How to search all content? [A: with Global Search in v2.8, now in public test]


I also understand the appreciable filtering behaviour of the search field. Some time ago, I proposed an adaptive behaviour: show the filtered results, then collapsable the global results. When there are no filtered results, the global results are decollapsed, but if there is a filtered result, the global results remain collapsed.

At any rate, another solution might be Spotlight to search also amongst tasks (actually it only seems to search through projects, right?).

One last suggestion: I often want to do this global search to make sure not to doubly add a task. We could also imagine a live, global search through existing tasks, while entering a new task description.


It has indeed been a while. Since I bought it (over a year ago) I’ve been putting off buying the pro update for the inclusion of a ‘search all’ field. And stiiiiiill waiting.

I know you can use changed, I know you can use completed, but all of that is a PITA.

I switched over from Things hoping for a more professional and updated/managed software, and sadly haven’t seen any evidence of that (other than the up-front cost).


if you’re still on the fence about the pro update, then you’d be missing all of the other features that significantly outclasses Things. Every software package has its warts and blemishes. Heck, even Things takes forever to add features.

Set up a changed perspective once and you’re done. That takes less than 5 minutes. Certainly not a PITA.


It’s more about investing the money into a program where it takes over a year to add a (seemingly) simple feature change that was mentioned.

Sure the changed perspective workaround works, but imagine if every time you wanted to use spotlight, or search in the mail app, or google search, you had to define the domain of search first. It greatly diminishes the usefulness of the search.


My philosophy in life:


yeah @r_constanzo, your complain is well- deserved. But all in all (and having an unhealthy love/hate relationship with OF) I have to admit that @wilsonng is nailing it as most of the time- nothing is ever simple and that especially goes for superficially easy stuff, it seems. I nevertheless am confident that there will come a day (blend in heroic anthem) when OF will receive the search it deserves: global by option, equipped with the almighty parsing engine.

I myself am reluctantly returning from the feature-wise completely superior 2Do. You can do anything all the ranters and complainers here are requesting: tags, priorities, global search, inbox alongside the project list, native reminders sync.


I am back because all these wonderful features were not able to really keep me consistent in my reviews, my oversight and my dilligence to resist the challenges task management brings alongside- I feel I don’t deserve the power of 2Do yet. I need OF to out of necessity do the daily evening review, otherwise the deferred tasks are gone.
Compared to these highly personal issues, one of my least problems is having a shortcut for the changed perspective and hitting that milliseconds before I nail my search terms into the search bar.


OK, this might not be the nicest of solutions, but actually it works like a charm.
This is a workflow for Alfred, the essential tool for the Mac aside the Omni suite ;-)

Basically, you invoke the search by typing .s into the Alfred prompt followed by a text search term, and your task appears- neat! Even neater, since this is accessing the OF db from virtually anywhere, you can straight jump to a certain project or task from anywhere.

Weird though to see this implemented from the outside first…ah who cares! Global search,yay



I’m using the Alfred workflow and it works like a charm.

It’s funny that to get the search I want I have to use a 3rd party app.


Unfortunately still no movement on this it seems.

Definitely not going to use a 3rd party app to do something as simple as “search” within an app.


This thread is over 2 years old now… I’ve pretty much given up on this (basic) feature, and reading back through the thread it surprises me that people think it’s reasonable or not clunky to have to resort to other apps to add a feature that exists in every other piece of software (including the iOS version of the same app!) (the ability to search through all tasks/comments/projects/notes), or having to pay for the pro version to be able to use in built in workaround.


Sorry for the delay! I shared our OmniFocus roadmap at the beginning of the year:

We’ve just about finished delivering all the changes listed in the first paragraph, and will be turning our attention to global search in OmniFocus for Mac: it’s one of those “little points of friction” that I reference in the second paragraph.

(For now, it’s worth noting that the built-in workaround doesn’t require Pro: the Changed perspective is also available from the Perspectives menu in Standard. But I’m looking forward to that workaround becoming irrelevant.)


I agree. Every application that I have does this - searches default scope and gives you option in the search bar to search a wider scope.


I just got bitten by this one. Got no results, then selected the top level, got a result, BUT I COULD’T SEE WHERE IT WAS IN THE PROJECTS TREE. This to me is a BIG fault.

If I run a search, the location in the tree should be highlighted, as well as presenting the in the results pane. If I get multiple results, then the currently selected one is highlighted in the project tree.

I would say default should be “Search Current Focus” If you are unfocused, it searches everything.

So search options could be:

  1. Search current selected item.
  2. Search siblings
  3. This project
  4. Search current focus
  5. Search everywhere. If there is no focus set, then these last 2 are equivalent.

This may be overkill. To search siblings, set focus on parent, or just select parent. To search this project, select project first. In both of these, your search option would be search selected item.

Usually however, I know the structure of my current item pretty well, so searching OUTSIDE (e.g. everywhere) is far more likely than inside.

Sanity checks: If default is current focus, then if there are more than N (setable in preferences) you get asked, “Search returns 500 items. Narrow down?”

Even in current focus, it should be broken down into sections.

  • In current action group
  • In current project
    action group
    action group
  • In Current Focus


I also use Alfred, but I also find it easy enough to search inside OF2 by selecting projects and searching.


Global search is coming in OmniFocus 2.8 for Mac, which just entered public test:


Absolutely, surprised this is not here already! We’re living in the Google age here. Where is that search all button and why is it not there yet?


OmniGurus, just a quick thank you for global search. It’s exactly what I’ve wanted for quite a while, and I’m pleased with the simple UX and that the settings are sticky. Much appreciated!


OMG, I came across this thread because I, too, are very frustrated when it comes to looking for some items in my piles of projects/actions. It’s really such a surprise to have learned that the problem has been there since 2014!

Can’t believe I almost paid $80 for an app that doesn’t feature global search - -"


@danstodolist @panin.s I just wanted to make sure that you guys can see Ken’s post above where he includes a link to builds that include this feature:

We’ll be shipping a final release before the end of the year, but you should have no problem using the test builds until then.