Nested Tag Display in OF3

OmniFocus 3 is inconsistent in how it handles nested tags.

If I create a tag underneath another Tag in OF3; items that have that tag
display it as “Parent : Child”. However, if I create the tag at the root
level and then move it under the parent tag; items that have that tag
display is as “Child”.

While I like to see the tag hierarchy when I select tags, once
I tag an item, I only want the specific tag that I select to be visible on
the tagged item, not the entire nesting hierarchy.

Has anyone seen a solution to this problem?


I have, kinda. I’ve found that when you create the tag in the top level, then drag it into a hierarchy it only shows up as “Child”. Create it within the parent and it will show up as you described as “Parent: Child”.

At the end of the day, I think this should be a toggle option but for now basically how you enter it is the way to separate them.

1 Like

I agree that this should be an option. It appears to only be a display inconsistency. Both appear to be handled identically when filtering (either by child or parent) in Perspectives.

Yeah it’s weird, but at least this way you can control if some show “Parent: Child” or “Child” on a tag by tag basis. I can see why some would want to show it, but with my setup I don’t like it. My 3 main categories are “Person”, “Place”, and “Thing”. So to me it’s pretty obvious that the program manager or my boss is a person, my computer is a thing, and home is a place. I never really need the “Parent: Child” visibility since it just takes space for other tags should I need them.

But again, options. Right now it’s there, just in the form of a process. I would think that it’s as simple as adding a toggle in the main settings or in each parent tag like “Show this parent when the child tag is selected”.

I‘ve seen this „Parent : Tag“ display, too. It switched to a consistent „Tag“ display after some time (after some restart? Don‘t remember) and my numerous Tags now all display that way. I didn‘t consider it to be worth a bug report at that time. Maybe you‘d like to notify the Omni people?

The way tags work you can have multiples of “Tag A”, e.g.

  • Anywhere
    • Tag A
  • Tag A
  • Hardware Store
    • Tag A

If you have multiples of tags then OF will go as far back up the tree as it can to show you a unique combination, so in your task list you would probably see:

  • Task 1 @tags(Anywhere: Tag A)
  • Task 2 @tags(Tag A)
  • Task 3 @tags(Hardware Store: Tag A)

At least if all three tasks are in the same list that’s what you’d see - so that if Tag A does have 3 different meanings, you get the additional context that’s needed to know what it means. If it doesn’t have 3 meanings, then I would suggest you consolidate the tags :)

Thanks All.

I did send a report to Omni. Yes, it seems like w/ the current version of OF, how the tag is created seems to determine how it is displayed. Will need to use the create at root | move under parent technique to have everything display like I wanted.

rosemaryjayne, I’m not seeing this behavior in OF now. I only have a single instance of the tag, yet it still shows as Parent | Child unless I create it under the root then move it. What you are describing does make a lot of sense as an implementation though. Is there a setting somewhere or are you running a Beta?

Well, as I said: I had Parent:Child for some initial time but OF cleared it up. From the discusioons I now know that OF cleared it because my tags were unambiguous, ultimately. Very intelligent behaviour, I must say.
Now let, let‘s also behave intelligently and let‘s make our tags (branches and leaves) unambiguous.

It will

  • allow more tags to be displayed in the one line available for them in the action item view and in action lists and
  • allow unambigous jumping to a list of actions with a specific tag using the omnifocus:///tag/‚tagname‘ URL-scheme