Offer "writer mode" more explicitly


I spent days with obsidian right in front of me while looking for decent markdown editors. I found absolutely none decent enough regarding both aesthetics and functionality. Only at the insistence of a member of another forum I gave obsidian yet another chance and finally found all of what I was looking for, but I was very surprised to find all of those properties rather obscured by obsidian default layout.

This is the layout I was looking for:

It’s simple, clear and sleek, up to the level of any “top” paid options out there. Why wouldn’t you offer this to writers as a default layout? It’s just tweaks without even using plugins nor custom themes, and it’s sad that it’s completely overlooked whenever you look for good markdown editors. I have searched for days until my eyes were bleeding and I grant you that obsidian makes it to no list, despite being of excellent quality in both functionality, simplicity and aesthetics.

My humble suggestion is to offer pre-configured layouts upon install according to what the main use will be: are you a writer? offer the above layout; are you managing databases? offer the current layout.

from what i can see, the only change to the default layout you made was to close the left sidebar? I believe that the close sidebar button is relatively intuitive, and doesn’t warrant a whole onboarding process (this ‘layout’ also prevents easy access to other files, which the vast majority of users will want to access)

Some examples how the editor in Obsidian could be improved:

  • in serious writing html entity references are used like ‑ Non-Breaking Hyphen (U+2011) — however in live preview these are not rendered in real time
  • when writing inline math formulas, the current syntax highlighting doesn’t recognize spaces
  • Obsidian doesn’t support implicit GFM heading identifiers:

Some personal remarks about the editor:

  • The default image paste feature doesn’t generate new lines automatically similar to Insert → Table
  • how to exit in‑file search Cmd + F using keyboard (pressing the X) — one might think that pressing Esc is equivalent but Esc and X serve different purposes
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A couple other things too but actually that’s my point, minimal tweaks are required for obsidian to look just like some “top tier” paid markdown editors out there, but they are not visible until you actually try the app, which you will never do if you are not shown that this is even possible. When you investigate obsidian, no example shows it as a markdown editor, which is understandable for it’s not its focus, but it’s a shame that being able to perform as well as dedicated apps, it’s missing from those lists just because this face is not explicit.

While it’s a matter of time for obsidian to correctly support this (which in any case just affects the live preview), it still does a really good job compared to other professional paid-for solutions. A sad waste of potential that’s this “face” of obsidian is so obscured.