Paragraph formatting in editor?

I am using Obsidian with Zotero as a Zettelkasten. I am a fiction writer and my notes cover a number of things: research, readings in literature, etc.

…actually I just realized that none of this is particular to what I do. It’s just a Zettelkasten, the way anyone without much imagination would use it LOL. I connect ideas and build up chains of ideas into nearly-draft-quality writing.

That’s the part I’m stuck on - writing. When I have two paragraphs in a row the formatting in the editor is so bad it’s distracting. The main part I can’t live without is a visual cue to separate paragraphs.

Once I have a critical mass of notes - enough to move over to Scrivener and start working on a draft - I’m home free. I’m not trying to write for 3 hours at a time on a long MS in Obsidian. It’s just notes where I’m fleshing out a single idea in a few paragraphs, if I try to read back through it often seems like I’m missing a paragraph. I try to add it and get an extra break.

FWIW Typora is my favorite MD editor. I would love to have its editor native in Obsidian, or at least a theme with usable, transparent type (doesn’t get in the way of working).

Long story short (too late), can someone help me get any kind of visible paragraph break? Indent, line spacing, whatever - I just need to see paragraphs.

I’m thinking I must be missing something obvious. It seems beyond imagination that I’m the first to suffer under the weight of this formatting.

BTW I’m using the plugin Sliding Panes (Andy’s Mode)

Things I have tried

I looked through the help and found Add custom styles

Realistically I’m probably not going to do much tinkering with anything remotely resembling code. I know this is open source software, and tinkering is the point for some people, but I’m just a user. In younger years I did lots of hobby tinkering - scripting, woodworking, electronics. I wish I could have all that time back.

I read this thread but I don’t get it. I don’t know CSS and I’m not going to learn. Indenting paragraphs (and paragraphs only) in source mode

I also tried previewing community themes to see whether any of those had any provision for paragraphs. Couldn’t find anything.

Then you’re out of luck.
Obsidian relies on this tech for skinning your text. You have to be willing to at least copy and paste some pre-established snippets to achieve the effects you want, even if you don’t understand how they do what they do. It’s not hard, there’s a dozen tutorials for this on these forums. If you don’t want to do this at least, then there’s nothing you can do.

Now, on to the solution. As a fellow fiction writer, I absolutely feel your pain, and the devs were kind enough to provide with the solution. The CSS snippets you’re looking for, ready to use, are here:

They add spacing to paragraphs (not first line indents) both in edit and preview, which provide the visual cue you’re looking for (alter the numerical values to your liking). It has absolutely changed my use of Obsidian and makes writing so much better. I agree 100% that this is mandatory for writing long form if one is to keep his or her sanity :sweat_smile:

Just as a side note:

Obsidian is not open source, it uses open standards (which are CSS and HTML), which is why we can reach into many hooks and skin it, and write plugins for it. :slightly_smiling_face:



You were right - it wasn’t hard at all.

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