Most users have spent hours highly customizing Obsidian to meet our needs and preferences via settings, themes, CSS snippets, plugins, etc. But whenever we add a new vault—or want to temporarily designate a folder as a vault to use Obsidian on the files inside it—that’s all left behind, as if we’re opening Obsidian for the very first time. The only workaround (see below) is cumbersome.
Add the option to store the .obsidian configuration folder as an Obsidian application folder rather than in a vault
Enable the designation of a “primary vault” and add the option to automatically use the contents of its .obsidian folder to configure other vaults
Continue to keep separate .obsidian configuration folders in every vault, but add an option to keep their contents in sync
Copy the hidden .obsidian configuration folder into any new vaults.
When any new configuration modifications are made, they either need to be manually duplicated in every other vault, or else the .obsidian folders in all the other other vaults need to be periodically replaced with the newly modified .obsidian folder.
A common pattern that is used is to have a common place to have the settings at the application level. Then each vault is allowed to override the individual setup. Gets a little tricky with plugin interactions but would be a place to start.
My 2 cents: I like the idea of a Vault being self-contained, as most other Obsidian users (I guess). It makes them truly portable.
But indeed, creating a Vault starting from an existing .obsidian folder (current or, maybe, user-selected) makes for a much better user experience. Moreover, being able to synchronize from a “source” .obsidian to a “destination” .obsidian would be even better (in case one further customizes one’s settings and would like to propagate the changes to other Vaults).
I realize the synching might not be easy to implement as a diff might have many corner cases, but maybe a simple solution, like “delete-current-destination-.obsidian-and-copy-source-.obsidian,” would be a good start. On the good side, creating a Vault starting from an existing .obsidian and later synch can be abstracted to the exact thing/implementation.
Separating my single vault into multiple distinct ones has really shown me the benefit of discrete working spaces.
But I’m feeling the pain at the snippet and plugin level.
I feel like I have three different Obsidian configurations to manage. I really don’t need different sets of these things in each.
Just wish I could harmonise it.
Solutions I’ve looked at tend to lead to git, which is not particularly user-friendly.
Also consider that people will be working across multiple devices - eg iMac but also iPad.
The “Obsidian” folder in “iCloud Drive” seems eminently capable of housing a single configuration folder that would span vaults at user discretion, as the poster said.