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DrJJWMac 2012-06-26 06:43 AM

Restore Expansion (Automatic Expansion?)
I want a Perspective that will view the available tasks within a folder that is selected in the left pane, showing them in the right pane sorted by Due and FULLY EXPANDED automatically. The automatic expansion part is where I am having trouble.

I thought the purpose of the Restore Expansion checkbox would be to expand the right pane according to how it was (in this case fully expanded) when the Perspective is saved. So, I set up a "Projected" Perspective on one folder (Events) with the right pane fully expanded, then I saved the Perspective. Next, I toggled back to a generic Projects perspective, selected a different folder from the left pane (Family), and chose the Projected perspective. The view in the right pane was NOT fully expanded ???

So, do I have to resort to a keyboard, menu selection, or separate Applescript to expand (manually) the right pane after a selection, even though the Restore Expansion checkbox is checked? If so, I am apparently confused about the purpose of the Restore Expansion checkbox setting.


whpalmer4 2012-06-26 08:21 AM

It sounds like you want a perspective that applies the expansion settings to whatever folder you click on, is that right? I don't believe you can do that, as my recollection is that when you make a perspective with one of the restore boxes checked, OmniFocus makes a list of all the attributes as they are at the time the perspective is saved. So, if you make a perspective that restores expansion and there are three projects shown in that perspective, there's a list tucked away that records which of the three were expanded. When you switch to a different selection, even though the window suggests the perspective is still active (the view settings are) no attempt is made to alter the expansion from how OmniFocus thinks you want those newly selected items expanded (the way they were when you last viewed them).

It's akin to the problem of using diff to describe a set of changes to a file. Diff will say the equivalent of "at line 3, you inserted <xyz>", "at line 7, you inserted <xyz>", "at line 10, you inserted <xyz>", but it doesn't have any way of saying "every time you had <abc>, you inserted <xyz>" and so if you applied the diff to a similar file which had instances of <abc> at lines 2, 6, 9, and 13, you wouldn't get the new file completely updated. OmniFocus does the same thing: if you make a perspective that shows the contents of a folder, with all of the projects collapsed, save the perspective, then add an expanded project to the folder without updating your perspective, each time you open the perspective, you'll get the original projects, collapsed, plus the new project, expanded.

Conceivably, the description method OmniFocus uses could be extended to support specifying the two most interesting states (everything is expanded, or everything is collapsed) so that you could make a perspective that could be applied to any selection with equal effect. Seems like a 2.0 sort of change to me.

DrJJWMac 2012-06-26 11:53 AM

OK. Sounds as though I will have to use either the keystroke or menu (or an AppleScript) to expand/collapse the right pane as desired.

I agree for the need to have user-friendlier settings on the Perspective setup dialog to cover the possible matrix of options for expand/collapse state, such as ...

Left Pane / Right Pane
[ ] / [ ] Honor Existing
[ ] / [ ] Expand All
[ ] / [ ] Collapse All

Thanks for the quick and detailed response.


whpalmer4 2012-06-26 01:00 PM

Another approach might simply be to have a handful of perspectives. If you're always reaching for the same 3 folders in this fashion, 3 perspectives might not be so bad. If you've got dozens of likely possibilities, that's not going to work.

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