Enable auto-renaming links in Obsidian API

Use case or problem

When you rename a file inside Obsidian, it automatically updates all the links related to the renamed file.
For example, if you rename “old.md” to “new.md”, all the links that look like [[old]] or [[old|alias]] will also be renamed to [[new]] or [[new|alias]].

This is the same for not only note titles but also block IDs (if you rename those IDs using right-click menu).

This is one of the most important core features of Obsidian, which makes it easy for us to connect our notes.

However, it is not implemented in the Obsidian API for plugin developers, if I understand correctly.
Indeed, Vault.rename only renames the target file. It doesn’t update the related links

As for block IDs, there is no equivalent to app.vault.rename for files.

So currently, it is not very simple to rename files or block IDs using the API.
Moreover, once a link breaks, it will be very difficult to recover the connection between notes.
Thus we need an officially offered way to rename files or block IDs safely.

Proposed solution

Renaming files

Add updateLinks parameter to the Vault.rename method:

rename(file: TAbstractFile, newPath: string, updateLinks?: boolean): Promise<void>;

If updateLinks == true, it automatically updates all the links related to file.

A similar change should be made for, e.g., DataAdapter.rename().

Renaming block IDs

Currently, there is no function to rename block IDs with or without automatic update of related links. So it would be nice if Vault has a method like

renameBlockId(path: string, oldId: string, newId: string, updateLinks?: boolean): Promise<void>;

that rename the ID of BlockCache (specified by path and oldId, like app.metadataCache.getCache(path).sections.filter((section) => section.id == oldId)) to newId , and if updateLinks == true, it also updates all the links in the vault related to the block.

Current workaround (optional)

Manually iterate over the app.metadataCache.getCachedFiles(), and for each cached file,
get the CachedMetada object by app.metadataCache.getCache(filename).
The returned object has links properties, so I can check those links one by one.

1 Like

wrong category, moved.

Thank you!

To update the links for file renames, you need to call app.fileManager.renameFile(file, newPath)

For the other cases, we don’t have an API currently.

1 Like

Wow I was totally missing this, thank you a lot for pointing it out!