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2021-08-07: Translations, Longform Export Tools, & Tips for Mobile

The writing experience in Obsidian really leveled up this week. The PARA starter kit got a major facelift & there's a new web clipper.

Eleanor Konik
Eleanor Konik
4 min read

In The Community

Obsidian Updates

Plugin News

New

  • cMenu is a plugin that adds a minimal and user friendly text editor modal for a smoother writing/editing experience. This plugin makes text editing easier for those that don't wish to configure a multitude of hotkeys.
  • Longform is a plugin for Obsidian that helps you write and edit novels, screenplays, and other long projects. You can finally reorder scenes using (an alternate) file explorer, and compile them into a single file. It even lets you customize the appearance of exported using css! This is the plugin authors have been hoping for for as long as I’ve been using Obsidian and I am HYPE to sit down and play with it.
  • The markdown attributes plugin enables Pandoc-style markdown attributes, which allows you to add HTML attributes directly to an element, which means users can style two lists differently on the same page, or change the background color of a single highlight, or cause a paragraph to display in all caps. Here’s an explanation in the discord.
  • You can now set Obsidian to automatically hide sidebars when Obsidian is at a particular width.
  • @ownjoke figured out a way to make Obsidian intelligently switch between edit and preview mode depending on whether you’re typing. The plugin is called budget WYSIWYG.
  • You can text or email (among others) notes directly to your daily note using this “phone to roam” client for Obsidian.

Updates

  • Tasks version 1.2.0 had a bunch of updates, the main one seems to be that it lets you filter by recurring and hide elements from query results.
  • Excalidraw 1.2.13 now support links in View mode.
  • Map View works much better on mobile now, and there are some other quality of life improvements.
  • It’s now easier to use Obsidian Leaflet to track travel paths (i.e. run routes) thanks to GPX support. PS: Did you know that you can do map layers with the leaflet plugin? Find out more neat tips and tricks from this github discussion.
  • Collapse All is now available on mobile.
  • 0.1.4 of the status bar pomodoro plugin has some bugfixes and allows users to add a link in your log to whichever note was active when you started your pomodoro.
  • 0.2.0 of Obsidian Sortable now supports resetting the sorting order on the third click (like Wikipedia).
  • Dice Roller 5.2.0 can return a random link using dice: #tag|link (or a global setting to always return links from tags).
  • Media Extended v2.10.0 adds mobile support and nifty timestamp stuff.
  • Styles Settings v0.3.0 lets users export and import global and scoped settings, and has some nifty toggles.
  • Breadcrumbs has a new Visualization View! This lets you see the structure of your vault using various different visualizations to get big picture views of your vault hierarchy.

For Developers

  • A request: where possible, it’s helpful to lean in to Obsidian’s local-first, no-internet-required ethos, and where possible avoid including things in themes and plugins that require internet, for example it’s helpful to base64 encode fonts instead of relying on Google font imports.
  • There was discussion about how the format for links in YAML in the future will be handled.

Workflow Stuff

Mobile

Tiny Tips

  • This keeps coming up, so, if you zoom in a bunch on your screen can’t get it “back to normal,” try using ctrl+0 (cmd+0 for Mac) to reset your font sizes. If that doesn’t work, try fiddling with the Quick font size adjustment setting in settings > appearance.
  • You can continuously nest code blocks by adding more back ticks (via @javalent)

Feature Requests

Appearance

  • A bunch of people apparently didn’t know about the nifty css options for the calendar plugin which can, for example, let you make the calendar view a bit slimmer, or add emoji markers behind a day in the calendar view thanks to YAML.
  • Here’s how to make a linear gradient for a progress bar with CSS.
  • Here’s how to make all numbers have the same width (make them tabular) so they look nicer.

Knowledge Management

  • @cotemaxime refactored the PARA starter kit and also “forked” the PARA system into a “PAAN” designed to work a little more intuitively with Obsidian’s strengths, like links and the graph.
  • This is a periodic reminder to back  up your data, and that means properly, one local, one remote, and one in the cloud. Sync is not a backup!
  • I wrote a blog post about how there's real value in "literature review" style notes and I don't see them discussed often.

Ancillary Tools

  • Meta is a nifty (alpha) visual notecard / whiteboard organizer / mindmap thing for notes.
  • @kepano put together a 90 second demo of their new Web Clipper bookmarklet. It allows you to grab entire pages or selections from the web into Obsidian in one click.

Housekeeping

  • I updated some “static pages” for the Roundup, notably the Resources page (which now segments out the Obsidian-related paid courses) and the About page (which now has a better explanation of how things get “chosen” to be added to the Roundup), since I’ve been getting more questions about that lately.

Eleanor Konik

Professionally, I teach pre-teens about ancient civilizations. In my downtime, I enjoy combining storytelling with my love of sharing obscure history and science.