Ctrl+f behavior to mimic browsers

Use case or problem

Currently pressing ctrl+f to look up something in a note is a one-time action:

  1. Ctrl+f
  2. Type my keyword
  3. Enter to cycle through results
  4. Press ESC to edit
  5. Repeat

Upon repeat the ctrl+f search field is emptied! If I want to edit & repeat the same search query I have to type the keyword AGAIN, each time I make an edit.

eg. if I want to remove duplicate occurrences of a word, and it exists 4 times, I have to re-type my search query 4 times.

Proposed solution

Search queries should be remembered at least within the same not, preferably across Obsidian. When I type ctrl+f, it should open the search window with the last query still inside selected - this way I can either press enter to repeat my query OR type a new query without loss of function.

Obsidian already does this when the user performs the edit in step 4 with a mouse click instead of pressing ESC. The issue comes from the search query not remembering the input if it’s closed. Whereas standard behavior would be like the one in Chrome and other browsers, where my search query is remembered even if I press ESC to close it.

Current workaround (optional)

Currently search query is only remembered if the ctrl+f window is kept open (by using mouse to edit) and only within the same note. Mouse click provides a temporary solution but vault-wide query history still doesn’t work (unless I use search in all files).


Using Obsidian to browse information is rare though—hence auto clearing the search query when closing is justified and makes editing experience less cluttered and more peaceful.

The auto-closing of the search query field would still reduce clutter. Leaving the last query in fully selected would enable the users to type their new query replacing it immediately so in terms of use it wouldn’t add any extra steps. The “clutter” of the previous query is only visible for 1-2 seconds before the user types their new query.

I think it’s a good feature request. And blue_emperor, there’s no need to debate that. If you disagree, that’s ok, but “Using Obsidian to browse information is rare” is very much your opinion, not a fact.

@mzt based on what you said, maybe you aren’t aware of ctrl-h to bring up the find/replace menu. In that example you’ve given, if you are trying to replace multiple occurrences of a word, that is the better tool to use.

But yes, requesting the old search to remain is a perfectly valid request.

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Continuing the discussion of “Using Obsidian to browse information is rare”.

I think the feature request is valid in the context of browsing new information and there are several examples how Obsidian is used for that. Mobile quick capture is a planned feature on the roadmap which implies more emphasis on transferring information into Obsidian for further processing instead of Obsidian being a place for processed information. Second example is Omnivore community plugin which sync your read it later stuff with Obsidian. And third notable mention is shared vaults where the information you are seeing is not necessary familiar which can make Obsidian more browsing like experience.

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