Ability to see, within desktop read/edit view, whether or not a note is currently public via Obsidian Publish

Use case or problem

I have ~2k notes unpublished in my vault, and I’m beginning to use Obsidian Publish to make some of them visible on the web (here).

Currently, when I’m reading or editing in my normal desktop workflow, there’s no way to easily see, for any given note, whether or not that note is currently published.

Proposed solution

In the menu bar for each note, to the left of the icon for read/edit toggle,

  • if the note is currently not published, show nothing
  • if the note is currently published and unchanged, show the Publish icon (the little triangle paper airplane thing) uncolored
  • if the note is currently published and changed, show the Publish icon and color it orange

Current workaround (optional)

Currently if I want to find out I can either

  • go to my published site on the web and look for the note there
  • open up the Publish menu and search for the note

I would like to see this, too. It would be an unobtrusive but useful little bit of information. It is particularly useful when editing an older note, of which perhaps you don’t recall whether you published it or not. If you did, you may want to republish the new version.

The published-and-changed icon could perhaps also function as a button, allowing the user to update this one particular note on the website without having to go through the ‘Publish’ routine.


I’ve created a workaround via a CSS Snippet that maybe could be of use for some. Because it requires the note to be tagged with a tag of your choice (in this case #published), it is especially useful for people who have not yet published a lot of notes.

  1. Gives the note a yellow border
.view-content:has(.tag[href="#published"]) {
    border: 1px solid yellow;
  1. Coloured inline-title
.view-content:has(.tag[href="#published"]) .inline-title {
    color: yellow;
  1. Or this:
    Published note
.view-content:has(.tag[href="#published"]) .inline-title::after {
	content: "Published";
	color: grey;
	border: 1px solid;
	border-radius: 12px;
	font-size: 12px;
	margin-left: 5px;
	padding: 0px 4px;
	vertical-align: top;
1 Like

The solution I came to was:

  • to use a separate folder for published notes. Since Obsidian shows the file path at the top of the note, I can quickly see if a note is in my published folder or not.
  • I set up a hotkey (cmd+M) to move a note, so I can quickly move it into the folder when it’s ready to publish
  • Notes then sit unpublished in the public folder until I hit publish on everything in that folder — like a staging environment

Added benefits:

  • given the somewhat janky checkbox-selection UI for publishing, this makes it less likely that I’ll accidentally hit publish on my whole folder of private notes
  • I set up exclusion filters for my other folders in the Publish UI to make double-sure I don’t accidentally publish the wrong stuff
  • I suspect this is the workflow the designers intended, so maybe I’ll be in more harmonious alignment with future updates

Could be useful a publish status indicator near file name in navigation like “starred” icon…