How can the data density be improved? [OmniFocus 2.3 added custom columns layout]

Another moderator brought this thread to my attention. After some discussion, we feel like “when are you going to do thing_x” isn’t generally a different enough topic to warrant a new topic if one about that thing already exists.

In other words, I’m going to merge this thread with the existing Data Density one. (If you’re reading this post now, it’s in the thread I moved it to.)

I’m all for the option to increase data density, and I think Gmail’s current interface does it very well with its three levels of density. I always use “compact” personally.

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I am solely using the compact URL mod Ken posted- the current constraints bother me less than the less compact view does- funny, didn’t have any objections to the new two- rowed mode- until the alternative came along ;-)))

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I have been dreading the loss of data density in OF2, so I was very glad to see the experimental setting to put everything on a single line for each action. It is far better than it was. On the default OF2 setting it took twice the space to show the same data as my OF1 setup.

With the new setting it is much better though it still takes a little more vertical space (about 20%) as you can see in the attached screenshot showing the two versions using the same perspective. The spacing between each action is fairly close between the two (still slightly more for OF2) but the larger difference is the huge padding above and below the OF2 headings as well as the large font size. Would love to be able to suck that padding back to something much smaller.

That flag icon also needs work also to stand out more - I haven’t liked it on the iPhone and its not much better here.

OF2 and OF1 vertical space comparison showing exact same tasks:

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See: How can the data density be improved? [OmniFocus 2.3 added custom columns layout]

Disclosure: Old version.

Yeah. There’s a lot of “denser is better” in this thread but I really value some clarity and clean design over just “more is more”.


I hope I had seen this thread earlier. Sent a few emails to the feedback team during beta testing but failed to get much concrete improvement.

So I’m a heavy user for OF with 60+ projects and hundreds of items that need my attention everyday. It’s simply impossible for me to work on OF2 right now due to the data density issue. I have a huge MBP 17" solely because I want to have larger screen work space but now OF2 wasted the majority of the screen space (literally more than majority). I really hope this could be fixed asap so that I can put my money on that.

Many thanks.

There is a temporary solution. See this post from Ken:

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The new layout seems to put a ton of unnecessary whitespace in the lists. Perhaps that’s to give more space for the title, but it also seems to put a ton of unnecessary whitespace that makes it more difficult to overview tons of tasks. There’s no way to get rid of that is there? Might be something good to look into. I’d love to optionally clean that up so I can view more tasks.

@brentw505, you’re in good company, Omni has clearly reacted to it- You can even try it out (just follow the above post link). This will be dealt with soon, no worries.

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Awesome thanks!

Now all we need is an updated alternate layout that’s fully functional (checkbox that works, and resizable columns), and the long-missing blog post from Ken on how to customize fonts and colors.


yup… sooner or later, these things will be included but honestly, checking off items via space bar is my method of choice anyway, a lot faster than fiddling with the trackpad imho…

Well, when I’m processing completed tasks, to use the spacebar takes two actions (click to select, space to mark done). A single click in the checkbox marks it done (like in OF1). And there’s no accidental marking of done when you intended to edit the task either.

But to each their own - the big thing is to correct all the regressions from OF1.

Until later arrives, I’ve downgraded to OF1. Hopefully the race between 10.10 (if OF1 isn’t compatible) and OF2 being usable isn’t going to go the wrong way.

You folks know about this, presumably:

I searched this thread and didn’t see it referred to, but I know it’s mentioned elsewhere in this forum, as well as in one of the ScreenCastOnline tutorials on OF2 for Mac.

You can do one of two things:

  1. Copy the URL link. Then go to your web browser and paste the link into the address bar. Press Return. Quit and restart OmniFocus to see the change.

  2. You can just click on the URL link in the article. Quit and restart OmniFocus.

We’re not the only ones that don’t like hard to read/manipulate controls with low-density layouts.


This is really quite important to me, Thanks!

As of OmniFocus 2.3 (released October 2015) we have added a single-line custom columns layout, made action titles wrap, and reduced the amount of vertical padding between rows when text sizes are smaller. Since this thread lay dormant for over a year, I think it’s probably safe to close.