Copy blocks from backlink pane

Use case or problem

Here is the situation:

  • I am doing research work, with multiple (a lot of) literature notes.
  • Let’s consider one permanent note to which multiple literature notes are linked.
  • I open the permanent note, with the backlinks pane open in the right sidebar, and all the content from the literature notes.
  • Sometimes, I think that what I wrote in the literature notes is good, and I just want to copy it or just modify it a little bit.

Thus, I would like to be able to drag the “block of content” from the backlinks into the note, as followed:

Now, when we do this, we simply drag the link of the note corresponding to that backlink.

Proposed solution

Solution 1:

Proposed solution would be to copy the content of the “block” on which the mouse is. In this way, we can drag the note if we want, but we can also drag any block of content we want.

Solution 2:

Solution 2 would be to use the block reference when we drag and drop rather than copying the text

Current workaround (optional)

If you want to achieve this from now, either

  • You write again the content of the backlink context (super inefficient)
  • You open the backlink, copy, come back to the initial note, paste (super inefficient)

Related feature requests (optional)

6 Likes

Similar request (to copy whole note instead of just context):

Continuing the discussion from Paragraph-level backlinks?:

I’ve been asking for help about backlinking in another thread (and was promptly put on the right track by the lovely people of this forum). Following on from that discussion, I’m now wondering about an additional functionality for backlinks that does not currently seem to be available.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could drag and drop (or copy and paste) blocks of text directly from the backlink pane (or “Linked mentions” section) into the main body of a note? It would be immensely useful, for instance, to be able to quickly grab quotes from linked literature notes in this way, instead of having to navigate back and forth between notes.

Could a plug-in accomplish this at some point in the future or is this unlikely because Obsidian is based on pages and not blocks, as was pointed out in the linked thread?

(Changed title from “Backlinks context drag and drop” to the clearer “Drag & drop blocks from backlink pane” used by the post I just moved here (changed “and” to “&” to avoid duplicate title).)

The related drag-to-link request mentioned above has been implemented (on desktop only :frowning:), so it seems unlikely that this request will be. But I think a context menu entry would be nice, and that would also allow the related whole-note request.

In the meantime, a possible workaround is to use the drag-to-link feature and add an exclamation point to change the link to an embed. EDIT: Actually, that would embed the whole note; you’d then have to add a block link.

2 Likes

Many thanks, CawlinTeffid, for merging my (identical) request. Let me just reiterate that I would really welcome this feature. In fact, having to do without it makes me contemplate switching to Logseq, which (as someone on this forum pointed out to me and I have since been able to see for myself) does all of this beautifully. Having said that, I really like Obsidian and would much rather stick with it. Here’s hoping they’ll get to it eventually…

Changed title again, from “Drag & drop” to the more generic “Copy”, to allow more freedom of implementation (and because I really don’t think this is going to replace the existing drag & drop behavior).

Another interface idea besides the context menu would be to make the preview text selectable so we could just copy and paste.