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How close are links to final form? Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I'm interested in whether there will be any change in the display of links between now and the January release of OmniFocus. To tell the truth, this is the one thing that's prevented me from giving OF a real workout.

Currently for me, files and folders dragged into notes yield only a small icon that seems to be misaligned with the surrounding text. Double clicking this icon does nothing, but control-clicking does allow choice of a program to open the linked file or folder.

My preference is for the link behavior and interface to be exactly that of OmniOutliner. Barring that, I'd prefer a text link with the name of the file/folder, which opens to the default app with a click, and pops up the current menu on a control-click (with the addition of a rename option). A small icon that does not disrupt the text and line spacing would be OK, but not necessary. Is anything like this in the plans for the near future?
We definitely still have some work to do on attachments. I don't think the icon+title will make it into 1.0, but its on a list of possible future features.

The open support is slated to receive more work for 1.0.

The misalignment is due to some leftover code from OmniOutliner to top-align attachments (particularly for the title in the dog tags). This was *really* fiddly difficult code and I'm planning on ripping it out for OmniFocus, though it may come back someday if it makes sense.

Would it be useful to have larger file icons? We could pretty easily add a preference (hidden, if nothing else) to adjust the icon size. Would folks prefer 16x16 (the current size) or 32x32 as a default?
CTO, The Omni Group
I'd prefer the smaller size as a default. I would strongly second the urgency for accompanying filename labels, and for making links double-clickable to open. (The former is important in part because I will sometimes attach two different files of the same type to a single action.)
I agree with Craig. To best manage information about projects and tasks, I need to be able to embed links to folders and files in descriptive text or in bullet lists (often multiple files/folders for a project or task). It's more important to describe the purpose or contents of a file or folder than it is to display the file type, so icons are marginally useful. If they disrupt the layout of the text containing them, they're detrimental. I'd prefer to import the file names as the links rather than icons. Barring that, I'll need to type text next to the icon to serve as the link identifier, and that text should associate with the icon in a reasonably aesthetic way. Handling links to files/folders well is a make-or-break issue for me with GTD software.
Originally Posted by jharrison View Post
I need to be able to embed links to folders and files in descriptive text or in bullet lists (often multiple files/folders for a project or task).
How about using the link function found in Format > Text > Link ...
Maybe that would do what you need.
I agree that links to files (whether embedded or referenced) needs some work. I've always liked OmniOutliner's metal lozenges, but if we can't get to that point by 1.0, I guess I'd vote for just displaying them as text links. As others have mentioned, I don't care much for icons disrupting text flow, although a 16x16 icon with proper vertical alignment might be good.

As for embedding vs. referencing files, I think it is best to give the user the option, with referencing being the default (opposite of OmniOutliner). I almost always link my files in, but there are circumstances where being able to just store the file in my OmniFocus database (usually temporarily) would be really helpful.

I use the term "database" loosely here, as I believe files embedded in OmniFocus are not actually stored in any kind of a database but rather as a file in the folder that comprises the OmniFocus data bundle in your home directory (just like OmniOutliner). So there's no more chance for file corruption when embedded than when stored elsewhere on your drive.
Originally Posted by eronel View Post
How about using the link function found in Format > Text > Link ...
Maybe that would do what you need.
There are a couple of issues with this:

1. It would work better with my workflow just to drag the file into the text and have the name appear rather than selecting text, selecting from a hierarchical menu and then entering the file path or dragging the file to the sheet. Personally, I think GTD apps need to be able to make and break links to files and folders quickly and easily, as task and project needs evolve.

2. If you select text and then this menu choice, a sheet appears that allows you to enter the file path in a box by dragging the document and dropping it onto the box. Unfortunately, when this is saved, OF prepends "http" plus a colon and three slashes to the path (It should be "file", I think). When this is clicked, Safari tries to open the file and fails if it's not markup or text. Apparently the text links are meant only for Web resources.

3. Oddly, if you select text and then choose "Attach file" from the contextual menu, the file icon is inserted at the front of the selected text, similar to dragging the file to that location (and with similar click behavior), and the text does not participate in the link.

So neither of these approaches fits my needs.

Last edited by jharrison; 2007-11-19 at 11:46 AM..

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