"Tab+N" our new shortcut to create Sections

Hello everyone :wave:t3:

Just a quick note to let you know we’re making some changes to Sections. Until very recently, you could create a Section by simply adding a semi-colon at the end of your task title or using the “Add Section” Menu; you can now do it by simply using the “Tab+N” shortcut :slight_smile: More info in the following article: Setting Up a Project in Asana | Product Guide • Asana Product Guide

You might be wondering why we’re making this change? Well, let me give you a little bit of context! We’re currently working on implementing Switching from Boards to List View (and vice versa) ; and in order to make this possible, we needed to make some structural updates and adjust our Section features. If you’re interested in learning all the technical details behind this, have a look at this post from my colleague @Matt_Bramlage.

And as always, feel free to post below any question or feedback you may have :slight_smile:



I used to be able to create task section within my task card by using the colon (:). In the last two days, I noticed I’m unable to do this anymore. Previously created sections still remain as they should be, but retyping its colon will remove its section styling. When creating a new task section with a colon, the section styling no longer appears.

As seen in my screenshot below, the supposed task sections Group A and Group B have colons, but the section styling is no longer there.

Has this feature been removed?


I noticed that too. I think they switched it to Tab+N

:sweat: @Marie can you confirm this is something new being rolled out?

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Thanks for the mention @Bastien_Siebman! Yes this is correct, we’re in the process of rolling out an update in which you can create a Section using the “Tab+N” instead of adding a semi colon at the end of your task title. I’ve posted an announcement just now and merged this post with the announcement to gather feedback and questions.

@Marshal, @EJ_Gennrich, have a look at the annoucement above for more info!

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With the section updates starting, I’d like to suggest/ask about the following:

Tab-N currently inserts “New Section:” where all but the colon is selected (gets replaced at start of typing). There’s no magic to the colon anymore, so either 1) highlight it as well, or 2) don’t include it and just show “New Section” all highlighted to improve consistency and reduce confusion.

I thought subtask sections weren’t affected based on:

but now if I type a subtask title “Section:” it doesn’t appear as a section; I have to use Tab-N while in a subtask to get the subtask section formatting. This seems to contradict Joe’s statement since a subtask with colon is not necessarily a subtask section, and some subtasks without colons are subtask sections; to discern, we’d need an API change which I thought wasn’t planned, so I don’t understand how this is going to work.

Often a first subtask is a subtask section; this is now inconvenient to create; you have to create one subtask, then do Tab-N which creates another, but below, so then you’d have to delete the first empty subtask. Maybe a make section/make task command is needed as suggested in Return back sections to be added by adding ":" - #2 by Marie, or some other approach.

Creating a subtask section is not discoverable; you have to know the shortcut; it should be a menu choice or something. (Same problem with Mark For which requires you to know the accelerator and that it will even be honored.)

The Add Task mutton (menu button) dropdown should include the accelerators right-justified in the menu items, just like More Actions task detail menu has for its commands that have shortcuts. This would help people to work with the new Sections model more easily.




Bumping this hoping for a reply regarding both the UI and API questions in my prior post in this thread, and maybe @Marie it’s worth merging Creating task section with a colon ( : ) no longer works as well? Thanks!


Hi @lpb and my apologies for the late reply, I’m only seeing your post now! Thank you so much for your detailed feedback, this is super useful.

Regarding the Subtask Sections you’re completely right, you also need to use the Tab+N shortcut; which I agree isn’t the most convenient when trying to create a Section at the top of your subtask list. This is hopefully something we will improve in the future!

I’m not sure what Joe’s meant in Sections are dead! Long live sections! - #27 by Joe_Trollo but I’d recommend asking him the question directly on the thread itself.

Regarding your last point, are you referring to Subtask Sections? Would you like to see something similar to what we already have for creating Sections in Task list?


I’ve gone ahead and made a note of your feedback to our Product Team so they can take them on board for future improvement. I’m not able to promise anything at that stage but will make sure to let you know as soon as I have some updates.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, we really appreciate it!

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@lpb, merging your post with the announcement I just made to gather all feedback in one place! :slight_smile:

2 posts were split to a new topic: Create Section feature is missing from the iOS app

Hi @lpb, in my original post, I meant that subtask sections will not have their data model changed. However, how you create and interact with them in the web product is subject to change as part of the broader work being done in this area. For a consistent experience, Tab-N is now how sections are created in lists (such at subtasks on a task) even if the section is still a task at the data model level.


Hi @Marie and thanks for the reply. I’ll make this post be about UI-only issues with the Tab-N changes, and the following post will be about API issues. But please see also this next post too, because the UI change for Tab-N has broken something in Asana2Go

Yes, I’m referring to Subtask Sections. To create a new subtask section, maybe this:


needs to be turned into the mutton offering to create a subtask by default but also giving the option to create a subtask section so that creating a task/task section and creating a subtask/sutask section are consistent.

In addition, it used to be effortless to make a list of subtasks with subtask sections by just typing, and using a “:” or not. Now I can’t start with a subtask section with makes it hard to focus on my content and makes me think about Asana’s UI. Similarly, I have rework to do if I have started entering a subtask and now need to make it a subtask section, and vice versa–I have to delete the subtask/subtask section and start over. In addition to Tab-N, I’d like a keyboard shortcut to toggle a subtask to a subtask section (and it should toggle a subtask section into a subtask). One command should be added to the task’s More Actions menu to make this discoverable.

My other prior UI-related comments still stand. It would be great if you could update the Product Team with this clarification/additional info, and thanks for passing along the first bit.


5 posts were split to a new topic: “Tab+N” new shortcut to create Sections

How do I convert a task into a section and vice versa? I used to be able to do this just by adding/removing the colon. I have the Tab + N functionality to create a new section, but it doesn’t convert an existing task. I often “upgrade” tasks to sections as a project goes along, or paste lists of section/tasks into Asana.


@Olivia_Chin, It’s not possible anymore, but I’m also advocating for a toggle command/shortcut just a you suggest in my earlier post here:

And great point about pasting tasks/sections. I do that all the time, but no more; another unfortunate casualty of this change–can this be reconsidered??


Hi @lpb and thanks again for the detailed feedback, we really appreciate it! I’ve gone ahead and added this feedback to the one I have escalated last week to our Product Team. Note that since last week, we have removed the semicolon from Sections; the update is currently only available in our Beta version but should be live for everyone in a couple of days.

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Following this because this is awful, for all the reasons described above. How can you just change a shortcut, for such a major function without letting us know - but even worse, you’ve destroyed functionality here. In all of the software I’ve ever used - web, audio, video, etc - this is unheard of.

I used to begin sections as tasks, and convert them later, with a “:” - now I have to create a new section, name it from scratch, and delete the task. This shortcut is also absurdly unergonomic - I have to take my right hand off the mouse to execute it because using one hand is impossible.


Hi @Teddy_Stuart and thanks for taking the time to share your feedback with us and let us know why this new update is breaking some of your workflows.

Sections were until very recently built like regular tasks, which was an issue to continue developing Asana (for more context, you can have a look at this post from my colleague). In order to make progress on other very popular user request and fix long-term issues, we had to move away from our previous “semicolon system” and moved to the “Tab+N” shortcut.

I’m aware that this is not going to solve your issue, but I’m hoping it will help you understand why we made this move. Again, my apologies for the trouble; please let me know if you have any follow-up questions!

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I don’t have the update yet. So I have to guess instead of being able to test for myself.
But based on @Olivia_Chin post, does this mean exports no longer delineate what a section is?

Clearly a fair amount of functionality directly or indirectly leaned on the semicolon always being present when something was a Section. If the semicolon is being removed as part of the Section definition, it means everything that relied on it being there needs to be found and reworked.


Hi @Marie

The update I’m sure would be fine its just that the UX is being impacted cause many people are using the : functionality as part of their project builds.
The android app fails to allow adding sections are all, which has forced me to double enter information.

I’m hoping that the UX designers for the web app and the mobile apps will find ways to allow

  • Convert task to section
  • Add section (in mobile app)
  • Convert section to task (we’ve all done it before)

In both tasks and subtasks list…

Appreciate you work on this core functionality