Excel and .csv to .md conversion on pasting

Use case or problem

  1. Copy a selection of cells in Excel.
  2. Paste into Obsidian
  3. It is now formatted as a markdown table. Maybe even with column alignment markers.

Proposed solution

Add a handler for table like data that converts the table into a (nicely formatted?) markdown table.
Right now it just pastes the text version.
This keeps the storage of obsidian pure markdown, and seems to be a nice place to add the interface.

Additional sources can be Open Office, .csv files, etc.

The reverse (copy md table to paste into excel) already works.
Maybe copy-paste into a finder or file manager pane could create a csv file there but I’ve not seen that before.

Current workaround (optional)

Paste, and add all the table stuff myself.

Related feature requests (optional)

15 Likes

Have a look at https://www.convertcsv.com/csv-to-markdown.htm - as an interim workaround, this does what you’re asking (try copying cells from Excel or Google Sheets and pasting them in the top box). Also nicely illustrates how it should work in Obsidian.

3 Likes

Yes, this should be basic functionality…even Typora app is doing this amazingly.
Actually that is my workaround: EXCEL > TYPORA > OBSIDIAN

6 Likes

Vote+1
I have a similar problem, hope to be able to embed Excel and other formats.

I’d love to see this at some point as well. Really helps with scientific tasks.

Thanks @den for the Typora tip. I’m using Typora for image handling as well, since it pastes images without spaces in the filename. Makes markdown references much simpler

Another intermediate for workaround here : Convert Spreadsheet to Markdown · Table to Markdown

1 Like

I learned the other day that you can drop an spreadsheet file right into Obsidian and it’ll make a working link that opens it. Not super deep integration, but it’s quite nice.

1 Like

+1. This would really be super useful.

My current workaround: Visual Studio Code with a CSV To Markdown extension.

Can’t you just skip the Obsidian step here? If you open the final file in Typora and do the conversion there, does Obsidian even need to enter the equation?

I want to scratch with one hand…

This is one of the main advantages of Obsidian. It has a portable and interoperable storage format, so you can easily combine it with tools that were designed to work well for a specific task.
For instance, I would not expect Obsidian to ever have the text manipulation power of something like Sublime Text, but since it can open the same files, they can work together in harmony.