Creating links in Obsidian

I asked this over in the Obsidian Discord and got an answer that I need to confirm because I’m a little stunned by it because my mind works the complete opposite way.

I have uploaded a pdf which is a car service receipt that explains what was done when I brought my car in that day.

Then, I go to a note where I have simple table that shows an entry for each car service I do. It includes the date, mileage, and quick reason for service.

In my normal way of writing blog posts or newsletters, I write all my text and then I go back and insert links, simply by highlighting a word and then hitting Command-K and then inserting the link.

However, it seems like I can’t do something similar in Obsidian. The workflow to create a link is, as you are writing, to type the double brackets so it brings up file list so you can select something and the close with double brackets.

In Obsidian, I can use Command-K but it’s cumbersome because I can’t get a list of files to choose from and the syntax is backwards.

So either I’m doing something completely wrong or it’s just a different workflow that I have to adjust to.

How do you get the link ? Is it automatic or do you select the link before you hit Command-K ?

Yes, I copy the link.

I just did realized I can get the Obsidian file link by right-clicking on the file itself. So I’m one stop closer and maybe this is as close as I can get.

Just tried it myself. To link to an outside site, use the standard markdown syntax [link title](link url) which ⌘-K will create for you.

To create a link to a file within Obsidian, you use the double-bracket notation, [[title of file]]. I got used to this pretty quickly and now actually prefer it, though you’re right that it’s not the typical behavior in most programs.

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Thanks. It’s hard to shake what I’ve been doing for multiple years.

You could right click the file you want to link to in Obsidian, click the Copy Obsidian URL button, and then paste that in with the CMD+K button. This will open that file. However, I don’t think this is very resistant to files being moved or renamed, whereas, the double bracket link would be changed to refer to the new location (I believe).

The link it gives is an Obsidian URL - for example, obsidian://open?vault=VAULTNAME&file=Attachments%2FNAME.jpg - so the location of the file is hard linked, as it’s currently located in my Attachments folder, hence the %2F to convert the / into URL encoding.

I don’t bother creating links if the file I want to link to already exists. I have the QuickSwitcher++ plugin installed, which adds an “Outgoing Links” icon in the right sidebar and automatically detects unlinked mentions in the document I am working on. When I’m finished writing, I scan down that list of unlinked mentions, hit the ‘Link’ button next to each mention, and the link in the current document to that other document is automatically updated.



For that, you may want to use the community plugin " Paste URL into selection".

It just works.

Thanks. That would be bad to have hard links.

I will give it a try. Thank you.

I’ll take a look at this. Thank you.

@tipper-bonylad I just tried that but I’m not sure how it does anything different than just hitting CMD-K without the plugin.

I actually had this brainstorm to copy an Obsidian Link and paste it into an Omnifocus task but I quickly found out that that’s the issue - if you move the note, it breaks the link. Bummer.

Look at Hookmark for creating links to all sorts of things. It is surprisingly useful and the links are quite robust.

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