Map of Content plugin release

Hey there!

My plugin automatically generates a Map of Content for your vault. You choose what note should be the center and it finds the shortest connection to every other note by following all the links. Every time you open a note it then generates an MOC like this:

It solves the problem of having many different notes but not really knowing how they are linked to each other, because you can only ever see one layer of connections at a time.

Another problem it solves is that since Obsidian is link-based and not folder-based it lacks a hierarchical structure. That’s great for flexibility but not so great for logic and order. My plugin generates a hierarchical structure out of all the links, that can change when the links change and thus keeps all their flexibility.

It’s my first Obsidian plugin and i hope you’ll enjoy using it!

Download it by searching the community plugins for “Map of Content”.

Some ideas i have for future features are:

  • integrating with the tagging and folder system, to exclude some notes based on tags or folder structure, or to treat tags as links in the MOC as well)
  • making the plugin respond to user behaviour by analyzing and displaying the most used (and thus most relevant) paths and notes first
  • highlighting notes that need attention because they’re not well linked or related to any still relevant notes to avoid “note rot” where notes fade into obscurity while bloating up your vault (regularly combing through your old notes to keep them in order and well integrated with newer ones is also a great way to remember what you wrote about, as it combines spaced repetition with the task of linking old thoughts with new ones (elaboration) which also aids memory tremendously)
  • the ability to maintain distinct hierarchies centered around different central notes, so as to in effect have virtual vaults within the same vault (this could solve the problem many people including me seem to have where you want to keep your notes well integrated, but also need to be able to get a clear view of just one thematic section of your vault)

I’d love your feedback on the plugin (whether it works for you and is useful) and what you personally think some great next features would be.

Bug reports and specific feature requests can also be filed on the plugins GitHub repo.

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Thank you! I had given up on doing this manually because it was too much work.

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Very cool.

A setting to control depth would be good. If you have organic, highly-connected notes, the connections are more important than the global hierarchy. If I could limit the depth of connections shown in the pane, I could trim what’s shown to be the more relevant notes and less of the farther away ones.

By default it will expand descendants up to three levels down, and anything below that will need to be manually expanded to be shown.

Sweet! What does the indicator look like to expands past 3 levels. I think I may not have a case where that happens.

Mine looks like this:

Oh, the arrow symbols don’t seem to render on your system. I have yet to find ones that work on every system. You’d think unicode is universal like that but no.

Since you can’t see the arrows you can’t see the ones that indicate hidden children.

I’ll put some more priority on on that issue and hopefully push a fix within a few days.

I’ve released an update to the plugin that has fixed your issue. I just replaced the arrows with svg elements.

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Wow, I really love this plugin. Thanks a lot for developing it. :heart: I was thinking about this problem mentioned above in the last days after reading How to Take Smart Notes (again). Your plugin gives a nice hierarchical overview, while still just being an on-top-layer and respecting flexibility and the “multiple storage” advantage of the links. So the same note can appear in different places of your overview. It also encouraged me to actually make use of a central index note, which is an important part of the Zettelkasten method (in order to be able to reach any not by going down the links from the index).

I’m excited to use it and hope for a lot of great updates. :wink: All of your plans sound great. Maybe it would be possible to add a dropdown menu in order to select how many levels should be unfolded.

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Thank you for the feedback!

How to Take Smart Notes is a great book. In a way the tree my plugin generates can be considered a form of Zettelkasten prefix since it goes from very abstract to the very specific just like them (But much more human-readable :smile:) So that was part of my inspiration.

I plan to have a settings option for how many levels to automatically show. Having a button next to the tree to expand n number of levels would also be nice, so i’ll work on that too.

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@Robin-Haupt : your screenshots look good. But I can’t get it to work. In the settings I defined the path to my central note and clicked on “Save settings & rebuild Map of Content”. And the plugin says: “Rebuilding complete”. But where do I find the result? There is no new file created. Thanks!

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The MOC will be displayed in the plugins view/pane. Maybe you have the right sidebar hidden by default? It should be right there.

Ah, thanks! The plugin pane isn’t visible in my main vault, and I can’t find a way to display it. But I tested your plugin in another vault, and there I can see it. So, maybe I changed a setting somewhere in my main vault.

But you can display the right sidebar where the backlinks usually are, right? If that’s hidden you just have to click on the little arrow at the very right to show it. If there is no arrow, or the plugins view isn’t in the sidebar, try restarting Obsidian.

This is very nice. I’m definitely getting some good use out of it, making my vault easier to travel through. It doesn’t seem to identify transclusions as links, though? Could that be added?

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I’ll have a look at it!

The latest update has this feature now. Thank you for having suggested it!

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Hello, this looks to be an interesting plugin! Quick question as I am a little confused - is there a way to manually trigger the MOC generation or does it automatically produce the list for every new note created? e.g. if I already have backlinks to a note that I planned for previously, say a concept like ‘empire’, when I get around to actually creating the page for ‘empire’ the MOC auto-inserts into the new page?

I can see this being really helpful to start off my MOC-making process for big concepts, to keep an eye on a project/essay, or maintain a simple MOC without too much manual updating. but I know I won’t always want to have it when starting a note, so is there an option to toggle it?

Hello daggers,

you can trigger the MOC update by clicking on the little “circle with two arrows” icon in the sidebar left of where all your notes are listed.

You can also set a hotkey to trigger it by going to Obsidian settings → Hotkeys and searching for “Update Map of Content”. Then click on the little button on the right and press the key combination you’d like to use to trigger the update (ALT + u for example)

I know I won’t always want to have it when starting a note, so is there an option to toggle it?

If you want to hide the view, you can drag it (press and hold the little file tree icon on top of it) next to your backlinks pane that should be right of your open file. Then you can switch back and forth between them and if you want to always see it again, just drag it back to it’s own space where it used to be.

I hope that answers your questions. Let me know if i can be of futher help!

Thanks for the clarification!

by ‘toggling it’ I meant more that I might not always keep the MOC generated by the plugin (depending on what i want to focus on), but that seeing what the plugin produces would be like having a second perspective. since you mentioned that it can sit next to the backlinks pane, I think it will work for me!

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I’m loving your plugin! Although I probably don’t use it the way you intended. I don’t really have a central note that unifies all of my PKM, so I am using your plugin as a kind of check whether a given topic is well connected. I.e., I will choose the topic I’m currently working on and click through random notes to see if they are connected to it. If not, I think about whether they should…

Because of that, I would love it if we could have a command (maybe on right-clicking a note or maybe in the MOC pane) that would let us select the currently open note as the new MOC.

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