Formatting book notes

I’m having a devil of a time figuring out how to format by book highlights and notes, and I’m hoping that you kind folks can give me some tips.

Here’s some example output from one app: Bluefire Reader. The first line below the page number and date is the highlighted text; the second and subsequent lines are my notes.

Page 43 – 1/19/22
It seems possible that he retained them as a reminder of what he had mastered, as a measure of the distance he had come and the degree of control he had achieved.

Possible, but I disagree. More likely, he didn’t necessarily disagree with or wish to excise those sentiments from his soul, but had instead largely moved on from such thoughts as part of his active mind. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worthwhile to revisit them occasionally—perhaps precisely because such thoughts rarely presented themselves to him anymore.

More notes, to show that my notes can have paragraph breaks between them.

Page 49 – 1/20/22
it is impertinent to deny the existence of any phaenomenon merely because we cannot account for it

I think it would be useful to be able to fold each separate highlight, but I’m not too sure.

This is the format output by the book reader. It could be something else; anything I can convince RegEx to change it to.

Any suggestions? I’ll put what I’ve tried so far into the next comment.

What I’ve tried

Page 43 – 1/19/22

Quoted text

  • Bullets are a nice thought, but there’s a problem:

  • This isn’t really a separate thought which warrants a separate bullet. It’s just a second paragraph. Also, there’s no folding the entire subsection here.


  • Page 43 – 1/19/22

Quoted text

    • This maybe fixes the folding problem, but…
    • It’s got weird double-bullets, and still makes paragraphs into bulleted lists, which I don’t really want.

  • Page 43 – 1/19/22

Quoted text

Indents would be perfect, I think. 

 Buut…indents in Obsidian maddeningly turn into code blocks, which simply doesn't work. I really wish there was a way to turn this off. 

That’s all I got. Anybody else?

Are you looking for something like the following?

image

If so, this is how I formatted the markdown

- Page 43 - 1/19/22

	> Some highlight from the book

	- This does fix the folding issue, but only at the top list item

		The second paragraph in this thought is tabbed in under the preceding list item

	- Another thought related to the highlight
	
		With another paragraph related to this second thought   

Note that I use the legacy editor, I don’t like the live preview, so I’m not sure how LP might affect this.

In testing I was able to use one tab before the sub-bullet and two tabs for the related paragraphs. I was also able to use any number of spaces for the sub-bullet and double that for the related paragraph to get things to display as they do in the screenshot.

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If you insert heading markers before the page numbers, you should be able to fold each highlight. By “highlight” I mean the page number and date, highlighted text, and your notes all together as a unit.

So your example would become:

## Page 43 – 1/19/22
It seems possible that he retained them as a reminder of what he had mastered, as a measure of the distance he had come and the degree of control he had achieved.

Possible, but I disagree. More likely, he didn’t necessarily disagree with or wish to excise those sentiments from his soul, but had instead largely moved on from such thoughts as part of his active mind. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worthwhile to revisit them occasionally—perhaps precisely because such thoughts rarely presented themselves to him anymore.

More notes, to show that my notes can have paragraph breaks between them.

## Page 49 – 1/20/22
it is impertinent to deny the existence of any phaenomenon merely because we cannot account for it

and would fold to:

## Page 43 – 1/19/22
## Page 49 – 1/20/22

If you want the highlighted text visible, you could pull it up onto the same line as the page number and perhaps add a colon and highlight markers:

## Page 43 – 1/19/22: ==It seems possible that he retained them as a reminder of what he had mastered, as a measure of the distance he had come and the degree of control he had achieved.==

Possible, but I disagree. More likely, he didn’t necessarily disagree with or wish to excise those sentiments from his soul, but had instead largely moved on from such thoughts as part of his active mind. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t worthwhile to revisit them occasionally—perhaps precisely because such thoughts rarely presented themselves to him anymore.

More notes, to show that my notes can have paragraph breaks between them.

## Page 49 – 1/20/22 ==it is impertinent to deny the existence of any phaenomenon merely because we cannot account for it==

Aha! The secret was indenting the blockquote! That’s wonderful!

Though I don’t see how you used spaces. Any spaces I input just vanish in the preview.

And the editor, at least in the iPad client, is really wonky. What format things end up in seems to depend on what order I do the formatting in.

Plus, I can’t quite get the second paragraph indent you’ve got going. It keeps turning into the dreaded code block.

Very neat ideas. I’ll definitely remember these tricks. Thanks!

If you’re using live preview, things might be getting mucked up. As I state I use the legacy editor so the indentation might not trigger something that the live preview is doing.

In my example code block, I used tabs to indent, but spaces worked as well, as long as the quote/sub list was indented the same amount and then the related paragraphs were indented twice that amount.

Admonition blocks might work nicely.

And what are those?

Admonition is an Obsidian plugin:

obsidian://show-plugin?id=obsidian-admonition

Interesting, but it looks like it just reformats code blocks, while leaving them code blocks. Meaning that there’s no Markdown formatting within the Admonition code blocks, right?

You can have markdown code inside of the Admonition blocks.

I haven’t come across any mark down yet that didn’t work in an admonition block.

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