How to Guide - Create your own custom [unsupported] Themes for OmniFocus 2 [no longer needed in v2.5]

How to manually customize Omnifocus 2’s UI

Many people have been asking about how to customize the styling of OF2. As most of you know, OF2 does not contain any way to create your own styles, but that does not mean it’s not possible !

Here are the steps to theme OF2 to your own personal style :

  1. Open Finder and go to applications, right click on the OmniFocus 2 app. Click on “Show Package Contents” , navigate to “Contents” then to the “Resources” folder

  2. Once there you will see a file called OFIAppearance.plist . Before you open it, make sure to make a back up first ! Open the file using an app such as Prefsetter (free) or Plistedit pro (free demo) . This will make editing the plist file much easier than simply using textedit.

  3. You will see a bunch of different settings such as OFISidebarTitleTextColor , SidebarBackgroundColor ect. These settings control the color styling of the OmniFocus 2 interface. If you expand these you will see the color options that you may edit . It looks like this :

a : 1
w: 0.5000000000

“w” seems to control whiteness with 0.0000000 being black and 0.999999 being white. Other settings have finer controls such as “h” , “s” , “b” , & “a”. These stand for hue, saturation, brightness and alpha. What if the setting you want to change only has the Alpha and White balance setting ? Simply delete the “w” key and add three new “number” keys labeled “h” “s” & “b”. Now you could for instance make all your project tiles green or whichever color you wanted by editing the hue and saturation option.

This is just an example. There are a plethora of other options such as text spacing ect.

Another file “OFIFontRegistry.plist” seems to control the font’s but I have not tried messing with it yet. I say we get a list together of what settings change which parts of the UI. Even better take a screenshot and post your settings / custom themes here !!

Thats it ! Simply edit these options , save the file , open OF2 and enjoy your customized UI ;)


Well spotted – OFIAppearance.plist does manage some parts of the OmniFocus 2 UI. I do, however, want to take this opportunity to reiterate that OmniFocus 2 provides no supported method of theming your user interface. We’re aware this is a feature that many people desire, and we’re actively tracking that feature in our internal databases. If themes are important to you, please email us about it.

In the meantime, editing this plist is fairly likely to break your copy of OmniFocus or behave unexpectedly, for any one of a variety of reasons:

  • In the Mac App Store, this file is part of the app’s code signature. Editing it invalidates that signature, which may cause OmniFocus to fail to launch.
  • Even outside the Mac App Store, editing any file inside the application bundle can have negative consequences. Apps generally aren’t built to handle their internal structure changing once shipped, and OmniFocus is no exception. This plist must maintain a certain structure to avoid crashes in OmniFocus.
  • Since this plist is considered internal, some of the keys or values may change between releases, and OmniFocus will make no effort to preserve any user customizations. Your changes will be overwritten when OmniFocus updates.

In general, please keep in mind that editing any internal file inside the OmniFocus app has the potential to introduce instability and undesired behavior throughout the app.


Rather than editing the contents of the app itself, in version 2.0.2 (shipping within the next few days) the Pro edition can read custom settings from your library folder. You’ll be able to place your customized settings right next to your database in files named OFIAppearance.plist and OFIFontRegistry.plist.


Thats great news Ken!

And will we finally see the promised blog post with instructions on what to put in that file?

Will 2.0.2 also provide fixed-width and width-resizeable columns?

Will 2.0.2 also fix the compact layout so it’s fully functional?

I just downloaded and installed 2.0.2 and still see no way to customize the appearance. Am I missing something?

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Does ‘tracking’ mean ‘doing something about it’ any time in the near future?

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Now that v2.0.2 is shipping, here is a sample OFIAppearance.plist file which makes overdue tasks red and “due soon” tasks orange in OmniFocus 2 Pro:

To use this, download the file (in zip format if you prefer) and place it in your OmniFocus folder right next to your OmniFocus database and Backups folder.

You can get to that folder by choosing Show Backups… from the File menu, then command-clicking on the titlebar of that Finder window to access its parent folder as in this screenshot:

Once you’ve placed the plist inside that folder, restart OmniFocus and you should start seeing tasks colored by how soon they’re due:

To revert to the original factory settings, delete that file. To pick your own colors or tweak other customizable colors you can edit that file with a text editor. All of the settings in this sample file should be safe to tweak, though none of this is officially supported so there aren’t any guarantees as to the results you might get from doing so.

The settings included here are:

  • OFIContentAvailableTaskTitleColor (title color for available tasks)
  • OFIContentBlockedTaskTitleColor (title color for blocked tasks)
  • OFIContentCompletedTaskTitleColor (title color for completed tasks)
  • OFIContentDefaultTaskTitleColor (title color for default tasks)
  • OFIContentDueSoonTaskTitleColor (title color for due soon tasks)
  • OFIContentOverdueTaskTitleColor (title color for overdue tasks)
  • OFIContentTableGridColor (grid color for the table)
  • OFIForecastSubsectionHeaderTextColor (text color of “Due” and “Deferred” subsection headers in Forecast)
  • OFIGroupHeaderBackgroundColor (background color of group headers)

Note that none of those settings will tweak the background color of the outline as a whole: we have more work to do before the app can be used with a different background color. We’re looking forward to doing that work (so we could support a Dark theme, for example), but right now our team is working hard to finish OmniFocus 2 for iPad before iOS 8 ships this fall.


I moved a post to a new topic: OmniFocus 1.x for iOS and iOS 8

I moved a post to an existing topic: OmniFocus 1.x for iOS and iOS 8

Now I wonder how far in the roadmap are:

  • any way to customize color for Notes font?
  • to change font size for notes, for project list sidebar?
  • to specify font size for tasks more precisely than the current Small > Medium > Large (where Large is still too small, in my experience)

Any updates on this?

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I’ve asked Omni to:

  1. Make a statement like ‘Hey, we know a lot of you don’t like the OF2 UI, and we plan to fix it, but can’t give you a date’.
  2. Do some basic testing that OF1 will work on iOS8 and 10.10 so they could add ‘OF 1 works, please stick with it until we can get OF2 fixed’ to the answer in #1, or
  3. If they’re not going to do anything, to just say so.

But no luck on any of those. #2 in particular makes no sense to me - why not at least remove the immediate urgency/threat to users to buy time to address the issues. The only thing that makes sense is that they either haven’t decided what to do, or have hopes that we’ll just give up and either use the new UI, or go away quietly.

The most I’ve gotten is essentially a brush off and some rather condescending comments: The implication being that since the reviews on the app store are highly positive, those of us who can’t use the new UI are in a tiny minority, so they don’t consider the issues to be high priority. If their position is right, and we’re in the vast minority, fine, I’d understand a business decision to not address the issues/concerns/regressions. After all, we don’t have a ‘right’ to any particular product feature. If we don’t like the product, well, then we can choose to not buy it (and I’m glad I didn’t - the trial period saved me).  But come on, at least have the guts to tell us that straight out - we’re not talking about solitaire, this is an application that many of us use to run our lives.

So the best we have is “We’re tracking it” But I think they’re tracking issues like I track my weight - sure, I watch the numbers on the scale, but if I still have a cheeseburger at lunch, tracking doesn’t do very much does it?

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Really wish their was an update on being able to completely theme OF2. Just upgraded today and loving it but miss this feature.

Hi Ken,

What format are the color values referenced in your post? Not RGB, or HTML. Trying to determine a way to choose color. Thanks!

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I just upgraded from OF1 to OF2. Due to very bad sight, I´m dependent on being able to change the font sizes on projects and actions. Due to the post above there in´t a way to do this? If this cant be offered I need to downgrade back to OF1.


Any updates on priority of these Notes-related styling features, now after iPad version has just officially released?

Any timeline for when we will get customization and columns back in OmniFocus? I bought OF2 Pro but spend all my time still in OF1. Now clip-o-tron no longer works in Yosemite with OF1, it is a bit more painful.