Hotkeys to navigate between headings

Use case or problem

I use headings to organize my notes, and I use very few notes on a regular basis. I mostly work with just a few notes. I would like to be able to use hotkeys to navigate back and forth within notes, the same way I can already navigate back and forth between previously and later opened documents with the Navigate back and Navigate forward keyboard shortcuts.

Proposed solution

“Previous header” and “Next header” hotkeys for navigating to the previous or next header that you navigated to via clicking a link, via the Outline pane, or via search.

E.g. if I use the Outline pane to navigate to a heading called Friday, from a heading called Monday, I would like to then be able to press a “previous header” hotkey to navigate back to the Monday heading that I came from. And vice versa to go back to the Friday heading.

Lastly, if one presses the “previous header” hotkey after already going all the way back to the first header you navigated to during that session, the hotkey could take you to where you started when you opened the note (presumably, the top of the document, in most cases).

Current workaround

  1. Click on the heading in the Outline pane.

  2. Too unwieldy to be a real workaround, for one, because it doesn’t move the cursor, and two, because it requires reading and/or name recall first: Ctrl-F then type the first few letters of the header title.

Perhaps a stop-gap measure or preferred solution if for some reason the developers did not want to implement this feature: instead, have some way to press a key to move the cursor to a search result. Such as pressing the Enter key after performing a search. Or, move the cursor when a search is performed, but move it back if Esc is pressed to cancel the search. This would make using Ctrl-F to navigate headers a more viable workaround.

This has been written about once before that I could find, but it was not posted in the Feature requests subforum: Hotkey to navigate between headings - Help - Obsidian Forum

5 Likes

I think there’s a plugin solution:

It isn’t exactly what you want but it may help.

Thanks for finding that! I just tried it. Unfortunately, it’s for a) opening links (not headings), or b) jumping to any word in a note, using on-the-fly assigned key sequences. Because the key sequences are on-the-fly, they’re random combinations of letters, so there’s no way to navigate to a part of the document that’s off-screen (because you won’t know what that key combination is needed to do so). :confused: Thank you again for finding that though.

1 Like

This reminds me of features in Org mode… a very cool plug-in would be ways to traverse, manipulate and display (fold) outline structure as org-mode does. I see bits and pieces of this functionality in the Obsidian core and in select plugins (e.g., Outliner, Zoom), but an org-focused plugin would try to put everything under one plugin.

I am not referring here to compatibility with org mode format or making Markdown look like Org format. What I am driving at is to bring org mode-like functionality (folding, jumping between headers, searching-forward and backward, indenting/outdenting, moving blocks of text in an outline structure, etc) into a Markdown editor.

3 Likes

There are many who pine for org-like functionality… here’s another thread with respect to folding/unfolding.

Thanks, that was an interesting thread. I’ve even tried Org mode recently–I do find it interesting but way too difficult to learn–I’m not willing to put in the the time to change my muscle memory. Plus, no plug-and-play mobile app and no plug-and-play sync. So I do think bringing features like that to Obsidian would be better.

You’ve made me realize, I don’t have/use shortcuts for fold/unfold all. I’ve now set those, so that I can quickly see all H1 headings at least. I can play with that and see if that mostly alleviates my issue. But yeah, a fold/unfold all toggle would better than two separate shortcuts, and the option to fold/unfold at smaller levels would be nice too.

I could also conceivably use the plugin mentioned by @ryanjamurphy in conjunction with folding all headings.

If anyone is still looking for other ways to navigate between headings, there’s an update in the Code Editor Shortcuts plugin that enables you to switch between headings using hotkeys! Make sure to change/remove some of the default hotkeys (like the checklist status toggle) it has.

1 Like

Thank you for the heads-up!

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