Creating 'sub-links' when creating internal links

I am importing a database of authors and texts into Obsidian. See example below:

[[Wright, O.]] [[New Zealand 1826–1827 from the French of Dumon d’Urville (1950)]], Wingfield Press, Wellington.

[[Wright, Harrison M.]] [[New Zealand 1769–1840. Early Years of Western Contact (1959)]], Harvard University Press.

[[Yate, William]]. [[An Account of New Zealand (1835)]].

[[Yen, Douglas E.]], [[‘The Adaptation of Kumara by the New Zealand Maori’ (1961)]], [[Journal of the Polynesian Society]], Vol. 70 (3), pp. 338–348.

The list I’m working with is massive. It features hundreds of sources (I had to use Excel to format the database into tags en masse so that it didn’t take me hours).

I want to know if there is a way I can make each author’s newly-created note (e.g., [[Yen, Douglas E.]]) also internally link to that author’s respective book or article, saving me the labour of clicking open each new note and writing those links myself.

What I’m asking is whether there’s a feature that allows me to write something like, say:

[[Yen, Douglas E.>>'The Adaptation of Kumara by the New Zealand Maori' (1961)>>Journal of the Polynesian Society]]".

Here, “>>” would tell Obsidian to create a new ‘sub-link’.

I’m imagining that such a feature would, in one go, produce three notes:

  1. The first note (author),
  2. A second note (article) linked from the first note,
  3. A third note (journal title) linked from the second note.

To make it clearer, imagine note #1 containing one link only, #2 containing exactly one link and one backlink, and #3 containing one backlink only.

Does that make sense? Thanks!

1 Like

Probably your best bet is to save your Excel as a CSV and use Python (or similar) to convert it to a all the notes you want. I’m not aware of any pre-built ways to do this. One challenge is going to be when you have multiple articles written by the same author or articles in the same journal. Might be easier to do this part in Excel if you’re not good with Python.

Hmm, how would I create these ‘sub-links’ (as such) in Excel?

I’m sure it’s possible if someone wrote a custom plugin for it, but I don’t think you’re going to see it. I do it just like you’re showing in your first example. I create links for the authors names in a paper and then from the author page you can look at “Unlinked Mentions” in the sidebar and click a button to link all the other times the author was mentioned. I also use aliases to normalize when an author ends up with a different initial or way to write their name. That way I can link to a single note that is the author.

eg. concat(a1," ",a2), etc to make the correct three columns you need for each note. If you’re not skilled with Excel or Python then you might have to do this manually

Oh, yes that’s the method I used to create the links en masse. My question pertains more to how to connect notes with one another without having to click on those notes and type the links first…

I can see such a feature being easily made with a script or macro of some sort, but I don’t have the requisite know-how.