Compact Layout in OmniFocus 2

One of the things I loved about OmniFocus was the ability to customize the layout (colors, fonts, etc) to suit my needs. Changing the layout allowed me to customize the “feel” of OmniFocus to be more inviting. This got me to feel more comfortable and want to come back again - a challenge I had in the past when trying to get my weekly review done on a regular basis. I’ve been beta testing OmniFocus 2 for a while now and one of the significant changes is the screen layout. While OmniFocus 2 does not have (yet?) the same screen/layout customizations as OmniFocus 1, it was revealed today that OmniFocus 2 does have an alternate layout option.

OmniFocus 1 Layout:

This is a sample project, with tasks, in my OmniFocus 1 customized skin:

Default Layout:

During the beta process for OmniFocus 2, I heard through the feedback that The Omni Group want to give OmniFocus a cleaner look.

While the look is cleaner, it uses a lot more screen space than my previous skin. This started to feel less inviting and I noticed I would do task management in OmniFocus 2, but do my reviews in OmniFocus 1. Not exactly the intent of the update.

Compact Layout:

I learned earlier today about an option to enable a “compact” screen layout.

This screen was more in line to how I want to use OmniFocus - single line, great use of space, and check box on the left. To switch to the compact layout, enter the following URL in Safari:



Ken Case gave a little bit of warning on the two layouts on the new OmniFocus forums:

Some known issues off the top of my head with this prototype layout:
  • When the window is narrow enough that text starts to wrap, the status circle and note icon should stay aligned with the top row of text in the task title. (Right now, the status circle floats to the center of the entire task, while the note icon floats to the bottom.)
  • The flag icon which hangs off the corner of the status circle is pretty ridiculously small.

To switch back to the default layout, enter the following URL in Safari:


So far my use with the compact layout has made my yearning for OmniFocus 1’s skin less and less. I did a quick review to test out the compact layout and it felt much more comfortable.

Comments from original WP Post:

Jason.Verly: I found the focus point is not the smaller circle, but down and to the right a bit - like 4 o'clock. I submitted a bug report to Omni Group on the issue.

Zachary: Where do you enter the url?

Jason.Verly: Enter the URL in Safari. OmniFocus has a URL scheme that picks up the preference change from Safari.

Zachary: Thanks. I had some adware that was preventing this from working. Looks good now. Thanks.

Dwayne: Good tips. I somehow managed to get on the compact layout and couldn't figure out how to get it back. The downside I encountered from the compact layout was that I couldn't check a task off - I had to right-click and select 'Complete' because the checkbox wouldn't work.