Compile Notes without deleting the original/alternative to Longform?

Things I have tried

I’ve tried using the Note Refactor and the Longform plugins. With the Refactor it deletes the original note and with the Longform plugin you have to put the note in one of the Draft folders which sort of messes with my own folder hierarchy.

I’ve also tried copy-pasting notes but that takes a long time.

Transclusion is what I had assumed would solve this, but transcluding a note only opens a “window” with a preview to another note, and when you try exporting to PDF or .docx it doesn’t work right.

What I’m trying to do

I’m looking for a way to compile/combine notes that at the same time keeps them up to date, so that when I change something in note X, that change would be transferred to a combination note, including notes X,Y,Z, etc.

If there’s something like this that doesn’t keep it up-to-date, but would let me just hit a button to combine, that would be fine.

I’m working on an academic paper, with several chapters, each with its own note. And some notes are in separate folders just to keep things a little more organized.

Does anything come to mind?
Thanks :slight_smile:

Just to verify…

You transclude note A into note B.
When you export Note B, you want the tranclusion included in the export exactly as it appears in Note B.

Is that correct?

I would just have the paper as a single file. Organisation and linking is easy with header and block links, and outline allowing headers to be moved. Also the Drag Blocks plugin can help. A file would be sufficient for a whole series of books.

For me I find it unwieldy to have a file that long. Especially because even with the plugin that remembers your cursor position, it’s annoying to have to keep finding your spot, when you’re doing something else in another note.
Thanks though :slight_smile:

Yes, exactly :slight_smile: If I export it directly to PDF, as far as I can tell, it works like this. The problem with that is that I can then not work with the text, like I could if it was a .docx file.

We must have very different workflows. I’ve never had a problem returning to cursor position. Multiple ways of automating it too.

The author of longform is looking at making changes so that you can select which folder you want to work with, instead of requiring them to be in “Drafts”. (Although, you can select a folder other than “Drafts” to be a project file, and the subfolders don’t have to be named draft 1, draft 2, etc. But it does limit you (currently) to just two folder levels.

What problem are you having with transcluded notes? I just did a quick test using Pandoc to convert the “master” note to a docx and the transcluded notes are all properly embedded.

When I transclude a note into another note, it shows up as a sort of window, where you have to scroll inside that window if you want to see more than the first paragraph or so. When I export that note (with the transclusion inside) to .docx with the Pandoc plugin, I get a Word file that only includes the title of the note that’s meant to be transcluded, not any actual content of that latter note.
When I export it to PDF I get that first paragraph or so that also shows up in the note itself; but no more than that (meaning not the rest of the note).

I’ve been working in Legacy mode because the Better-word-count plugin and one other that I use don’t work in the new mode yet, but I also tried switching to Live-mode but the same thing happened.
Any ideas?

On the AppStories podcast, they mentioned the Export Markdown with Embeds: An Obsidian Plugin to Compile Documents with Embedded Notes that does just what you’re asking for.

When the Export Markdown with Embeds plugin is run, it swaps the contents of any linked notes into the note that you’re exporting. This makes it easy to to create a note that serves as a table of contents of embedded notes for navigating between sections of a long document. You can use Obsidian’s built-in preview functionality to read the full document in the app or use Export Markdown with Embeds to export it as Markdown-formatted text.

I think it requires a MacStories membership to download and install.

That looks interesting, thanks :slight_smile:

Hmm. That’s not the behavior that I see. I see the “window” for the transcluded note, as you say, but when I use pandoc to create a docx, I get the full notes that were transcluded, as expected.

I tested with a brand new vault to make sure that I didn’t have some other plugin or setting that was affecting it, and with a fresh vault with just the pandoc plugin installed, it works just fine.

Maybe you have another plugin that is interfering with it?

What platform are you on? I’m on a Mac.

I just turned off all the plugins aside from Pandoc and all snippets, but had the same results . . .

In the meantime I have found a snippet on these forums called “Clean Embeds” that render the entire transcluded note in Preview mode, which is cool. This works for PDFs at least :slight_smile:

I’m on Linux Mint.