Using Obsidian without Any Coding Knowledge


I am new to Obsidian and would like to use it, but I don’t have any coding or markdown knowledge. I have tried CodeMirror Options, Budget WYSIWYG and Markdown Formatting Assistant plugins, they are good, but it is again always writing in markdown and displaying in Reading or Live Preview Mode. The problem is not markdown itself. I just want to take notes like writing in Word or EtherPad.

I know this is asked and requested many times, but I could not find any satisfactory solution. I think this is the reason why some people just don’t use Obsidian or leaving it. The same goes for plugins, too. I install them and some of the plugins seem to require css or coding knowledge. What do you think about that?

Thanks for any help!

Obsidian’s strength is Markdown. You don’t need to fight with WYSIWYG to get what you want and all your notes are plain text, not binary files that requires specific version of application to read and write. You can edit them in any text editor. You are free to copy between apps/services and doesn’t lose formatting. You can save them under version control system (Git) and exchange with others via GitHub. Even popular Telegram supports text formatting using Markdown.

Markdown is a very small and simple language. And you’ll be more productive if you spend just an hour and learn it: GitHub Docs: Basic writing and formatting syntax.

Even if you can’t memorize all formatting rules for the first time, you can use Markdown Formatting Assistant and keep open the ribbons with formatting buttons:


Formatting like bold, italic, links, ordered and unordered lists works the same as in Word: you select block of text and press Ctrl+B, or Ctrl+I, or Ctrl+K, or just start the line with dash (-) or a number with dot (1.) - and you get formatted text.

For working with tables I recommend to install Advanced Tables plugin. It helps to add rows and columns and autoformat the table.

As for CSS, what plugins do you use that require to know it? I have a bunch of plugins and didn’t enter a line of CSS.


Thank you very much for your help. Most of the questions are clarified, but my main wish seems to be not possible within the Obsidian as for now.

Learning basic Markdown takes not that long but what I need is the option to edit in View Mode or only one mode to edit and display notes at the same time, and I think it could be done with a small plugin. I will post this wish on the Plugin Ideas.

About the plugins, I just installed some plugins during the first setup and I think they were to build an extra template and so on. For that, I agree with you that most of the plugins are ready to use or do not require any specific coding knowledge.

Have you tried other note-taking apps? Like Notion, Joplin, maybe even Trello?

It seems that you have an issue with one of the main concepts of Obsidian, you can try to resolve it but maybe you would be happier with pure WYSIWYG note apps?

1 Like

Thank you very much for your answer. I tried Joplin, but Obsidian has much more features, themes, and plugins. And I am surprised how good and fast the community help is. The other options seem to be not that secure as Obsidian.

As I said above, the problem is not Markdown itself, but always seeing other elements than the note’s own content.

May be I didn’t understand what you mean. Have you tried a new Preview Mode that is available in Obsidian v0.13.14 and later. With Preview Mode (it’s a new Obsidian’s edtior) you do not need to switch between Edit and View modes to render Markdown or view inserted images. New editor renders Markdown in-place. One thing that is not rendered is tables.

Let me show a short screencast: (2.2 MB)

1 Like

Table example: (1.8 MB)

1 Like

Thanks again for your help and the short Markdown lesson :slight_smile:

Yes, I’ve tried Live Preview Mode, too, and it seems to be the best solution for now for what I am looking for.

I don’t know if you have tried Typora, which is the model/target for how Obsidian’s Live Preview will work. What doesn’t work for you in Typora? It’s just markdown below, easily read and edited by Obsidian.

Can copy formatted text and a table in Word, and it reproduces faultlessly when pasted in Typora.

Typora is no longer free (it’s $14.99), but you can get 15 days free trial to test it out.

1 Like

Thanks a lot for your answer. I didn’t tried it yet, but have seen in Discussion about Obsidian and Markdown editors.

I think Typora and Live Preview are good, but not what I am looking for.

I think if Typora doesn’t meet your wishes as an editor, then Obsidian won’t suit you either. Or any plaintext solution, come to that.

This topic was automatically closed 24 hours after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.