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Outlook add-in steals focus from Outlook breaking shortcut keys

Basically, if you open a linked email in a task in the Todoist pane, then lots of keyboard shorcuts are eaten by Outlook.

Steps to repro

1) create a task linked to an email
2) click on the link that opens the email in Outlook
3) close the email with the mouse (close button)

now all shortcut keys fail to work. Like Control-R, Delete Key etc.

If you reset focus in Outlook (open a new email for example and close it) then things go back to normal.

It's like focus is "stuck" in the Todoist pane.

Windows 7 - 64 bit
Outlook 2010 - 32 bit

All responses

David Trey  staff
Replied on Nov 23, 2011 - 17:12 UTC

Hello Omar,

I can't reproduce this issue :(

Please tell me - when you can't use Outlook shortcuts, does your cursor hover over the Todoist pane? Whenever you hover over the Todoist pane, it will always get the focus and therefore reserve all keyboard shortcuts for Todoist.

Best regards,

Omar Shahine  premium
Replied on Nov 23, 2011 - 17:51 UTC

No, my cursor is basically clicking a message in the message list.

then if I try and hit control-r nothing happens.

Mike Torres  premium
Replied on Nov 29, 2011 - 13:33 UTC


This is happening to me too. Repro is pretty easy. Mess around in the ToDoist pane, then switch (using mouse) over to the Message pane and hit the Delete key on your keyboard (or CTRL-R to reply, etc.)

Doesn't work.

David Trey  staff
Replied on Nov 29, 2011 - 17:42 UTC


I've been able to reproduce this issue and have forwarded it to the developers.

Thank you for your reports and sorry for any inconvenience it might have caused you.

Best regards,

Mike Torres  premium
Replied on Nov 29, 2011 - 17:43 UTC

JFYI this is with Outlook 2010 (not 2007).

Replied on Dec 02, 2011 - 13:40 UTC

I'm having the same problem. Do you have an estimate of when this will be fixed?

David Trey  staff
Replied on Dec 02, 2011 - 16:00 UTC


unfortunately, I can't give you any time frame on this, but the developers of our Outlook plugin have been informed about this as well as some other issues and they're currently working on a new release of this plugin.

Once it's been released, we will inform everyone through Google+, Facebook and Twitter (see links at the bottom of the Todoist website).

Best regards,

Sharat  premium
Replied on Jan 18, 2012 - 12:17 UTC

Even I had also the same problem, I have reported the focus issue problem in the past also but no improvements on this side.

Also, recently, I'm facing this problem frequently.
When I add my outlook email using "add to todoist" under Addins tab then todoist fails to add the task.

My workaround is manually refresh the todoist pane and then add the task again from Addin tab

David Trey  staff
Replied on Jan 18, 2012 - 13:07 UTC

Hello Sharat,

we have already released a new version of the Outlook plugin in which the focus issue has been fixed.

Please use the "Add/Remove Programs" option in your operating system's "Control Panel" and remove OutlookTodoist from the list.

Next, download the new plugin from here: http://todoist.com/outlook and install it.

Since this will fix the issue with stealing focus, you could use the Todoist's "Add email" link in the plugin window to add an email as a task. Note - the "Add to Todoist" button works only when the Todoist plugin window is opened. It will display the project list within this window and allow you to chose to which project you would like to add it.

If the new plugin doesn't fix these issues for you, please tell me:
- Which Operating System are you using?
- Which version of Outlook are you using?

Best regards,

Omar Shahine  premium
Replied on Jan 18, 2012 - 14:42 UTC

Wow, I had no idea this was fixed! Since you are already using the Office VSTO systmem to develop/install your add in, if you "Publish" the click to run endpoint to the web and have people install from thre, auto-update will work vs needing to uininstall / re-install.

David Trey  staff
Replied on Jan 18, 2012 - 17:48 UTC


thank you for your feedback, we appreciate it and will consider adding such option in future development.

Best regards,

Amir Salihefendic  staff in training
Replied on Jan 19, 2012 - 07:17 UTC

Hey Omar

Do you have more info about the installation system (some docs). Windows development isn't our strong side :-)

Best regards,

Omar Shahine  premium
Replied on Jan 19, 2012 - 10:49 UTC

Sure, here you go:




You can set the publish endpoint to your web site so that people are installing the VSTO add-in from your website. Then when you have a new version you publish the new version and all the clients get updated the next time Outlook boots. You can control the auto-update behavior so that it's not checking every time you launch.

Omar Shahine  premium
Replied on Jan 19, 2012 - 16:58 UTC

Amir, one more quick suggestion. Install Evernote on Windows and check out their ribbon button. It's right there in the main ribbon, not off in the 'Addins' area. It would be awesome if you could tweak the ribbon button so that the Add to Todoist button appears in the main "Home" tab in Outlook. Lemme know if you need help with that.

Amir Salihefendic  staff in training
Replied on Jan 20, 2012 - 15:51 UTC

Thanks a lot Omar. Are you a developer?

Best regards,

Omar Shahine  premium
Replied on Jan 20, 2012 - 20:14 UTC

Hobbyist :-). I spent a lot of time working on Outlook addins back in the day. Currently working on a Windows Phone 7 Todoist App. It should be pretty sweet. My day job is working at Microsoft. Todoist is fantastic. Awesome Getting Things Done tool.

Tom Cochran
Replied on Jan 19, 2015 - 16:34 UTC

Before I installed Todoist, when I had an email highlighted and clicked on "reply" the cursor used to go to the body of the email and was ready for me to type the email. Now it shows a solid cursor mark but I cannot type until I click on the body of the email. When I used to click on "New Email" the cursor used to go to the "To" address field. Now I have to click in the "To" field to enter in the email address. Any thoughts?

Brendon Wadey  staff
Replied on Jan 19, 2015 - 18:30 UTC


We will look into this in future updates. There have been a few changes in recent versions.