Viewing note in side-by-side mode; how to create a NEW note and have it replace the current view instead of opening a new tab?

update: I created a plugin to help with this. See here

Obsidian 1.0.x

When you are viewing a note in side-by-side (edit/preview) mode, e.g.

And then you press N to create a new note, Obsidian used to open that new note in the left-hand pane and preserve the current left edit/right preview view mode.

Since 0.16.x (and now 1.0.x) the new note opens to the right of the old note, in a new tab, is not linked, and does not show a preview. E.g.

I don’t like this. Is there a way to configure it to use the old behavior?


Anyone got any suggestions? This one is a real time sink for me, especially since it appears to require taking my hands off the keyboard.


  1. Press ⌘N… done


  1. Press ⌘N
  2. Close (now unlinked) right pane
  3. Close unlinked left pane
  4. ⌘-click little “book” icon in toolbar to open a new linked pane

+1 on this! I’m having exactly the same issue and almost desperately would like either a solution or a reasonable-ish workaround!

I was beginning to think I was nuts. So happy there’s at least one other person on the internet who wants this :nerd_face:

Don’t know how to get the old behaviour you’re speaking about, but I do know how to open a new note from a linked note/side-by-side note setup.

First option, just have a link to the new note in your original document, and use Cmd+Enter on Mac (or Ctrl+Enter) on the link if in edit mode (which I usually when the need arises.

Second option, use the quick switcher Cmd/Ctrl + O, and type the name of your new note, and hit Enter.

Both of these will create the new note in the current window, aka the linked/side-by-side window.


@holroy Thanks but those don’t address this specific issue, which is about creating a new note from a side-by-side view, having that new note replace the current one (not opening a new tab) without touching the mouse.

Why not? Both can be done using the keyboard? And it will replace the current one within the current window, and not open a new tab.

Which part of your issue am I not getting?

Using the Quick Switcher does work, but muscle memory and convenience has me reaching for ⌘N most of the time. Up until the 1.x releases, it always worked that way so I’d prefer if there was at least an option to have it behave as it did before. If I want to open a new tab, there’s a specific command for that (⌘T).

Holroy hides after typing: What about redefining the keys, so that ⌘N opens the quick switcher?

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That feels like… :neutral_face:


What you want is Templater. I use that anyway because it’s more powerful. And it does the sane thing you want

How would you configure Templater to open up the new note in the current side-by-side view?

Or are you answering something else?

Just change your hotkey. Didn’t have to do anything else special.

Now if you want to avoid a popup to select a template, just configure a hotkey for your favorite template:

This might also work for you so you don’t have to configure hotkeys, but I didn’t try:

I created a small plugin to help with this situation. It doesn’t try to automatically do anything, but provides a couple of functions and a toolbar button to automatically arrange the view in a side-by-side split mode (edit/preview) in either horizontal or vertical layout, and optionally (on by default) close any other unrelated panes.

Another hotkey can be configured to specifically call the “close all other panes except the active one” function for convenience.

I submitted it for review, so it will hopefully be available for download shortly. For now if anyone wants to test, just download the release and pop it into your Obsidian plugins dir…


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