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Originally Posted by usertech View Post
Firstly a question. Is it true that the Focus feature is designed to narrow down on specific projects, whether it is used in Planning Mode or Context Mode?
Yes. An excellent example of how one might use the Focus feature is to sort all of one's projects into folders titled Work, Personal, etc. Then, when desiring only to look at work-related actions, one would select the Work folder, click the Focus button, and see only the actions from the projects in the Work folder, regardless of which mode is being used. You can just select projects or contexts in the sidebar to narrow the view similarly, but the selection doesn't stick when you switch to the other view mode, unlike when you use Focus.
Again to make sure I am understanding correctly, is it true to say that in Planning mode you have no way to Focus on particular contexts (only Projects), whereas in Context mode you do have a way to focus on either projects or contexts or both at once - you can choose Contexts in the sidebar and to choose certain Projects in Context Mode you can highlight actions that belong to certain projects and then use the Focus feature to limit to the projects associated with those actions. Correct? If I am right with what I have said, can someone explain why Planning mode doesn't allow you to choose actions that have particular contexts just as (in reverse) Context mode allows you to choose actions for particular Projects?
Yes, Planning mode (or Project mode, as I call it) allows you to view select projects, but you have no control over which contexts are displayed in the view.

The behavior you describe with focusing in Context mode is simply focusing on the projects from which the actions you had selected were drawn, but staying in Context mode.

Showing projects without some of their actions (selected by context) doesn't seem like a particularly useful approach, especially with sequential projects. Can you give an example of how that would be helpful? If you really want to see your project view without some of the contexts, there's a somewhat risky way to do so. In Context mode, select the various contexts you wish to hide, then bring up the Inspector and set the contexts to be on hold. Now the actions assigned to those contexts will not appear in Project mode if viewing Available actions. You have to remember to put the contexts back to being Available when you are done!

Having said that, I have a further problem in that I cannot successfully reproduce the method outlined in the Omnifocus Forum Frequently Asked Questions in the thread "I Really Want a Context Based Project Viewer/Selector". (Would have given a URL for the thread but not allowed to as part of a first post, sorry). If I understand correctly this method will allow the user to view particular projects with only certain contexts sorted by context.

The steps provided in the thread are:
* Go to context mode, select the contexts of your choice
* Change the view bar to sort by projects
* Select the projects of your choice
* Focus
* Switch to projects mode.

When I do the final step, to change to Planning Mode, despite have created a focus in Context mode the actions I see are not limited to those projects I included in the Focus.

In doing the final step, I am changing modes by pressing Command 1 rather than choosing buttons so I don't think I am falling into error in that area. I have also rebuilt my database without any change in the results.
Hmm, it works for me. The usual spot people could get tripped up is by using the evil Projects toolbar button (which opens a Projects perspective, not at all what you want to happen here!) but it sounds like you've avoided that pitfall. The wording of the steps is a bit terse, particularly the "Select the projects of your choice" step; perhaps you're doing something incorrectly there. Instead of using the toolbar Focus button, use the View menu, which will have an entry named Focus on <list of projects with selected actions> and make sure that the list is what you want. I would be rather surprised to hear that what appeared in Project mode included a different set of projects than appeared in the menu (excluding issues with the list being too long to show every projects, etc.)
In the steps above does the step "Select the Projects of your choice" mean "highlight actions which are associated with projects you wish to focus on" because that is what I did? I made the entire actions blue by command clicking on them on the far left.
Yes. Again, I would suggest "checking your work" via the View menu as suggested above. It sounds like you've avoided most of the usual traps, and my hunch is that the unwanted projects are appearing because you've accidentally gotten something else in the selection you built before focusing. Try selecting just one or two actions and verifying that you only get the relevant projects.