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🌠 5x8 Virtual Event, Persistent Graph Layouts, & New Category Visualizations

The Gems of the Year were announced, Obsidian won ProductHunt's Golden Kitty, we're now tracking plugin/theme compatibility, & there's improved code block behavior available.

Eleanor Konik
Written by Eleanor Konik

I teach (& research) ancient civilizations, then write stories & articles inspired by all eras of history... which involves a fair amount of notetaking ;)

9 min read.

In The Community

  • The results of Gems of the Year 2021 have been posted. I am deeply honored to have been voted Content Creator of the year and to have had the top achievement. Thank you to everyone who voted 💚 but also, go check out the other awesome stuff this community has done! Several winners donated parts of their prizes to active & helpful members of the community, which has been heartwarming.
  • There have been lots of questions about whether particular plugins work on mobile or Live Preview. There's now a community Google Sheet to track plugins and themes that can be updated by community members and developers for basic data. If you've been looking for a way to help out but don't have time to maintain a plugin or theme, this is a great way.
  • The Discord server now has 50,000 members. 🤯

Obsidian Updates

  • 0.13.23, which includes  v0.13.20, v0.13.201, v0.13.22, & v0.13.23, is now available for public access. This release is mostly focused on improvements and bugfixes for Live Preview, but my favorite little thing is that they added an option in community plugin pane to help debug slow plugin startup times. This should make it easier for people whose vaults feel like they're opening slowly to figure out which plugin is the culprit.

Plugin News

New in Community Plugins

These plugins went through code review and are now available in Obsidian's plugin list. Licat had a busy week! You may have read about some of these as betas last week, but they're now available in community plugins, so I'm mentioning it again.

  • Obsidian shortcut launcher runs iOS shortcuts as Obsidian commands. Federico Viticci wrote about how much the shortcut launcher changed how he uses Obsidian.
  • Sortable by @alexandru-dinu  offers wiki-like table sorting. Note that this is similar to functionality offered by the  Advanced Tables Plugin. Sortable works more like Wikipedia (and works with dataview tables), whereas Advanced Tables works more like excel. Sortable won't change the actual markdown, Advanced Tables will.
  • Snippetor by @ebullient  lets users create and tweak common snippets (starting with custom tasks). The goal with this plugin is to make styling - [?] sorts of data-task icons consistent across themes according to user preference.
  • Dynamic Highlights by @nothingislost  lets users dynamically highlight text based on cursor selection or search query with full regex, mobile, and live preview support.  There's also a built-in CSS editor that allows for attaching CSS styles directly to highlighters.
  • ObsidianTweaks by @JeppeKlitgaard  adds some convenient tweaks including improved toggling and ergonomic commands.
  • PARA Shortcuts by @gOATiful  makes it easy to archive and un-archive files.
  • Local File Interface by @qawatake  provides commands for moving files in and out of the vault, sort of like how you can use a "browse" menu on a web-based file picker to "import" files into, for example, a photo album. It's nice if you want to avoid leaving the Obsidian workspace to go find a file.
  • Obsidian Memos by @Quorafind  is a plugin for quickly capturing ideas in Obsidian. 1.7.0 added support for sharing. 1.7.9 allows users to copy and paste the results of queries and searches.
  • Completr by @tth05  plugin provides advanced auto-completion functionality, similar to how Various Complements works. The main difference is in how they handle LaTeX.

Sync External Tools

  • Siteswap by @tdresser  is useful for jugglers.
  • Weather Fetcher by @fyears  will fetch and insert current weather into the editor of Obsidian.
  • Wordle by @dbarenholz  creates a view where you can play Wordle.
  • Pinboard Sync by @Automatt  syncs Pinboard.in links with Daily Notes
  • KOReader Highlights by @Edo78  syncs highlights and notes taken in KOReader.

Advanced

  • Link Server by @moelody  will open a reverse proxy server at port 3333 to get wikiLink information Obsidian API.
  • Binary File Manager by @qawatake   will detect new binary files in the vault and create markdown files with metadata.

Pending (as of Friday morning)

Note: Not all new plugins are available in the community list yet, as they need to go through code review first. You can manually install plugins that aren't in the community list yet by using the Beta Reviewer's Auto-update Tool. Remember, though, this is not as safe as waiting for them to go through code review.

  • Frontmatter Tag Suggest by @jmilldotdev   autocompletes tags in the YAML tags field, which is an excellent quality of life improvement — I've heard a ton of people complain about this and have always been a little surprised it wasn't a core feature.
  • Better Command Palette by @AlexBieg  helps slash commands prioritize recent commands, lets users backspace to close, supports opening a new file, and file creation.
  • Simple note quiz by @dorisxx  lets users create quizzes in their notes, similar to Anki cards, except it'll also grade your answers.
  • Multi-Column Markdown by @ckRobinson  adds functionality to create markdown documents with multiple columns of content viewable within Obsidian's preview mode
  • Copy as HTML by @jenningsb2  converts  selected markdown to HTML and copies it to the clipboard.
  • Code Block Labels by @stbowers  adds labels to fenced code blocks so that you can, for example, "title" a code block. It does not currently plan to support Live Preview.

Advanced

  • Save as Gist by @ghedamat   lets you save your current note as a Gist on GitHub.
  • Local REST API by @coddingtonbear  lets users get, change or otherwise interact with Obsidian notes via a REST API.

Betas

  • You can now drag and recorder icons on the ribbon bar and status bar (desktop & mobile) with the new Bartender  plugin. It also has hide/collapse functionality.
  • Codeblock Completer adds an editor suggestor modal for you to quickly complete codeblock names, i.e. autocomplete admonitions.
  • Persistent Graph lets users save and restore the locations of nodes on your graph. This has been a long-requested feature, but note that the developer is not planning to submit it to the community list because it relies on some potentially unstable APIs.

Updates

  • Templater 1.10.0 now supports user functions (i.e. can now run JS templater scripts) on mobile.
  • Tag Wrangler 0.5.0 now has support for tag pages.
  • Breadcrumbs now supports juggl codeblocks and juggl view. This is enough of a game-changer that I'm planning to devote a chunk of February to integrating this with my slipbox along with the Linked Data Vocabularies plugin and this script to automatically generate a file for each header of a controlled vocabulary (there's also one for creating folders).
  • Longform 1.1.0  revamped the Compile feature that lets you build custom workflows to turn your projects into compiled manuscripts. There's new support for user scripts. Find out more from the compile documentation.
  • Emoji Toolbar v0.3.0 supports skin tones, has fuzzy search functionality, and lets users select recently used emojis.
  • Remotely-save got some bugfixes and now lets users trigger sync using a command.
  • Various Complements 5.5.0 has new documentation, support for multi-word completions, improved suggestions, and better handling of yaml and code blocks.
  • Obsidian Map View has a bunch of new features, including dark mode and the ability to switch map sources.
  • TTRPG Statblocks v2.0 involved a rewrite of the entire rendering engine, which makes it faster and more consistent. Users can also create their own statblock layouts, integrate with dice roller, create a bestiary from frontmatter, and a ton of other awesome updates for tabletop gamers. This involves a breaking change for Initiative Tracker, which no longer handles homebrew creatures because that got moved to Statblocks.
  • Supercharged Links got a big performance update and now lets you supercharge your quick switcher, links suggestor, and backlinks in document.

For Developers

from v0.13.22:

  • Added: an option in community plugin pane to help debug slow plugin startup times.
  • Fixed: editorLivePreviewField not dynamically updated when Live preview is turned on/off.
  • Added data-type to tab header elements.

Feature Requests

Appearance

  • Here's an example of a pdf stylesheet to make exporting to PDF a bit nicer.
  • Primary now has Live Preview support and a bunch of fixes. The developer's birthday is tomorrow, by the way — here's her ko-fi page.
  • Shimmering Focus (the most aggressively "minimalistic" theme I'm aware of) now has a full-blown documentation site to showcase & explain all its features — including sidebar navigation & full-text search.
  • ITS Theme got some restylings and the ability to toggle off alternate checkboxes to support the Snippetor plugin.
  • Minimal 4.4.4 & 4.4.5 added more support for cards, style settings, and progress bar styling.
  • Cyber Glow v6.4 added support for Live Preview and some other small improvements.
  • Sanctum v0.6.1 got a big update. It now handles strike-throughs differently, has support for new table styles and the Indentation Guides plugin, and are also now toggleable to support the Snippetor plugin.
  • Prism v1.3.1 has better calendar support. 1.4.0 now supports Icon Folder and Map view.

Ancillary Code

  • Here's a script to create a folder structure according to Library of Congress Classification.
  • Here's a neat little timeline for your daily note that shows how far into the  year we are.
  • There now exists a script (in Discord) to support a process by which dataview renders a table, buttons puts a button in the table, you can click the button, Templater will prompt you for a date, and Natural Language Dates gives Meta Edit a properly formatted number to update the YAML of the specified note with. This lets you easily update notes from a dataview table.

Courses & Consulting

Guides

Discussions

In The Wild

Ancillary Tools

  • Here's some information about why iCloud sometimes causes problems; the issue is not limited to Obsidian.
  • One of my biggest pain points about having multiple vaults open is that, unlike when I have two Chrome profiles open, my vaults get grouped on my taskbar as one item. It turns out that Windows has an option to disable this in Windows 10. Here's a utility to get the old-school taskbar where you can actually see each "window" — which makes it much easier to work with nested vaults 🥳 Don't laugh, but this was the biggest find for me this week personally.
  • A couple of people have asked how to get spreadsheets and HTML tables into Obsidian and there are a couple of answers depending on what you're doing, so I thought I'd share the discussion.
  • Here's an in-browser text editor to easily create static html pages from markdown, which looks handy for one-off sharing of files if you don't want to be fussed with pandoc.
  • Heyday is a subscription-based memory aid app that is designed to give you a daily summary of what you looked up and resurface useful content in the context you might need it again. I haven't tried it, but it apparently indexes documents, emails, and messages and sort of serves as a search companion to remind you of stuff you already found.
  • Here's a list from Discord of useful tools and generators.

Housekeeping

Since last week, when I announced that I'm exploring the idea of not going back to work teaching in the fall, things have been pretty exciting.

My article about why folders shouldn't be villainized got featured in The Browser (which has like 75k subscribers), and then hit the front page of HackerNews. As exciting as this is (front page of HackerNews is literally a dream come true — people in my "personal life" got to see one of my articles "in the wild"), the traffic spike also crashed my website and I had to figure out Cloudflare caching on the fly.

Also, almost 10% of Roundup subscribers have upgraded to a paid plan, which is about what Substack says is what a "high quality" newsletter can expect (although apparently I'm underpriced, oops). I am very encouraged by this! In addition to opening up my calendar for helping people in 30min one-on-one sessions, Tuesday morning (EST) I'm planning to combine the best parts of a book club, a 5x15 event (5 speakers, 15 minutes each) and a powerpoint party. The event will be hosted on Zoom.

I have a steep road ahead of me before I can meaningfully replace my teaching income by working from home, but the guideposts are well-marked and my fellow travelers have been very kind. Thank you 💚

Note: There are a couple of affiliate links & codes scattered around, but these always come from links I was already recommending and usually I share them because they benefit you too (i.e. getting you extra time on trials).