IDE style navigation (tab reuse on link opening, tab management)

Agreed, this trips me up often.

This actually might be a good feature request on its own if one doesn’t already exist.

Let me share my perspective on how Vim models this whole business of views on content.

In Vim/Neovim, a tab is basically an organization space for splits (a.k.a windows, panes, etc. And splits are views into a buffer. Tabs in Vim are much more like Obsidian workspaces. Tabs offer mutually exclusive frames filled with one or more splits/views onto data. You do not get to see tabs side-by-side. If you want to see things side-by-side, you use splits (within a tab).

I’ve been using Vim for so long now that it’s become integrated into both my “muscle memory” as well as “gaze memory” (i.e., where I look to focus my attention after carrying out an action). I can use Obsidian workspaces as Vim tabs and Obsidian tabs as Vim splits. But I always get thrown off when Obsidian opens a new tab within what I woulld call a “split” and changes focus to it, essentially just replacing one panel in my view rather than giving me a clean single-panel “fresh start” view onto whatever I opened. What my “gaze memory” really expects to happen when my mind thinks “new tab” is essentially an Obsidian “new workspace” :rofl:

I registered on this forum just to request this feature… So: +1 please please ! :slight_smile:


hahaha, me too :smiley: +100

+1, please

Using the browser analogy to justify the current workflow doesn’t stand up. Browser tabs represent a response to a request at a specific point in time. A browser tab doesn’t automatically “stay in sync” to reflect changes on the web server. So there is a compelling use case for multiple open tabs for the same URL.

What Obsidian has is an excellent start to a tab-based workflow for information management – the next evolutionary step after the original pane-based workflow. But given that these days, Obsidian tabs are primarily live views of user-editable content (as opposed to the memorialization of a historical, static web request/response), a true, 100% complete implementation does necessitate this feature/option, as well as native support for tab switching in MRU (most recently used) order.

I definitely agree! Here’s a relevant request: Click on an internal link in a pinned note should open a brand new tab


I’m back on Obsidian after an absence, and love the tabs. However, I agree that simulating a browser makes little sense. I use the daily note all day, and it’s annoying that it opens a new instance in the current tab when I click the “Go to daily note” button rather than going to the already open tab.

A tangentially related idea, is to have an easy way to close all duplicate tabs, see Better way to navigate with many open tabs, or button to close duplicate tabs.

I currently use a plugin called ‘Close Similar Tabs’ by 1C0D to automatically close duplicate tabs.
Open a blank tab using the ‘Ctrl + T’ shortcut, open the quick switcher, type in the note name, and press ‘Enter’:

  • If the note is not open yet, it will open in the blank tab.
  • Otherwise, the blank tab will close (more like it opens the note, recognize that this note is already opened, and close it immediately) and jump to the already opened one.

I would also love this feature.

I often work with what’s effectively an ideas/notes file and a draft file, switching back and forth between the two, and my notes get very lengthy, so it’s frustrating when I have to scroll back down and find my place because I accidentally clicked a link. (I also often avoid using panes for this, because my notes are frequently dataview-query-heavy and having two open at once on my iPad Pro makes the text input laggy).

I’ve been using Obsidian since long before tabs and split panes were released. I still find myself accidentally navigating away from where I want to be, and being surprised by the link-following behaviour (especially when combined with split panes, because I will have been typing in one, and then scroll through another and click a link in it, and it replaces the content in the file I was typing in instead of opening a new tab / replacing the content in the one I clicked. I get why it does that but I still haven’t adjusted).

I also don’t think a browser’s behaviour is relevant, any more than Slack’s behaviour is relevant. It serves a different purpose and different workflows.

FYI: there’s a plugin called “Remember cursor position”, which does just that :slight_smile:

1 Like

I just want to add that “IDE navigation” would also be very useful in the context of Canvas.

I’ve recently been using the Canvas as a spatial way of organizing my notes on a subject/project. I usually have the most important/active notes open in their own tabs while the Canvas is open split to the side. It would be very intuitive and simple UX to click a note in Canvas to switch to its tab. But now it always opens a new tab, which makes this whole workflow much less useful. I need to manually hunt for the tab of the note I want to edit. This is something the computer should do, not me.

I think the whole UX design question here is very simple: If a user already has a note open in a tab, do they want to open a duplicate tab when clicking a link to the note? What is the use case for this behavior? I think the use case where they would want to open a duplicate tab is very rare, so it should not be the default behavior.

+1, if I’m using Quick Switcher to open a tab and one is already open, it should just focus it.

BTW, it seems like the “No Dupe Leaves” (hacky) plugin also stopped working in 1.3.5, so now I’m back to the default behavior, which is totally messing up my workflow :-/

The plugin stopped duplicate tabs opening from links inside the notes, but not elsewhere. It was still a considerable improvement.

1 Like

Huge plus 1 for this. I am constantly having to close out duplicative tabs.

The editor routing to an already open instance of the linked note is my expected behavior.

It would also make my pinned tabs more useful—today, I end up with more duplicates when I pin notes because of the default behavior to navigate to the referenced note in the current pane.


+1 For this. I regularly end up with the same file open in multiple tabs (accidentally). :slight_smile:

+1 Obsidian is great, however I do believe it’d be much smarter with this option.
Community plugins are a big part of the appeal for this app and I can see this feature benefitting interactions with these plugins as well.

As an example my homepage automatically pins when opened.
It would be easier to manage if only one of these homepages could be open at a time.

I believe this could even have a bearing on performance and memory as it could reduce refreshing of executed code. We would save on executions per page from plugins like templater/dataview!

I appreciate all the time and effort devs put into this tool and I’m thankful feedback is being listened to by your team!

Especially in cases like this, where this request would help our overall goals of note management.

I look forward to future updates to this wonderful app!


+1 for this feature. I find it very odd if I already have a tab open then I use the quick switcher it either changes the current tab to a duplicate of the one I already have opened OR if the current tab is pinned it opens a new tab that is a duplicate of what I wanted to switch to rather than switching to the already open tab. Seems like the default behavior should be to re-use tabs unless I’m holding a modifier key in which case it would open a duplicate.


+1, really need a ide style open tab logic!!!


+1, this is painful to switch from IDE to Obsidian dozens of times per day.