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Hi all,
Is there a way to see the Parent Action when in the Context view?

Right now I have a Project called 'New office' a Parent Action called 'Posters' and Child actions called 'Send to printers' and 'Hang in office'.

When in context mode, I can see the Project and the child actions but not the parent action which is a bit confusing.

Thank you

Anyone can help with this? I know this has been debated a lot, but most post are really old. I am attaching an image to illustrate. The top one is in Project view the other one in Context view
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I answered a post with a similar question about a week ago.

The question involved a single action list and the user not being able to discern between similarly named tasks as they were being presented in the Context view without their association to the parent task/project. The general principle of your question is similar enough that I believe the same answer would helpful here as well.

Please see my post in the earlier thread for a more full answer.
Thank you for your answer Dale. It seems however that it is not possible to do what I wanted.

I currently have about 50 Projects, each of which needs to be broken down further to organize the various actions. The context view effectively becomes useless as I can't see what actions refer to. This in turn defeats the whole purpose of GTD and almost OF.

I find it amazing that this feature is not available as many people have requested it judging from the forums. I wonder if the next version of OF will support it.

Has anyone found a hack to allow to view the Parent Action in Context View?
Unfortunately there's no way to do that. The best work around I found is to add something to the action's label or notes, not elegant but works for some things; otherwise it is possibly my main reason to not fully embrace action groups / having to switch a lot between project & context views.

I'm not looking too much until it's available but OF2 seems to address that issue in various ways.
I think Dale has the right idea about properly naming your Next Actions. Sometimes we try to make a short action name and it takes a while for us to process what it really means.

I often find myself needing to rename a task that has been stuck because the next action was not clearly defined.

Instead of "write progress report", I should have used "write progress report for 2nd quarter sales meeting". Even though I know it is in the project "Present progress report during 2nd quarter sales meeting", my task should be written more clearly.

No task management program will prevent us from creating poorly written tasks. It adds more friction when you are trying to find the parent task.
I just happened to come across this thread and while not perfect, I wondered if this suggestion might help the OP.

Basically, you can press Alt key and double click on an action and that will open a new window with a focus on that action's project as well as its other associated actions and action groups.

I use this all the time when I am about to tick off an action and want a quick overview of anything else related to the project that might need my attention.

Hope this helps someone anyway. I always wished there was a way to make this a keyboard shortcut but based on what I've read this is the only way to do it.
This is just for informational sake as Alt/Option-Double-Click is a perfectly valid method and for most I would assume much less effort than what I am about to list.

I may be misunderstanding your desire for a keyboard shortcut, but I can essentially do the same as you describe by the following keyboard commands. Third-party utilities could offer you a way to make these into a single keyboard shortcut for your purposes.
  1. Start with a selected task or select a task* (I presume we are speaking about being in Context mode)
  2. Use 1st keyboard shortcut Command-Control-F to get focus on the project of selected task
  3. Use 2nd keyboard shortcut Command-1 to switch to Project Mode and see all related tasks in that view

* To select a task via the keyboard:
  1. Use keyboard shortcut Command-F to bring up find
  2. Type the phrase of your task
  3. Click Enter/Return to select the task in editing mode
  4. Click ESC to exit editing mode
  5. Proceed to step two above


Just use Spotlight and type in the name of your project instead of doing everything I list in this post. When a project is selected in spotlight it opens in a new window showing all of the related tasks.
  1. Command-Space opens Spotlight (or whatever keyboard shortcut you have assigned to this function)
  2. Up/Down arrows select Spotlight results
  3. After selecting the project, Enter/Return opens new OmniFocus window with the project selected

The caveat with using Spotlight is two-fold;
  1. The result, as stated above, is only a selected project without focus on that project.
  2. When you use it without OmniFocus running and you have multiple versions of OmniFocus on you Mac (e.g. OmniFocus 2 Beta). In this case Spotlight will open in the "OmniFocus" application; this means by default OmniFocus 2 Beta will open instead of OmniFocus 1 if neither application is running. The reason for this is when installing the OmniFocus Beta it renames the current OmniFocus 1 application to OmniFocus + "its version number" for me this is OmniFocus 1.10.4 and Spotlight opens OmniFocus documents in an application named OmniFocus.

Hope this helps.

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