Performance with large embedded files?


I’m using OmniOutliner to organize a bunch of videos (and other files) along with the relevant information in the text of the outline. However, it seems there are significant performance issues which are getting worse with every video added to the outline. When I start working with the outline, the app freezes for 30 seconds or so, then runs fine until I try to embed a new video. Then it freezes for about the same amount of time. And this time seems to be increasing with each new embedded file added. I would prefer to keep embedding the files rather than linking them, so that I don’t separately have to keep the files stored away somewhere. Is there someway to handle this better? Thank you!


OmniOutliner 5 has two file formats available, and you can choose which to use by going to the Document inspector and looking for the first setting in the Format and Metadata section.

The default choice is Save as flat file, which makes the file more compact and is easier to share across various cloud services—but has the downside that it has rewrite every attachment whenever OmniOutliner saves your document (which it does automatically). If you’re adding large video attachments to your document, this is going to make it slower and slower to save.

The less portable but more efficient choice is Save as file package, which uses macOS’ document wrappers to more efficiently store each attachment as its own independent file. This works great with local disks, and with cloud services which are specially designed to sync macOS documents such as iCloud Drive and OmniPresence, but isn’t supported well by some other cloud services. But if you’re working with large attachments, it should be much more efficient. (It would be perfectly reasonable to use the file package format most of the time, then to switch to the flat file format if/when you’re ready to share the document with someone else or store it in the cloud.)

Hope this helps! If you’re still seeing performance issues after switching to file packages, please don’t hesitate to email our support team at