Use local graph for navigation


Currently I am rarely using the graph, other then sometimes for a nice visualization I would like to use the graph more for navigation, like TheBrain does with it’s plex. But that is currently not working with how the graph works in Obsidian.

If I open a local graph, every time I look at it, the placement linked notes is totally different then the time before. There is also no visual clue if the linked notes are linking to the current note, are linked from the current note or are mentioned somewhere without being linked. All that information is available.

I would like to see a graph where all notes linking to the current note (parents) are shown above the current note. And all notes linked to from the current note (childs) are shown beneath the current note. All notes mentioned but not linked could be presented at the right of the current note.

Something like the following:

                   Parent note 1
				   Parent note 2
				   Parent note 3
				   Parent note 4
				         |                     Cousin note 1
				   Current note      --        Cousin note 2
				         |                     Cousin note 3
					Child note 1 		       Cousin note 4 
					Child note 2
					Child note 3
					Child note 4

Different colors would also be nice. The parent, child and cousin area’s could all be multi-column or maybe using a scrollbar to facilitate longer lists of notes.

This is particularly handy with the local graph.


I will self response then … :slight_smile:

By the lack of responses I apparently am one of few who finds the current graph implementation (although nice for a short wow-moment) too dynamic and always
having a randomly different layout, to get any structural use out of it.

I can see a use-case to explicitly filter the graph for a certain subject/tag you want to see but then you get again the issue with the random layout. Apparently I a have a more structured personality then I think :-).

+1 me too

Also not sure you come across the followings:
(1) Different Graph Layout Options
(2) Paths for Notes Connection

I think something like this feature request where highlighting the active note in the graph (with a different color, not necessarily fading the rest) would go a long way to help orient yourself in the graph.

Foam uses vs code plugin Markdown links and I think it makes a huge difference. (not my gif)


My understanding of how the Graph View is implemented (i.e. a semi-random physics model) suggests we won’t see this feature request anytime soon. That said, it would make a great suggestion for the Plugin Ideas forum category.

One question on your proposed layout: what happens when two nodes both link to each other? We can’t assume all node networks have strict parent-child relationships.

Like you, I find the Graph View less utilitarian and more aesthetic. My feature request here is in the same spirit as yours, proposing a more useful way to navigate the node network:

One question on your proposed layout: what happens when two nodes both link to each other? We can’t assume all node networks have strict parent-child relationships.

Just show a vague line if the files are in view. In my proposal you do not see all the files but only the parents, childs and cousins in optionally different distant values (depth) like the local graph has.

Graph navigation in TheBrain is nicely shown in video in this post:

Related feature requests:

To be honest! I lowkey also am attracted to The Graph View of Obsidian but practically couldn’t find any use for myself.
I think The most Time I work with Graph feature is when I am using the Local Graph!