Option to link/show synonyms for current note from another notes in unlinked mentions

Hi, it would be nice to see not only exact matching words in unlinked mentions, but also cognates, single root words or even synonyms. Maybe it is possible to implement/import dictionary thesaurus into obsidian so that it could detect new relations, meanings, etc in unlinked mentions? It could raise searching possibilities on next level…


I have a similar feature request that I’ll add it to this thread.

I’m managing a large database of plants, ordered into notes for each species, family, genus, sometimes specific varieties or subspecies, tribes etc. This is both for professional gardening work and writing, so there’s a mix of technical data and long-read format text referencing particular plant forms. Sometimes I use common names, sometimes I use botanical Latin. This is all very common. Plants are notorious for having many names in general. Many fields are both blessed and cursed with this diversity.

I think the above post is a good suggestion and anything along those lines would benefit my work too. I’ll add a different approach, that is perhaps more easily attainable.

I’d love to see a feature where I can manually define synonyms for a note. So for example: [[Malva]] is a genus in the family [[Malvaceae]]. Sometimes I simply write about both groups with their common names, [[Mallow]] and the [[Mallow family]] respectively. (Or is it [[Mallows]]? Because the genus contains many species. You see the dilemma already).

In the long run, it’s not realistic to be entirely consistent and only use either language. Again, writing should take the form fitting to the context (for me personally, that’s sometimes the technical language of botany and other times the more familiar language of mainstream gardening literature). The practice I have at the moment is to call each object with both its common name and Latin name, ie. [[Mallow (Malva)]] and [[Mallow family (Malvaceae)]]. This means I will at least not get duplicates, because when I CMD+O for either “Mallow” or “Malva”, I will get that note to pop up.

(This is not entirely bullet-proof though, as many plants have several common names. So if CMD+O for another of Malvas common names, I could forget that I have a note on that genus, and simply make a new entry with a synonymous common name)

The problem with combining names is I then have seriously long note titles. And since I want to maximize the interlinks between notes, I now have spread around my text, a large number of links with names like [[Cichory-tribe (Cichorieae)]], [[Spotted-stalked tree-mallow (Malva punctata)]] and [[Allium ampeloprasum Porrum Group ‘Bleu de Solaise’]] when either of these could be referenced to (in my first brain, at least) with shorter synonyms like [[Cichorieae]], [[M. punctata]] and [[Bleu de Solaise]]. I could of course manually edit every single link with a | but then the backwards editing wouldn’t work, when in a few years taxonomists decide that Malva punctata is not a Malva after all, but an entirely different genus (then you would change that note to something else, like ‘Alcea punctata’). Or I decide myself to change the main way a note is represented. This is one of the powerful features of Obsidian, that editing happens in all the notes referencing the title of the note. it has speeded up my work tremendously, so I would prefer to keep most links un-formatted. With manual synonyms, not only would it clean up the text tremendously and make it more easy to navigate. It would also make it possible to write in a more flexible manner more fluidly, because I could choose to call the thing I’m referencing whatever I want, e.g. in a different grammatical conjugation, and still link to it in a parenthesis.

How to do this practically? I’m imagining an entry, where synonyms could be defined. When searching for a note, that has synonyms, those synonyms are either showed in the search results or not. That’s not important to me, at least. If I link to a note with one of its synonyms, that link title will only change if I change the wording of that particular synonym.

1 Like

Oddly enough, I also have plant information that I’m organizing for work. And I also had this feature idea.
Here’s how I was going to word it before I found this feature request already:
“Ability to add synonyms for nodes. For example, “part-shade, partial-shade, part shade, partial shade.” Esp. useful for “unlinked mentions.” So you could find keywords easier that way, and not have to continuously change text in a note in order to associate it with another existing node- you could simply highlight and link. Ability to find connections better as well. And in unlinked mentions, simple click and you can unlink.”


Bump. Still probably my most desired feature request and only getting more relevant by the day. I’m managing now a plant-centered vault with more than 4000 notes and am keeping up pretty well, but the potential limitations are starting to show.

From a theoretical or philosophical point of view, it shouldn’t cause any problems. That an object (ie a note) has many names, does not make it less of an object. In fact, I think this feature would strengthen the consistency I would experience, that I don’t get the same object showing up in several places. Theoretically, I’m of the conviction that Obsidian works best when each note = one unique object. (What is sometimes called ‘atomic notes’).