Suggestions on the new Header reference context menu link updating feature

Use case or problem

This is a great start to fixing some of the header/block reference updating issues. Don’t take this as a complaint but more of feedback for long term. I am curious if this is the “final” solution or just a temporary fix for now?

A couple of my problems / thoughts more long term:

  1. Without knowing which headers are actually referenced somewhere else then I am left with “risking it” by changing a header more naturally/normal inline OR using the less natural right click each time I want to change any headers, which isn’t ideal.

  2. You cannot use [[page ref]] autocomplete within the modal. I don’t expect you to be able to, but more just pointing out why using the right click menu isn’t ideal.

  • For item 1, something helpful would be some sort of “indicator” that lets you know if a header is already referenced somewhere else. With block references you know because you will see the ^block-id at the end. For Headers you have no way of knowing whether one is already referenced somewhere else and therefore have to “guess” where you need to use the right-click to update or just more naturally update a header.

I posted this in insiders build discord channel as well.

Proposed solution

In a perfect world you could just update a header reference naturally inline like you normally write and Obsidian would recognize those changes and update the links accordingly (automatically).

Another “solution” for me would be if you give a visual indicator of which Header lines are referenced somewhere else so that you know which headers you need to use the context menu update to make sure links update for it. Then you only have to worry about it for specific headers that are already referenced somewhere else.


The second solution would be fine with me, creating something like the block-ref-counter plugin in core <.< this method is what I’m basically already doing, except by hand. Historically before I change a header I check it with block-ref-counter and if it has any references I use Notepad++ to do a mass find and replace before I update.

@smurfman111 I assume your 1st solution refers to an automatic one, i.e. you update a header without having to use the context menu and the links to that header are adjusted automatically.

For me that is the real header link updating feature I was and still secretly am expecting.

I am using @onlyafly’s excellent outline numbering plug-in, which assigns numbers to headers, AND updates the numbers automatically when one inserts or deletes a header.

With the context-based header link adjustment the plug-in’s number changes won’t get picked up :disappointed:

I want to add that an indication on the backlinks pane (e.g. Sort header links by order in backlinks panel) and/or a way to filter backlinks to only show those of a certain header would also help.

Other related requests:

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Yes you are correct. I edited my post to hopefully be more clear what my first proposed solution is.

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Suggestion 1 is covered here:

Suggestion 2 is covered here: