Most markdown links don’t work; a few do

Things I have tried

Markdown links in most of my files do not function as markdown links. Instead of opening the linked file they open a new empty file. In one small subset of files markdown links take me to the linked files.

At one point the linked files showed the backlink. On the most recent test backlinks were missing.

I haven’t the faintest why links in this subset of files are working.

What I’m trying to do

I want imported plain text files with markdown links to function as markdown links, i.e., to take me to the linked file.

Screen shots showing markdown links and backlinks in linked file.

I saw your other thread here, New user on mobile app and I’ve seen you said you are a new user.

So I’m going to make this suggestion: Unless you have a good reason that you understand, just use Wikilinks instead of Markdown links. Your life will be so much easier.

For Markdown links, are you showing any examples of links that don’t work? My guess is that you have spaces in some names. They need to be %20 instead of space. If you use Wiki links you won’t have that problem. Honestly, just use [[Wikilinks]]!

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Hi Eric… I am a newbie here, but when I link to another Markdown file in my vault, all I need to do is type [[filename]].

Although if I use [display]( it also works.

Maybe try the former?

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Thanks. When I typed “[[“ a while ago, and saw the list of files that could be linked to, my reaction was, “Wow! Maybe I should just go with wiki links.” And maybe—probably :slightly_smiling_face:—I will.

My reason for wanting markdown links is for compatibility with other plain text markdown editors. Because Obsidian is billed as markdown-based I expected links in my imported files to work. And why don’t they? I mean, what’s the rationale?

Perhaps I’m mistaken, but I assume wiki links will not work in other plain text markdown editors.

Will files with wiki links still have the “md” extent?

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My further explanation: Starting a wiki link displays files to link to; why not starting a markdown link - #2 by rigmarole

You are conflating the commands to trigger the link vs. the formatting of the links. You want the command Add internal link, whether you are formatting as Wikilink or Markdown link.

And typing [[ triggers Add internal link, regardless of how you have your link formatting settings set.

With Wikilinks disabled:


They do. If they don’t, please paste examples of ones that don’t work. But try using the correct command first, and they should auto-format correctly.

Oh, wow! Maybe that explains how markdown links in my little subset of files work. But I definitely don’t remember even typing “[[“ before this afternoon.

So given this, I can stick with markdown links? I mean, of course I can, but what do you recommend?

If I move the files in my vault outside of Obsidian, will they be plain text? And will links—markdown or wiki—work? Will they take me to the linked file?

Yeah stick with Markdown links if you want. Just type [[ so they auto-format. Hand-typing your links is probably the source of your original problem.

I can’t answer about how your others apps might behave. But yes either link type will still be plain text.

Thanks. Wish I’d had this explanation somewhere back earlier. But better late than never. Lots on Obsidian that’s attractive. Synchronization across my devices for starters. Other things that in time I’ll be adding to my setup. Experience first.

Wikilinks are much easier to write.
Wikilinks are much easier to add to existing text.
Wikilinks are much easier to read.

But they don’t contain information required to locate the linked file - that depends on the program.

An increasing number of programs use wikilinks, including some rich text programs.

But many markdown editors don’t understand wikilinks - including most of the older traditional editors. Though iAWriter has recently added wikilinks to its features on the Mac.

And wikilinks aren’t markdown.



This is a good thread. Transportability has also become important to me, and I’ve switched to plain Markdown links but there seem to be reports of the support for it being sketchy?

See GitHub - val3344/obsidian-update-relative-links

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