Canvas element arrangement: bring-to-front, send-to-back

Canvas elements can be overlapped, but there doesn’t appear to be a way to control which one is on top. When building up diagrams built on cards being able to push and pull the layers would be awesome! Thanks!


I could imagine some uses for this functionality. Your mention of the fact that nodes can be overlapped made me wonder what it would be like if they could not overlap. Perhaps this could be a good way to initiate your request. For example, if you just slightly overlap an edge or a corner when placing a node, the canvas could kindly push the node aside so as to be exactly adjacent. However, if you make a concerted effort to move a node directly on top of another node, it would snap to fit and stay highlighted while you had the chance to mouse up or down, or use up/down arrows to choose the order.

In cases where more than one node is already placed in the stack, the nodes could temporarily spread out a bit while showing the order yet still keeping filename labels visible. This is just a thought. Speaking of which, I just remembered there is another related request about stacking, however I can’t seem to find it. Perhaps it was on Discord. Anyways, Good idea!


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I’ve been using Obsidian Canvas similar to a mood board to organize more visual thoughts, e.g. using many images/videos. Simple user control of ordering (send forward/backwards) would be really helpful!

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I love Canvas and can tell it is in very active development. Exciting!

I would like to add my support to the request for some control over draw order with the usual quartet of features; “Send Backwards, Send to Back, Send Forward, Send to Front”

I would use this to make more complex drawings in Canvas. Particularly, for example, to show visually contained-by sorts of hierarchy. I’m currently plotting out a moderately complex university curriculum, and I would like to have a note describing the “Foundation” year, containing individual notes for each Foundation class.

If I don’t create objects in Canvas in the right order, the wrong one ends up drawn in front, which is a pain. Currently, cut/paste seems to allow me to reset the draw order the way I want it, but that of course also causes me to lose any connections I have drawn. Not ideal, though workable.

I would rather be able to pop a context menu from any selection set, with an “Order” submenu that allowed me access to the four common draw order commands.

Some kind of ultimate future expression of drawing order might be an Illustrator-like layer system. Which would be total overkill for Obsidian and I hope you don’t feel like that is needed.

Use case or problem

During the creation of a canvas we ran into a situation where using an image of a map then placing cards or notes or images over certain locations provided helpful context to the canvas. When attempting to move nodes in a layout like this randomly nodes in the selection will move to the front or back.

Proposed solution

Add a third dimension to the x,y coordinates and allow it to be set with a menu option on right click. Enforcing this layer order when moving nodes around the canvas.

Current workaround (optional)

Dragging selecting all the nodes on each level and moving each layer on its own instead of the entire group in one action.

Related feature requests (optional)

Somewhat related and expanded upon: Canvas element arrangement: bring-to-front, send-to-back


Yes: layers would be a quite useful feature since I found the same overlapping problem (for things I want to be overlapped).

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Canvas is unusable without this.

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Would be super helpful when you want to show elements are grouped under another note for example.

I would too love to be able to set the hierarchy for elements.
I’m planning a trip and need to keep the map in the background which is not possible at the moment, I’m forced to move to another app

Yes, I agree this would be a huge improvement.

I’m currently using canvas to organize a project that involves many notes and frequently make stacks of related note “cards.” It would be wonderful if they layered in a predictable way.