Attachment creation via dragging is frustrating and unworkable

Adding attachments in OmniOutliner is driving me crazy. Any way other than Edit | Attach File (or using the toolbar with the same function) results in the DEFAULT of EMBEDDING the file. I added dozens of what I thought were LINKS to PDF and video files to a music outline, and found my OO file had grown to hundreds of megabytes. Dragging an MP4 video file into OO triggers the embed vs. link option. But dragging a PDF does not – it just embeds it, with no option. Attaching files via the Edit | Attach method is VERY PAINFUL if the files are scattered everywhere.

My recommendation: add a Preference for the default method of attaching files to OmniOutliner: EMBED vs. LINK.

On the “huge pain and a deal killer if Circus Ponies was still alive” scale, this rates a 10. Also, there is no way (as there was in Circus Ponies’ Notebook app) to simply ask for a list (or some other method of search) for all PDF or MP4 or whatever file types in an outline. It took me hours to go through and change my Embeds to Links.

If I’m missing anything, please please let me know. Thx.

Yes! Totally support this idea. In addition, the preference should allow one to “reverse” it by using the option key!

Please send an email to Omni Support ( to make your voice heard! (No guarantees in the forum).

You are aware of the fact that OO does not “maintain” the link, right? If you move the file, you’ll have to re-link it the next time you use the link in the OO document… That, also, could be improved, IMHO…


For now perhaps it would help to use the control key when dragging and you’ll find it creates a link as well. I hope this helps alleviate some of your stress.

Though, as @M_ichel mentioned, these links are symbolic links that won’t be updated if the file changes location or name. In that case OmniOutliner will ask you to relocate the file when you click on it.

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OMG, yes, this is (almost) exactly what I needed! Thank you!

How do you know this? Is it in the documentation somewhere? I’ve looked via Google and the user manual for anything about attachments, links, or embedded files and I found nothing. Wow, a big time saver!

I’m delighted to hear that!

I knew it just from trying. Similar to Finder, dragging whilst holding Command-option creates a link. That didn’t work with OmniOutliner so I tried others and found it.

Thanks for the tip nostodnayr!

Though unfortunately this will only work if you’re dragging into the note of any given item.

As of version 5.1.1. dragging while holding option and placing the cursor elsewhere to create a new list of items or siblings will still create embedded documents within the title of that item.

This is driving me insane, what I need is an app I can use to make centrally stores notes on an individual list of folders that can be hidden or shown individually, while also saving a bunch of time by not manually entering each folder link.

OmniOutliner is 99.9% perfect for this task, save the one thing, creating links!

ok, this doesn’t work as well as it did in previous versions.

As you point out, the only way to get a linked file into a doc is to ctrl-drag it into the note of an item. Then, you need to use cut/paste to move it somewhere else in the document. This sounds like a bug, as I can’t imagine that it’s supposed to work that way. A preference to toggle the default would be excellent, but in the absence of that, having consistent ctrl-drag functionality would be helpful.