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I have an Excel spread sheet within which I keep a grid of information about my rental properties. In this case, on the left axis are the 12 months of the year. Then I have 4 columns which stand for 1, 2, 3, or 4-bedroom apartments. In any particular spot on the grid, I'll list which apartment has a lease ending that month. For example if my 3br Bluff Avenue house has a lease ending in June, then in the 3-bedroom column, I'd list Bluff on the "June line" of my table.

This provides me with a birds-eye view of what apartments (and the # of bedrooms) that come available at different times of the year. Excel works great for this for me - because my table is pretty much automatically fed from the place where I create the people's leases.

Here's where Omnifocus comes in. I absolutely love Omnifocus. I often need to look at the birds-eye view of when someone's lease ends. However, I don't want to go open up Excel each time I need to do that. What I really want to do is copy the table into Omnifocus. (Although it would be cool if the information would automatically feed into Omni - I don't have to do that. I don't mind just doing a COPY of the data from Excel on occasion to Omnifocus.)

When I copy the little Excel grid into the notes area of a task in Omnifocus - it looks great... but only until I hit some other button in Omni. The columns look great and I love it. But if I click somewhere else in Omni or close up the task and come back to it...all the formatting and columns are gone.

Here are my 2 questions:
1) Is there any way to preserve the look of the grid to keep it like it is when I first copy it over. (like it looks for the first minute or seconds before I click elsewhere in Omnifocus)
2) Although I don't HAVE to have this... is there anyway a grid from Excel could automatically feed into my Omnifocus note so that I wouldn't have to copy over the chart when it gets updated?
Have Excel print the spreadsheet as PDF, then insert the PDF file into OmniFocus. If you have your print dialog expanded (click on the triangle), there's a PDF button that gives you all sorts of options other than defacing a nice sheet of paper...

If you aren't syncing OmniFocus, you could set up some Rube Goldberg scheme where instead of embedding the PDF files into OmniFocus, you just link them (which is the default behavior). No difference in appearance, but the files could then be updated periodically by some means, and OmniFocus would simply show you the latest version when you opened the note. I rarely use Excel, so I don't know what automation facilities it provides, but if there are some, you could presumably use them to update your various "display" documents periodically (or each time you change them) so that the copy displayed by OmniFocus would be up to date.
Just drag the Excel file to the notes area (like whpalmer4 described) and a link is inserted. Then when you want to check the file, click once on the icon to highlight it and then use Quick Look (hit the space bar) to show the content. No need to open Excel.
Updates will show up automatically.

Last edited by Steinthal; 2013-03-18 at 03:28 PM.. Reason: Added sentence on updates
Yes, that's an improvement on my suggestion. I was thinking that with the PDF approach you'd get to skip opening Excel, but this gets you that as well, with no need to refresh a file.

If you are syncing with a mobile device, printing to PDF and embedding the file would get you the ability to review the data remotely, but you then need to update the file when the underlying spreadsheet changes. Avoid embedding too many attachments in your database to keep the size under control.
What I do to address the mobile device + iMac question is put my files into a Dropbox directory and use a Dropbox-generated link as what I drop into the Notes area in OF.
Many thanks to you. I love the "quick look" with the spacebar. Thanks for suggesting that!!

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