Fully transclude backlinks

Or more generally, you can embed backlinks section, like ![[tag#backlinks]].

My use case for this is that I use “tag files” rather than #tag, so it would be great that backlinks become the content of a tag file. It would be even better if you can embed a file’s backlinks section in other files, such as a “index page” for all tags.

That would be awesome!

Yes, I would also like this. I would like to place “[[ ]]” around concepts and then not go populate the concept’s note, but have the note autogenerated via the backlinks.

i.e. In note A I have a link like [[concept 1]], and the “concept 1” note is auto-created and empty. In note B I have a link for [[concept 1]] too. I’d like to have an option so that when I go to the “concept 1” note the two backlinks (with a bit of context) to note A and B show up in the body of the “concept 1” note.

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@Alex2357 you don’t need to create the note for that to happen though. If/when you go check concept1, the file will be created and you’ll be able to see the backlinks from noteA and noteB.

At least as I understand it (but maybe I’m missing something), yes I can see the backlinks in the sidebar panel thing, but not in the rendered “concept 1” note itself.

The functionality is there with some extra clicking like you’re (@argentum) is saying, I’m basically just asking if we can render that backlinks sidebar panel (or something like it) right in the note, with a template maybe like @zettx was suggesting

(I’m writing this response without having read this merged thread yet to see what it’s about, I’ll flip through it.)

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I copy some obsdn help info to Roam to compare what are the different.
bcz I don’t want use my own info to show public.

I found 2 important points.


In Roam
display all backlink info , without switch page to check it.

but in obsdn
display a piece of backlink info, have to switch page to check it.


In Roam
Allow edit backlink info , without switch page .

but in obsdn

Can’t edit backlink info, have to switch page.


Super convenient: plus plus!

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How serendipitous: more control over the context you can see in your backlinks is coming very soon!

Editable transclusions are in the cards, but I’m not sure if the devs have thought about editable backlinks. Thanks for the suggestion.


I know that now we can see more context in the backlinks pane, but still we cannot see the complete sentence right now. Is this feature still in the works? Thanks


+1. The problem with the backlinks panel hasn’t been resolved.

The backlinks pane is still one of Obsidian’s weakest points compared to Roam

Suppose there are some reading notes on a concept. Roam allows us to review at a glance all the mentions of a concept organized in an easily readable hierarchy. So we get the info organized around an idea for free, which seems like the main promise of backlinks.

Compared to that, Obsidian allows for some basic preview, but if we want to get a complete overview of the idea, it forces us to click on every mention, then search for the link in the newly opened pane, which is much more tedious.

Some thoughts on what needs to be done

  • I would imagine, editing here is much harder to implement than viewing, but in this case, viewing is 80% of the benefits for 20% of the effort
  • The backlinks panel should render every mention into pretty HTML. Raw text is hard to read, especially with no indentation and with sentences chopped off in the middle with ...
  • The context around each backlink should be structure-sensitive instead of length-sensitive. E.g.:
    • Visibility level 1: show the complete text block, however long
    • Visibility level 2: same as 1 + show the heading for the current block + show all the child list items if the link is inside a list
    • Visibility level 3: show all the heading (or file, if there are no headings) with its contents

This problem with backlink visualization is the ~ONLY~ reason I didn’t move from Roam to Obsidian yet.

I hope that in the near future, we can have better backlink visualization that shows the entire block within the reference.

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+1 for this because the new transclusion queries could me improved with this

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@Silver @Licat


Do you consider working on this feature in the future to better the visualization of the backlinks?

I love Obsidian and really want to incorporate it into my workflow, but without a clear backlink visualization, it is so difficult to use it /:

Thanks in advance for answering


I don’t if this response is most suitable here or automatic backlinking.

But as a person with who can identify as nerodivergent. I feel that the ability to “backlink to the original note” a link was made in" like in Roam, Athens, and others is not just a feature because “this is how I like things” but should be seen as a part of universal and/or inclusive design.

How is this the case, well for those who have challenges with working memory, processing speed, and other hinderinces as a result of ADD, ADHD, and other learning differences, “backlinking in this way” frees the mind, specifically working memory to be able to quickly trace back through one’s thinking. Not having to worry about where a note was placed, how you came to a particular idea, quickly copying and pasting the writings below a linked note into the linked note before one forgets, etc. In this way working memory is also unburden as it has less to munipulate and keep in mind for a short period of time.
I have found this to be the biggest hinderance in writing within Obsidian. Is my brain doesn’t trust the current backlinking structure to remind me of how my notes came to be or how they may be linked.

I have brought this up with @Licat, but also wanted to post here in case I haven’t already or haven’t been clear with my reasoning or usecase already.

Please do comment, or like if you have learning differences and irrespective of if you do or don’t if this makes sense and resonates with you! :slight_smile:

What I may be referring to is this: Auto-create new notes by linking to them and the above. Not sure anymore :wink:


Show hierarchical context (parent block/header) for each backlink (mention)

In backlinks section, when “Collapse results” is OFF, then show also the innermost block (or heading) under which the mention is contained.

Hierarchical context is often more relevant then the context immediately surrounding the mention, e.g. for list items in nested lists.

Use case

  • I could have [[taskXY]] mentioned in [[scheduled]] in chapter “”### 2020-12-24" which is included in chapters “# 2020” > “## 2020-12”
  • In backlinks for [[taskXY]] I would like to see not only “scheduled” but rather “scheduled > 2020-12-24” or “scheduled > … > 2020-12-24”.
  • the same should work when the structure is just nested list, without headers
	- 2020
		- ...
		- 2020-12
			- ...
			- 2020-12-24
				- ...
				- [[taskXY]]
			- ...

Other considerations

  • Showing full path of nested blocks (ancestors) might be needed in some use-cases (requested here.) But that would often require much more screen-space. It could be shown e.g. on hover or when “Show more context” is ON. In the example above it would be “scheduled > 2020 > 2020-12 > 2020-12-24”.
  • When the text is too long, then maybe hide the middle of text to maximize probability of showing the most relevant context. “Lorem ipsum … platea dictumst.” Showing only the beginnings “Lorem ipsum dolor sit …” might not be sufficient when a lot of blocks begins by the same text as a workaround of not being currently able to address nested structures within one file by means of “path”. (For example the schedule in the use-case above with many “2020…”.) But which part to trim from view, can be decided by checking uniqueness of the text within the tree of blocks in the file, for maximum informativeness of displayed content.

Existing implementations:

(for inspiration)

Related feature requests


Completely agree with this as a fellow neurodivergent. Thanks for explaining this so eloquently.

This is quite a popular thread. I understand there are certain things that you like in Roam that you can’t replicate in obsidian but you can’t always put your finger on it. Since this thread is important but is not going anywhere, I decided to split it up in multiple threads of actionable things.

I am not sure we can do all these things nor if we want to do all these things We’ll see.

  1. One of the first complains was that there wasn’t enough context. And we did add the option\button to show more context (more rows of text).
    (EDIT) We could do more:
    Show more context on backlinks and search panes
  2. Another idea is to show context in the form of hierarchical information (path->header->list?)
    Show heading title instead of note title in backlinks section
  3. Show backlinks (and search) in preview mode [not the source code].
    Display search results and backlinks in preview mode
    This has been eased a bit because you can use pop-up preview
  4. Show backlinks in preview mode and allow edit in place. This is likely gonna require wyswyg.
    Edit transcluded (embedded) notes (blocks) in place (likely requires WYSWYG first)
    A WYSIWYM (Typora-like) editing mode

Let me know if I missed something. Because I wanna close this and focus on the actionable parts.

  1. One of the first complains was that there wasn’t enough context. And we did add the option\button to show more context (more rows of text).

I want to be able to expand out context more, this still doesn’t feel like enough! It shows me like 2, maybe 3 sentences. Show more context in search results / backlinks