Graph View: show connections to non-existing notes

While discussing Connections show up on local graph but not on graph view and related topic with @WhiteNoise, I came to realize (only now!) that the Global Graph does not show connections to notes that haven’t been created yet.

I always assumed it did.

As soon as we type in an [[internal link]], that title will show up in auto-completion. The note may not be created yet, but the concept is there and ready to be reused. I think it would make more sense to treat it accordingly. If, for all intents and purposes, internal links may exist independently of actual files, why wouldn’t the graph view reflect that logic?

This really impacts the way I work with Obsidian. Of course I can hack together a script that automatically creates the missing files, but I think this decision is too important to go undiscussed.

So, what’s the other side to this question? What am I missing?



The main “other side” objection I can think of is “when do you commit to opening/making that file?”

If I go down and edit a little further in my note and decide that the original link isn’t where I want it to go, then I go back and change it – does the file name of the associated file change? Has it been committed yet? If it does change and it is the only reference, when does it get removed if the original link is removed?

(For the record, I agree with you that the network should be aware of links which don’t have files associated – but very rapidly we go into wondering what to do with the file in the Vault which doesn’t have anything that links to it yet. Does he get purged? That doesn’t seem to fit the philosophy. So how do we differentiate a not-yet-linked node by intention or one which is abandoned/orphaned by a re-congealed linkage from an existing note?)

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I’m onboard with this too. I get why the change was made, but as I continued to link more notes to a topic that hasn’t had a note created yet, it allowed me to see when I had a good amount of resources to start building out that topic more.

Being able to toggle between both options seems like a good option to me.

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I’ve been thinking about this as well; I really want some way of getting a view of all the “intended” notes in the vault, so that I can make the decision to commit as @LexTenebris puts it. Currently whenever I create a link, I’m also creating the empty note, adding the tag #intended to the blank note, then going back to what I was writing. It works and I can find it later as part of my weekly gardening, but it breaks the flow.

Be great to have a) a search filter or similar that lists all of them and b) a visual treatment of them on the graph.


I think these are two distinct matters:

  1. Connections
    Connections could be represented in the graph, whether or not there are actual files behind them. We would normally “commit” to them like we do now, by clicking the link.

  2. Files and what happens to them.
    Current behavior is fine by me. The only opinion I have on this is that they should never be deleted, even after all references to them are gone.

This will be the default in 0.8.12.
When we have graph filters, it will be possible to toggle non-existing notes.


I’m impressed. You Devs are amazing.

I’ve just posted this Differentiate direct links and back links in graph view in another thread, but I suspect I might have just outlined what you’re intending for 0.8.12? :stuck_out_tongue: If so, awesome!!

My post was about showing connection to non-existing notes and relative connections in the global graph. That will happen in 0.8.12.

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Postponed to 0.8.13