Meta-tags for notes, and different coloring of the links referring to them

Imagine for a literature review, I need to manually mark—and later on, extract—all nouns, adverbs, and adjectives of a bunch of documents that I have as .md notes. If I had PDF files, I could do this by highlighting those words in different colors.

At the same time, I need to know where (i.e., in which documents) each of the highlighted words appears. So, for instance, I want to know which documents contain child, and which contain cat, and which contain sad.

(These two are somehow possible using, e.g., NVivo on PDF files. However, it is painstaking, expensive, and not portable in the way plain-text markdowns are.)

My strategy for the latter thing (cataloging where the terms are) was to make internal links whenever I find [[cat]], [[child]], or [[sad]] in the texts. Obsidian would then create blank notes as,, and for the first time, and it would show me the backlinks to where those words occurred. Making internal links (rather than #tagging the words) is that I can write a description for the words in the corresponding notes—which is not possible for tags afaik.

These could be implemented if there was a way to add a “meta-tag” to the notes (,, and and color the links according to those meta-tags. I further wish[ed] there was a way to extract the backlinks and insert them in a note (as I asked a couple of days ago: Add a (auto-updating) list of linked mentions in a given note) but let’s keep it in the other thread.

Is what I am looking for currently possible in Obsidian? if not, will it ever see the light of day?

Thanks in advance.


I’m just commenting to say that I am very interested in hearing about any methods that other users have devised to use obsidian as a rudimentary Qualitative Data Analysis tool (QDA) like ATLASTI, NVIVO, etc. It seems like one could use the backlinking and tagging system could pull it off, but I’m just not sure what would be the best way to use either tags or links to “encode” specific portions of text.

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I’ve been wondering the very same thing. Theoretically, I believe that it can work but still need to try it out.

I would be interested in thinking through this with someone.

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