Air Quotes plugin - Instantly insert full quotes from a source text. Also includes an ePub to Obsidian note convertor

I love reading paper books or on eReader devices while taking notes on my laptop or phone,
but it massively interrupts my flow to capture quotes from the book.

The existing solutions are essentially either:

  • Re-type the entire quote yourself, or
  • Highlight/capture, and then later sync it into your vault with a tool like Readwise.

Air Quotes for Obsidian is a method for near-instant inserting of direct quotes from a source text.


It’s a great experience doing note taking on a mobile device while out-and-about reading your book.

The only requirement is that you have a note inside your vault with the source text.

  • If the source text is already in a note (for example, people who have the Bible or the Quran as a note) then you’re good to go.
  • If you have an ePub copy of the book, the plugin can convert this straight into an Obsidian note for you. Use the command Import ePub file.
  • If you have an ebook in another format, you can usually get Calibre to convert it for you.
  • If you’re reading a print book, then you’ll need to source an ebook copy. Your public library might have Libby or Overdrive available, which are good ebook sources.

You can find the plugin in the community store:


Did you change something in the core functionality when you added the ability to convert EPUB files?

I’m using the same code for pulling in the source text that I was using before, but now when I try to insert a quote, I just keep getting an error saying there’s “no source path found in YAML/front matter.”

Maybe I’m just doing something wrong, but I didn’t change anything.

With the advent of Obsidian properties, I removed my custom way of reading YAML and instead use the Obsidian API. So you just need to make sure that your source text is linked as an actual link in your properties, like this:

source_text: "[[Some/Book/File]]"


It doesn’t work with my book notes plugin that way. :sob: I was using the dataview option because I can include it in my book template and it will paste in automatically so I don’t have to try to remember the syntax every time. But properties don’t work right with other template-based plugins.

No problem, I’ve added support for Dataview properties back in v1.0.3.

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Thank you!

I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I had this working before, and have never been able to get it working again since the update post-properties. No matter how many different variations I try, I just always get an error message that says there’s no source path found in the YAML/front matter.

Hi @a2jc4life it looks like there was a bug in Dataview properties, which is now resolved in 1.0.4.

However I can’t figure out why normal properties wouldn’t work for you. I have created a demo/test vault here which you could download if you want, and compare with how things are set up at your end:

Thank you! I really appreciate your patience because I feel like I’ve been a real pain.

This is exactly how I had it set up. I don’t know what happened. I literally checked again for updates right before I posted to this thread today, and it found no updates. But after looking through this test vault and verifying that my setup matched yours, I hit the button again just because…and it found an update to install. So I don’t know if I had a glitch in my database or what, but it’s working now.

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@AlanG I just installed Air Quotes and tried to import epub. But… It just created an empty text note with the title (from the file). Tell me, please, should I do something additional?

Nothing special you need to do. You can test by downloading a public domain ePub from Gutenberg if you like:

If you’re comfortable to post the epub file you can create an issue on Github for me to have a look at:

Thank you for the answer.

Now I tried this file and it works. But… I tried my epub library and found just two files (like from 10-15) that were imported successfully. And I can’t understand why. :frowning:

Send one through on GitHub so I can have a look.

They aren’t DRM protected files are they? Those can’t be imported.

Unfortunately, I don’t know about DRM. :thinking:
Is it OK if I share it with Dropbox?
That’s the link

Thanks - if you update to 1.0.5 it will now import correctly.

Wow! Now this file works! Thank you!
But… Another file doesn’t work. Shared it also

Also, I realized the UX problem with this method: books contain much more words (and etc) than my own notes and it leads to a mess in search results.
Of course, I can exclude the path, but… I should do it every time when I want to search for anything.

How could you solve this for yourself?
As I understand there is no option (yet) for permanently excluding folders (paths) from search in Obsidian.

Thanks, if you update to 1.0.6 that will be working now. Any other ones you find just send them through. It’s slight differences in how the epub files are constructed.

I just keep all my book source files in a single folder, and then exclude that one folder from the Obsidian search. Easy.

I just keep all my book source files in a single folder, and then exclude that one folder from the Obsidian search. Easy.

But… As I understand you have to exclude this folder EVERY time you want to search something. Right?

Also… I found another UX glitch with books import :see_no_evil:
I attached a screenshot of the graph view. There are a looooot links for non-existing files now. :slight_smile:
Probably it’s better to transform links for non-existing files into comments, because they are useless in the books

Exclude it one time in Obsidian settings, under the Files & Links page.

In 1.0.7 I have removed the broken links from converted ePub files. However if you exclude that book folder in Settings (which you probably should), it won’t appear in Graph View anyway.

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