Optional default behavior to open new links in the left-most pane (replacing existing pane)


Seeing that work is being done on a more efficient pane management UX, in this case dragging a note link over a pane to replace the pane, has inspired me to highlight some other QoL improvements that I think would go a long way towards bringing Obsidian’s multitasking & pane management UX into closer parity with Roam (the benchmark imo).

I want to get to an end state where I can navigate through dozens of panes frictionlessly, including comparing 100 notes to 1 note, or bringing any two notes up to compare, at the speed of thought. This is not currently the case.


For this request, I’d like an option to open a link (when opened normally, not using shift-click) in place of the left-most pane (even if that pane is “pinned”), instead of the currently active pane.

If paired with a future vertically-scrolling sidebar version of @death.au 's Sliding Panes plugin, this would replicate Roam’s pane navigation simplicity.

In editor mode, we’d only have to remember:

  • cmd-click to open in main left pane
  • cmd-shift-click to open in sidebar.

We could open dozens of panes in the right sidebar while keeping our main pane in focus in the left-pane (e.g. for working on an essay while referencing sources in the sidebar). To replace the note that’s currently occupying the left pane, we’d just need to click a link or search for a note in the quick switcher.

Note: in the case that the leftmost pane is effectively a pinned “main page” that we can replace by opening a new note, this should not be affected by actions such as the close all panes hotkey.

Related feature requests (that combined will replicate Roam’s UX)