Create a hyperlink with menu item Edit > Add Link

Pardon my ignorance…

But I’ve had no success converting text into a hyperlink using the menu item “Edit > Add Link…”

For example, within the Action’s Note field, I will select text, then choose the menu item “Edit > Add Link…”, expecting to paste a copied URL address, but the only thing that happens is I hear a short beep sound.

I’ve looked in the online manual but could not find instructions on how to correctly use this menu item.

Can someone enlighten me?

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Here’s what the OF manual says:

Add/Edit Link
Create or edit a hyperlink to an item within OmniFocus, or beyond.

That said, I’m not sure what that menu item does in an empty note field. You can paste any hyperlink copied from another app directly into the notes field without a special menu item. You can also create your own hyperlink by typing with the proper convention (omnifocus://perspective… or http://www…).

Note that Add Link becomes Edit Link when a link is present and selected for editing.

Thanks for the feedback.

Perhaps I’ve misunderstood the function of the menu item. For example, in the Mail application (or others), I can select a word or phrase, then select the menu item “Edit > Add Link…” (or Command-K), and then paste a long URL address. That word or phrase is now a hyperlink using the hidden URL address.

So I was just hoping that I could accomplish the same thing in OmniFocus, instead of having a really long URL address inside the note field.

It’s funny but I can’t figure out what that menu item is designed for within OmniFocus. The only result I’ve ever gotten is the sound of an error beep.

Oh well… Moving on.


You can certainly shorten the URL. Once pasted in long form, select it and choose Edit>Edit Link from the menu. It will reveal a popup like this:

Change the top box to be any non-blank value, and you have a new display link with the underlying URL intact.

Fantastic! That’s one thing I never did try. Thank you!

I’m still curious to know how “Edit > Add Link…” is supposed to work. Anytime I select it, the only thing that happens is a beep sound.

Still no response from Omnifocus staff. This is a clear bug. Any plans to fix it? Also, the edit note only works sometimes (every second time) at my mac.

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Hyperlink still does not work for me.

The Omni Group do not regularly monitor the forum posts. If you have a problem, you should send an e-mail to their excellent customer support ( Then you will usually have an answer within two days.

In this case something seems to be wrong, at least in Omnifocus 2.0.4 (the version I use). I can’t get the ”Add Link…” command to work, either. If I use the command ”Copy As Link”, paste it in the note field of another task and select the link I pasted, I could use the command ”Edit Link”, but if I then set a display title in the dialog box, that title might suddenly disappear after a while. And worse: the pasted, internal links take me to the wrong place.

Is it true that this ‘add link’ function still does not work? It has been a year and a half since the guys at Omnifocus were made aware of this - and apparently nothing at all has happened (which goes for the ios today widged as well). Is this a sign that Omnifocus is no longer being developed?

We are aware of this bug, but I cannot speak to future work on this public forum.
And we are still developing OmniFocus. For more details on some of our recent work, check out this blog post:

I’m just another user so I have “plausible deniability” I guess. There’s some evidence that this bug is something more than just an errant piece of code and so I have some sympathy that they haven’t addressed it yet. I’ll 'splain…

On the Mac there’s standard code for anything that involves entering and manipulating formatted text. That is why everything follows the standards set in the “TextEdit” app right down to the keyboard shortcuts. OmniFocus 2.0 (and above) made a change where text can be edited in two places and updated in realtime. If you edit a “note” to a task it will update in realtime in the sidebar and vise-versa. From my own testing I suspect this “broke” the standard “Add Link…” functionality and, if this is the case, fixing it will be a big deal. It would mean finding where in the Apple call the command is failing and writing a work around. If you are the executive in charge of the product it’s a hard decision to expend lots of time and effort (i.e. money) for a feature that may (or may not) be used by only a handful of users. Not to say that it’s right they don’t fix it - just that given limited resources it’s a hard decision.

I, personally, hope they do fix it soon. It could potentially be very powerful given that links from emails and websites can be extracted via AppleScript. One could literally press a button and have a full OmniFocus project created complete with links to the original requests. But I must defend OmniGroup from the accusation that OmniFocus is “not being developed”. On the contrary, they actually have been very active, commendably so, about refining their products including OmniFocus. There are still bugs in the software (I’ve found others as well) but it is not a case of abandonment but more a case of application of scarce resources.

I guess that’s the long winded answer. The short answer is: write everything (including added links) in TextEdit and copy/paste into the OmniFocus task note until further notice. 😀

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Thank you for posting your analysis. Very helpful!

I found this via Google trying to figure out why Add Link was grayed out. Disappointing that it’s a bug. I’d add that it’s hard to find information about this in the Help File, there are no search hits on “Add Link” when I try, just a standard Mac pointer to the menu item. I found an ePUB manual on the iBookStore that is searchable, I think “add link” needs more documentation there.

I’m also disappointed that OmniGroup doesn’t formally monitor these Discourse forums, I think Product Managers really should monitor discussion forums. It’s the best way to understand what’s happening with their software.

These forums are primarily intended for user discussions. If you contact The Omni Group’s support, you will always get helpful answers to your questions.

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Oh, I do understand that. I just think it’s a mistake for a vendor not to formally monitor user forums.

On the positive side of things, I found that there is a searchable manual for OmniFocus (outdated however, is 2.3).

Once I knew it existed I was able to find a reference in non-searchable OmniFocus help.

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This is an old thread, but I think I found a workaround for this bug. Running Omnifocus 3.9.2 (v144.5.0) on a MacBook Catalina 10.15.7. When entering a new task, the Edit-Add Link is always grayed out for me. But if, after typing the task descriptor and before hitting enter (…and sometimes it works if I DO hit enter) I hit Edit - Edit Note, this will enable the Edit - Add Link. Seems like the developers just need to enable the Edit Link at any time when editing, not just after Edit Note. Otherwise, the workaround seems like a good solution. Just have to remember it :)

You could also paste the link into the Notes field, press cmd-return to save the task, and then option-click on the link to edit the link title.