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AFAICT, the search box searches only what's focused/selected either in planning mode or context mode.

It would be fantastic to have a "global" search always, from whatever omnifocus view, such that it will search all projects. The reason is that sometimes I want to search for another action item when I'm dealing with a project that I'm focused on, and "Show All" followed by search, find what I want, and then go back to where I was, is very very distracting.

Any idea how to do this?

Thanks!!
 
"Search" is a mis-label for the box, at present. It's actually a filter.

If you want to do a "global" search, then you must first select the "all items" perspective and then search.
 
RobTrew's got a handy Applescript that will do a global search and put the results in a new window (which you can close to return to your undisturbed previous workspace).

http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=17900
 
+1 for the global search function.

One of the complaints I've had with OmniFocus is "losing" things. I've been tripped up before, searching for something, not finding it, and moving on because what I thought was a global search, actually wasn't. A global search should be the default.
 
Did you happen to read the documentation? The built-in help states:

The OmniFocus toolbar includes a Search field for filtering the main outline down to items that contain a certain string of text. (emphasis added)

I would agree that labeling it "Search" is a bit misleading. If the label for the Search field was "Search View" or "Search Window" or something to that effect, would you have been tripped up by this?

Do you also propose that search should search all items, regardless of their state of completion? The iPad app does that, and frankly, I find it unhelpful most of the time! If your proposed implementation does heed the view settings, scraping off all of the matching items not in the current view due to their completion status, or dates/duration/etc. what is the fundamental difference between that and the current behavior? Both will give you an incomplete list of matches if you are expecting the input to the filter to be everything in the database. If you do not heed the view settings, don't you think that is also going to be confusing when the view bar settings and window perspective name say one thing but the window contents are completely different? The iPad app's search function gives a view that is different enough (there's a big search bar right across the top of the screen) that it is clear that you aren't in the standard view, but that isn't so much the case on the Mac.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Did you happen to read the documentation? The built-in help states:

The OmniFocus toolbar includes a Search field for filtering the main outline down to items that contain a certain string of text. (emphasis added)

I would agree that labeling it "Search" is a bit misleading. If the label for the Search field was "Search View" or "Search Window" or something to that effect, would you have been tripped up by this?
It's confusing because the OS X standard behavior for that box is to have it SEARCH, not to be a filter. Overloading that box and making it a filter is going to confuse the users, regardless of what you call it, because it flies in the face of 10 years of convention on OS X. End of story.

Quote:
Do you also propose that search should search all items, regardless of their state of completion? The iPad app does that, and frankly, I find it unhelpful most of the time! If your proposed implementation does heed the view settings, scraping off all of the matching items not in the current view due to their completion status, or dates/duration/etc. what is the fundamental difference between that and the current behavior? Both will give you an incomplete list of matches if you are expecting the input to the filter to be everything in the database. If you do not heed the view settings, don't you think that is also going to be confusing when the view bar settings and window perspective name say one thing but the window contents are completely different? The iPad app's search function gives a view that is different enough (there's a big search bar right across the top of the screen) that it is clear that you aren't in the standard view, but that isn't so much the case on the Mac.
I've seen other applications with a disclosure triangle in the search field itself that allows you to limit what you search. It's more workable, but again I've found myself tripped up if I don't know a filter is "set." See differing behaviors on Yojimbo and DEVONthink for this (DEVONthink is, of course, the de facto example I give when I talk about "overload," though it's OK for this). Their UI is still as bad as you can get though, which is why I rarely use it ;-)
 
Do you get confused by the Safari search bar that pops up when you do cmd-F? After all, it only searches the contents of the currently displayed web page, not the entire internet :-)

My guess is that you don't get confused by it, even though it looks quite similar, because you expect it to be something other than the default search tool. Given that what Omni has implemented is more akin to that search bar than the toolbar search, perhaps part of the answer is there. I think both search (er, filter) modes are useful — that's why I've got Rob's One Click Search All script in my toolbar right next to the Omni search widget.

As for DevonThink, I change as few things as possible, for fear of never being able to reproduce the same view again :-) Maybe someday I'll be as comfortable there as I am in OmniFocus, but it's not going to be this week, and next week doesn't look good either, to steal a punchline...
 
@whpalmer4

Yes, I've read the manual, and yes I've read the book Creating Flow with OmniFocus by Kourosh and a whole bunch of other stuff. I've been using OF for over 3 years, and it's the little things like a confusing global search that make the program more complicated than it needs to be. Programs like iTunes, DEVONthink and even Things use the little triangle in the search box to easily give the user options.

Do you also propose that search should search all items, regardless of their state of completion?

Yes, that should be one of the options when I click the little arrow in the search window.

Do you get confused by the Safari search bar that pops up when you do cmd-F?

Nope. I rarely use keyboard shortcuts, I'm more of a mouse/trackpad kind of guy. My life is too complicated to memorize a bunch of keyboard shortcuts.
 
Sorry, I was asking those questions in response to CatOne's comments about Mac OS X standard behaviors.

I mentioned the keyboard shortcut command-F because I was too lazy to check which menu the Find command is in, but I think even my mother knows about it :-)

So are you now in the "search box should have options" camp, rather than the "every search should be global" camp?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whpalmer4 View Post
Do you get confused by the Safari search bar that pops up when you do cmd-F? After all, it only searches the contents of the currently displayed web page, not the entire internet :-)
No. Because it's a totally different UI for search.

Really, this question pops up every month or so here. It's because the OmniFocus behavior is CONFUSING to many people… it's not what they expect.

Quote:
My guess is that you don't get confused by it, even though it looks quite similar, because you expect it to be something other than the default search tool. Given that what Omni has implemented is more akin to that search bar than the toolbar search, perhaps part of the answer is there. I think both search (er, filter) modes are useful — that's why I've got Rob's One Click Search All script in my toolbar right next to the Omni search widget.
Right. So you have "Where in OF" and One Click Search and, what, 17 other toolbar buttons for things that are scripted? Do you even have room for the traditional search^H^H^H^H^H^Hfilter dialog box there? :-)
Quote:
As for DevonThink, I change as few things as possible, for fear of never being able to reproduce the same view again :-) Maybe someday I'll be as comfortable there as I am in OmniFocus, but it's not going to be this week, and next week doesn't look good either, to steal a punchline...
Yeah, it's a UI turd. I mostly use Yojimbo for that reason :-/
 
 


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