Handle (edit) other plain text file formats ( rmarkdown, tex, txt, code, etc )

Please do add this feature!
I’m not a developer or programmer, but am beginning to learn some skills that will help augment workflows between Obsidian and other systems. For example, I suspect it would be relatively simple to write a code (in multiple languages) that creates a duplicate folder and file set - copying all .md files from an Obsidian vault into a mirror “vault” of .txt files. It would be much easier, though, if Obsidian could work with .txt.
I have been using TiddlyWiki (TW) recently due to its fantastic versatility in creating content that is polished for external consumption. I envision taking our Obsidian vaults in .txt format with internal Markdown syntax, and using a TW plugin to import .txt and parse the Markdown. Then we can use Obsidian for personal thought connection and TW (or any system that can pull from the txt files) to create content from subsets of our vaults.

2 Likes

+1 for this feature. It’s not an issue for me of doing a one-time conversion of the filenames, it’s about being able to use text editors on various platforms to edit the documents, and right now not all of the apps in my workflow are .md friendly.

6 Likes

I have 16.624 .txt files with markdown links, I’m currently actively using them with a simple markdown text editor from the 00’s. I am really curious what the graph view of Obsidian will look like on my personal wiki, and what else I could do with Obsidian, but … I opened the Vault only to learn that Obsidian wants .md files and not .txt files, can’t we just tolerate both?

Furthermore I would like the user to have the ability to decide that any new notes should be created with either the .txt or .md extension (that way I can keep my system backwards compatible.)

5 Likes

I understand the reason for this request. I’m not answering against it, just making a general observation.

Honestly, I believe that the markdown syntax should only belong to *.md or *.markdown files. Any .txt file should work like it’s intended to work: as text/plain media type by default. If an app save .txt files treating them as markdown or including markdown syntax in them by default: that is wrong. Just my 2 cents.

2 Likes

It was a bit of a hack, but I was able to make something work using hazel.

basically when hazel sees a new file, it creates a copy into a format the Dokuwiki accepts. still rough…but some hope.

Post moved to

It might be better to create a symbolic link. Here is a test hazel run you could use.

Use the an embedded script ln -s $1{,.txt} This just creates a symbolic link back to the same file with a txt extension. That way your content is only referenced so you don’t have out-of-sync content.

1 Like

Why not just let user choose?

1 Like

+1 for this.

It could be implemented with an option of:

Treat the following extensions as .md files:
.txt, .taskpaper

4 Likes

for me it would we enough to let Obisdian manage .md as core files, but allow to see and edit other simple text files (.txt , .yaml for example) that we have to keep in the vaults for interoperability.

4 Likes

I have had some success on Windows just by changing the .txt file extension to .md. Windows throws a popup complaining about potentially breaking the file but I have not experienced any breaks yet.

This wouldn’t address the issue of ongoing cross-platform compatibility between .md or .txt files but might help with transitioning from .txt to .md.

I have not tested any text files yet beyond fairly simple text so I don’t know how any coding or scripting might behave when changing the extension. I’ve made copies of all my files before making any changes, just in case.

Like many of you I have been moving away from proprietary environments and file formats for years now and working towards all text files.

I really like the tool Bulk Rename Utility (free) really useful for these types of tasks. It’s very powerful and provides a preview of changes before they’re performed - use with caution. Or a script to parse files changing the extension would make light work of it.

Here’s a screenshot from the Bulk Rename Utility interface settings I’ve used:

bulk rename extension

Jacqui
p.s. please be gentle, it’s my first post

2 Likes

+1 for the .tex files.

1 Like

Welcome to the forum!

Renaming txt to md should work in any case I can imagine. It’s a great workaround! It just doesn’t work if you have some apps that need txt and others that need md.

5 Likes

Just to complete the information, I recently transformed a huge amount of .txt files by simply changing the extension to .md, without noticing any problem.

1 Like

Exactly. For example, Visual Studio Code uses syntax highlighting and linting based on file extensions.

But having both .txt and .md showing in Obsidian would be great.

3 Likes

Renaming the files will work for Obsidian! But if a file needs to exist in two systems–use Obsidian as a frontend for a Dokuwiki, or keep your huge library to edit with systems that don’t understand .md–then you can’t just convert.

1 Like

+1 for *.txt - view and edit.
I’d even be okay if they looked like plain-text files, and did not behave like markdown files, as long as I can see and edit them.

It could be a useful feature the ability to open and edit (in plain text mode) this kind of files, even other code oriented text file (like Jupyter or python files). Zettlr can handle rmarkdown and .tex, so probably is not very difficult to implement.

4 Likes

I like your idea. For statisticians, rmarkdown is a very essential type of flat file. If the obsidian team can allow the user to set the configuration file, it can be easy to recognize and handle other types of flat files.

3 Likes

Why this topic got no one else’s attention ? :joy:

1 Like