Live preview in backlinks, improvements to how they are displayed

Use case or problem

The current display of backlinks (linked/unlinked mentions) in Live Preview makes it unaesthetic, displeasing to use and frictional. Case in point:

Serves as a pain point for people looking to transition into Obsidian.

Proposed solution

  1. Enabling Live Preview in backlinks
  2. Ability to edit backlinks directly underneath the document, or at least open/close bullets
  3. Improving how bullets appear (if source is written in outliner format)
  4. If in prose, option to show an entire sentence/paragraph/header section that the backlink is found in.
  5. If you have a better idea please comment below.

Possibly related issue of how tranclusions appear


There is a FR for preview rendered text in backlinks.
4 There is already a toggle to increase/decrease how much to show.

Maybe it’s better if you split all your ideas into separate requests.

Edit: I originally linked the wrong thread.

I read the thread and it seems more of the panel or the outline… I meant more of the backlinks that show up at the bottom of the page. Unless they are the same thing.

they are the same thing.

I’m confused. How are they the same thing? Or do you just mean they use similar principles behind the scenes and if it gets implemented for Outline view then it would also get implemented for Backlinks view?

Backlinks view vs Outline view. Big difference in my point of view and having them in Backlinks would be much more valuable in my eyes.

I think it’s important people see this FR specific to Backlinks because in my eyes that is much more valuable and would like a place for people to vote specifically for that. Thoughts?

Not backlinks and outline. The backlinks pane and the backlinks in document are the same thing. This post was about backlinks I don’t know there the outline came from.

Edit: it came from my wrong link.

Anyway, i think it’s better you unpack your request into multiple FRs.

Ahhhh ok the wrong link now makes sense :wink:

I really agree with this - it would make the backlinks not just aesthetically more pleasing, but -importantly!- more useful. And I do think that this collection of useful features of backlinks should not be broken up as the interplay between them is what would make backlinks more useful.

The toggle to see more context is nice, but highly impractical for skimming a list of backlinks while figuring out which is the one one wants.

I would also add another feature:

  • drag and drop as embed. It would be extremely helpful to be able to drag relevant blocks up to the page (eg cmd-drag) to create and embed of that block in the main page.


  • filtering (eg. backlink to this page but don’t show if it also has tag X)

Agree with Kabo on filtering of backlinks. Super helpful.

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Okay i’d be willing to split the topic… Question is I think some of the replies here are quite insightful, would you merge them to the corresponding threads? Also, I see the aesthetic of the backlinks as a “whole”, like it kinda comes together in a package.

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Filtering backlinks… doesn’t the search box do that? Or is there something else you mean by that?

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But the search in backlinks searches the whole linked page. And you want it so search only the section, line, paragraph the link is found. It least I want that most of the time. Specially with longer pages the current behaviour can be troublesome.


It would be nice to be able to click check boxes in the backlinks and queries.


Bumping this again because

is just really ugly and not humanly legible… It’s just not a pleasant experience.

I’m just sad that it’s been 8 months and no news of this being fixed :frowning:

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I believe the dev are prioritising what get built into the core n what can be tackled via plugin. That said, there’s a plugin for such feature, see link below

The moment we have a user-friendly, proper Live Preview, I will drop Roam / Logseq. Obsidian is fundamentally easier for writing.

How do we use this for Live Preview? It does not seem obvious.

not 100% sure i get what u mean, but hopefully this help

how to install & enable

  • install OBSIDIAN42 - BRAT plugin from Community plugins
  • install Obsidian Query Control plugin via BRAT (Ctrl/Cmd P > Obsidian42 BRAT: Add a beta plugin for testing > enter “nothingislost/obsidian-query-control”)
  • enable the plugin in Community plugins

how to use it

  • open Query Control plugin settings
  • enable the feature u prefer. here’s what i select.
    • image
  • your backlink should have it rendered per ur settings

Thank you! This helps

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Yes, thank you for this explanation. Now I am just looking for a way to make the formatted text in the linked references a little bit smaller. I guess this can be done with CSS but I am never ever able to see which classs to change.

Anybody did this already?