New Plugin For Split Screen Footnotes/Annotations?

Hello,

Is there a way that we can create a plugin that would split the note in half vertically where the left side is the main content of the note and the right side is dedicated to all of the footnotes (with both sides being scrollable if there’s enough content on either side)?

The main idea is that when you input the command to place a new footnote marker, the footnote that it creates appears on the right side of the note rather than at the bottom of the note.

:point_down:Here’s a perfect example of what I’m thinking of:


This screenshot was taken from NETBible.org. Notice how the main text is on the left and has lots of footnote number markers that correspond with the footnotes/annotations on the right. Clicking on the footnote number marker goes to the relevant footnote/annotation on the right. Also notice how both sides are able to scroll up and down.
You can visit that site and see how it functions.

@Joschua’s Obsidian Bible Kit is the original motivation for wanting such a plugin since the Bible has lots of content and I have tons of notes from multiple sources. It would be awesome to add those notes to my Obsidian Bible as NETBible.org style annotations.

This also can be useful for other purposes other than annotating Bibles. This can also be useful for any other huge note/document that you have tons of footnotes/annotations/comments for.

The advantage of having the footnotes/annotations on the right side of the screen opposed to at the bottom is that you’re able to view both the main material and the footnotes/annotations side by side without having to jump back and forth from the top/middle of the main content all the way down to the bottom of the note where the footnotes are.

I am aware that there is the better footnote plugin which allows a popup window with the footnote to appear when you hover your cursor over the footnote number. It has it’s valuable uses. However, that’s not conducive to viewing many footnotes together. When you have tons of footnotes/annotations to read through, that can get rather tedious. Also, if there are larger elements in the footnotes/annotations, like maps of a decent size, that little popup window is going to make such elements smaller; even if the popup window could be made larger, that could become obstructive.

I also thought about having 2 separate notes: 1 for the main content and the other for the footnotes/annotations. However, the problem with that is that (1) that effectively eliminates the functionality of the footnote links (clicking on the footnote number will no longer take you to the relevant footnote, which is bad when you have tons of footnotes/annotations to search through) and (2) when working with something like a huge, heavily annotated document, like an annotated Obsidian Bible, that effectively would add nearly another 1,200 notes to someone’s vault, which can have potentially undesirable consequences (ex: limited storage space, more cluttered graph view, etc.)

What would it take to build a plugin like this? Would it be difficult to create something like this?

@kuchejak
@akaalias

1 Like

You can just open the same note in 2 tab groups. Right click any internal link (or bite in the file explorer), then choose “Open to right”. Then open your note in each of the visible tabs and scroll them separately.

That’s a pretty thoughtful workaround. However, that doesn’t resolve the footnote linking issue.

If I click on a footnote number link in the main text on the left, it doesn’t jump to the relevant annotation on the right. It jumps to the footnotes on the bottom of the left page, which would still leave me either having to jump around a lot on the left or manually digging for footnotes on the right, which is less convenient and efficient, especially for longer chapters with potentially hundreds of annotations.

Sorry, I didn’t read your post closely enough.

CawlinTeffid, do you know what specific things that would need to be done to create a plugin like this?

I don’t, sorry. The official starting points for making plugins are at Community plugins - Obsidian Help .