Aliases should work when creating link from text

Use case or problem

I’m not sure if this is a bug or feature request; I’m assuming feature request. I’m learning how to use aliases, and they’re very handy, as I don’t want all my MOCs to have “MOC” in the actual text when I link to them, so this greatly enhances workflow.

However, it doesn’t seem to work when linking existing material. e.g. I have a note “Suffering MOC.” When I link this, I want it to just show up as “suffering.” If I manually type “suffering,” I can choose the appropriate note from the drop-down, but if the word “suffering” is already in the text, and I just select it and hit the double brackets, that doesn’t link to the alias; it creates a new, blank note.

Proposed solution

Given that the purpose of the alias is to make it easier to link to frequently-linked notes, it would be ideal if selecting and linking the existing text would also link using the alias (or at least ask).

Current workaround (optional)

Deleting the text and retyping it manually is the best option I’ve found.

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Having thought about this some more – and come across another forum thread where the logic behind this functionality is explained/discussed, I’d like to update my idea of the ideal behavior here.

Ideally, if you double-bracket existing text, and that text matches one or more aliases, it should offer you a list of all relevant aliases to choose from, and also offer an option “none” – which option will then create it as a new note.

That will prevent our accidentally creating a bajillion blank notes (which is what I’m running into, and what I imagine others asking about this behavior are running into, as well – accidentally creating a bunch of new, blank notes for things we already have notes for).

This works for me, or if I understand what you are asking, it does. When I type the alias of a pre-existing note and then use a hotkey to surround the alias in double brackets, Obsidian suggests the existing note from which the alias came. Obsidian also suggests the pre-existing note if I type the opening brackets.

Maybe it’s just user error on my part, but it doesn’t seem do that for me; it creates a new, blank note. (I found other discussions here in the forum to similar effect, as well, so I don’t think it’s just me.)

If I’m typing, it suggests it. If I select existing text and add brackets, it creates a new note.

For me it does not work too, if I select the word and press [[.

Would it be a suitable workaround for you if you link the “found pages” via the link pane (can be shown by Ctrl + p → “Outgoing links: Show outgoing links pane” and not with [[ ?

Nevertheless, I agree with you and I would also like the selection to open.

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I’m not sure; I’ll have to try that.

Are you using a hotkey to add brackets around the selected text? I have attached a gif to show what I meant in my previous reply.

I don’t think so. It’s hard to differentiate in your GIF, but I’m just highlighting the text and then manually typing the double left bracket. Are you saying if I do the same thing using a hotkey it will give me options? Because if so, it seems even weirder that manually adding them doesn’t.

A hotkey gives the options. I am typing the text, highlighting the text, and then using a hotkey to add the square brackets. Doing it in this manner allows me to get the correct note as an option when using an alias.


I’ll give that a try, then. That sounds like a good workaround, at least. But now I’m wondering if the other behavior may actually be a bug.