iOS : difficulty creating external links

What I’m trying to do

I want to be able to quickly put an external link in a page using the iOS app. I don’t want the experience of doing that to feel like an involved multistep curation exercise. Not a link to another Obsidian page, but e.g. . I’m hoping this post could generate responses that show me there is some better/easier way to do this, and by better/easier I mean “without so many steps requiring so many presses requiring such fine control” because I have hand and arm function negatively affected by chronic pain due to repetitive strain injury.

However, there seem to be too many steps and I have difficulty in the following way:

  1. outside of Obsidian I have already selected the URL and copied it to the clipboard
  2. I go to the page in the Obsidian iOS app
  3. I press where I want to start typing
  4. I type the brackets and optionally enter a name for the link
  5. I follow the brackets with an open parenthesis – THIS IS WHERE THE TROUBLE STARTS
  6. Because Obsidian automatically closes the parenthesis and put the cursor location in between the two parenthesis
  7. It is very difficult to manipulate or select that cursor such that it will response by raising the menu that has the Paste option. Many times pressing the cursor does nothing. Only after the 4th or 5th attempt to press the cursor, do I then see the menu that allows me to Paste the URL.

So, in short, in order to create a hyperlink to an external URL, I have had to expend at least 2x – but perhaps 3x – more user actions and effort than is necessary for most other applications that allow one to insert a hyperlink.

I just want to quickly capture a hyperlink, but it feels like such an involved process not worth the effort needed to curate the string of text in exactly the right manner.

By way of explanation : I can think of three other apps I interact with on a regular basis where the act of creating an external hyperlink is basically:

  1. Type the name you want to appear for the link
  2. Select that same text
  3. Right click and choose an option, OR press a button called “Create a link”
  4. A dialog box appear where one can paste from the clipboard the URL for the link, and optionally edit the link text from Step 1.

I would love love love love love if someone knows a way to create hyperlinks, in the iOS app, in a manner that more closely resembles that, than what I have tried to describe up above.

Thank you for reading this.

  • Murph

Things I have tried

I just tested the following in Android, and I reckon it’s the same in iOS, when editing I selected the text, triggered the insert markdown link using mobile toolbar, and then paste also using mobile toolbar.

To set this up if you don’t have it setup goto settings > mobile , locate the “insert markdown link” and hit the plus icon if its not already included, and then find “paste” and do the same. Then I dragged the paste command to be next to the internal link icon.

And then it’s as easy as write the word, select it, and hit the two icons… Hope this helps and works in your version also.

If you’ve got a keyboard, you could add a hotkey for the “insert markdown link”, and then do the key combos for inserting the link, and pasting from from the clipboard.

A final option could be to have a template which checks if there are any selected text, and if not ask for the text to use, before inserting the full link with the chosen text. This template could then be hooked to either a hotkey or the toolbar.


Holroy, thank you so very much. What you recommended worked for me on iOS just as you described, and is really a game changer; makes it so much easier to quickly capture an external hyperlink. And it also revealed there is sooooo much more to Obsidian for me to learn.

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

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Another option on iOS is to do a 3-finger tap, which brings up a little toolbar that includes Paste.

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I use that three finger tap gesture all the time.

Another option is to use the Paste URL into selection plugin. Unfortunately it doesn’t work when you paste using the Obsidian mobile toolbar paste button, but it does work when pasting using the built-in iOS paste button. So just select the words you want, and then tap Paste in the pop-up menu.

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