Best link format for wide Markdown compatibility

What I’m trying to do

I am newish to Markdown and new to Obsidian. Long time OneNote user.

I have imported all of my OneNote into Obsidian.

I am working on a Family History/Geneaology vault. Brain dumping everything I know about people, pets, houses etc. Heavy on file attachments, mainly pdf’s and jpegs. For me this is the digital equivalent of writing people’s names on the backs of photos. I am doing this for my kids to have long after I am dead so Markdown interoperability is paramount to me – the idea is this folder and file structure will be backed up and passed along and the kids can open it 50 years from now. I am assuming Obsidian will long be history (no offense) and the tool they use to read these files does not yet exist. Files are all in a subfolder under the folder containing the note.

What are the best linking settings to use for wide Markdown compatibility? I am finding that most of the links don’t work in other tools (Marked 2, VS Code, iAWriter) At this point I’m not sure if it’s Obsidian or the other tools not following standards.

Things I have tried

All the combinations of New Link Format and Use Wikilinks on and off.

Right now the setting that seems to work best is [Absolute path in vault] and Wikilinks off. That renders correctly only in VS Code, but it’s better than nothing.

Also please help me!

Because I converted from OneNote, and had so much fun writing away, now I have all kinds of different format links. Anybody know a trick/plugin to restate them all?

“Wikilinks off” is much more compatible — that gives you standard Markdown links, which many apps can handle. Wikilink support is becoming more common over time — for example, iA Writer has them now (I’m not sure why your links aren’t working there) — but I don’t know if it’ll ever catch up.

Note that you can use wikilinks to navigate in apps that don’t support them. A wikilink is essentially shorthand for “in the vault folder, search for a file with this name.” That’s less convenient than clicking a link, but it still preserves info about the connections.

I’m not sure which path style is best for compatibility — probably relative links, altho at the moment I think there are 1 or 2 quirks in how Obsidian handles them.

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Everything @CawlinTeffid said and I’d add that there is no standard between platforms.

I use Wikilinks and they work for me.

To me the question isn’t so much about the format of the link, but the functionality in the app when you want to use them. We’ve all got different needs for them; are you an atomic note (zettle Luhmann) sorta of user or a user (like me) that tends to put long content into a note, then use header and block links to reference it elsewhere.

The other aspect is how to utilize links for output; how to parse out the control code rto render outside the vault.

i do not envy developers in this space right now.

I also brought a ton of content in from OneNote, and many other sources.

My advice is get hip to the functionality of Obsidian, the built in stuff. Note links and internal links (headers and blocks). I just discovered some awesome functionality this morning about how to use footnotes; and I’ve been here for over two years:)

Best wishes and keep asking questions, you’ll find some of the most brilliant folks on the planet in the Obsidian space.

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I use the following settings for all my Obsidian vaults(& check my setup in Markor and VS Code) …

Under Files and Links:

  1. “Default location for new notes” - “Same folder as current file”.
  2. “New Link Format” - “Relative path to file”.
  3. “Use [[Wikilinks]]” - “off” … yet I still get the advantages of [[]]
  4. Detect all file extensions - enabled
  5. “Default location for new attachments” - “In subfolder under current folder”.
  6. “Subfolder name” - value: “attachments”.

PS: should I encounter any problems with attachments I would try and fix them with …

This seemed to work for andy4222

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Perfect, thank you. I was already running with those settings. I installed the plugin and I think it’s doing what I need. Thank you again for taking the time to sort me out.

Is this format recognised as a date by dataview, or don’t you care about that? I can understand (and mostly agree) with the other settings, but if this breaks the date functionality of dataview, that is a serious no-go for me.

And some simple tests seems to indicate that indeed it breaks the recognition as a date. So I would strongly suggest to rather use YYYY-MM-DD.


DataView aside and since we’re talking about standards and compatibility, YYYY-MM-DD is literally a standard and YYYY_MM_DD is not.

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Thank you - you are absolutely correct.
My date format actually is YYYY-MM-DD
currently: 2023-03-10
I have removed it from my post.

PS from a copy & paste error I made in a Reddit “Logseq-Obsidian Vaults settings” post a while back.

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EDITED: date format actually is YYYY-MM-DD
currently: 2023-03-10

I have removed the wrong info from my post.

PS from a copy & paste error I made in a Reddit “Logseq-Obsidian Vaults settings” post a while back.

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