Hope enhance outliner mode experience in Obsidian

Well. According to incomplete researching.

An note-taking that both support offline bi-directional link AND Offline outliner does not exist currently.

  • Support offline bi-directional link —> Obsidian

  • Support Markdown and outliner —> Wiz.cn

  • Offline outliner app —> Indigrid, ominioutliner(Only Mac) ,etc.

But Indigrid,ominioutliner doesn’t support bi-directinal link and Markdown style.

But Wiz don’t support bi-directinal link .

We need outliner and markdown style in one place, especially offline. Not only outliner , not only markdown. We need both .

Outliner and markdown are two most commonly used notes style.

No app have ever think put them in one place.

Only support outliner or Only support Markdown currently .

If support outliner, the markdown style is not supported well.
If support markdown, the outliner style is not supported well.

Why don’t support them well in one app ?

I look around amount of apps, I find that only Obsidian have this potential, opportunity and challenge for it.

For me , I’ll have a lot of local 2D images and 3D files should be edited on PC, and about these 2D, 3D files need outliner and markdown style for took note.

Web app can’t work for local 2D/3D file well.

I’ve seen there are a few about outliner mode features requested on the forum.
Such as
Folding in preview - #102 by onkeltem ,
Drag and drop selected text to elsewhere in same note or another note,
Css-powered outline-like mode,
Convert Outlines - #7 by shane,
etc… Search results for 'outliner' - Obsidian Forum

But those requests are fragmented, That’s why I said " Enhance outliner mode experience".

Well. There is no doubt that the two developers have very rich and successful experience about outliner app.

Well, I don’t wana push for it. I guess if it’s accepted, it will do after v1.0 .

No hurry, We can wait for it, even it’s not highly priority.

Currently , I just talk about my thoughts.



I agree that the outlining experience in Obsidian has room for improvement. Some of it may come from the plugin, but I also expect the WYSIWYM editor itself to have a big impact on that when it’s implemented.

Have you tried Folding Text? Typora? I did some lightweight outlining with them and I have no complaints.


Yes, please! +1 Mac OSX
WYSIWYG editor :pray:
and toggle lists!!!


Maybe better/easier hierarchy arrangement of individual notes… I mean if you think about each bullet point being a file, then that is another level of outlining.

With easy keyboard controls and views, it could be very powerful.

Just an idea.


@Licat had already good development experience . That’s okay just like Dynalist.

And Yes, after WYSIWYM will be done and API. Hope enhence outliner experience.

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Dynalist have some good enough shortcut for outliner .

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I would love to be able to put a note into outline mode. When I’m making raw notes or brainstorming, something about being trapped in an outline helps me keep my flow. I think it’s not having to think about structure.

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I’ll push it after v1.0 ( after WYSIWYM done ).

There’s a gap in note-taking app marketing.


  1. Offline(LocalStore) &
  2. Backlink / bi-directional link &
  3. Good enough Markdown mode &
  4. Good enough Outliner mode &
  5. Good enough Graph view .

@macedotavares: I use Typora too, and find its sidepane outliner to be very good, e.g. it shows which header section is currently active.

Most people seem to refer to “outliner” as a bullet point list within a note, but the sidepane outliner needs to be improved too.


Most of outliner feature request are about more easier and faster control block .

1. drag and drop bullet - by mouse ,without selected text.

  1. expand all and collapse all - by keyboard,without selected text first .

  2. move block by keyboard ,without selected text first.

  3. hover display folding icon.

  4. folding without header1234 – breaking down .

  1. Numbered nested lists
  2. Vertical depth lines

related feature request:

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Ability to zoom in on bullets ???

I think it’ll change the markdown core.

Not sure if I understand.
IMHO, it belongs to “outliner mode experience”.
I do not now if it will be solved by plugin or by core Obsidian.
There are text editors able to focus on specified portion of dokument, the rest being hidden or locked for editation.
For example https://www.emeditor.com/text-editor-features/more-features/narrowing/
So there is no risk of undesired change for underlying markdown dokument.
Here is even request specifically for this: Ability to freeze parts of a note

keywords: narrow, restrict, focus

I don’t know if it’s possible to this with markdown, but a “dynalist edit mode” would really be awesome. Then Obsidian would be the only content creation tool I need. :slight_smile:
So far, I am really in love with obsidian - and starting to get my PKM into it!


This is a great feature, but I don’t think Obsidian can do it because Obsidian is based on Markdown File not Bullet Item. And doing so will completely change Obsidian’s infrastructure.

It looks like asking a offline version of Roam. I will be very happy if Obsidian team could consider this.

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I don’t see why this can’t happen… Not that long ago block references were thought to be impossible or unlikely… Look what happened :wink:

Logseq is a new roam-like outliner thats fully offline/local and based on .md files. So it can certainly be done…

Considering that the Obsidian team has so much experience with outliners (Dynalist), i cant see how something like this couldnt be brought to life. Who knows, maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised with the new WYSIWYM editor…

IMO, its not a matter of this being possible or not… the question is more about who’s going to implement it - the Obs team, or a 3rd party plugin, and when…

I constantly still feel pulled to outliner apps like Roam because its just so much swifter of a way to capture quick thoughts and brainstorm… If I could do that in a similar way within Obsidian, i’d never leave the app! Im sure it would convert A LOT of people to obsidian as well…


I just can do LIKE your thread, I can’t do anything else. the decision made by obsidian’s developers.

Obsidian developers, please! We need a roam-like outliner experience.

I have seen different ways to work with Obsidian, bullet list, outliner plugin but it’s not the same.

I try to explain myself better.
In roam or remnote the note has a hierarchical internal structure. The structure is not given by the headings, because there is no need to give a title to everything. Each item is not a paragraph like in bulleted lists, instead it can be multiple paragraphs (you can wrap), you can insert an image, an equation, a block of code.

So here are the limitations I see in Obsidian.

If you want to use headings, you are required to title everything. For example

# Morning
## Fitness
blah blah blah blah

Another subject

As you can see to insert another subject in the morning I must necessarily give it another ## heading, otherwise it will be part of the previous ## heading.

If instead I want to use the outliner plugin, besides some anomalies, there is the problem that in one place I can’t insert images or code blocks.

One more thing: when I create a reference to an item, this reference is only and only to the item and not to its children, so in the preview I won’t be able to see everything.

I deeply ask to the developers to meet these needs and I would like to discuss with you.

Curious if you have found any additional workarounds after posting this, as I’m in the same predicament. The outliner mode seems to fit my brain, but it doesn’t have the same ability as currently configured that Roam has, which shows a hierarchy above each individual note block child.

This would be CLUTCH to see something like this.