Smart Columns. What are they?

I’ve seen “smart columns” referred to a number of times in passing in OO5 documentation, but I’ve been able to find no detail about them. What are “smart columns” and how do they work?

“Smart column types" seems to be used in marketing materials but not in the app or documentation; I can understand how that could be confusing. What it’s referencing is just ‘column types’, whose intelligence is provided by being able to specify whether a column is a number (and how it should be formatted), a tick box, a date, a pop-up list, a duration or the default rich text. If you’re not familiar with them, have a look at that manual page and have a play with it.

The OmniOutliner product page reads “…like a multiple choice selection.” under a section labeled “Smart Columns.” I was hoping for a column type that allowed multiple bits of discrete data within a cell, such as multiple selections in a popup menu, or multiple ticks allowed in a checkmark list, read as something like an array. Alas, I see neither.

If marketing speak, I do think the prose pretty reasonably sets the customer up for such an expectation.

I’m sure they’d happily take a feature request for that at If you find the marketing copy misleading, you can send them an email about that too, at 🙂