"Tab+N" our new shortcut to create Sections


Thank you so much for jumping in here @Jason_Woods and @Vince_Mustachio! :muscle:

I am glad to hear that your question has been answered @Marek_Cevelicek, I hope you don’t mind that I have moved your thread into our Tips and Tricks Category to allow other members of the Forum to find it more easily.


What’s currently the way of creating sections on mobile (specifically in android app)?
I am not sure how to use Tab + N shortcut there.


I have lists that I drop into Asana which have headings identified with a colon. These no longer work with the new update. What is the work around for this? Although time consuming, I can’t even highlight and Tab+N, it just creates a new section underneath my heading. I expect dropping in lists is something that many users do, so just hoping somebody has the answer.


Hi @Dmitry_Panin :wave:t3:

The ability to create Sections via mobile has been put on hold while we transition section creation on the web from “;” to 'Tab+N". It should be back as soon as we fully implement the new shortcut and complete groundwork to implement Switching from Boards to List View (and vice versa).

You can keep an eye on Create Section feature is missing from our mobile app, I’ll make sure to post an update there as soon as we re-implement section creation via mobile. Sincere apologies for the inconvenience and thank you so much for your patience while we complete this work!


What if i need to convert existing task to section?
For eg: i usually create task at my desired sequence, add text and add colon to convert it to section. Now since colon does not work any more i need to press tab+N, enter text, and drag the task(which is section now) to my desired sequence.

I need to drag since i create section after set of tasks even if they are closed.
If i have section 1 which has 10 tasks out of which 5 are closed so in my incomplete task view i can only see 5 open task and section. Now when i click on last task which is open (since my view is to see only incomplete task) and press tab+N it will create the new section after 5th open task, ie in between the section 1 tasks list.

Not a big issue, but it adds more steps to my regular workflow.


So, the new short cut for new sections “tab N”. Have to say not such a fan. I have many “template wording” saved with colons next to them so they would automatically be sections in new project set ups. Now I have to tab N a bunch of times then change the “new section” wording to the wording of the new section that I want.

For example I would copy the below;

Section 1:
Section 2:
Section 3:

Then paste it in a new project and they would be already created sections. Now they are just sub tasks with colons next to them.

In my opinion the tab N short cut greatly reduces the versatility of the program. I use this all day everyday 7 days a week!

Im not saying that you should get rid of it, all I want is to have the colon be able to make a new section as well.



We are using Citrix desktop win and the shortcut does not seem to work in Citrix.
When we want to create a section in a sub-task there is no option in the menu which means we have to exit Citrix and open Asana in MAC OS to create the sections.

Is there another way or could we get the add section option selectable in a task?


As someone who also drops lists with sections into Asana, I too was disappointed this morning to find the functionality removed.

I understand the need for and eventual benefits of the underlying changes, but strongly agree with the host of others here who have identified the many impediments to efficient workflows.

One enhancement that I could see alleviating some of the issues described might be to enhance the “Tab+N” ability to create a new section with the title of the current task if one is selected and place it at the current task’s location. This would resolve the “New Section” appearing at the bottom and at least remove one step in the process of converting existing lists to functional Asana projects.

I did appreciate when creating sections from the bottom of the list upwards, that the new section was not created entirely at the bottom of the project, but above the next section heading. That at least minimized the amount of movement for what I’m currently importing.


In what world is typing “Tab+N” easier than typing a “:”? I used to just be able to go through and quickly type out all my tasks/organize them by section on the fly but this slows me down just enough to be pretty dang cumbersome.


Just encountered this for the first time today. A Google search brought up the out of date documentation, and was surprised not to find a blog post about such a critical UI change.

Anyhow, I’m surprised no one has suggested this…

Why can’t we have the best of both worlds? New Tab-N sections which match columns sections, AND separators that work with the colon (and still have the attributes of a task - I use mine to contain instructions for how to use the tasks below) - not just in subtasks and not just temporarily, but always.

  • Those who copy and paste with colons still get the layout they like.
  • You can format the separator slightly differently/smaller if you want a distinction
  • You can even make the separator look slightly different from a task in the board view, seeing as it’s largely a task with formatting
  • Remove the relationship between a task and the separator above if you like, if someone wants grouping they can create sections and set it up properly (I’m looking forward to collapsible sections, that’d make me switch over some projects)
  • Add a button (even under the task’s menu) to convert a task/separator to a section, with a pop-up saying, this will delete all descriptions, comments, tags, etc, and it’s not reversible (this could work with Tab-N also) - takes care of the creation of a different object while still eliminating the “created task instead of section, copy text, create section, delete task” process that’s pretty frustrating.
  • If there aren’t any attributes on the task/separator, Tab-N/convert to section can do it without the warning (it’s not so hard to copy the rest and recreate the task to get the reverse)
  • Couldn’t it be possible to just insert a section right where you are when you try to create one, and then iteratively move all the tasks below into it? It’s kind of like “break and divide column here” (I don’t use boards, but I’m sure that’d be helpful there too) and would also remove the frustration of “create section, name section, move section”.
  • Is it going to be possible to select options on sections to merge with previous/next section? I could imagine that being useful both in list view and board view. But I digress…

Main point: If you keep both, Your users who don’t need to copy and paste lists can just use Tab-N for sections, and those who rely on either copy and paste, or quickly laying out a project and later coming back to add real sections (and realistically, this is what happens all the time in brainstorming) also have a way to do that.


Imagine how amazing the user experience would be if you could select 3 tasks/separators, press Tab-N, (confirm loss of task attributes, if there are any), wait a second, and hey presto, three sections right where they were. Like how everything else works with selecting multiple tasks.


Edit: I’ve just played around with it a bit more and see that the new sections do in fact have task attributes like description, assignee, due date, comments, subtasks, etc… so now I really don’t get why it’s so hard for Tab-N to convert between a task/separator and a section. I saw somewhere that it’s because they are different objects - but can’t you keep the id the same and it’s the internal meta tells you what object it is? Unless it’s only appearing to have task attributes because it’s not fully migrated/deprecated?


That’s exactly correct; that’s what’s happening.

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You can no longer type Tasks then “:” and get a section. You have to hit control N.

It is:

  1. Harder to write a plan. It takes longer to hit control N and delete and type than to type and hit “:”.
  2. I can’t create a plan in excel in paste it in with sections.
  3. You can’t create subtask sections on mobile.

Bring it back.



Why brake something that isn’t broken?! :roll_eyes: What do you do when you already have a task that needs to be changed to Section?


So, i want to copy&paste sections from one project to another…and it’s not working…wtf?
Please listen to your users, disabling the function to have empty tasks was hurting enough already.

Why not giving me the choice? Instead, you’ll make me look for other software all along, because i don’t know whats coming next…:frowning:


HATE this change. The ease with which I could add sections was totally a thing I loved about Asana. I really have a hard time remembering keyboard shortcuts, but semi-colon wasn’t one… it was just one letter that transformed the title to a section. Genius I thought! … and then you removed it??! Major downgrade


I am so confused as to why Asana is making the product harder to use, causing us extra keystrokes to accomplish simple tasks, isn’t this product supposed to be saving us time? First you take away our empty rows which many people used (now we have to add a space in order to keep them) and now you disable the use of the colon in favor of a TAB command. These decisions do not make any sense, why are you making it harder for us to use the product? Please stop ruining the usability of the product, I am frankly quite nervous at what is coming next.


A noob came in and created a task out of a section today. Easy I thought… I’ll just remove the semi-colon and make it into a task. OH THATS RIGHT! Asana removed that function. So there was NO WAY convert the section to a task. Had to delete it and start again.
Did you guys have that side-effect on your radar when you made this ridiculous change?


Hi Jim, @Angela_Rose, @Dennis4, @Christy_Cruz, and @Blake_Cabot. Asana is building the groundwork to deliver a very highly requested capability (switching between lists and boards, and back again), among other critical changes. I appreciate this change has detracted from your experience, but I think you will find the new features to be worth this “cost of admission.”