Muscle Memory

Many markdown editors have small little features when typing that can seep into your muscle memory.

Here are two examples:

  1. In most md editors, hitting cmd/ctrl-i will put the cursor between two asterisks. After typing your word, you can then hit cmd/ctrl-i again and, rather than putting in two new asterisks, the original set will simply complete. The same holds for bold and highlight shortcuts.

  2. In most md editors, hitting enter/return twice while typing a list will move you to the next line and will delete the - or * for the empty list item.

In obsidian, neither of these two typing features work. But many of us have them as “muscle memory” from working in other apps. (I work on the Mac and have in mind Drafts, iaWriter, Ulysses, but also broader editors like vscode)

So, what if there were a plugin that let you add in these little “muscle memory” typing shortcuts.

I envision two sets of options in the settings:

  1. A long list of toggle options which allow you to bring in typical typing shortcuts/experiences from other apps
  2. A list of “presets” from other apps which “emulate” the typing experience and shortcuts, the “muscle memory”, of other apps. These would turn on a set of options which would create a similar typing experience to some other app.

(2) should work. At least it does here.

Both of these work for me.

In settings > Editor switch on Autopair Markdown Syntax
This will have the CTRL-B and CTRL-I behaviour you request above. I just hit CTRL-right arrow to move out of the asteriks.

(2) works for me as well, though @EleanorKonik says it doesn’t work for her…

Right, I have Autopair Markdown Syntax turned on. But hitting CMD-I the second time doesn’t close the asterisks, it creates a new pair. I’m suggesting that it should close the asterisks (the equivalent of manually hitting shift-8) like it does on many other editors

When you hit cmd-i for the second time does it start a new pair of asterisks, or does it complete the one you are already in?

When I hit CTRL-I, it creates a pair of asterisks. When I hit it the second time, it removes the asterisks. When I hit CTRL-B, it adds four asterisks, and the second time it removes them.

For the first issue install Markdown Formatting Assistance plugin. For the second issue install Outliner plugin. I cant live without these.

I also made an amateur-ish vimkey like autohotkey script to help me develop muscle memory over multi-platforms. I would like to learn about other people choices to improve it.

Just tested again. That works for me too.


When I hit CMD-I, then enter a word, then hit CMD-I instead of removing the asterisks or terminating them (essentially moving the character one to the right), it adds an additional set of asterisks.

Same with CMD-B.

Does that happen for you?

Thanks for this! The Outliner plugin works great for me.

Just playing with Markdown Formatting Assistance, but at least the standard install doesn’t seem to add the feature I outline above. Any further suggestions on how to set it up?

your welcome

after installing, in hot keys you can assign keys for italic, bold etc (search for toggle in hotkeys menu to find them). and hitting that key again will remove the marker just like you want.

Hmm, still not the case. CMD-I only toggles on and off when no words are between the asterisks…

yeah you have to select the word first. i use a hot key to select the word at the cursor. i think you may suggest it to developers to add an extra key only to do that. but it is understandable there is a need to markup multiple words too. the best hot key i love is toggling lines into a bullet point, check list and checking the check list status which is so handy for working with checklists. there is no need to select in this case and it works very smoothly.