2021-04-24: Inline Dataview, Showcases, & a Markdown GUI.
6 min read

2021-04-24: Inline Dataview, Showcases, & a Markdown GUI.

Big Obsidian updates for the API, search, and tasks. Lots of Dataview improvements, some nice Spaced Repetition options, and tools to help developers. CSS tips & PKM discussions.

In The Community

  • The 2nd community talk will be Zotero 101 with @argentum on Saturday 24th at 16:00 CET. You can check the time of the talk in your local time here. Links and more information about upcoming talks are on Discord.
  • @nickmilo posted the 2021-04-17 community meeting with @blacksmithgu, creator of Dataview, to his Obsidian Publish site. I took part in the showcase portion, and there was a Q&A as well.

Sneak Peeks

  • Effective Remote Work has a video about the iOS app for Obsidian if you haven't had a chance to peek at what mobile will look like.

The new Insider build v0.12.0 went live. Definitely read the release notes to get an idea of what's coming if you haven't already, but the short version is:

  • You can now use task as a search parameter (similar to block:), along with task-todo: for only unchecked tasks. Tasks aren't limited to [x] anymore: you can use custom characters and target them via CSS.
  • Search and backlinks are a lot more useful, plus you can get backlinks inside a document on preview mode (edit mode pending a future release).
  • You can increase and decrease font size without messing with CSS.
  • Lots of improvements to how plugins get enabled and how they handle safe mode.
  • Some stuff that will matter to developers, especially theme developers.

Note: it usually takes a week or two for insider builds to go live to everyone.

Plugin News

  • The update that has made the biggest difference to me personally (especially for this roundup) is Auto Link Title which lets you paste a URL and automatically have it turn into a markdown link with the link's actual title.
  • Obsidian Charts via @doge now has a GUI to create charts, as well as a live preview option, to make it easier to use.
  • Juggl 1.0.5 is out now, with some additional options and a fix for the empty panes in the right sidebar.
  • @zsviczian forked Lars Lockefeer's Obsidian GTD plugin and extended it to add a bunch of features. It's not in the community repo yet, but v0.6 is on github.
  • @zsviczian is also working on an Obsidian plugin for Excalidraw. It's currently in alpha (in fact it's using an unreleased version of Excalidraw that is meant to fix some issues with Obsidian interaction, more information here) and not yet available in the community repo.
  • Markdown Formatting Assistant offers a nice GUI for using snippets for Markdown, HTML and LaTeX and has a color picker to show the history of last used colors. It's not new but it's flying under the radar and will probably make a lot of people waiting for WYSIWYG happy.
  • There is a new version of the Spaced Repetition plugin (v1.3.0). It adds support for flashcards that will help keep them from going out of sync. @bookthief described it as a "native SRS flashcards plugin."
  • There were multiple big updates for dataview this week. 0.2.10 added inline fields. 0.2.13 allows for views to auto-reload at a configurable interval. Here are some examples via arminta7 & via SkepticMystic.
  • @mano made a plugin that allows for a vertical tabs feature: obsidian koncham workspace.
  • @foreveryone had a useful explanation of how to split workspaces when using the Tabs plugin.
  • Obsidian Kanban by @mgmeyers got added to the community plugins list.

For Developers

  • There are some changes coming to the API that will impact how sections are handled. They're currently live on the Insider release. Discussion here. For discussion of how to actually deal with this (in terms of the npm stuff), start here.
  • @zephraph put together some tools for programmatically working with plugins. There's also an unofficial collection of CLI tools that helps you build plugins for Obsidian. Apparently it'll prompt you for which vault you want to develop in (via a select list; it finds all your vaults), sets up and automatically copies over built code, and prompts to you to install the hot-reload plugin if you haven't already (it'll do that for you automatically too). It'll even copy over the manifest file if any changes happen to that.
  • There was a nifty discussion of what people use to handle documentation for their plugins.

Feature Requests

  • @murf created a feature request for zooming into headers/headings similar to how you can zoom into bullets using the Outliner plugin. Currently the closest you can get is the Outline (not Outliner) plugin, which lets you jump to headers.
  • @arminta had an idea for a plugin that would allow for a way to see what frequently used terms have not yet been linked, to help surface connections that are not necessarily obvious.

Workflow Stuff

Tips & Tricks

  • You can insert page breaks into exported PDFs with the following: <div style="page-break-after: always;"></div> (via @Oliver Balfour)
  • Stack Overflow has an explanation of mass append a new tag to the bottom of a series of files (preferably in a folder) with Notepad++ (backup first! It's easy to mess up). You can probably do something similar with VSCode if you need to.
  • There was a discussion on Reddit that covered tips and tricks for using VIM with Obsidian.
  • There's a new share & showcase for Note and metadata/YAML templates that is intended to serve as a handy meta thread for dataview (see also: this showcase maintained by @SkepticMystic), templater (see also: this showcase from @pmbauer & this gist via @Murf), and daily notes templates. Here's another nice example of how you can leverage the new plugin functionality for habit tracking.
  • @tallguyjenks put together a comprehensive video explaining how to do stuff in markdown.

CSS

  • @foreveryone figured out how to use CSS to let you create an inline block embed. There was a whole discussion about best practices and options so I'm linking you to discord instead of trying to find it on github.
  • This CSS from @SlRvb will allow header titles to wrap, which is great for long titles and small screens.
  • @SlRvb has a nice update to aside tag CSS that handles maximum width and overlapping aside boxes really smoothly.
  • There are a couple of different ways to caption a local image with Obsidian.
  • You can use CSS to color-code folders thanks to @Lithou.
  • There's a nifty new way to do highlights. There are more examples on Discord.

Publish

  • For Obsidian Publish, it's possible to hide the file name using CSS, which is useful if you prefer to use the title from a header.
  • You can add custom analytics to publish pages using custom javascript if you have a custom domain.
  • Here's a collection of handy snippets for custom codeblocks, annotations, a site logo, and hiding files in navigation (via @selfire).

PKM

Ancillary Tools

  • Research Rabbit had a big update that makes it a lot easier to use for discovering relevant scholarly articles on a topic. If you use referral code l17JvlK they'll let you jump to the head of the queue.
  • Gingko is fairly popular in this community: it's a tool that lets you do lists, outlines, and cards in a clean pyramid-like interface.
  • There was a nice discussion on Reddit about other tools Obsidian users might enjoy.

Housekeeping

  • I fiddled a bit with the email that this "officially" comes from, so now it should be possible to directly reply to this email so that it'll send to my personal email address (ek@eleanorkonik.com).