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Task Comments


Free-form text comments can be added to any task. Comments can be added in Simple Text, with no formatting, or in Rich Text with fonts, colors, styles, text sizing, images, tables, etc.

To choose the comment format for an individual task, select from the droplist above above the Comments field.

To set the default format for all new tasks, go to menu > Preferences > User Interface > Task Comments, and set “Preferred format”. The default format can be overridden for any task.

Pasting text into comments If you copy text from another application and paste in to ToDoList, and the text does not come in as expected, try the following alternatives for that specific from/to pair:

  • Right-click for a context menu and Paste (should be same as Ctrl-V)
  • Shift-INS (that's the INSert key) This seems to remove web page HTML when pasting to plain text.
  • Ctrl-INS seems to paste only the text when the source is Microsoft Office Communicator 2007R2, or perhaps similar products.
  • Last resort: Paste into Notepad or another plain text editor, then copy that and paste to ToDoList. Do not use WordPad or another rich editor.

Links and URLs To link to a web page, just drag/drop from the browser address bar into the comment area. You can also select/copy the address field, then paste it into the comment. In both plain text and rich text mode, the URL will change to a hyperlink which can be single-clicked to launch the browser and return to the web page.

You can also drag a shortcut from your desktop and drop it in the comment. In plain text mode, a link is saved to the shortcut (looks like “<file://C:/path/file.URL>”) - the link within the shortcut is not saved here. So clicking the link opens the shortcut on the desktop, and it's the shortcut that opens the browser. In rich text mode the shortcut is like any other file, and the prompt is displayed to ask how the file should be treated. For both plain text and rich text, if there is a link to a shortcut file, and that file is moved or deleted, the link saved in the comment is no longer valid. For this reason it's best not to use shortcuts like this, but to save the actual address/URL.

Another way to add a file link is to right click in comments, and in the context menu select Insert File Link.

Timestamp Comment Log Entries To insert a Date/Time stamp into a comment, the default hotkey is Ctrl-D. Per a Preference option, text can be added as a suffix to this timestamp. Examples include a space, comma, space+colon+space, etc. The user name can also be auto-added here: “Append the user's 'Created By' name when pasting the 'Date/Time'”

There are no other automatic text features, however, see *Auto-Text and Typing Assistants* below.

Text Wrapping In plain text mode, comment text is automatically wrapped at the end of the text control. In rich text mode there is a toolbar icon to toggle the wrap behaviour. If wrapping is off then a horizontal scrollbar displays when required.

InfoTips There are settings under Preferences > User Interface > Tasklist Attributes > Other > “Show task infotips”. When checked, you get a summary of task information when you mouse-over the task title. That info will include the full comment field, which could be quite long. So there is a setting to “Limit length of comments shown to x characters. The default is 100.

Display of comments with the task title When viewing terse task names it's often helpful to get a short summary of what the task is about. For example, the title of several tasks might be “Documentation” but the first line of the comment can clarifies what the specific task is documenting. In addition to, or instead of an InfoTip, comments can be displayed immediately after the task title, with a dim/lighter style to differentiate the two. Under the InfoTips preference setting above, there is an option to “Display comments after a task's title”. This will display the entire comment unless restricted by the next check box “Display only the first line of comments”. Having both of those checked can be very helpful.

Internal storage Simple text comments are stored in the .tdl file XML in tag COMMENTS. Rich text is in RTF format, then compressed, and stored in CUSTOMCOMMENTS. A task with CUSTOMCOMMENTS also has a text version of the comment in COMMENTS, without formatting.

Text Style To change styling for comments, go to Preferences > User Interface > Fonts and Colours. Near the top is a setting for the Comments Font and the Point Size. A huge selection of fonts is offered. Note that users on different PCs have different fonts, so using a standard is recommended when sharing data.

Spell Checking As of v7.0, ToDoList itself does not do spell checking in comments. Windows now includes built-in spell checking which can be disabled for the entire system. At this time there is no option to enabled/disable spellcheck in ToDoList separately from that global setting.

Reporting XSL to render comments may require parsing the text. See bundled XSL files from the Resources repo for examples.

Exports There is an option in Preferences > Importing/Exporting to “Only export title and comments for parent tasks”. This is for reporting where sub/child tasks have detail for time and cost, and perhaps their own comments, but the only comments which should be exported (perhaps to clients) are those in the parent tasks. Note that this is not for Transforms and reporting with XSL, but for Exports to other formats where other tools will be processing the data.

User Defined Tools and Commandline Options To send comments of a selected task to a UDT, use the argument code “$(selTComments)”. The text will be a single block delimited by “\n” (x0A = line feed) rather than multiple lines.

To set the comment on a task from outside of ToDoList, use the command-line with switch -cm.

Auto-Text and Typing Assistants Many ToDoList users have unique requirements for entering custom text. For example some people use Wingdings to add special characters to their text, others have common phrases that may or may not change depending on circumstances.

This kind of functionality is beyond the scope of ToDoList. However, there are many third-party tools available for this, and they can help with all applications, not just ToDoList. Some of these are listed here.

  • AutoHotKey is a free DIY (Do It Yourself) tool which has been used for many years with ToDoList to control many features.
  • AutoIt free scripting is a bit less cryptic than AHK but it's still for DIY folks.
  • PhraseExpress is an awesome tool to simplify typing and system control, and for correcting errors. It's free for personal use and inexpensive for business.
  • Fast Typing is free and similar to PhraseExpress. Another offering on that site is Text Converter which has a number of interesting features to correct errors and for people who use different keyboard layouts.

See also:

  • Menu bar > View > Toggle between Tasks and Comments.
  • preferences Show comments even when tasklist is maximized
  • menu > View > Maximize Tasklist, or Ctrl+M. This is not the same as maximizing the window, only the edit fields are removed to maximize the view of the tasks. However you may wish to see only the comments when you maximize.
  • Update all tasklists when the comments field is resized
  • preferences Positioning and Stacking Comments
  • Menu Bar > Tools > Preferences > User Interface > Task Comments > “Position comments”:
  • Menu Bar > Tools > Preferences > User Interface > Task Comments > General > 'Stack' edit fields and comments when the occupy the same position (left, right or below).
task-comments.1475541636.txt.gz · Last modified: 2016/10/04 00:40 by admin