Editing out of the box

Editing convenience in Obsidian is undoubtedly one of the best given its ability to decrease resistance in writing with the help of auto-updates of links, prompts and of course bi-directional linking. But the visual editing experience as such is not that convenient. It is necessary to mention that this isn’t another WYSIWYG feature request. At the same time I also think that this is not something which could be solved by CSS snippets.

Use case or problem

The concern is largely centered around the console in which one has to edit.

  • There are too many ribbons taking up a lot of space.
  • Restoring down the screen size although makes the text-width responsive but it is not so with the side containers
  • The collapse buttons are handy and do partially solve the issue with space but opening them when the screen is narrowed takes up unnecessary space.
  • The biggest concern however is being restricted inside the console. The notes are stacked inside the console and are not exclusive of each other when it comes to space(not storage space but space occupied on the screen) during editing. In other words it lacks the independence like that of a browser tab which can be fiddled around from one edge of the screen to the other. When I say browser tab then consider each tab to be opened in a new window and not all the tabs as being stacked in a single window.

To sum it up in a single sentence and for the lack of a better analogy I would say that the editing experience inside the console is reminiscent of display units with thick bezel.

Proposed solution

  • A browser tab like editing mode for each note in such a way that its space is not limited inside a dedicated console. This will give the user enough independence to determine where their notes should be placed(visually) while editing. Perhaps it will also provide room for opening another pdf or video in a browser in case the user is operating on a single screen.
  • A responsive and hamburger styled menu for navigation panel which opens when hovered over the button and slides out as one moves the pointer away. Which again saves space and eases the burden on the user’s eyes.
  • I have read quite a few discussions on the forum where there are many who are fixated on Typora’s editing experience. I do respect their views but I don’t think that we have to look that far because Dynalist does a pretty good job in keeping the editing environment clean and free from distractions. In fact the hamburger menu there could be added in Obsidian which would at least remove a ribbon thus breaking one wall of the box styled or rather gameboy styled editing experience.
  • Making each note independent of space(not restrained within a console) would also allow to remove the header title container since entering the file name can be pushed back into the navigation panel.
  • This final suggestion might seem very antithetical to the idea of Obsidian which being the users as the sole proprietor of their data. But given our necessity to back up data somewhere in the cloud be it Dropbox, Google Drive, Github etc it seems logical that Obsidian could have a web version which would make it more flexible as an editor.
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There seems to be a few feature requests in one here; it’s best to decouple requests as much as possible!

Some of your desires might be achieved with plugins and themes. The Minimal theme and its associated plugins provide the ability to hide much of the interface.

You also might want to look into the Obsidian Tabs, Maximize Active Pane, and the Fullscreen Focus Mode plugins.

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Are you asking for tabs

or are you asking for multiple windows

I am requesting for multiple windows of the same vault. Additionally I am also requesting for a navigation panel which doesn’t take up the note’s space when the note’s window size has been restored down to the least possible width. In such a scenario i.e. when the note width has been restored down to the minimum, it would be better if

  • the navigation panel appeared as popover hover


  • in the remaining area which the navigation panel doesn’t occupy when opened in the minimum possible width the note’s text displayed be 100% and not partial.


  • ability to detach the navigation panel from the main window. This is similar to detaching the dock panels in GIMP.