Freelinking

Would it be possible to add support for freelinks?

I.e. if I have a note called “chocolate” and the in another note type “I like chocolate” then a link would automatically be added to “chocolate” even without me adding [[.

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+1
Or maybe something like “forward links” which works like backlinks and checks for connections/ links that haven’t been made in the document yet.

This would be a gamechanger in creating connections between ideas digitally and mentally :slight_smile:

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Is this not what unlinked mentions are?

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unlinked mentions work for back-linking --> was this note mentioned elsewhere?

Something similar for forward-linking would be: Is this note mentioning another (unlinked) note?

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In the example in the first post, an unlinked mention would show a mention in the “chocolate”-note, but a freelink would link to the “chocolate”-note from the “I like chocolate” by making the word “chocolate” clickable.

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Ohhh, I see what’s going on.

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I’d like to have this, but activated by button/shortcut. On click it should highlight all words/sentences that are found in titles&headers of other files. You can click on the highlighted word to go to that other note/header (shift+click to open in new panel). It will create just temporary layer of highlights/boxes around words, not permanent [[links]]. On the right of each highlighted word/sentence will be [:link:] button if I want to [[link]] that word for future use.

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Yes. This seems like it would be a processing load once you have any real number of notes. Do we really want the program searching every note header for every word you write in real time? (hint: I don’t :wink:) That load would be constant while editing. Much better if you had a button/shortcut so you could run the process only when you were interested.

It is always good to remember that there is cognitive value in thinking about your notes rather than having the answer generated for you - the process of recalling that you have a note called chocolate reinforces your mental connections even if it was through the unlinked mentions.

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DEVONthink does this brilliantly. If Obsidian had the same capability, this would be indeed game-changing, as they say.

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Is “freelinking” an established name? I know this use case (and I even suggested it) but I didn’t recognize it by this title.

This was my original suggestion on the Discord server: https://discordapp.com/channels/686053708261228577/694234638649917513/698610687592759357

Quote:

Inline unlinked reference detector. Basically as you type, Obsidian tries to detect if you’ve just type an unlinked reference to an existing note and prompt you to create a proper link. For example, as you type “peanut butter” an inline suggestion pops up and with Enter “peanut butter” is automatically replaced with [[peanut butter]]. If you keep typing nothing gets replaced. Plugin and disabled by default.

I would call it “potential links”. Not sure if that’s more clear than “freelinking”.

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I think it’s that’d be a nice plugin. But I read the request here as slightly different;

In the Backlink panel we currently have “Links to this note from other places”:
Backlinks = list of active links to this note you’re viewing
Unlinked Mentioned = list of mentions of the note you’re viewing (option to create link)

and to add another section:

Link to other notes that are contained in this note:
Backlinks = list of active links contained in this note
Unlinked Mentions = unlinked mentions of notes that exists

2 Likes

@bernardo_v Curious about how Devonthink does this - I’ve been a user for over a decade and while their search engine is very very good I’m not aware of any functionality that suggests note links while you are editing? Is there something I don’t know about?

In my opinion it doesn’t have to (nor should it) be real-time but done once the note is saved.

1 Like

I don’t know the correct term but I’ve seen “freelinking” used among wiki applications. I’ve been using a plugin for Tiddlywiki called this with that functionality.

Yep. Maybe a something similar to the current backlinks implementation on the sidebar would work.

@Gnopps it is a TiddlyWiki plug-in.

@Silver your “peanut butter” proposal is slightly different from the TiddlyWiki “Freelinks” plug-in in that it gives you a choice whether you want to create that link or not. Freelinks automatically marks a word as a clickable link in the Preview/Read mode, though in the Edit mode you can add the [[ ]] if you want to have it visible in that mode.

The limiting aspect of both proposals is that for multiword titles the plug-in relies on you using the exact correct combination of those words.

I prefer your proposal for a plug-in.

1 Like

Hi Gene @greasemonkey, I was talking abou the automatic wiki links. I understood the original request as something along the lines of the auto wiki links.

Here is a brief description of how I use this feature. Perhaps it could help in the discussion.

@bernardo_v An Alias is not the same as Freelink. With an Alias you still have to use a link while you’re typing, so you have to know beforehand what you’ll put in the link brackets. With Freelink the idea is that you just type as normal, and without realising it you have a word or a combination of words that actually correspond to a note title, which Freelinks picks up and marks so your attention gets drawn to it, the idea being you stumble on a serendipitous discovery.

I never said they are the same.

What do you mean by this? Double brackets? If so, then that is not the case in DEVONthink nor in VoodooPad.

Aliases are precisely for this purpose. If you are using aliases, then you will know if you typed the title of a note or any of the aliases of that note.