Add option to use underscores with bold & italic hotkeys

Use case or problem

Markdown supports two syntaxes for bold/italic but Obsidian only natively supports one via the Cmd+B / Cmd+I hotkeys.

Obsidian only uses asterisk-based notation when using the hotkeys: *This is italic*, **This is bold**, ***This is bold italic***.

Markdown also supports underscore syntax: _This is italic_, __This is bold__, ___This is bold italic___.

For some users (myself included) the underscore variant is easier to read in edit mode because there is less clutter during reading and it makes the marked text more visually distinct.

Proposed solution

Add option in Settings > Editor to choose between asterisk and underscore syntax. Once selected, the bold/italic hotkeys honor this preference.

Current workaround (optional)

I have to manually use underscores since the hotkey doesn’t support this option.


It would be great if they could be set individually.

I choose as a personal preference for ease of readability to use double asterisks for **bold** and single underscores for _italics_.


I would be completely fine with that.

Also it turns out at least one other request was previously submitted for this feature:



Giving this a +1. I’d love to be able to set whether Cmd+I/Cmd+B inserts underscores or asterisks.

Thanks :pray:

I use underscores for my italics and asterisks for bolding and it would be great if there was a user option to select which syntax Obsidian is to enter when I activate cmd+I and cmd+b.


I hadn’t even considered this before but since it was brought up in this thread I started doing the same and really like this approach as well.

+1 on this. I definitely prefer underscores for italics and asterisks for bold.

+1 as well. Would be a good feature.

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+1 as well

+1 on support for selecting underscore or asterix syntax for cmd+I and Cmd+B individually

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Yes, please… Only a monster would denote italics with asterisks!

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Hello friends!

Take a lot at theses plugins:

Obsidian Tweaks

Obsidian MultiLine Formatting

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I always thought only a monster would designate underscore for anything other than underline!

Do people still underline? I thought those had been banned to avoid confusion with hyperlinks. :grinning:

+1 I’ve to use three plugins to have this function:

  1. Smarter Markdown Hotkeys (to have underscore italic)

  2. Advanced Mobile Toolbar (to assign an icon to the Smarter Markdown Hotkeys commands)

  3. Typewriter Scroll (to avoid cursor under flowing the advanced toolbar)


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+1 please!

+1 for choosing specific syntax for both CTRL+B and CTRL+I.

+1 please

Def a +1 for me

I also use _italics_ and **bold**.

I didn’t see it mentioned here, but there’s a nifty plugin: wrap with shortcuts that lets you set custom wrappings. If no text is selected, it just inserts the tags with your cursor in the middle.

I’ve set a wrap for italics, removed the default hotkey, and set cmd/ctrl+i for this.

Screenshot 2023-05-08 070941

Works great!