Ability to zoom in on bullets

One of the things i like about Roam is the ability to zoom in and focus on any one bullet point (including sub-bullets).

Will this ever be possible in Obsidian?

I know there is the folding ability in edit mode, but this is not the same thing to me.

31 Likes

I believe in Roam “zooming” into the bullet essentially creates a new page with the contents of that bullet. Whatever you add in this new subpage is then also shown in the main page. In Obsidian, an equivalent functionality can be achieved by the page transclusion(?) feature in discussion. Perhaps, someone else may add.

2 Likes

I’m not sure this is the same. It would be a purely viewing function as in Dynalist and Workflowy. It wouldn’t necessarily create new pages.

3 Likes

I would really like to see this feature too.

1 Like

I’m not sure what the parallel in Roam is, but in other mature outliners they typically have a feature called ‘hoist’ or ‘focus’ that allows temporary viewing of a single node and its children. When done with your work there, you unhoist/unfocus to go back to viewing the whole document in its previous state.

This is super helpful, especially when working with a large outline.

3 Likes

Seems to me that one of the issues is that Obsidian isn’t an outliner.

3 Likes

Good point, agreed! (Technically anyway, given that the current outline features are currently not core but rather plugin-provided)

A different conversation is worthwhile though, about whether outlining should in fact be considered a core capability.

My experience is that most meaningful note taking is so benefitted by solid outlining capability that it’s hard to separate them. I can say that if Obsidian didn’t have the outlining that it does have, I wouldn’t be here.

5 Likes

Maybe, at some point, the developers might allow a linked insert from a dynalist file. A click takes you to the correct position on dynalist where it can be edited and the current version can always be read in Obsidian.

2 Likes

Yeah this feature was in Dynalist

Perhaps, while it is not officially introduced, a CSS expert will be able to do this, double click on any header and it will hide everything outside of it font-size: 0px;

2 Likes

Agreed! I would like to see a more aggressive outliner mode :+1:

I also would like to see better outlining possibilities in Obsidian. I know Obsidian is not an outliner like Dynalist is, but as a knowledge/second-brain type application using an Outline seems a bit more efficiënt.

I can use bullets to do some sort of Outlining but it feels like fighting against the system, it just does not work fluent enough.

3 Likes

Obsidian is, no doubt, a very powerful and highly customizable note-taking app, and a perfect Roam alternative. The only thing I feel is missing is the ability to make bulletpoints default in editing mode, and the ability to zoom in on them, just like in Workflowy or Roam. This could be implemented as an optional feature, rather than a default editing mode. (Being able to expand and collapse them in the preview mode is already posted as a request by someone else, so I’m not going to talk about that.)

This would be perfect for those who don’t want to spend too much time formatting their text, and can instead focus on writing and nesting ideas to create a clear structure. This is the only missing feature that’s stopping me from choosing Obsidian over Roam as my daily note-taking app.

22 Likes

Agreed, this would be nice. Or the ability to select multiple lines (even at different indent levels) and add bullets to them all

2 Likes

Note that Dynalist has this feature as well. So the authors should be familiar with the concept :slight_smile:

any updates on this? A bullet-only mode would be great!

I can’t actually think that this is a feature request that hasn’t been made before. But I’ve both tried different search combination and browsed the Feature Request-category without finding something similar, so here goes:

Use case or problem

A few months ago, I begun to use my daily notes as a log for everything I do during my workday. This is done in a bullet list, chronologically. Some entries are just a single line, others have children and sub-children:


  • 15:10 – Planning for upcoming meeting
  • 15:28 – Meeting with [[Person X]] and [[Person Y]] about [[Project A]]
    • [[Person X]] said…
      • [[Person Y]] disagreed because of…
  • 16:28 – Wrote feature request at [[Obsidian forums]]

During my shutdown, I go through the log and make linked references back to the daily note from project notes etc.

The challenge is that the log for many days get really long, with a lot of sub-levels etc. Same is true for some of the project notes I have.

This, at least to me, means additional cognitive load when processing the log at the end of the day. In exchange for that, I get less friction and cognitive load during the workday when I don’t have to make decisions on where I should take my notes. It is in the daily note, only a keyboard shortcut away.

Proposed solution

It’s many years since I last wrote a single line of code. But that Obsidian currently has folding for both headings and bullet list show that it is possible to identify the different levels of organization within a note.

I would love a feature that let us focus on a specific level in the hierarchy, just like many outliners let their users focus on a level in the tree.

Current workaround (optional)

The only I can see right now is to enter content in the right place during the day. But at least to me, the added cognitive load in the end of the day is worth the trade-off with less load while entering stuff.

A good example of how zoom/focus/hoist can be implemented for markdown notes is the wonderful FoldingText, which includes this capability. It would be awesome to have something like this in Obsidian!

3 Likes

A similar feature would be amazing!

1 Like

I think the Outliner plugin does a good job of this so far! Check it out :+1:

3 Likes