Floating \ Pop-out \ Multiple windows of the same vault

(I was surprised that I didn’t see this already in the feature requets — apologies if I’ve missed it.)

It would be very helpful to be able to have multiple windows open operating on the same vault. At present it seems I’m limited to just one per vault, which is OK but somewhat limiting. Being able to split the window into panes helps, but I work with multiple monitors and it would be handy to be able to, e.g, put the preview of some note or the graph view on another monitor.

It looks to me like Obsidian is based on Electron - is that a limiting factor here? I know VSCode has this problem (not being able to create multiple windows) and apparently it’s baked into its architecture in a deep enough way that it’s hard to remedy — and it’s a real loss compared to “proper” IDEs such as JetBrains - or even emacs, which handles this perfectly well! So I hope Obsidian doesn’t fall into the same trap…


Unfortunately we have the same issue with VS Code here. As you can see, with all their engineering resources, it’s still a challenge.


I was afraid you’d say that. :-/

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It seems possible to open a subfolder in VS Code, but when you try to open the exact same folder twice, VS Code just refuses to open it. I guess they want you to workaround the issues with tabs and split editors.

The way I understand the challenge, the difficulty mostly comes with the request to directly drag a pane into another OS Window, which Electron sucks at. It’s very easy for native applications like IntelliJ and Google Chrome though.

So I’m not sure how much you want the “drag to new window” interaction part and how much you want the “just being able to open the same vault in multiple windows” part, but my gut feeling is that while both are difficulty, the latter is relatively easier.


I hear ya. (There’s a weird workaround you can do in VSCode where you open a new window, and do “attach folder to workspace” or something — but it’s very kludgey and unsatisfactory.)

Personally, I could happily live without dragging provided there was some way to send a pane to a different window. Of course, if you implemented that you’d get a constant stream of requests for dragging to be implemented. :slight_smile:


is it still possible to dedicate a window for the graph view for the working vault?


There is a bit of misinformation here.

VSCode actually does allow multi-window. Even dragging tabs between windows.

What is lost is the javascript / project context. This is crucial in VSCode for things like autocomplete, code analysis, debugging, etc.


I don’t see how this applies to Obsidian, which is just dealing with text files?

I would be very happy to have a v1.0 of this feature which added nothing but allowing multiple Obsidian instances looking at the same vault.


I simply expand the Obsidian window to cover two monitors. If I had the Terry Pratchett set-up, I could imagine having it across 4, or even 6. This gives the option for a lot of panes, many quite large.


There is a solution, put the vault into an empty folder, and open the folder as a new vault.
Then you have the same content in two vaults.


@wgrant wrote:

I would be very happy to have a v1.0 of this feature which added nothing but allowing multiple Obsidian instances looking at the same vault.

Agreed, though I think it would be worth thinking about how workspaceLayout (in .obsidian/config) is handled in that case: does each instance remember its own layout (hopefully yes), or is it going to be like the symlink kludge I describe below…?

@Dor wrote:

I simply expand the Obsidian window to cover two monitors

Glad that works for you, but that doesn’t work for me as my monitors aren’t set up like that: I use three screens, all at different resolutions; one of them is vertical, another is my laptop screen; I really treat them as separate displays, not just parts of one big one.

@spark wrote:

There is a solution, put the vault into an empty folder, and open the folder as a new vault.
Then you have the same content in two vaults.

And if I want three windows, I have to nest it three levels deep? And four? I’d call that a “deeply unsatisfying kludgey workaround” rather than a solution, personally. :slight_smile:

I think I did also try setting up a soft link to the folder and opening a second vault through that: still kludgey and would scale more easily than nesting folders — unfortunately it doesn’t work well because each instance shared its .obsidian/config, so when you save and exit, only one set of workspace layouts get saved (I guess the last one that closes).


This is really opening a new window with full UI into the existing opened vault.


I work on multiple monitors, and multiple virtual desktops, all the time.

I often need access to my notes content (a single vault) from all of those - or to edit multiple files side by side on different displays.

from what I can tell there is no way to do this.
(moved from my own request to this one)


Perhaps this could be implemented as a widget when the API comes out? The new page won’t have all the sidebars like in the native app, but you can choose the page you want opened and resize the widget however you like on which ever screen.

A “stay on top” mode would be nice as well if you’re working on a browser or VS code etc.

An additional feature could be you can still change to whichever page you want using the CTRL-O hotkey like usual on that widget.

For those that are more adept at coding, is this feasible?

It would be nice if we can double click on a note and it opens on a new window, kind of like how it is on Evernote or Bear.


It would also be useful for graph view window.

The representation of the local and global graph is inconvenient to use now, because in a small window, the signatures of the nodes overlap each other. If the graph window could be brought out separately, then this would make it possible to increase the scale and thus increase the readability of the graph.


Great, thanks a lot!
This’s worked for me.

It sounds like a good idea, thanks!
I just need to open some notes in preview mode in the other monitor as reference.
Having a workaround is better than having nothing.


Is you all probably know I am a daily user of Obsidian.
I am converting my whole existing workflow into Obsidian.

From that stand point I have a question:
Would it be possible to divide the Obsidian App over two physical screens?
If not:
Wouldn’t that be a great option to have?


Is this the same as Multiple windows on the same vault, or did you have something else in mind?

How do you keep thousand of request at the top of your head?

Indeed that seems to be the question.

Thinking of it:
Way don’t I create a copy of the Obsidian App in OSX and launch that?
As a workaround until the feature becomes implemented.

Should there be issues doing that?