Latex Document Creation Features in Obsidian

I have tried reading forums and watching YouTube videos.

What I’m trying to do

So, I am completely new to digital note taking and while I have been creating digital documents in Word and it’s like, I am sick of fighting with traditional word processors and having to end up settling with a less than perfect document. I have begun researching academic research and documentation processes. And I really like what I am seeing with Latex for document creation, but I prefer the Obsidian UI and its advanced note taking options.

My question is this. Can I recreate the Latex document “template” process in Obsidian? I know Obsidian has a feature called templates, but it feels more like an advanced alias feature, whereby small amounts of text can be recalled quickly with a simple key combination. I would like to create a template for an entire document and define all the text formatting, i.e. font, font size, bold, spacing, etc. Can I copy a preferred template from Latex or Overleaf and use it in Obsidian or somehow create the equivalent?

Thank you.

2 Likes

Have you looked at Pandoc Plugin? It allows you to export a note to LaTeX as a tex file, or as a PDF but using LaTeX instead of the built-in PDF export process. If you’re familiar with Pandoc, it should be perfect for you.

I’m still a beginner at using Pandoc, and I’m struggling to figure out how to get the plugin to use my own LaTeX templates. With the default settings, my tex files come out using a ton of packages, environments, and commands that I’m not familiar with, which makes debugging/editing difficult.

I have seen Pandoc and I think it will work perfectly to export my notes to one of many formats. My concern is getting the notes formatted correctly before I export them. For instance font types, size, spacing etc. And then page/body formatting as in columns, page breaks, etc. I need to get the page to look correctly before I export it.

For instance the below is a formatted template from latex. While this might not import directly into Obsidian I am hoping there is an equivalent in Obsidian. Anybody know?

Thanks by the way riz_za for the suggestion. : )

% Welcome to the simple Undergraduate Complexity Research CV-resume template!
% Please delete any sections that do not apply to your past experiences. We do not expect that applicants will have itmes for all of the sections included here. You can also rename or revise sections to best fit with your personal accomplishments.

\documentclass[letterpaper,11pt]{article}

\usepackage{latexsym}
\usepackage[empty]{fullpage}
\usepackage{titlesec}
\usepackage{marvosym}
\usepackage[usenames,dvipsnames]{color}
\usepackage{verbatim}
\usepackage{enumitem}
\usepackage[hidelinks]{hyperref}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{tabularx}
\usepackage{multicol}
\input{glyphtounicode}

\usepackage{baskervillef}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

\pagestyle{fancy}
\fancyhf{} 
\fancyfoot{}
\setlength{\footskip}{10pt}
\renewcommand{\headrulewidth}{0pt}
\renewcommand{\footrulewidth}{0pt}

\addtolength{\oddsidemargin}{0.0in}
\addtolength{\evensidemargin}{0.0in}
\addtolength{\textwidth}{0.0in}
\addtolength{\topmargin}{0.2in}
\addtolength{\textheight}{0.0in}


\urlstyle{same}

%\raggedbottom
\raggedright
\setlength{\tabcolsep}{0in}

\titleformat{\section}{
  \it\vspace{3pt}
}{}{0em}{}[\color{black}\titlerule\vspace{-5pt}]

\pdfgentounicode=1

\newcommand{\resumeItem}[1]{
  \item{
    {#1 \vspace{-4pt}}
  }
}

\newcommand{\resumeSubheading}[4]{
  \vspace{-2pt}\item
    \begin{tabular*}{0.97\textwidth}[t]{[email protected]{\extracolsep{\fill}}r}
      \textbf{#1} & #2 \\
      \textit{\small #3} & \textit{\small #4} \\
    \end{tabular*}\vspace{-10pt}
}


\newcommand{\resumeSubItem}[1]{\resumeItem{#1}\vspace{-3pt}}
\renewcommand\labelitemii{$\vcenter{\hbox{\tiny$\bullet$}}$}
\newcommand{\resumeSubHeadingListStart}{\begin{itemize}[leftmargin=0.15in, label={}]}
\newcommand{\resumeSubHeadingListEnd}{\end{itemize}}
\newcommand{\resumeItemListStart}{\begin{itemize}}
\newcommand{\resumeItemListEnd}{\end{itemize}\vspace{-2pt}}

\begin{document}


\begin{center}
    {\LARGE Your Name} \\ \vspace{0pt}
    \begin{multicols}{2}
    \begin{flushleft}
    \large{111 Street Ave} \\
    \large{City, State, optional Country, Postal Code} \\
    \end{flushleft}
    
    \begin{flushright}
% this could be LinkedIn, GitHub, or a personal website or social media account (if used for professional purposes)
    \href{{url for any websites you want to link}} \large{text that will be linked to a url} \\
% please ensure your email address is one you check
    \href{mailto:{your email adress}} \large{email address}
    \end{flushright}
    \end{multicols}
\end{center}


%-----------EDUCATION-----------
% Please list your current institution first and then past schools in reverse chronology. No need for GPA, etc. You do not need to include high school but may do so if there are accomplishments you would like to highlight.
\section{Education}
\resumeSubHeadingListStart

    \resumeSubheading
        {College Univeristy Name}{Month Year studies began -- Present}
        {degree and major you are pursuing}{City, State, optional Country}
      \resumeSubheading
        {Other School attended}{Month Year studies began -- Month Year studies ended}
        {degree and major or coursework you pursued}{City, State, optional Country}

\resumeSubHeadingListEnd


%-----------RESEARCH EXPERIENCE-----------
\section{Research Experience}
% it is not expected that applicants have research experience but this section can include experience gained in a laboratory course, shadowing experiences, or group or independent research projects
\resumeSubHeadingListStart

\resumeSubheading
        {Research experience title}{Month, Year started -- Month, Year ended or "Present" if ongoing}
        {University, Company or Organization}{City, State, optional Country}
      \resumeItemListStart
        \small\resumeItem{very short description of one thing you did}
        \resumeItem{very short description of another thing you did}
        \resumeItem{very short description if there was another thing you did}
    \resumeItemListEnd

\resumeSubHeadingListEnd

%-----------OTHER EXPERIENCE-----------
\section{Other Experience}
% if you have been employed, do volunteer activities, or have held other formal or informal jobs, you can list them here.   
\resumeSubHeadingListStart

    \resumeSubheading
      {Position title}{Month, Year started -- Month, Year ended or "Present" if ongoing}
      {University, Company or Organization}{City, State, optional Country}
      \resumeItemListStart
        \small\resumeItem{very short description of one thing you did}
        \resumeItem{very short description of another thing you did}
        \resumeItem{very short description if there was another thing you did}
        \resumeItemListEnd

    \resumeSubheading
      {Another job title}{Month, Year started -- Month, Year ended or "Present" if ongoing}
      {University, Company or Organization}{City, State, optional Country}
      \resumeItemListStart
        \small\resumeItem{very short description of one thing you did}
        \resumeItem{very short description of another thing you did}
        \resumeItem{very short description if there was another thing you did}
        \resumeItemListEnd

\resumeSubHeadingListEnd

%-----------RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS-----------
\section{Research Presentations} 
% It is not expected that applicants will have items for this section, but if you have presented or published research findings at, for example, a student research conference, please list those here.
\begin{itemize}[leftmargin=0.15in, label={}]
    \normalsize{\item{
    {citation in your preferred format -- include all authors who contributed}{} \\
    {citation in your preferred format -- include all authors who contributed}{} 
}}
 \end{itemize}

%-----------AWARDS & HONORS-----------
\section{Awards \& Honors} 
% This section can include academic achievements – things like scholarships, Dean's list, honors societies – as well as recognition in your community - community service, religious study, volunteerism, military service, or anything else. You can remove or add sections as needed.
\resumeSubHeadingListStart
    \resumeSubheading
    {Title or brief description of the award}{}
    {University, Sponsor or Organization}{year(s)}
    \resumeSubheading
    {Title or brief description of the award}{}
    {University, Sponsor or Organization}{year(s)}
    \resumeSubheading
    {Title or brief description of the award}{}
    {University, Sponsor or Organization}{year(s)}
\resumeSubHeadingListEnd

%-----------SKILLS-----------
\section{Specialized Skills}
% This section can include programming or spoken languages, text editing and general software knowledge, certifications, version control or project management tools, or other skills that might be relevant. You can include as many or as few as you like: delete or add as needed.  
\begin{itemize}[leftmargin=0.15in, label={}]
    \normalsize{\item{
     \textbf{Heading, eg. "Programming Languages"}{: Python (beginner), R (intermediate)} \\
     \textbf{Other topics}{: your skills}\\
     \textbf{Other topics}{: your skills} \\
     \textbf{Other topics}{: your skills} \\
    }}
 \end{itemize}

%-----------OTHER INTERESTS-----------
\section{Other Interests}
% Also an optional section, for any hobbies, sports, artistic and musical pursuits, etc. that you would like to include. You can include as many or as few as you like: delete or add as needed. 
\begin{itemize}[leftmargin=0.15in, label={}]
    \normalsize{\item{
     \textbf{Heading, eg. "Athletics"}{: {tennis (club team captain)} } \\
      \textbf{Other heading}{: {the thing you want to include} } \\
    }}    
 \end{itemize}

\end{document}

As a master of Computer Science from some years back, I’m familiar with fighting with the ‘perfect document’, and learned some valuable lessons since then. So when reading your question with references to the “perfect document”, “define all text formatting” and just the “fighting with traditional word processors”, it triggers some of my buttons. I’ve also been an avid user of LaTeX.

Therefore I would like to address some of the main points why I’m using something like markdown for documenting nowadays:

  • My main focus nowadays is not the visual appearance, but the structure and content of the document
  • Markdown has a lot fewer bells and whistles for customisation down to the little details, which further enhances the focus on the actual content, and not the formatting
  • In my experience, the end reader doesn’t care about stuff I spent literally days and nights to polish the font size, spacing, shifting a line a tiny amount at the top or bottom, and so on

In other words, I would rather focus on content and logical structure and order of your document, rather than the visual aspect, but you are of course free to differ. But having the need for the finer details of presentation might make markdown in general not be the optimal choice for documentation.

Regarding templates in Obsidian, you can do a lot with them, but they still mostly relates to helping you keeping the structure neat and similar, which in turn can help you later on to do restructuring or presentation based on various views and post-processing of existing data.

If you want to get to the presentation details, you might rather be looking into CSS, and/or configuration of tools like the Pandoc plugin or other export plugins you choose to use.

Sorry if this just is rambling for you, but I felt a little need to address the issue of presentation vs structure and content.

2 Likes

Thank you Holroy I will give that some thought. I certainly like the idea of focusing more on content than style, but my grad work will require some minimums when it comes to APA formatting, or even a professor’s need for specific font sizes or the like. CSS is not something I am familiar with outside of an editor like web flow but if there is a CSS plugin I will check it out.

Thanks again!

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