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:
- filename = title
I see this mostly coming from people looking for simplicity and using qualifying filenames.
- 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?
- Some related discussions:
Include filename (note title) in pdf export - #6 by JollyJumper
Use H1 or front-matter title instead of or in addition to filename as display name
Display customizable representation strings/icons instead of filename-only
Filename suggestion when create new file or rename filename
Plugin for keeping the filename and first heading of a file in sync