Internal Links Not Work When Opened In Notebook++, Why?

I an a new user, but have spent the entire past week learning/testing Obsidian. I want to ensure full compatibility with external markdown compatable applications, so have tested opening my Obdisian .md files in Notebook++, with its markdown viewer plugin installed.

The issue is: no internal links can be opened from Notebook++ but all external links can.

I have tried:

  • Opening Obsidian .md files in Notebook++ with its markdown viewer plugin installed: All external links, eg YouTube, web etc. are fine, but not internal links
  • Changing settings for “Files & Links” to each of the three New Link Format options, eg Absolut path in vault, Shortest Path When Possible, Relative path to the file.
  • After the above changes I created new files with new links and opened in Notebook++. None of the links worked (but as stated, all external links did work). Use Wikilinks is OFF.

Any guidance would be appreciated, thanks!

Hi,

Assuming you mean Notepad++.

Notepad++ is a text editor. You can read and edit your .md notes in Notepad++, but it has no capability to open wikilinks to other notes in your obsidian vault. You will also note that when creating links in notepad++ (typing “[[”), that the selection dialogue doesn’t appear. This is because notepad++ does not access the database in which obsidian uses to store these links. If you know the exact link name, you may insert this into your .md document via notepad++ and it will work in Obsidian.

Essentially Obsidian and Notepad++ are two different apps for different tasks, even though each will edit the others files if in .md.

Welcome to Obsidian!

Hi Irdub. Thanks for yoru reply.

Yes, sorry I do mean Notepad++.

ok, so my very likely imperfect understanding was that Obdisian files are compatible with other markdown capable external apps. As you state, yes, I can view and edit the files in Notepad++. However, I thought that compatibility included opening internal links, as it can do with external links. I thought, especially if one uses the setting “Absolut Path in Vault” or Relative path to the file, that would certainly open, because the path is included in the link (when looking at raw markdown text in Notepad++ vs the rendered view from its md viewer plugin). I would have expected that part of the Obsidian markdown format would include generic markdown compatible links (again external links work, so why isn’t it using compatible internal links?

Isn’t that a flaw in its broad acceptance as a fully compatible markdown program and files?

I do know that Logseq can read the links, but shouldn’t most other md compatible apps also?

Thanks

I think I understand what you want to achieve, but sorry, I can’t offer a meaningful response.

My understanding is that you want notepad++ to recognise and go to internal links.

As I understand, Markdown in itself is just a document and doesn’t have any inherent linking features, other than a formatting standard for links. The wikilinks only become useable when opened in a software designed for them, which notepad++ is not. For example, I understand that Obsidian has some sort of database that indexes every file, and thus is able to open the linked file regardless of path.

You may be able to write a notepad++ plugin to get it to open the links, but you’d need some sort of file path logic to tell it where to look, combined with the ‘Absolute Path’ setting for links in Obsidian.

My guess is that you prefer the superior editing features of a text editor rather than obsidian’s. If this is the case, Foam and Dendron are two VSCode plugins which could replace obsidian as your PKM.

For me, I’m happy with the basic editor in Obsidian for general use, and I also use VSCode to edit my vault notes for more technical tasks. (and to easily use git on my Vault. :slight_smile:)

I’m confident that I’m not being locked into a software, as obsidian strictly uses Markdown for its files, and Markdown links themselves are commonly used in many applications.

Thanks again for your follow-up reply

actually, I’m not looking for an alternate editor from obsidian. I’m simply looking at the question of: if I put a lot of eggs in that basket and in the future want to change or it no longer exists etc what will I be left with. as you know one of the big attractions to obsidian that the community and they themselves tout is that the documents are always viable outside of their software.

The contradiction I am realizing is that while we may have the documents, all of the links will be useless. given that the established approach for using the software is to rely on links for virtually everything instead of hierarchical files, if that key element is rendered useless, the claim that The user has full benefits to their files even without their software is greatly compromised.

to me, the conclusion of this is one in fact does need to rely on a detailed folder structure so that if one needs to navigate thier notes, related notes will be in an appropriate folder. for example one for every project, which will mean different things to different users, but for the sake of a descriptive label I will use that.

Thanks

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Does the plugin Consistent attachment and links do what you are looking for? Be sure to read about what you lose.

There is also a conversion program Obsidian Link Converter Plugin which looks interesting.

Finally, it looks like you can unwind a single Obsidian style link to links that export with the wikilinks-to-mdlinks plugin.

edit: Note I have not tried any of these.

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Yes, I understand your concerns, which do have merit. However, Markdown in itself is not going to give the features that a software on top of it will give you. It’s just a text file.

I have had similar concerns, but if Obsidian was to cease working tomorrow, I still have my information. I still have the links even if they don’t work exactly the way you wish in raw Markdown. I am still in control of my data.

I could move to another software like Dendron, and my Vault would still work as I intend.

Even if there was no obsidian-like software available, you could still search for links via command line functions like grep. You could even write a basic program in python to display your Markdown files and search your vault for “file.md” when clicking on [[file]] Markdown link.

This is only made possible by obsidian’s use of using a non-proprietary text standard like Markdown, and the fact that obsidian uses Markdown standardized links.

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What do you see in the links, when you have wiki-style links disabled? Could you share an example of what is in the destination field? As another user who hasn’t tried this, I am surprised that it is not providing a relative path! (Absolute path is within your vault root, not your filesystem root, so that is not going to be as useful within the wider filesystem.)

Hi ,

I am away for the weekend but will be happy to share some screenshots. The bottom line is for external links such as website’s etc clicking in notepad++ brings one to the link but on an internal link from obsidian it does not find the linked file.

I will show you what the various links look like. if in the meantime you want to see it you could create a new vault and make a couple links and then change the preference of the linking style from relative to absolute to shortest path and see how they look pasted into a text editor. but I’m happy to do that next week

thanks

I will look more carefully at these plugins. The first one sounds like it does what I’m looking for but maybe only for attachments. in the description it does not discuss using standard link format for linked notes. after the weekend I will test it. if it does not, I will reach out to the author to see if he will add that functionality. others may take comfort in knowing their links are more universal and can work from most text applications the way external links currently do

Thanks