The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > Applying OmniFocus
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
linking documents Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi All.

Can anyone point me to where I figure out if and how to link documents in Omni Focus?

Are there options to retain the link even if the file gets moved or if the file gets renamed?

Thanks.
 
You can link or embed files in OmniFocus items by a number of means. One is to simply drag and drop the file into the note field; hold down the option key as you do so (a green circle with a white + will appear) if you want to embed a copy of the file, otherwise it will store a link to the file. Another route is to select the target action and choose Edit->Attach File... and similarly right-or-control-clicking to bring up the contextual menu and selecting Attach File...

What gets stored in the case of a link is just the name of the file, so if you move the file or rename it (or delete it), when you try to access the file through the link OmniFocus will put up a file chooser dialog and allow you to show it where the file has gone.

If you embed the file, a copy is made and stored in the OmniFocus database (you'll want to tread carefully if you do a lot of this and sync your database with an iPhone or iPad). You need to be careful if you want to edit the file because it will not sync your changes if you edit it in what would seem to be the most obvious way! If you want to edit the file, my advice is to make your changes, save the resulting file to your desktop as a new file, then embed the new file and remove the old one. If you need to edit the files frequently, you might be better off storing them in Dropbox and just keeping a reminder of where they are in OmniFocus.
 
Hi. Many thanks from the new user : )

I guess I was dragging and dropping to an open window pane and it is necessary to put the link in the notes is that right? For instance I would have a task called linked documents and then in the notes I could have a list of linked documents is that right? Or is there a way to make the actual linked document the note so you don't have to click into the note to get to the document (if that makes sense).

If I just want the link I should not hold down the option key, yes? If I hold down the option key there is no active link anymore is that right? I mean, if I /don't/ hold down the option key and update the doc and save it, it will get updated in Omni, yes? Can I access the document from /within/ Omni, update the document, save it and - I assume - have it get updated, yes?

If I hold down the option key there is no more "active" link is that right?

Also, can you help me with this part a little more? I am downloading the iPhone app today.

> If you embed the file, a copy is made and stored in the OmniFocus database (you'll want to tread carefully if you do a lot of this and sync your database with an iPhone or iPad). You need to be careful if you want to edit the file because it will not sync your changes if you edit it in what would seem to be the most obvious way! If you want to edit the file, my advice is to make your changes, save the resulting file to your desktop as a new file, then embed the new file and remove the old one. If you need to edit the files frequently, you might be better off storing them in Dropbox and just keeping a reminder of where they are in OmniFocus.

I didn't follow this. I had been using Things but it was not so good for my needs. I am storing the file on Dropbox. But having the link to the file in Things was really nice. I could just open Things and click on the link and the document would open. I could edit, save and it would get updated all around. Are you saying I can't do this with Omni for some reason?

ALSO, is there any way to edit the document (a Pages document) on my iPhone or can I just access it from the phone...?

Thanks a ton.

- Jon
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwheels22 View Post
I guess I was dragging and dropping to an open window pane and it is necessary to put the link in the notes is that right?
You just have to drop it on the action or project, you don't need to have the notes field open. You'll get a little curved arrow (if linking) or the green circle with the + (if option key is held down to embed) in the outline of the file icon you are dragging. When there's a light grey outline around your target, you can release the button and the file will be attached in the fashion you specified. If you are trying to embed, make sure you don't release the option key early! If there's any doubt, you can use the Attachment List window to verify that you've gotten the file in there; it will not appear in the Attachment List window if it is only linked.
Quote:
For instance I would have a task called linked documents and then in the notes I could have a list of linked documents is that right? Or is there a way to make the actual linked document the note so you don't have to click into the note to get to the document (if that makes sense).
Image files smaller than 512x512 will be displayed inline; anything else you'll just get the icon and name. You can adjust the threshold for displaying images inline by following Ken's directions here: http://forums.omnigroup.com/showpost...05&postcount=7

You could also store your documents related to a project in the notes for the project itself. I find this to be a cleaner approach than having an action devoted to storing documents; for one thing, you don't have the phony action cluttering up the view. The drawback, however, is that the procedure on the iPhone for getting to the note field for a project is different than that for getting to the note field for an action. A project's notes are accessed by going to the list of Projects, tapping the Edit button, scrolling to the project in question, tapping it, then tapping the > sign next to the project name. If you've got a file embedded, then you go to the same place except instead tapping the > sign, you scroll to the bottom and rummage through the Attachments section. One of the nice things about the iPad app is that you get to the corresponding information about projects and actions in the same way, but I digress even more than usual :-)
Quote:
If I just want the link I should not hold down the option key, yes? If I hold down the option key there is no active link anymore is that right?
Correct: holding option key means the file is embedded, and no notice is taken of where it lived when you did so. No option key means the location of the file is saved, but not its contents.
Quote:
I mean, if I /don't/ hold down the option key and update the doc and save it, it will get updated in Omni, yes? Can I access the document from /within/ Omni, update the document, save it and - I assume - have it get updated, yes?
If you didn't hold down the option key (file is linked), then when you double-click on the icon, OmniFocus just hands the file name off to the system and says "open this". You'll get whatever is there. If you embedded (held down option key), then OmniFocus rummages around in the database, copies the file out into a temporary file, and tells the system to open it. You can edit the file, and save your changes, and it even looks like OmniFocus picked them up — if you double-click on the icon again, it opens up the file and there are your changes. The problem is that it doesn't move the updated file back into the database and sync it to your other clients! However, if you saved a copy of the updated file on your desktop and replaced the old one as I suggested, then it won't matter whether this behavior is intentional or accidental; you'll have the latest copy in the database, and it should get synced.


Quote:
I didn't follow this. I had been using Things but it was not so good for my needs. I am storing the file on Dropbox. But having the link to the file in Things was really nice. I could just open Things and click on the link and the document would open. I could edit, save and it would get updated all around. Are you saying I can't do this with Omni for some reason?
If you store the file in Dropbox instead of embedding it in your OmniFocus document, Dropbox will handle the file syncing for you (and does so very well, in my experience). You can even add the file to your "favorites" list in the Dropbox app if you need to be able to see it while you don't have internet connectivity (though you'll want to be sure that the app has an up-to-date copy before setting off into the wilderness if you've been editing it on another machine).

Now, the fly in the ointment is that OmniFocus on your iPhone doesn't currently have a way to ask Dropbox for a file, so you wouldn't be able to go directly to your document from the attachments list. You would have to know where the file lives in your Dropbox, launch the Dropbox app, and access it that way. On the Mac, there's no problem, but on iPhone/iPad it is a bit clunky. If Things can grab the files directly from Dropbox, they are doing at least one thing better than OmniFocus at the moment.
Quote:
ALSO, is there any way to edit the document (a Pages document) on my iPhone or can I just access it from the phone...?
I'm not aware of any way to edit a Pages document on the iPhone, only on the iPad. There may be a way to do it; I haven't needed to do so and so haven't investigated. I just tried it on the iPad, and found that while I could hand the file off to Pages to be opened, I would have to save it somewhere else from Pages.
 
Man. Big thanks.

> You could also store your documents related to a project in the notes for the project itself. I find this to be a cleaner approach than having an action devoted to storing documents; for one thing, you don't have the phony action cluttering up the view. The drawback, however, is that the procedure on the iPhone for getting to the note field for a project is different than that for getting to the note field for an action. A project's notes are accessed by going to the list of Projects, tapping the Edit button, scrolling to the project in question, tapping it, then tapping the > sign next to the project name. If you've got a file embedded, then you go to the same place except instead tapping the > sign, you scroll to the bottom and rummage through the Attachments section.

This digression is important for me. I assume by 'phone' you mean a blue link that is just a link? The issue here is - in part - whether I am linking to a document that is external to the Omni database or whether I am /embedding/ this data into the notes field of a Task in Omni?

The access on the iPhone to the notes sounds /way/ clunkier than I am going to deal with. At the same time, I am realizing that I can't edit Pages documents on my iPhone anyway (!). This sounds like a bit of a catch 22. Is there a way around this? I mean, on my iPhone I'd like to be able to edit my Pages docs - which tell me what I need to do in a more "global" way - in the same way I will edit the Omni info - which tell me what to do in a more "local" way. But I can't edit the Pages docs on my iPhone and if I embed them into the notes there is only a really clunky way of getting to them?

Anyway, your answers save me a great deal of time and headache as I get out of the ditch here.

BTW, the Pages docs /are/ currently on Dropbox and I think I mis-spoke about Things (it will link to a file on Dropbox on my mac but I don't know if it can link to it on my iPhone - and i couldn't open it on the phone anyway...)!

Anyway, the conclusion that I am gathering is that I should link the documents in Omni but I am missing something. If I open a Pages document from a link in Omni on my laptop and I edit this Pages document - the new document /will/ get updated on my desktop, yes? It is just that I can't open it from the link on my iPhone and even if I could I couldn't open the document in the link on my iPhone...yes?

Thanks a ton.
 
I think the crucial point to understand is that you can't edit any of these documents *in* OmniFocus; OmniFocus simply arranges for the appropriate program to be invoked. Some documents OmniFocus can display, perhaps with some help from iOS, others it hands off to other applications, but it cannot edit, no matter whether you've stored the document inside OmniFocus' database, or simply stored a path to the file.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwheels22 View Post
> You could also store your documents related to a project in the notes for the project itself. I find this to be a cleaner approach than having an action devoted to storing documents; for one thing, you don't have the phony action cluttering up the view. The drawback, however, is that the procedure on the iPhone for getting to the note field for a project is different than that for getting to the note field for an action. A project's notes are accessed by going to the list of Projects, tapping the Edit button, scrolling to the project in question, tapping it, then tapping the > sign next to the project name. If you've got a file embedded, then you go to the same place except instead tapping the > sign, you scroll to the bottom and rummage through the Attachments section.

This digression is important for me. I assume by 'phone' you mean a blue link that is just a link?
Not sure what you mean—I don't see where I used 'phone' in the text above.
Quote:
The issue here is - in part - whether I am linking to a document that is external to the Omni database or whether I am /embedding/ this data into the notes field of a Task in Omni?
On the iPhone/iPad, you can't really link to external documents, to my knowledge. The link you create on the Mac is present in the database, although it isn't shown to you on the iPhone or iPad.
Quote:
The access on the iPhone to the notes sounds /way/ clunkier than I am going to deal with. At the same time, I am realizing that I can't edit Pages documents on my iPhone anyway (!). This sounds like a bit of a catch 22. Is there a way around this? I mean, on my iPhone I'd like to be able to edit my Pages docs - which tell me what I need to do in a more "global" way - in the same way I will edit the Omni info - which tell me what to do in a more "local" way. But I can't edit the Pages docs on my iPhone and if I embed them into the notes there is only a really clunky way of getting to them?
If you need editable reference materials on the iPhone, you need to store them somewhere other than inside the OmniFocus database.

As for clunky access to the notes on the iPhone, it's only notes attached to the project that are particularly clunky; notes attached to actions are easy to get to, in my opinion. You just tap on the action as if to edit it. Attachments are at the bottom of the screen, the first line or two of text is at the top of the screen, tapping > gets you the rest of the note and the option of editing.
Quote:
Anyway, your answers save me a great deal of time and headache as I get out of the ditch here.

BTW, the Pages docs /are/ currently on Dropbox and I think I mis-spoke about Things (it will link to a file on Dropbox on my mac but I don't know if it can link to it on my iPhone - and i couldn't open it on the phone anyway...)!

Anyway, the conclusion that I am gathering is that I should link the documents in Omni but I am missing something. If I open a Pages document from a link in Omni on my laptop and I edit this Pages document - the new document /will/ get updated on my desktop, yes? It is just that I can't open it from the link on my iPhone and even if I could I couldn't open the document in the link on my iPhone...yes?
Yes, if you link to the file, you can open it by double-clicking on the icon in OmniFocus (Mac), and if you make and save your changes, the file on the Mac will be updated. If you access that file directly, your changes will be present. If that file lives on Dropbox, accessing the file from any system linked to your Dropbox account should have your changes, provided that Dropbox has had an opportunity to sync.

There won't be a visible link on your iPhone in OmniFocus. Store your files externally on Dropbox, linking them into the database on the Mac, and also putting a text string in there to tell you on the iPhone what the name of the file is so you can go to the Dropbox app and open it up. You'll still be able to access the file directly through OmniFocus when you're on the Mac, and you'll know where to find it on the iPhone.
 
Sorry. I meant "phony" I was thinking about the iPhone and wasn't sure if you meant that you don't like the link to an external document...

> it's only notes attached to the project that are particularly clunky; notes attached to actions are easy to get to, in my opinion.

Thanks very much. I will try this then with my pages docs and see how I do.

> Attachments are at the bottom of the screen...

When you say attachments we are talking about embedded text that is in a Action is that right? I am going to take my Pages docs and embed them as a note in a Action, yes? I then lose the link to the original document and don't need the original document, yes?

On the last part, unless I am missing something - the only way to edit info on the iPhone is if you /embed/ the information in Omni as notes in an Action. If I keep the Pages docs on Dropbox, I can have the link from my mac and I can /see/ the link in my iPhone - but I still can't do anything on the iPhone since there is no app to edit Pages docs that I might access off Dropbox, yes?

thanks again a whole bunch.

jon
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwheels22 View Post
Sorry. I meant "phony" I was thinking about the iPhone and wasn't sure if you meant that you don't like the link to an external document...
Okay, by "phony" I meant you would have an action named something like Reference Materials that served only as a place to store documents or links to documents. Unfortunately, you have to keep it from interfering with your work, so it probably has to go to the end of the project.
Quote:
> Attachments are at the bottom of the screen...

When you say attachments we are talking about embedded text that is in a Action is that right? I am going to take my Pages docs and embed them as a note in a Action, yes? I then lose the link to the original document and don't need the original document, yes?
Any file that was embedded in the notes instead of being linked shows up as an attachment. There's no link to the original document; instead, there's a copy of the original document. If one of them changes, you'll have to update the other.

I was suggesting that you not embed your Pages docs. Keep them in your Dropbox folder, and link them from OmniFocus on the Mac. Dropbox will handle the file syncing, and you'll be able to get the most up-to-date version of the file on any of your devices (so long as you allow Dropbox an opportunity to sync when you make changes). Also put a note in the notes for that action to tell you what the name of the file is, because that's all you'll be able to see in OmniFocus on the iPhone. You'll need to go to the Dropbox app armed with that file name to actually open the file, and you may only be able to view it, not edit it. OmniFocus does not appear to be able to open Pages documents embedded in its database with either of the iOS apps, unless it works in iOS 4.x (it doesn't in iOS 3.x).

Quote:
On the last part, unless I am missing something - the only way to edit info on the iPhone is if you /embed/ the information in Omni as notes in an Action. If I keep the Pages docs on Dropbox, I can have the link from my mac and I can /see/ the link in my iPhone - but I still can't do anything on the iPhone since there is no app to edit Pages docs that I might access off Dropbox, yes?
OmniFocus on the iPhone doesn't allow you to edit embedded files. I can't answer for whether there is an iPhone app that might let you edit Pages docs.
 
Hi. Thanks a ton for getting me moving with that.

Nice to know what direction to head.

Regards,

Jon
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Linking OO with OF rogbar OmniOutliner 3 for Mac 0 2012-01-29 06:16 PM
task linking jvillalta OmniPlan General 3 2010-01-27 05:03 PM
Linking to Devonthink documents Declan OmniFocus 1 for Mac 2 2009-04-11 03:40 AM
Linking within omnigraffle yahs OmniGraffle General 1 2008-12-08 11:25 AM
Linking or attaching documents connie OmniPlan General 6 2007-01-25 04:23 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.