583: The Obsidian Deep Dive

Right now I have very few folders in Obsidian. I’m using MOC or TOC type notes to collect links to notes that would exist in a group in DT. I am also indexing the Obsidian vault but the lovely wiki links can’t be followed in DTTG so that isn’t a total solution for me.

I don’t use search all that much in DT, maybe once or twice a day at most and some days not even that. So far I have not missed searching. But I am also at the beginning stages so I may come across something that I do need search for that I can’t do in Obsidian as my Obsidian vault gets bigger. I’ll just have to see how it all plays out over time.

I had believed that the easy integration of many file types and the sync to a reasonable if not full featured mobile solution was worth the problems of DT storing documents inside a package and therefore somewhat hidden right up until the data loss issues that surfaced in DTTG. That totally destroyed my trust in the DT ecosystem. Combine that with the attitude of the developers that reasonable use cases that could use modifications to their system are totally ignored and that critical features are eliminated (3-pane view) means they no longer if they ever really did care about what actual users need and value about their product. The attitude is we know best so basically tough to the users who depended on those features. I’ll put up with a lot but DT has used up my store of goodwill and I’m now just planning how to get out.

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I found a decent work around but I wish Obsidian would print rich text. I can preview RT but can’t print it.

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I’ll add one more thing. I’m experimenting with Obsidian to draft my presentations instead of using Craft. It renders beautifully. Attached is a screenshot of a portion of my opening remarks to a group of investors. This is a screenshot from my iPad (which I always use for my presentations). I’m biased, but I think this looks great.

Notwithstanding all of my posts today, I am actually working. :slight_smile:


I was rooting for you @Bmosbacker, I thought you had finally settled on your workflows lol.

I tried Obsidian for a bit, but it seemed to fussy right away. How was your move from Craft?

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Thanks, I need a cheerleading section!

I thought I’d settled on my workflow too. :slight_smile: But, the truth is I’m still almost there. The only real change, still being assessed, is from Craft to Obsidian. I don’t like Obsidian nearly as well as Craft as far as ease of use and GUI. That said, here is why I’m seriously considering landing on Obsidian, in no particular order:

  • I like the idea of all of my project, research and meeting notes being on my computer as plain text files exclusively. Future proof and easily transportable
  • I like being able to index all Obsidian files with DT
  • The amazing plugin that scrapes Kindle highlights and notes to Obsidian was the key for me…I do a lot of reading and writing. Having all of my Kindle annotations and notes in Obsidian is a big boost to thinking and writing. Connecting ideas is extremely helpful.
  • Obsidian renders beautifully
  • It has an active community constantly expanding its capablilites

What I don’t like:

  • Compared to Craft, it is dirt ugly!
  • The interface is clunky
  • It is an electron app, lacking Mac services

So there you have it. :slight_smile:


FWIW, while Craft’s native app-ness will always give it an edge, I think Obsidian can go toe-to-toe with it—with a bit of fiddling. Try the Minimal theme, and install the Minimal Theme Settings plugin to maximize customizability. The California Coast theme is also very “macOS-like”—it uses the Style Settings plugin for further customization.

I think we can get it pretty close. I’ve been hoping to help the devs add many Menu items, for instance—just haven’t had the chance to draw up the plans from this thread yet: Obsidian users: What would make the app more Mac-native?

Last, if you’re indexing your notes in DEVONthink, be sure to try the DEVONlink plugin mentioned here: Really cool linking of Devonthink and Obsidian


Can confirm. California Coast looks great


I would also add that one thing: Obsidian allows for assigning a custom keyboard shortcut to nearly every aspect of the app. If properly set you can fly through the interface and even tie some Keyboard Maestro macros to its functions.


This is a great help, thanks! Regarding menu items/services, the one I miss the most is text to speech. I use this to proof text. I find that reading the text as it is spoken helps me catch typos and notice stylistic issues that I sometimes miss when reading text I’ve written. Is text to speech possible in an electron app.?

Thanks again!

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Hahaha, made my day, thanks!!
That mafioso is taking all our money🤣.

Nothing’s impossible! :wink:

I don’t think we’ll see the conventional macOS right-click/context menu anytime soon, but I do think it’ll be possible to run macOS services on selected text via a plugin. It’s in my list to figure out! (Otherwise, add a vote to the relevant feature request thread on the Obsidian forum to encourage the devs to work on it in core Obsidian.)

Installed the new version based on Electron 12, and to my dismay, macOS system-wide autocorrect still does not work in Obsidian.

Indeed—I think the Electron team is almost there, but there are still problems with its spellchecking system across platforms (namely Windows). We’ll see OS-based spellchecking in Obsi soon after that gets fixed, I think.

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Totally off-topic… I just noticed the book in your example. Such a great series! I love the use of songs.

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Absolutely wonderful news - I was hoping you were going to. One of my main uses is to solve genealogical problems.

This is the first I’ve heard about this. It’s a bummer because I thought I had a good system in place, with documents being stored in DT and the notes being stored in Obsidian.

I am hesitant about putting any kind of files into Obsidian because I don’t want to slow it down…does it still seem to work OK?

Wondering if having a second Vault for reference documents might be a solution.

Files are not “in” Obsidian – they are in folders that Obsidian monitors. I haven’t reached a data saturation point with Obsidian, but wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an upper limit for file references in a document that could slow down processing. It’s probably a high threshold.


Is it worth someone whose main machine is an iPad to become a Catalyst level member to join the iOS beta? I want to give Obsidian a real try, but I don’t have consistent access to a laptop or desktop.

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Sure, go for it. Obsidian on an iPad has essentially the same features as on the Mac. Even if you never used it on a Mac, it’s a great iPad app. It’s not complete – they need a share extension and a few key things. But, it outshines a lot of other apps in its category.


Thank you, @quorum. That’s very helpful. I really appreciate your input.