Canvas: Ideas for optimizing cards

Thank you dev team for Canvas! Obsidian has become such an impressive app and you are doing incredible work. I’m already loving Canvas for story boarding and creating rudimentary fantasy maps.

Use case or problem

I think it would be great if cards (I call them text boxes) had greater versatility. Currently, only square/rectangular shapes are possible and it would be cool to have, for example, triangles for events on a storyboard, circles for characters, and squares for settings.

Resizing manually is fine but could be snappier for quicker work flow.

Alignment options would be good for aesthetic reasons mainly.

Proposed solution

(1) It would be great to have the option of inserting different shapes, like circles, triangles, etc. There could be a transform button on the pop-up that appears when you click a card to change its colour, delete, etc.

(2) If we could double click the top or bottom of a card to automatically resize it by fitting the card to the text it contains, that’d be handy. I am thinking of vertical resizing, not horizontal.

(3) Being able to align the text in a card to the right or centre (in addition to current default of left alignment) would be nice. It could be added to the same pop-up menu mentioned in item (1).

Current workaround (optional)

The Excalidraw plugin
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Please one FR per thread and pick a title that will help other users find it.

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Done, please feel free to remove this one. Apologies for the error, was just trying to be efficient :slight_smile:

Hi everyone !

Canvas is a wonderful core pluggin but it indeed might be improved by adding a few more customization options.

Context (TL;DR)

I need to add a bit more context to explicit my statements because I haven’t found a lot of other Obsidian users in the same field/having the same needs than me.

I use obsidian for professional purposes. I am working in a small R&D lab in chemistry industry (scientific field). I was having a hard time following the dozens of ideas and project being constantly started and all links between them, but also to keep track of acquired knowledge and experience.
Here comes Obsidian ! With a few pluggins it became an all-in-one tool (project tracker, task and topic distribution for the entire team, knowledge-wiki). It is a wonderful tool, congrats to the dev team !

I started using it about 2 weeks before Canvas’ release. It was the last piece missing for a nice project managements. Graphic view is a nice feature to visualize the entire vault, but it lacks details and flexibility. For that use but also project overview and update, Canvas in incredible.

However, it misses a bit of customization to be fully versatile. For example, I use differents templates of notes :

  • Project kick-off
  • Result summary
  • Discussions and bibliography
  • Meetings
  • RH
  • Feedback

The current version of canvas misses to customization to visualy distinguish all types of notes ant there current state (planned, stand-by, started, published, completed), so my suggestion is to propose more options into Canvas.

To illustrate my statement, enclosed is a capture of my main project’s Canvas.

Feature request

  • Several cards format (square, round, diamond…)
  • Several group format (same than previously, grouping groups to have unsual format, background fillings…)
  • Several arrows types between cards (dotted lines, thickness adjustable, possibility to change the curve of the lines…)
  • Automatic rearrangement to minimize arrow distance/arrow crossing

Digression (openings not directly related to the subject)

Automatic Canvas creation based on a specific note and it links (in and out) or common tags/folder as the local graphic could be awesome.

In interaction with Dataview for group/color/square updates depending on metadatas, it could be incredibly powerful.

There is a lot of other ideas that could be implemented to improve Obsidian’s use in scientific fields, I really think with time it can become a widely use software in laboratories !

Canvas core pluggin, Obsidian and it’s community are incredible tools, thank you devs and everyone participating in its development !

PS : I am not used to forums, sorry if I am not on the right topic or if something is missing.