Printing Options for Emergency Backups of Projects?

I know this has been asked before, by me and others, but still no real solution.

I need to print out clean copies of certain recurring projects. I need them for a paper OSB of what I do in the current COVID-19 scenario where people who need to know all the steps, notes and typical start and due dates for commonly recurring projects and they can’t access my computer system for some reason.

Clean copies are ones that are as if they are ready to start, no tasks done with all notes expanded and in a nice format that is readable. It should be possible EVEN IF projects are partially completed when the print is made. An option would be to print them in their current state but that should not be the default. If tasks are hidden due to not started yet or a date in the future the print should have an option to print in normal font not a light font.Needs to be able to be set to print folders or individual projects as needed by selecting the relevant items using Command Click. If a folder is selected then I’d like an option to insert a page break between each project if desired.

The goal is to be able to create a paper notebook of critical functions for use in emergencies by people who are not computer literate so that they can keep critical things going.

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Given the extent of the content that you need and the format that you want on the print out, I imagine that the final approach will require that you export the Project from OF and run the exported file through a different app.

In the good ole days, I might have wondered out loud about doing an export to CSV followed by a compile using LaTeX with DataTool.

In the days of ambition, I’d have thought about cobbling together an AppleScript to create a TextEdit rtf file.

Perhaps the good new days have an option through TaskPaper and a markdown editor.

Alternatively, the Export menu when you select a Project includes HTML export. Can that be formatted through CSS???

Sorry that I can’t provide an immediate solution beyond some initial brainstorming.


If I understand correctly, the limitation that makes the built-in print command unsuitable for you is that it doesn’t include all settings of the projects and actions.

You can capture all those settings in the TaskPaper representation, like @DrJJWMac suggested. The one exception is project review settings, which don’t seem to be included, but repeat settings definitely are.

It’s plain text so it’s readable in an emergency. Lines are indented according to the projet-action hierarchy.

Since you want a ‘nice format that is readable’, you’ll need to pretty it up since it will include info like
Task ABC @parallel(true) @autodone(false) @defer(2020-04-21 10:00) @repeat-method(start-after-completion) @repeat-rule(FREQ=MONTHLY;BYMONTHDAY=17)

You could do this manually. A text editor which supports Find & Replace using Regular Expressions (such as Drafts or BBEdit) will make this process faster and less error-prone.

If you’re exporting your OF projects frequently, then I would look to program all the transformations and pretty formatting in a document format. This could be done in Google Docs with JavaScript or in Word with VBA or JavaScript.

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