Display filenames vs titles - trying to summarise the discussion and to suggest an overarching solution

Hi all,
Reading through the forum, I have seen various discussions & proposals around the way Obsidian uses filenames vs note titles*. If my understanding is correct, no solution has been found so far that would satisfy all users. I will try to summarise the discussion on a high level, without claiming to be complete or 100% correct. Comments welcome!

There seem two main approaches / use cases:

  1. filename = title
    I see this mostly coming from people looking for simplicity and using qualifying filenames.
  2. title defined in document, either as H1 or as YAML title.
    I see this mostly coming from the Zettelkasten side.

Today’s situation from the “filename=title” side:

  • Problem: filenames=titles are missing in the PDF export; hence the title is not printed out.
  • OK: filenames are shown on top of included notes; hence the title is shown correctly (only once) here.

Today’s situation from the title=H1 or YAML side:

  • OK: titles are included in the PDF export and printed out.
  • Problem 1: filenames and titles are shown twice in included notes
  • Problem 2: the title needs to be maintained within the note. For those using qualifying filenames, a plugin exists, but IMO this should not be necessary. For those using Zettelkasten, this could be a feature rather than a bug.

It seems to me that the current workarounds are not really solving the issue:

  • Repeat the filename in the first line of the note (as done by the plugin ‘Filename Heading Sync’ and ‘Page Heading from Links’) - the double inclusion issue stays
  • CSS code suppressing the display of the double filename in included notes - I don’t see ready-to-use CSS code, and it should not be necessary to use custom code to adjust a core functionality.

May I suggest the following solution:

  • Step 1: Obsidian looks at notes and find out whether a H1 or title is present, then
    • no H1 or title present → use filename as title
    • H1 or title present → use H1 / title instead of filename
  • Step 2, for PDF exports: Obsidian adds title at the top of any PDF export
  • For note inclusions, no change would be necessary in my view as there would be no double display for ‘filename=title’ users and as I understand that Zettelkasten users either prettify their link [[...|...]] or will want to see the filename so they know which file is being referenced.
    In my understanding, this should solve both needs, and would require no specific preference setting?

I appreciate the post but I don’t think we need yet another thread about this topic. It’s better to keep the discussion in the relative threads.

I do not agree with your assessment. The prior threads address only parts of the question, everyone from their own needs’ side.

I think the H1 or front-matter thread pretty much covers it. You can add your comments about exporting the title to pdf there too.