OO attachments can't be edited?

Editing an attachment in OO is, it seems, not possible. After a few minutes (not very many) OO pops up a message saying the attachment cannot be saved because it’s been edited by another application. Meanwhile, MS Word tells me there’s a file system error.

The net is that I can’t edit OO attachments - or at least, MS Word documents.

Is there a solution or sensible workaround?

Thanks all

I think OS X versioning might be to blame, at least for the wording on the Save sheet popup. Here’s what I do that allows me to edit a Word document included as an attachment in OmniOutliner.

  1. In OmniOutliner, I switch to the note field of a selected line with ⌘'
  2. I drag the Word file from Finder to the open note field. Watch out for the green plus sign, which indicates that the dragged attachment will become a new line in the outline (unless you want it so). You might need to drag up a little bit more to hit the note field of the desired line. (I have emailed a request to Omni about a larger “target” for dragging in attachments.)
  3. If you try to double-click the attachment now, OmniOutliner will tell you that you need to save the containing document before editing the attachment. This means save the OmniOutliner document per normal.
  4. When you save the outline, you will see this sheet:
    I might be wrongheaded about this, but my reading indicates that Save As would be the appropriate choice when I want OmniOutliner to respect Word’s changes when I edit the attachment and save the outline. However, Revert is the choice you need to make in order to save the edits to the attachment as well as changes to the outline.

If someone has more insight or correction, let us know.

I gave up on trying to embed files, because if you edit an embedded file, your edits on it will be lost when you save the enclosing oo file. I know omni had considered fixing this, but I think it didn’t get high priority. So I figured that just linking to files would have to be good enough. But now a variation of the same problem appears even with linked files. If you edit the linked file, the link within the oo file breaks and it says it can’t find the file. This only happens with omni. Other apps seem able to handle changes to files that they link to without losing track of them. Any chance for progress on this? I otherwise love omni’s software, and oo in particular. But its handling of embedded or even linked files has been a problem for an incredibly long time. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

My eventual workaround (I was the OP) was to use DEVONThink, which works well with OF - you can create an OF task from DT (built-in script) which links to the DT document. Hit the link from OF, open the document, edit, no problem. Works on IOS as well

Me too. I don’t add attachments to OmniOutliner anymore. (1) It has to sync the entire document if you change one character using Omni Sync Server or iCloud and (2) I don’t like how the attachments are displayed within the outline. OmniOutliner is great for text, dates, simple math, and filters.

For attachments, I add files to DevonThink Pro Office, create a link, and paste that into OmniOutliner / OmniFocus / etc. You can create links to files or folders. The links from DevonThink will stay active no matter where the file or folder lives or how it is renamed. Even if you move a file or folder from one database to another. The link breaks if you delete the file or folder.

Thanks very much to both of you for workarounds. I do also use devonthink, so I’ll take your advice and use that workaround. It’s a little clunky though, so any chance someone from omni could weigh in on what’s happening with this issue. I really don’t grasp what the trouble is. Every other app I use (including even rudimentary apps from shops much smaller than omni) seems to have no trouble keeping track of files even if they move or are edited. But OO is now in the weird state that it allows you to link to or embed files, but you’ll run into problems if you do it. It seems like omni maybe should either remove the ability to link/embed files or see if someone can correct the problem so that it behaves in the expected way.

By the way, versioning is turned off universally on my mac, so that isn’t the cause of the trouble.