Footnote Shortcut

Use case or problem

I use Obsidian to take school notes, write essays and so on, and I find myself needing to add frequent footnotes. Currently, to add a new footnote, I need to:

  • scroll to the bottom to check how many footnotes I already have
  • type [^n] in the body of the note, where n is the next number
  • move to the end of the note, type [^n] again, and then add my citation.

Proposed solution

It would be convenient to have a shortcut to automate these steps. In particular, I envision that the shortcut would:

  • using the smallest natural number n that has not yet been used for a footnote, add [^n] at the insertion point
  • add [^n] to the end of the note, and move the insertion point there.

Since I began using it a few months ago, I’ve found Obsidian to be an incredibly useful tool. Thank you to those who are working to make it even better!

2 Likes

Agreed, this feature should be handy to users heavily relying on footnotes.

Also, I don’t think there’s an easy solution to do this using other apps, e.g. a text expansion or a scripting app. It would be best to implement it as a core functionality of Obsidian, or as a third-party plugin.

I use a template for this, you actually don’t need to number footnotes at all, and you don’t need their

  • declaration [^1]
    and
  • definition [^1]: content
    separate.

if you insert ^[content here] inline with your text the footnotes auto-number based on the order in which they appear in the text top to bottom.

With the content inside the footnote itself, it still displays EXACTLY the same as the method you’re using.

Hell, I even embed links in my footnotes like this: ^[[[Here is a note]]] and it works just the same other than this minor issue in edit mode: First link in footnotes is not properly recognized

the template I insert for this is just called: fn.md with the contents of ^[] and that’s all I do for easy footnotes :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Thank you! ^[content] is much better than my current method, and in most situations (especially once the bug in edit mode is fixed) I can imagine it being better than the hotkey I suggested. I plan to start using it.

With that said, there are still situations where it’s useful to be able to quickly put things in footnotes at the bottom of a note. I spend most of my time in edit mode, and things get a bit hard to (visually) parse if URLs, lengthy asides, etc. are encoded in the body of the note.

This is just a feature that I was surprised not to find among the hotkeys in Obsidian’s preferences, as it seems pretty simple to implement.