Document existing keyboard shortcut to copy or cut paragraphs

Use case or problem

Want to quickly copy or cut an entire paragraph with a keyboard shortcut for later pasting elsewhere.

Proposed solution

Publish the existing solution in the official Obsidian Help file so users know this functionality is already native to Obsidian.

The existing method is: use keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C or Ctrl-X while paragraph is unselected and cursor is in paragraph.

Found out this functionality already exists in Obsidian, just isn’t documented, by finding an explanation in comment #5 (by malecjan) here: Hotkey for select curent line - Feature requests - Obsidian Forum.

**Edit: found out through Help docs that I can add to the Help docs myself, or otherwise propose edits, at obsidianmd/obsidian-docs: Help documentation for Obsidian (github.com)!

Current workaround

By good fortune, find and read the forum post mentioned above.

I am pretty sure that post you linked to is describing standard editing hotkeys. This is native to your OS, not to Obsidian. And it should work in any text editor, or text field like this forum, depending on which OS you’re using.

The nonstandard editing functionality in the original post is a bit buried, but it’s the ability to cut or copy an entire paragraph without selecting the text first that is specific to Obsidian. The OP mentions this in their 3rd bullet point:

“Whole wrapped line can be copied by Ctrl+C or cut out…by Ctrl+X when no text is selected.” [emphasis mine]

This feature is super-handy if you’re working with to do lists, as I’m doing in Obsidian (or if you’re a programmer, which is why I see this kind of functionality in programmer-leaning apps).

You can’t cut/copy unselected paragraphs by hotkey in a normal app in Windows. I double-checked right now!

For me it works even in simple Notepad in Windows 7 but there is certainly software where it is not standard behavior (for example Matlab).

To keep Obsidian documentation concise, it cannot document all common behavior of text editors. But this one is quite relevant to organizing knowledge - one of activities in Obsidian; and there are obviously many less experienced computer users who would benefit from learning this “trick”. ( I also discovered this behavior only two decades after my first encounter with computers.)
As @looper illustrates, the credit for knowledge goes to One who spreads it in appropriate places. So why not the One be Obsidian via it’s documentation.

If the documentation is well structured, then this short mention will not intrude/overwhelm other users who are not interested to read it. I guess it could be mentioned in some page about editing / refactoring of notes which could be interlinked with:

It would show up in results for search words like {copy, line, paragraph, select}.

Possible formulation:

# Reorganizing chapters, blocks, paragraphs, lines
...

### Moving current line/paragraph: 
... (add info about dragging)
To copy/cut current paragraph, place the text-cursor in the paragraph and press Ctrl+C or Ctrl+X while no text is selected. 

Yes, please do submit changes to the help docs using GitHub’s features. They will be reviewed before being implemented but it is the easiest way for the community to help shape Obsidian’s documentation.

I added an issue to github and I incorporated malecjan’s recommended phrasing. Thanks!

2 Likes