Note Combo-Linker

Originally, I posted this as plugin, but reconsidered, and think this could be a feature.

It would be cool to be able to quickly combine the content of multiple links (if in editor) or nodes (if in graph view), or even notes (if in file explorer) into a new note. Perhaps, there could be a setting for the max number of lines to include.

I could see some advanced features allowing for adjusting the hierarchy of the composite with relative ease in the process, potentially allowing a commit that would actually link those notes to each other based on that hierarchy, although that would be a bonus feature, yet very powerful. Additionally, by selecting multiple notes in explorer and clicking a create button, it could interpret already existing hierarchy into the composite note for those source notes.

In real time, it could order the source content based on sequence of clicks, and neatly format the new composite note with headers, with undo capabilities. Also, there could be a toggle for whether you want the new note to be linked to or from the source notes, if at all.

Thanks.

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Hm. I’m not sure I’m following the idea correctly. Do you think it’s comparable to Extract Note / Refactor?

I would not want the source notes to be affected. I see it as more of a way to combine different combinations of notes into new rough draft ideas. Those same source notes would continue to be used in concert with other notes to create additional rough draft idea combinations.

The part in my post about creating and interpreting links between notes in hierarchy should probably be separated into separate idea, but honestly I think the interface I imagine could lend itself to being quite helpful in that context.

Thanks for reading my request. It is nice to be heard.

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Ohhh, I undestand! Makes much more sense now. So like, you tap “Combine notes,” and then click on three notes, and voila—a new pane appears with the contents of those three notes.

Interesting!

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Exactly!


My preferred process with emphasis on notes’ sequence:

Bring in transcluded notes in preferred sequence, in a new or existing (intermixed native and transcluded) notes

![[note2.md]]
![[note1.md]]
![[note3.md]]

and have the entire notes “exported” as new .md with subnotes expanded into full text.

#notes-combine

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That would be really neat indeed!

That’s how Niklas Luhman did manage to write hundreds of articles a year (and not to forget minimum one book a year on top of that).

The idea not to change the original notes is key here. Allthough I am not sure Luhman would have done it like that (personal opinion).

The copy-pasting is a ‘workaround’ for me. One I could live with BTW. So certainly a good idea to explore!

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I’ll add my +1 to this. I’m using Text {{expand}} a lot, and it would be great to be able to select some of the results and automatically combine them into a separate note.

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+1 , definitely would be helpful. Its like note refractor but on a global scale.

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+1 one from me as well.

I asked here about the possibility to compile a whole document from a MOC and someone in my thread and @I-d-as was so kind to point me at his thread here

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I am facing this exact issue now. I need to compile a large series of notes into one document. Any word on this as a feature/plugin?

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@Davew : As far as I know, there isn’t anything yet, but I am happy to hear there is more interest.

I would imagine that this is probably currently lower on the list of priorities as it is likely somewhat easy to accomplish in pandoc or something similar. But personally, I couldn’t help you other than to some scripts I found posted elsewhere that I’d rather not run.

If someone knows a good easy workaround, a good pandoc or similar workflow, or even just something that is better than manual, maybe add a link here. It would definitely be appreciated.

Thanks.

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Did you end up figuring out a good workflow?

I have written a paper with one section per markdown file, and would like a good way to compile them based on some makefile/outline style !include system.

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@mjhoefer:Here is one option, but it only works if your goal is to export, which is not the case in my request. But I will share it anyways. If you have the notes all in order in the Explorer pane, shift select the entire range of them and drag them into an empty note. It can be easier to pin the empty note first so that when you select the range, it doesn’t open the first note you click.

The resulting list of links can be changed into a list of embedded notes by adding an ! before the [[. A quick way to do this is doing a Find and Replace within the note, finding all occurrences of [[ and replacing them with ![[. If you like using plugins, I believe there is a plugin that does this automatically if you hold alt while dragging links from the Explorer pane in the previous step, but that’s besides the point.

At this point, if you are in either preview or live preview mode you will see all your text. There is a css snippet to disable scrollbars for embeds thus showing the entire text. Regardless, when you Export to pdf you will get the entire text. You might want to give it a try, selecting and copying text from preview mode and see if it can be successfully pasted into a new note. However, last time I checked or heard, that process has some issues. So you could copy and paste from your pdf and experiment with whether you prefer normal pasting or paste unformatted text. From there, I guess you might have to do some cleanup.

People may recommend a pandoc workflow, but I can’t help you with that. It sure would be nice to be able to do this in Obsidian and retain all the formatting. Perhaps someone will see this and recommend some plugin I am unaware of. Thanks for your interest!

I don’t find the shift select and drag works.
(I think this is a problem that was introduced by bartender and a manual sort order.)

Though the search method described in this thread does: Quickly merge multiple notes using Search and Note Composer

Although the manual sorting sequence enabled by bartender GitHub - nothingislost/obsidian-bartender: Allows for rearranging the elements in the status bar and sidebar ribbon disappears.

I’m very surprised that there hasn’t been a plugin to address this yet - Obsidian’s setup encourages writing in shorter notes, but using them often requires combining them.
I think I’ll stick a request on the bartender github as it seems that could be a major use for manual sorting.

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@Dor Good idea. Thanks.

So, the idea would be that you would have to manually sort a few files you want to create a merged version of within the bartender plugin? To be clear, you are going to request that there is a command added to actually accomplish this. This probably seems like a stupid question, but since I am not completely familiar with the plugin, I just wanted to double check that I am not missing something obvious here.

Hopefully you will link to your request. I really appreciate your idea, and am very much looking forward to looking further into the plugin and potential solutions.

Thanks again!

Bartender allows manual sorting in the file explorer. There are many reasons why someone may want to have manual sorting, but one of them is that they are writing short notes, but with the intention that they be combined to produce a single long document. So one option would be for bartender to allow the manually sorted export in the way you suggest to preserve the sorting; that would be a time saving. Or, additionally going the extra yards to produce an export or merge.

Bartender is still quite early in development so I’m very unsure what ideas the developer has for the future. But this is their github page, so it looks as if their interests span this area. nothingislost (NothingIsLost) · GitHub

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My ‘simplest’ current options for combining short notes into a long document in a sequence of your choosing:

  1. Select the files and place links in an empty note; using either the i-d-as method above or the search method linked above.
  2. Convert all to embeds.
  3. Rearrange the embeds - a few options on how to do this:
  • Murf’s Drag and Drop Blocks plugin (but only works in legacy editor)
  • Artem Barmin’s Obsidian Drag n Drop (but currently only works if you put the embeds in list format)
  • make all the embeds headings and use the core Outline to move them
  • just cut and paste to rearrange on page; might be simplest for just a few
  1. Export.

Personally, I find the headings system for arranging the note sequence the easiest and most flexible. And, when exported, it converts well to docx outlines.

Once done, it stays done.
If you want to export to a word processor using paragraphs, make sure you are using markdown paragraphs rather than lines.

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