to a Boolean NOT operation.

To reorder a rule in the list, touch and hold to lift it, then drag and drop it elsewhere. This is particularly useful in perspectives with multiple levels of hierarchy, since moving a rule to a different position in the hierarchy can change its effect on how items are displayed. (Reordering rules that are peers has no effect on how they apply to the rule structure.)


This section will be revised, and does not fully reflect the current state of OmniFocus 4.

This section of the editor defines how the perspective’s items are displayed in the outline. You can choose from Flexible or Organized, with further options available once you’ve chosen the primary approach.


Custom perspectives can either use the default Layout settings, or be individually customized, as in View Options for the default perspectives.

Upgrade Perspective

Custom perspectives you create, as well as names, icons, and colors assigned to them, are synced between all the devices that sync with your OmniFocus database.

Older versions of OmniFocus do not support all the features of perspectives created with the most recent versions. If you are syncing a perspective created with an older version of OmniFocus, you can choose to Upgrade the perspective to take advantage of the features described in this chapter. Existing perspective rules and presentation settings will be converted to the newer perspective format.