iPadOS and iOS soft keyboard spacebar scrolling does not work

Clarifying further, this issue has been present in mobile Obsidian for as long as I’ve been a user. While I endured it, it has ruined my process flow countless times.

Tangent alert

I’m somewhat confident that there are similar but less frequent navigation issues in the desktop version as well when using cursor key navigation. This risks a large tangent but: keyboard navigation of Obsidian and within the editor is severely lacking and at times buggy.

Just confirming the jumpy scrolling for me too and for as along as I have been a user. Seems related to cursor placement (jumps to cursor if scrolled away). My experience with the problem is only on iPhone.

I don’t think we have ever supported this hold spacebar to scroll function of iOS.

@WhiteNoise If it’s not supported then how would we navigate to various parts of our documents? Tapping in the UI to navigate often produces unexpected resulting cursor locations as well.

I am not sure what you are referring here exactly.
Some “unexpected results” may be due to the way live preview works (packing/unpacking big markdown blocks like tables). Perhaps, open a specific bug report for that and I’ll look into it too.

My experience too. This is why I used to disable Live Preview (for a while), but now that I use temporary subvaults, at least I have more leeway for RAM and therefore reenabled LP.
Unfortunately, one has to try and keep the size of markdown files at 30kbs or less for optimum performance.

Sure, I can file more detailed bug reports. It seems to be an unintended feature of live preview.

However, I see switching between source and live preview frequently to facilitate navigation to be undesirable. It puts more burden on the user to adapt to the tool instead of the tool to adapt to the user.

@WhiteNoise I apologize. I wrote clinically to belie my intense frustration. I have the sense that my frustration was evident nonetheless.

I love Obsidian, especially the Live Preview feature, but I also get extremely frustrated by its UX at times. I realize that Live Preview is still somewhat young, as a feature.

As a long time software developer, I prefer keyboard interactions to mouse/tap interactions enormously. I should have reported these bugs sooner but instead I waited until they were contributing non-trivially to my stress level.

In this case, this particular bug seemed tractable. Perhaps it is owing to several smaller issues in how Obsidian Live Preview handles packing/unpacking blocks of formatted text. It stands to reason.

To go forward I will attempt to note where I encounter these issues.

I see this occasionally. My impression is that it’s an issue at the edge of the editable area — the starts and ends of lines. At least sometimes the behavior seems to be that the cursor is jumping from the end of one line to the end of the next. I believe this also happens on Mac when the cursor is at the end of a line and you press the up or down arrow — it “sticks” to the line ends.

I don’t think I see the behavior when the cursor is in the middle of the text.

I’m on insider mobile on iOS running 15.4.

Steps to reproduce

When typing a note and I hold the spacebar to move the cursor around, the cursor jumps to the title section of the note.

Expected result

By holding spacebar I should be able to move the cursor around within the note.

Actual result

Instead, the cursor jumps up to the note title/heading.


iOS 15.4 on iPhone. Using a 13 pro max.


Reproducible on iOS version 1.2.1 (52) and previous builds as far as I’m aware.

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The bug is present in the current release version (1.2.0) too.

It makes cursor placement much more challenging, which is especially bad when you’re under time pressure (I was bitten by this bug during a doctor’s appointment recently when I was trying to keep up taking notes).

why would you hold the space bar to move the cursor around?

It’s an iOS feature which means you can hold the spacebar to turn the keyboard into a “trackpad” and move cursor or select text. Here is the website showing how to use it: Type with the onscreen keyboard on iPhone - Apple Support

And here is a screen recording in most other Apps such as Apple Notes, you can see the page scrolling up and down when moving the cursor:

However, in Obsidian, the page doesn’t move up. Instead, the cursor jumped to Title:


thanks I got it!

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Unfortunately, the bug is still present in v1.2.2, which was released today.

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iOS 15.5
Obsidian 1.2.2
can’t repro; does it do the same in safe mode?

On larger documents, was able to repro when using the space to not just move the cursor but scroll.
But rather than just scroll, it starts selecting.
And on scroll up, does jump to the title area.


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@pmbauer, try moving the cursor horizontally instead of vertically: as soon as you move the cursor a bit further left than the beginning of a line, it gets stuck in the title field of the note.

This is how I regularly trigger the bug (e.g., by trying to place the cursor at the beginning of a line to prepend something to that line), especially when I’m in a hurry and don’t move the cursor very slowly and with surgical precision to prevent overshooting.

EDIT: The bug is also present in the just released version v1.2.3.

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Yes, see the screen recording I posted. :slight_smile: