Graph View: link with mouse

When meditating on a graph view and found some new links would be great to create or remove links just with mouse. Obviously link location in file depends on particular user common structure but maybe just put references in a first line.

12 Likes

I like this idea; however, I’m not entirely sure as to how it would modify the content of the markdown files. For this one to work, I think that other request below is somewhat related.

Possibly related:

I would love to be able to drag from an existing node to create a new link - either to another node or to a new node, which would create a new file/note. This would be similar to TheBrain, which is a mostly graphical approach to notetaking/knowledge management.

The issue with this is where to put the link. It seems to me that a YAML field such as "links: ", which lists all the links that are contained in the current file, would be an appropriate solution to this problem. You could then just create “non-text”/relational links between the files - either from dragging on the graph or right in the note.

I have also created another feature request for link attribute YAML fields, which could have all sorts of interesting uses.

4 Likes

Problem

As for me, it’s quite uncomfortable to connect notes using only links in text editor.

Solution

Sometimes I realize that I should create links only when I observe my notes in a graph view. And that’s why I propose to allow users to create links between notes right in the Graph View. For examle - clicking on the note with holding alt, and dragging cursor to the other note creates a link between them.

11 Likes

+1

Interesting idea.

I would love this feature as well

I would like this very much as well…

My use-case :

  • I add a lot of notes from conferences. Lots of types exist like small jots, research ideas, quotes etc… 50 to 100 at a conference is no exception.
  • I would generate a conference landing which links to research, quotes, exhibit and potentially a few others.
  • I would search in the graph view on notes from the time window of the conference.
  • I would sort all notes by grabbing the nodes on-top of the conference landing sections.

As an (ex)-user of PersonalBrain (I’m now completely moved over to Linux), I can confirm… the ability to dynamically/real-time link content in the graph view is extremely useful.
Just downloaded Obsidien yesterday and am working through intro videos and blogs to get the terminology etc. right and this jumped straight out as a (for me) significant limitation.

Hope it gets on the roadmap - soon
Steve

Use case or problem

Creating connections between nodes from the graph view alone, without editing notes.

Proposed solution

I would like to create a link between notes if I am dragging one node closer to another. Maybe by pressing “alt” while doing that, a nice line between them would show up, implying the creation of a new connection? Here’s a GIF for visualization - https://imgur.com/a/CfFozW5

Or, instead of relying on distance between nodes, we can just have a possibility to delineate a line from the node in whatever direction we want. There is a similar function in After Effects, called a pick whip, here’s a GIF showing how they have implemented it - https://imgur.com/a/QogP0Cs.
You can connect together any two elements or specific values using that (and I love the backwards animation, when it’s wiggly).

So I think it’s not a big deal to implement, and it would improve the UI a little. I often like to concentrate on my graph view more then on specific notes. Any one of the proposed systems would improve my current workflow.

Current workaround

Click the node (with ctrl+click to open in a new tab, so the graph view does not go away) → enter another note’s name in [[square brackets]]. Lots of clicking and typing!

Related feature requests

Another great possibility of that function would be to create weak links this way/press some key combination to differentiate between the type of a link created, so it’s not only a strong link between every node. There is a similar topic already:

2 Likes

If you used the mouse to connect two notes, where would that link be stored?

Links are generated by adding text links or tags in the note body. If you used the mouse from the graph view, that text structure would have to be added to the note somehow. How would you choose where? At the top? At the bottom?

Otherwise, it might be implying that links be stored as some kind of database/metadata somewhere other than in the note body. And that seems against how I view the data storage of Obsidian working. Can you imagine any suggestions?

I like the idea of that kind of slick user interface though. I sometimes work in the 3D software Sidefx Houdini, which is a node-based graph. And it has some incredible UI for adding links, adding nodes, or severing links. For example, when holding down the ‘y’ key, and dragging across a connection or multiple connections, it cuts it.

(But again in Obsidian, the consequences of doing something like that would mean it would edit your text, in potentially unwanted ways.)

Thanks for replying! You’re right about unwanted edits in notes as a result of this function, haven’t thought of that.

For now I can imagine only two options:

  • You would have an option to establish where the links created this way would be placed in the notes, potentially the easiest ones would be at the very start or the very end of the note. Or there can be some kind of placeholder command, which would essentially say “place links created by dragging here”. Or it would be just forced at the very beginning by default.

This isn’t ideal, but for me it would be okay to eventually edit the notes later if I don’t like the link placement – quickly connecting dozens of nodes via mouse drag is still a good bargain for that. Also, this wouldn’t be a problem if the note was created this way, for example by pressing some key and dragging the mouse from a specific node. Then the links would just be the only text present in the note.

  • Second option would be a little more drastic and complicated – maybe it would be useful to change the links system a bit, by adding some kind of new panel into notes? For example placing a separate textbox at the bottom/side of the note, which would be used specifically for creating links? Or just generally, to somehow exclude the area for links.

Instead of addings links in [[brackets]] inside the text note (which could still be an option, but not the only one), you could then just write the name of the note inside this textbox/area, choose a desired note from the dropdown menu, and it would work as a hyperlink (much like it is now). Then the links created by mouse drag would just be added there automatically. I know this is a radical change and may be hard to implement, but that’s what I have now.

Maybe there is some better way around it, if anyone would even find the option useful. But like you said, nice user interface would help with the experience and it would lower the entry threshold of learning the software. Shortcuts for specific functions (like your ‘y’ for cutting) could be implemented, or some “tools” like in video editing programs could be added in a sidebar, to link/cut/create new nodes… I see potential in this idea.

Use case or problem

I would like to be able to create notes in the graph view, this way I can create notes that are already linked to an existing note easily in a visual way.

This way one could select an existing note in the graph and create a linked empty note via a shortcut or somekind of right click menu.

Proposed solution

Manually create the note and add manual linking.

Are any developers / coders exploring option to create links from within Graph?

Hypernotes by zen link ( free trial) has very clever ability to do just that. A blue dot appears next to page icon in graph and can be used to drag a link to any other page. Makes it very easy and natural to identify and create networks links.

The application is web based and I wish to stick with Obsidian and keep my data on my server/computer but the linking option is really useful.

2 Likes

I just startes usin obsidian i tried this i thought obsidian already has it :joy::joy:

I have tried The Brain 12, and got really impressed by it could generate bidirectional links in the notes just by dragging and connecting the nodes of the notes in graph view, so I wonder if obsidian could provide such function。

The title of this feature request cannot reflect it’s actual feature request intention, as I have searched for the topic and cannot find one. Maybe you can make my request a alias to this one instead of simply closing it, since others might using the keywords that could lead to my instead of this one.

1 Like

Your previous thread does link here now. Adding your comments to this discussion helps as well. :+1:

I thought this was already implemented in Obsidian when I first learned about Obsidian. I really want this feature because it is very helpful for creative process to be able to link different notes in graph view, instead of having to manually put text link inside the notes.

Currently graph view only seems to be good for viewing. Drag-drop linking will be amazing for quick linking between multiple notes.

Are there any updates on this? Obsidian is supposed to be flexible in how someone rearranges its own notes and in this way create the appropriate knowledge base system that he deems useful.

I find this feature necessary and useful.

There’re some suggestions on the implementation of the feature and I find the metadata approach attractive.

1 Like

Currently, I use the hover editor plugin whenever I want to create a connection. I hover on a node in graph view and add a wikilink to that note directly and then it will generate a line between them.