Footnotes are broken

There are so many things happening with footnotes that shouldn’t, I don’t know where to start with reporting a bug. The main thing though: simple footnotes don’t work at all.

I’d expect them to link to a reference at the bottom of the page, but nothing gets linked and the reference is just plain text. If the reference of the first (simple) footnote is nothing but a link, the reference doesn’t even show up.

Inline footnotes are less broken, but the formatting is still wonky.

I’m using the AppImage for Linux.


Please read in the help vault how to format your notes and footnotes.
If still have issue please report one issue per bug report with a screenshot in the help vault and search before posting

Oh, I did find the help pages (the footnote section is here: Format your notes). I wouldn’t have known inline footnotes were a thing otherwise. But I’ll post new separate reports tomorrow. Bed time first though.

You should put [^footnote1]: instead of [footnote1]: near the end of your text. I.O.W. the marker at the beginning of the footnote text must be exactly the same as the marker for the footnote callout (reference).

TL;DR - Please advise if I should report the issue I note in point 3.

Oh, man… I’m, again, not sure where to start with this one. My attempt to make a footnote has been an unexpected emotional journey, and for a large part due to my own stupidity, but also because I was thrown off my game a little. For a good long while I missed the ‘little’ detail (the size of a barn) that was not including a caret in the footnote’s callout. That was stupid and entirely my own mistake. Though I did figure that out before I went to bed, I still want to thank @pop for pointing my mistake out and for giving the footnote callouts a proper name. :slight_smile:

So, what threw me off?

  1. I’m completely new to Obsidian. I’ve downloaded and used it for the first time less than a handful of hours before. I’m not yet fully aware of what to expect from this program. And it did occur to me that a bug like this should not be expected—quite a few of people use Obsidian for a whole lot longer than I have and there was no report of a basic feature like footnotes behaving this kind of badly—but, I’ve seen weirder things happen.

  2. Something you couldn’t have known: I’m struggling with my keyboard. Number keys 6 and 8 between the letter keys and the F-keys do not work. Luckily the numbers themselves are also available on the numpad, so is the asterisk, but not the caret. The only way for me to type a caret is to type [CTRL]+u, 5e, and [SPACE]. Because I need the caret so infrequently, I wasn’t sure whether I needed to enter character code 5e (^) or 2c6 (ˆ). These two characters are very similar, but different. With hindsight, I should have known which one to use, but I didn’t. Since both didn’t work, the likelihood of a bug in the software increased in my mind.

  3. At the time it looked like Obsidian did seem to recognize I was trying to make footnotes, but handled them incorrectly. As shown in the screenshot, Obsidian formatted (incorrectly entered) callouts in the source pane differently than regular text—they are indented and displayed in a different color. On top of that, if the first callout (again, incorrectly entered) is nothing but a URI, it disappeared completely. So, in my mind, Obsidian knew I was making a footnote, but handled it incorrectly.

    Note: It seems that when a line starts with text in brackets, but isn’t a properly formatted footnote callout or task list item, Obsidian can’t decide what to do. In the Edit pane it isn’t displayed as regular text, or as a callout, or as a tasklist item; in the Preview pane it might not be displayed at all.

  4. The help vault. I don’t think I’ve ever been helped by in app documentation. Documentation either refers to documents online, and/or is incredibly over-complete and technical (I’m looking at you, GNU man) it’s of no use either. Also, with me being this new to Obsidian, I wasn’t even aware there was an in-app help vault, so the term ‘help vault’ wasn’t clear to me. I even wondered for a moment whether they meant the ‘Help’ section here on this forum. Anyway, the thing that pointed out the missing caret was that in the help vault footnotes were displayed correctly, surprisingly.

And then, after all that, I realize a moderator yanked my report out of the “Bug reports” section of the forum and throws it into the “Bug graveyard” with a response that can be translated to: “dude… RTFM,” which isn’t their typical response, (not even to other user stupidity,) while Obsidian really is acting weirdly. I have to ask, @WhiteNoise, did you see my mistake but didn’t say anything about it, or did you advise me to consult the manual without noticing any irregularities?

So, yeah, that’s my Obsidian journey so far.

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With still more hindsight: since your v and c keys apparently still are working, you could copy the caret from a file and paste it into your text.

I’d advise to wait with bug reporting until you are more confident with using the software. When you’re stuck, you’d better post a plea for help; someone will be bound to notice your blunders and might still remember that he or she stumbled at the same spot.

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