Why export Omnifocus document

What would be the use case for Exporting as an OmniFocus document?

Whats the point of FILE > EXPORT > File format: OmniFocus document ?

All this seems to do is export your entire OmniFocus window.

Why would you use this function. What is its purpose?

  • To set up OF on a different Mac
  • To save as a restorable backup while you experiment with different approaches in OF
  • As an annual archive, if you like (as some people do) to start afresh every year
  • You changed jobs or there was some other major life change which means your OF structure is no longer relevant and you need a new one
  • You’re trying out a different task management app and you want a saved copy of your OF database for when you come crawling back in shame
  • You’re that guy who has a really well structured backup strategy independent of backup services

I guess you have tried one of the non-Omnifocus file formats. Then only the tasks shown in the active window will be exported. I suppose this is for sharing a project or a some selected tasks in a format that can be viewed by people not having access to an Omnifocus application. If you choose an Omnifocus file format for your export, your complete Omnifocus database will be exported and could be used for purposes such as those @Nick have listed.

Is there any difference between an ‘OmniFocus Document’ and a ‘Backup Document (OmniFocus)’, other than the file extension?

This is what Omnifocus Help says:

Backup Document (OmniFocus) — This export option creates a file in a format (.ofocus-backup) that is essentially the same as the standard OmniFocus database format, with one key difference.

Unlike a standard OmniFocus database file, when you open a backup in OmniFocus, the option to Revert to This Backup appears in a notice bar beneath the toolbar. Click this button to replace your local default database with the database contained in the backup.

Nothing is mentioned there about the other alternatives exporting only the tasks shown in the active window, though, so I wonder if that limitation is unintentional.

1 Like

Thanks! (I should have read the Help before asking…)

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