Transclusion keeps me from tagging, causing manual work


Over years I have extensively made notes of meetings, of conceptual work, and of books, emails I have read. I structured my notes by calendar dates. My tool of choice over the last 3 years was Workflowy. To retrieve specific Project/concept related notes I had to perform a full text search.

With Obsidian I was looking for the best of both worlds:

  • a daily note for putting down my notes while attending meetings, while working on a document etc.
  • a project related note for collecting all notes that contribute to the specific project. Right now there are some fifteen projects and a similar number of important concepts. I employ the transclusion mechanism of obsidian, e.g.
![[2021-11-03#headline of the meeting during which I took notes]]

What works

With these project related notes I have two intentions on my mind:

  • Review them in the order of the notes (rarely ever happens due to my use of Obsidians built-in search tools)
  • Being able to export all notes related to a specific project to PDF for knowledge transfer to a co-worker (never happened yet but would be absolutely wonderful if needed).


Sadly the work involved in putting together transcluded notes seems to be a manual one. Also the “links” don’t work if the headline of my note (the part to the right of the hash symbol) is changed.

Could you make suggestions to avoid manual transclusion work and make more efficient use of Obsidians tagging mechanism?

Two suggestions to explore:

  1. Explore the community plugin “Text {{expand}}” - GitHub - mrjackphil/obsidian-text-expand: A simple text expand plugin for
    In your case, a query similar to this:
"# your-header"

You need to update (expand) the query, it is not an automatic process.

  1. The previous query works based in one constant: your header title. If you change it, next time you update the query the file is removed.
    But for other cases, you can update the header title in this way: enable the core plugin “Note composer”; then, every time you want to rename a header in your note, in editor mode use the “right-click” and in contextual menu choose “Rename this heading”. In this way the header title auto-updates in every links with it.
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Thank you. I’ll look into this (when not busy with log4shell)

So I looked into the community plugin "Text {{expand}}. I am thrilled! So many possibilities…

My situation is difficult though. Your suggested approach seems to imply that all notes related to a specific aspect have a headline that is identical to the search term.

Example: The short term for my concept is “FIP”. If the headline is “### FIP” inside of a file “2021-12-13” all is fine. If however the headline is “### FIP and its relation to ABC” the “text {{expand}}” query “FIP” yields the desired result - the file, but the transclusion that uses "![[$filename#FIP]] will not work as the headline is not “FIP” but “FIP and its relation to ABC”.

Don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely excited that you took me this far. I there a way to cover the last steps? My own ideas:

( A ) replace all headlines that cover a specific concept with the exact name of the concept, e.g. “FIP”.

Sadly, I will miss headlines like “### 2021-12-13T17:18 John Doe about FIPs relation to ABC”. In a compilation of all my notes on FIP this headline has more meaning to it than “### FIP”

( B ) like A but move all relevant part of my meeting notes to a subheadline, e.g. “### FIP” followed by ‘’#### 2021-12-13T17:18 John Doe about relation to ABC"

( C ) have not one daily file but as many as there are meetings and work phases (could be 10).

For this approach I might be able to include the “public parts” of my notes but exclude the “private parts” (things I don’t want to print to PDF and hand over to my co-workers. Further research would be necessary. However so many files would not exactly look as beautiful as one daily file.

( D ) Some regex magic in which the “text {{expand}}” search query finds a pattern and this pattern somehow can be used to transclude the correct sub section of my file. Can this even be done?

Any help will be appreciated.

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