Keyboard shortcut for assigning project / context

When cleaning inbox, I am usually in the “quick process” mode: do (space) or add to action list.

I am completely keyboard-centric. The fastest way to do so now, is to do do alt+cmd+3 to jump to inspector and then use tab to navigate.

Is there a way to set a shortcut to directly go to “assign context” and/or “assign project”?

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Not at the moment, sorry! The closest you might be able to get is to start editing the task with the e key, then jump down a field using the (down arrow) key. This is a little inconsistent, though, since it tries to keep your horizontal cursor position: tasks with really short names will drop the cursor into the Project field, medium names will drop to the Context field, and extra long names might put you in the Deferred or Due fields!

If this keyboard shortcut is important to your workflow, please email us and let us know! Our support team can create an internal issue for us to track this request, or add your voice to it if we already have one.

… or you could use Keyboard Maestro

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Keyboard Maestro looks awesome, thanks for recommending it. Will give it a shot.

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I sent an email requesting this feature. Bumping to keep the thread alive. After spending all that money on OF, it would be nice to not need another $36 for two keyboard shortcuts. : (

you will find Keyboard Maestro invading the rest of your apps and will benefit you many times over. It may very well change your overall mac experience if you are a keyboard jockey.


I was about to answer you, but @wilsonng expressed my thoughts even better!

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No, I won’t, because I spend hardly any time on my desktop besides Lightroom and OmniFocus. I’m not going to spend $36 only to add a few hotkeys to a $80 desktop application.

I understand how other people might benefit, and I use a similar program for PC at work. Thanks for the suggestion.

I have keyboard maestro but can’t figure out how to do this with it. Keyboard Maestro is very confusing.

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Hi! I’d agree if you would say intimidating, but… confusing. Well, maybe, at first sight… before you fall in love with it ;-)

Anyway, take a look at this screenshot below.

After realising you could type ⌘⌥3 to go to the Inspector (even if it’s closed), and then hit tab 3 times to reach the context field, I simulated the creation of a KM macro to do the same, when you hit ^⌥C.

Why don’t you give it a try and let me know if you run into any difficulties? ;-)

* there’s 1 little error on my macro, but I bet you’ll find it out and fix quickly.

Thank you for this really helpful response!!

The idea of using a shortcut to go to the inspector, combined with the tab strokes to get to the desired field, had not occurred to me, but once you pointed it out, I was able to set up a shortcut using Keyboard Maestro. This is a huge help and I can’t thank you enough. My macro doesn’t look quite the same as your screen shot, but it works, and it doesn’t have any errors, at least not that I’ve noticed yet. (In my OF, though, once I’m in the inspector, I just need to hit tab twice, not three times, to get to the Context field, so I’ve created the macro accordingly).

If you have other fun/useful tips for combining KM’s capabilities with OF, I’m all ears! As I’m a novice with both, the ideas just don’t occur to me at first until somebody points them out (like you helpfully did).


P.S. As an aside, I do think Keyboard Maestro is both confusing and intimidating. The developers would sell 99 gazillion copies of it if they invested a little more $$ in making it user-friendly for people who lack literacy in this area. E.g., while I knew what a “macro” was, many people don’t even know that. And there are some things I encounter that I just disregard because I don’t know what they mean and don’t have time to investigate. E.g., for typed key strings, should I check the box “Simulate 8 deletes before executing”? Sure, I’ll say yes, because the box is pre-checked and things seem to work that way, but I have no idea what it means to “Simulate 8 deletes” or why it’s important. I also don’t know what lots of other words/phrases mean in KM and don’t have a ton of free time on my hands to learn. (The whole point of the app is to speed things up, not slow me down, right?) E.g., I don’t know whether to say “diacriticals matter” because I don’t know what they are. I don’t know what the option “The macro palette entry is clicked” means. I could go on and on. Anyway, I’ve got it doing what I need it to do for now.

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Glad that you liked. And even more that you managed!
I understand your feelings, but complexity comes with some sacrifices. And the guys behind the app make a great effort in trying to simplify things while at the same time building something that powerful.
I recommend you to watch some tutorials, and search for examples on the web. There are plenty of material. Now that I have lit the spark, check some of the links I have bookmarked on the combination of OmniFocus and Keyboard Maestro:

The “Little Helper” by Patrick Welker and the “SmartPerspective” by @brandon are among my favourites and by far, the most used ones in my utilities belt.

Again, feel free to get in touch with any questions you might have ;-)

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Great, I will check out your links and suggestions. Thanks again.

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I had initially created a Keyboard Maestro macro like the one ediventurin has posted above, but that did not work reliably for me. After invoking “Go to Inspector”, OmniFocus sometimes puts the focus not in the title field, but in a different field further down (e.g., the defer until or the notes field). This happened usually when I used the macro on an item in a list that was filtered with a search term.

Therefore, I created the KM macro below, which reliably selects the project field via mouse click, since it is always at the same position relative to the top right corner of the window (as long as the inspector is not hidden). To me, being able to quickly assign a project to a task without having to reach for the mouse is absolutely essential. Maybe this helps other users who feel the same way.

Triggered by any of the following:
The Hot Key ⇧⌘P is pressed

Will execute the following actions:
Move and Click at (-60,212) from the top right corner of the front window.
Type the ⌘A Keystroke

I agree that this should probably get added. Omnifocus is all about efficiency and having to awkwardly jump around with tab is not really nice.

A easy solution would be this: Give us a shortcut to jump into the project or context field of a task, like 2Do is doing it. It doesn’t have to be a fancy context selector or anything, just a fast jump of the cursor into the right field.

It doesn’t even have to be a shortcut. Just a menu-item is fine that we can just bind ourselves.

Is this still the case for OmniFocus 2? I find that filing tasks into projects/contexts is a relatively frequent operation (one of the most frequent ones for me at least) and having keyboard shortcuts and pickers for those would be really helpful.

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Figured out how to do this in the Inbox (where I need to do it most frequently). Select multiple tasks, then have Maestro repeat shift+tab 32x.