Correlation link between notes

Hey guys, I need help please. I’m just starting with Obidian and I haven’t understood one thing yet.

When I create a new note, I can use the double square brackets to link to a new note, but the note is still empty and needs to be written to.
But what I want is the following: I want to fill a note with content. Then I write another note separately from this one. Content-wise, there is a correlation between the two notes that I want to come across later. Is there a way to create a connection between the two notes (also so that in the map of contents the lines are displayed) by highlighting a word that occurs in both notes, so that only because of it the connection between the two notes is created?

Thanks a lot. :slight_smile:

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I’ll make one more (somewhat trivial) example. I make a note that Olaf Scholz is the current Chancellor of Germany. Then I make a second note that I read in an article that Olaf Scholz was in France for a state visit. Since both notes have the name “Olaf Scholz” in them, I want these two notes to be connected on the graphs.

Just add double brackets around everything you want to make a link to. If the link target exist you’ll get a correct link right off, if the target doesn’t exist you can click the link to create another note.

Another note to mention is that if you’ve got a note on Olaf Scholz, and mention it in another note, you’ll be able to see it in a side page as an unlinked mention, which you can go to and create the link.

But is there a way to link two existing notes without creating a new one? And can I do that if they just share on same keyword but overall cover different topics?

A note links to a note. So no need to create a new note to link to the other note.

It you enter [[note b]] into “note a” you’ve created a link to “note b”, and there is a backlink from the second note to the first note. If you want an extra link you could also add [[note a]] into “note b”, and they’re linked both ways through both ordinary links and backlinks.

You don’t have to actually create (for instance) an Olaf Scholz note. It’s optional.

You can get a feel for it this way:

  1. Type Olaf Scholz in a note.
  2. Put brackets around it, like this: [[Olaf Scholz]].
  3. In Reading mode, hover over that.
  4. You’ll see a pop-up saying "Olaf Scholz is not created yet. Click to create."
  5. Don’t click on it.
  6. Also, notice how it’s in colored text, but dim colored text. Compare it to a link for a file that does exist.
  7. In a second note, repeat steps 1 and 2, and again don’t click on it.
  8. In graph settings (the gear icon on the graph), under “Filters”:
  • Turn off the “Existing files only” setting (so that non-existent files will display)
  • Turn on both “Incoming links” and “Outgoing links” just to be sure of catching it.
  • You might also want to turn on Arrows in the graph settings “Display” section. That lets you easily see whether a link is incoming, outgoing, or both. (Edited: having said that, arrows aren’t showing up on my graph at all right now for some unknown reason, so I can’t actually vouch for whether non-existent notes get arrows.)

But anyway, Olaf Scholz should show up on the graph even though there is no .md file for it. Hover over it in the graph and there should be two lines coming from it, one to each note you put [[Olaf Scholz]] in.

There is not any way to create a pure link between two or more notes which isn’t a note in itself. (update: I reckon a non-existing note link to still be a note link even if doesn’t exist yet)

In the example you gave, you need to have a note about “Olaf Scholz” to serve as the note linking the others together.

You could tag or declare this through Metadata as a special note, but it’s going to be a note.

The only other option as I see it is to use #OlafScholz as a tag creating a looser connection between the other notes. This can show up in the graph view, but it depends on other notes having that tag

Yes, makes sense, I would too. I hardly ever keep note links non-existent, though, so I have no feel for them. But yes, on the graph it will look just like a note.

That 's an interesting idea. Are you perhaps describing a concept map, where a relationship is defined between two notes? The only way I can think of doing is with Obsidian Canvas, but there are better tools than Obsidian for concept maps.

As stated before links needs to be notes (with the partial exception of tags), but given the possibilities to add groups to the graph view, you might get somewhere closer to your goal of showing correlated notes in the graph view, and also to distinguish them from “ordinary” notes.

Here is your example using these concepts, and few additional notes:

In the bottom half of this image, you can see the link you wanted to see. It’s currently shown with a blue node, since this is also the current node in the upper left window.

The content of the “Olaf Scholz” note could be almost nothing, and in my example this note and the “Oluf Schläfst” note they both contain just the frontmatter:

nodeType: link

And if you look in the Groups section of the Graph view I’ve used the search line: (nodeType link) which would select both of these notes, and I’ve given them the color of red. This way all my ordinary notes are grey as a default color, and the linked notes are red (except for the current note which is blue).

In the side panel to the right you can also see the linked mentions related to the “Olaf Scholz” note (and this panel will follow your currently selected file), and here you can see that both the known links are shown at the top (under the “Linked mentions” heading), but also that the not linked mentions where the name is just text is listed under the “Unlinked mentions”. This can be very useful to see unknown connections, and help you discover links which should have been there.

Lastly, using a tag like #OlafScholz has been mentioned before. The downside, with regards to the graph view, is that graph view will only show the tags of notes that it’s already displaying, and it’ll not extend the graph to other notes with the same tag. (Maybe a little unprecise wording, but the point is that there has been comments that one would like for the graph view to fully treat tags as proper nodes and used when looking for related connections and so on)

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Okay, thank you guys, that really helped me out. :slight_smile:

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