Show heading title instead of note title in backlinks section (or breadcrumbs)

If a reference that appears in thebacklinks panel is under a heading, show that heading instead of or in addition to the title.

Treating the heading block as its own fundemental info unit throughout obsidian allows you to naturally create different hierarchies and dimensionality to the data.


Hmm. I would say either show the title AND the heading or have an option to toggle this on and off, because the way my notes are structured means I really want to know the context of that heading–when I’m taking notes on an academic article, there are a whole lot of “Introduction” or “Conclusion” or “Chapter 1” headings that won’t tell me about the context at all!


Yeah the title could be smaller font, bold, closer linespacing to the sentence that contains the link.

Similarly OP is mentioning the value of seeing a bit of context (heading), so you could see note title, heading & the line link is in for each backlink. Just need slightly different styling to indicate what’s being shown.This could be too much, so a toggle to “expand context” would be nice.

I also feel there should be an option for the backlink list to appear at the bottom of the note/page, so it’s more legible and your backlinks can flow along with the rest of your notes contents.

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Show hierarchical context (parent block/header) for each backlink (mention) [breadcrumbs in backlinks]

In backlinks section, when “Collapse results” is OFF, then show also the innermost block (or heading) under which the mention is contained.

Hierarchical context is often more relevant then the context immediately surrounding the mention, e.g. for list items in nested lists.

Use case

  • I could have [[taskXY]] mentioned in [[scheduled]] in chapter “”### 2020-12-24" which is included in chapters “# 2020” > “## 2020-12”
  • In backlinks for [[taskXY]] I would like to see not only “scheduled” but rather “scheduled > 2020-12-24” or “scheduled > … > 2020-12-24”.
  • the same should work when the structure is just nested list, without headers
	- 2020
		- ...
		- 2020-12
			- ...
			- 2020-12-24
				- ...
				- [[taskXY]]
			- ...

Other considerations

  • Showing full path of nested blocks (ancestors) might be needed in some use-cases (requested here.) But that would often require much more screen-space. It could be shown e.g. on hover or when “Show more context” is ON. In the example above it would be “scheduled > 2020 > 2020-12 > 2020-12-24”.
  • When the text is too long, then maybe hide the middle of text to maximize probability of showing the most relevant context. “Lorem ipsum … platea dictumst.” Showing only the beginnings “Lorem ipsum dolor sit …” might not be sufficient when a lot of blocks begins by the same text as a workaround of not being currently able to address nested structures within one file by means of “path”. (For example the schedule in the use-case above with many “2020…”.) But which part to trim from view, can be decided by checking uniqueness of the text within the tree of blocks in the file, for maximum informativeness of displayed content.

Existing implementations:

(for inspiration)

Related feature requests


This would dramatically increase the utility of backlinks. Would love to see it.


I noticed that toggling “show more context” allows me to see nested items but not items at a higher level of hierarchy. This results in missing context. This could be solved with the above solution (although it would require users to add headings where they might not otherwise have done so).

An example, coming from Roam:

On my daily note page of [[2021-09-28]] I might have the following

[[Hawaii trip]]

  • Going from [[2021-01-01]] to [[2021-01-08]]
    • Bring a baiting suit

In Roam when I look at my backlinks for [[2021-01-08]] I see:
[[Hawaii trip]]

  • Going from [[2021-01-01]] to [[2021-01-08]]

I also get an indicator that there is further nested context and can expand to see “Bring a bathing suit”

In Obsidian I see:

  • Going from [[2021-01-01]] to [[2021-01-08]]
    • Bring a baiting suit

Is there a way of automatically exposing “[[Hawaii trip]]” in the backlink without having to manually tap on the little “show more context” up arrow?


Thanks I just had the same problem.

Is there any news on this issue? For me, the backlinks often are useless right now. I also have to Roam/Logseq concept in mind. Or do I miss something?

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This is a feature in logseq and it makes such a difference. It’s understandable because logseq works with hierarchies of blocks, but a breadcrumb of headings could fulfill a similar role in obsidian.

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Yes, looking forward to seeing something like this in Obsidian