Obsidian Editor - a Hot Mess?

One I don’t often see mentioned which is particularly annoying me at the moment is that Obsidian doesn’t seem to use the default macOS spellcheck dictionary; instead, it uses its own. Not only does Obsidian not recognize all the specialized vocabulary I’ve added to the macOS dictionary, but its built-in dictionary also seems much more limited than the default OS one. I’m (slowly) using “Add to dictionary” on everything it thinks is misspelled, but the process is rather tedious and annoying.


Nothing like an honest review to make me glad I’m sitting on the Obsidian sidelines. However I still grab my popcorn and eagerly read whenever Obsidian true believers post. :slightly_smiling_face:

Isn’t this par for the course when you use a cross-platform Electron-based app on a Mac?

1 Like

No I expect an app designed for use in a mac to integrate properly and spell check is one of the most basic of features, especially for a notes app!

Good luck with that. In a very real sense, Obsidian was not designed for the Mac.

1 Like

I’ve got my problems with Obsidian and its support, but “not designed for Mac” is nowhere on that list. If that were my personal criterion, I would have missed out years of productive use with Tinderbox, TheBrain, Obsidian, MarginNote, and many others. This is my old “ugly software” bemusement. It’s a bit of cutoffthenosetospitetheface-ish. Anyway, each to his own, respectfully.


One could argue that it was not designed for anything except Chrome. But I suspect the developers want mac users to also adopt it and the fact that they very quickly released an iOS app would probably bear that out. Creating apps for users on OS’s that don’t respect integration into that OS is bound cause at least a modicum of expressed annoyance from those users.

I think it’s a bit of an overexaggeration to say that Obsidian is “hostile” to Mac users. But I don’t think I’ll add too much more to this thread as I find my opinion of “good design doesn’t necessarily have to be Mac design” is often regarded as hostile to proponents of Mac design anyway.


On the other hand, you can use Obsidian on macOS, Windows, and Linux and it’s the same.


Would that the same could be said of, oh I don’t know, Excel. I only regret moving from Windows to macOS when I fire up Excel and rediscover yet again that the macOS version is both crippled compared to the Windows version (where oh where is the full set of Power Query tools) and ignorant of bog-standard macOS keyboard shortcuts / menu items, e.g. Paste and Match Style or any of the text transformation right click options.

No hostility here. “Form over function” is always a confusing priority to me.


Good luck with that!

I think you may have meant “prefer” when you wrote “expect”.


And my favourite one - CMD + Arrow doesn’t take you to the end of the line and you have to use the Home and End buttons - which are stupidly hard to press on my Matias Quiet Pro.

I’m not fussed about Obsidian and it’s Electron app heritage. From a user of GTK based apps on Windows and Mac, I’m used to things looking poorly integrated - but working well. And at the end of the day, it’s the results I’m judged on.


2022-01-11 11.48.11

Works on my machine. :wink:


As I was quoting the comments made @krocnyc for Excel, I meant in the Mac version of Excel.
Screen Recording 2022-01-11 at 21.13.24

Pretty much all my mac apps do this. There are a few exceptions and one has to decide if the benefits warrant the hassle. Apps that work against the muscle memory of well established workflows or have basic things missing or not working properly like spell checking run the risk of users using something else.

I’m on a mac. It was a choice so I expect developers who want me to use their app to make it mac-like or I probably won’t use it.

I appreciate that some people don’t get a choice from the workplace as to what software they want to use and have to make do, but where choice is given non native apps are always going to start from a disadvantage and the more they move away from expected OS behaviour the more they’re going to annoy their users.

I understand where you are coming from.

And it’s okay for you to “expect” others to change to suit your preferences.

These are not my preferences. Every OS has its own “preferences”. Some prefer Windows, others Mac or Linux, ChromeOS or BSD. When they choose that OS they would expect the developers to respect those preferences. Not sure Windows users would appreciate the menu bar missing from individual apps and being stuck on the desktop or mac users being expected to use CTRL instead of CMD.

Developers creating non native apps need to take that into account.:grin:

Ah, apologies. Sympathies with that one, it bugs me to no end.

For sure, there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed, but I think there’s still a grey area where non-native implementations can still work as good designs.

Non-native app with still-mostly-solid design and the features I need > Native app with great design and without the features I need. If I didn’t think that then I’d just use all stock Apple apps. If all devs created native apps there’d probably be a lot less featureful software out there…