Importing/converting soft line breaks from Roam


I have been using roam for years and am thinking about transitioning to Obsidian.
However, my indentation is getting broken by soft line breaks, which I have used quite extensively throughout my graph.
I don’t mind converting those line breaks into new bullet points if that is necessary.

I have gone through the typical importing guides, trying both exporting my roam in markdown and json, and also tried using the markdown converter.
I also went through some google searches but couldn’t find anyone with the same issue (are soft line breaks something to avoid in markdown?)
The only apparent solution at the time seems to be to manually make the import/conversion; that would take a lot of time. Is there a way to automatically deal with this?

In advance, many thanks for the help!


You could try changing Settings > Editor > Strict line breaks. Markdown converts single newlines to spaces (this allows the source text to be arranged differently from the rendered version, which was more useful back when word wrap wasn’t a standard feature of text editors). But Obsidian treats them as non-paragraph line breaks by default because it’s more intuitive to most people.

If that doesn’t help, you may need to explain what you mean by “soft line break” and how it is breaking your indentation.


Thank you for your answer.
What I mean by softbreak is when pressing Shift+Enter.
In roam, it returns to the line without creating a new bullet.
When importing to Obsidian, the line break does not respect the indentation.

Please see below the roam page and the import on obsidian, with indentation not respected.

Could you copy the example from Obsidian (from editing mode, not reading view) and paste the text here in a code block?

Test 1
Test 2
Test 3
Test 4 Test 5 Test 6 Test 7

Here is the screenshot of the edit view

The text you pasted in the code block is not the same text shown in any of your screenshots. Did you copy it while in reading view? It needs to be copied from edit view.

In general, I’d say yes. Especially if you don’t keep an eye on reading/rendered mode when writing them.
They can cause problems when moving between applications, even when you wouldn’t expect them to. (eg Workflowy, supposedly a rich text editor, would do a markdown concatenation of soft breaks during an import/export process; and once concatenated, always concatenated.)

Roam follows the typical outline convention: Enter = New Bullet, Shift-Enter = a note under the bullet. Word, and other word processors, essentially do the same plus Enter = New paragraph, shift-enter = new line. Typora, and some other markdown editors, do the same. Obsidian has Enter = New line; Obsidian’s strict line break is akin to word-wrap. I have found that new lines/hard breaks/soft breaks all get lost sometimes and are better avoided. Paragraph breaks and bullets always work.

Once I realised this, my own approach was to make sure that all the programs I used followed the same rules wrt Enter & Shift-Enter. And I haven’t written notes in Obsidian since.


Here is the screenshot from edit view:

Here is the screenshot from the reading view:

Here is the screenshot from Roam:

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