Generate a Footer Section to Show all Backlinks

As part of our quest for data resiliency, this would at least allow us to see the interconnections outside of the Obsidian app, should we ever need that. Having this might also ease importing to other backlink capable apps.

It could also provide an alternate view of our backlinks while using Obsidian, should we want to escape the sidebar for some reason.

I haven’t thought this through fully, but adding backlinks to the page could cause some undesired results if they are added as actual links (excessive circular references). It might just have to be representational data. Or be a plugin that only adds the backlinks when exporting for use outside of Obsidian.


I may be misunderstanding. You may be referencing to something I’ve requested (the option to have a note/file’s backlink list (panel) be viewed at the bottom of the current note to be more readable/feel more integrated in the note)

Or are you referring to a footer (format) section of text generated in the file that is a list of all the backlinks?

So it’s essentially the same thing as the backlinks panel, but instead of a preview of other files, it’s a copy of lines (and it’s note title) that contain the backlinks actually in the current .md file.

I’m not sure if the backlinks panel is solely a search/viewer in Obsidian (vs how much the backlink list/panel actually uses something contained in the files).

But I could see this a being useful for portability/longevity. Perhaps it could even just be something that’s generated and hidden in the file via something like "< p hidden > Copies of lines containing this backlink < / p > "

Good plugin candidate.

Yes @Fovea, that’s exactly what I’m proposing. I also really want your suggested option of repositioning the backlinks panel. But that wouldn’t provide any utility for someone who needs to export their notes and somehow preserve backlink information. I just also threw in the possibility that the footer section of thise plugin idea could maybe do double duty as an alternate backlinks panel. But as mentioned, that seems challenging, as it would likely pose too many issues with excessive linking.

In short, the main idea is that would generate markdown links and contextual data for all the stuff that normally shows in the backlink sidebar, and inject that markdown at the bottom of each note that is being exported.

Also, I would expect this plugin would have the option to convert all links to whatever destination standard they will be viewed in, so that everything can be navigated normally.

Yeah I’ve been wrapping my head around the Obsidian philosophy of portability, and there’s lots of power that Obsidian, as a browser/viewer/sorter of files, could bring to the point that it’s questionable if a particular use is actually portable anymore and thus should be embedded/copied (whether explicit or hidden).

For example, if you use the tags & backlinks panel to source all kinds of info onto “Great Places” note. “Great Places” file may only have reflective/commentary text in it, but the backlink’s aggregation (and ideally ability to save/set filters in the future) is what is actually pulling in the “content” make’s “Great Places” what it is, a list of lines from other files. In order to future proof the “Great Places” file & retain the actual function it had in Obsidian a text copy/embed of the header (or line UID pluggin :slight_smile: of the files/line that are being viewed in the backlink panel may be necessary.

I’m not sure if that’s ideal, but it does seem like a nice workaround for allowing more “particular/risky” plugins that the user knows isn’t super portable, but at least some of the plugins “function” gets copied into your file as a backup.

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I’ve seen github projects for other systems where backlinks were copied into the markdown file at the bottom inside a ## See Also or a similar heading with an outline of the backlink urls. If the backlink entries changed, then the section was re-created.

Could be a nice plugin in future for Obsidian. This as everyone has their own ideas how backlinks should be shown in Markup so maybe there’s place for multiple plugins or then a super-flexible plugin with a template model.


+1 for this. This would also help on mobile — any app that supports wikilinks like 1Writer would fully support backlinks if they were added in a section at the bottom of every note in the actual markdown.


I’m currently trying to get to work a similar solution. There’s Andy Matuschak’s script called note-link-janitor which scans your notes and attaches a section at the end. It works so far and the backlinks are visible (and clickable) in other apps such as 1Writer on mobile):

There’s also a modification of that script that handles notes a bit more flexible:

However, these only work with notes in the same folder. Andy mentions that the modifications for subfolders should be quite small, but that’s above my skills. Did anyone get the scripts to work on subfolders?

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I created a Github Actions workflow to automatically trigger Andy Matuschak’s note-link-janitor on every push to the repository (which contains all the md files).

This is useful if you’re using Obsidian alongside Github for version control of your knowledgebase. It works with Obsidian vaults out of the box

Using this means, your repo is maintained without the necessity of local cron-jobs or installation of yarn.

All you need to do is copy this workflow to the /.github/workflows/ folder.


@rajesh Nice! Great use of the Github Workflows feature.