Obsidian is Missing Something…

Inspired by Marques Brownlee’s recent video, Apple Vision Pro is Missing Something, I figured I should finally get around to publishing my wishlist for Obsidian.

I’ve been using Obsidian personally since 2021 and at work since the beginning of 2023. It is the best markdown editor and personal knowledge management system on the market (IMO).

When I first started using Obsidian I was feeling some of the rough edges and so I started a running list of potential improvements. Going through the list for this blog post and I am glad see that quite a few of the items were already fixed.

For example, it now supports updated versions of Mermaid so I can do more visual graphs (for mind mapping). There is now support for keyboard shortcuts to create multiple cursors (rather than just using the cursor). And on iOS the text selection from the left margin has been improved.

But, as always, there is still room for improvements. I’ve broken up my wishlist into three sections: all platforms, Mac, and iOS.

While some of these could and can be improve through plugins, it would be ideal for these to be in the core product (plus at work I can’t use plugins).

All Platforms

  • Ability to exclude folders from Random Note (e.g. my archive folder).
  • More template variables such {{created_at}} for file creation dates.
  • Logic in templates:
    • Math for dates - enabling linking to day or year before): {{date:YYYY-MM-DD:add(1, 'day')}}.
    • Conditionals (if this link exist add it, otherwise don’t).
  • When linking to a heading within a document provide option to change formatting, ideally using a template. Right now it shows as "Page#Heading" which isn't how I would want to read it in a document. I would prefer "Page - Heading", "Page (Heading)" or "Heading". Rather than having to write the alias out every time, having it automatically filled out the way I want would be great.
  • Find and replace across all files. It does feel strange to break out Visual Studio Code to do this.
  • Markdown in query blocks should still be rendered.
    • Edge case: if the url has the matched text then highlight the link.
  • Add configuration options for query blocks:
    • Not to highlight the matched text (I have fixed this with css, but it feels janky).
    • Hide the query (I do this with css too).
    • To only show file names.
  • When embedding a document, have an option to not include the file name (maybe match the "Appearance > Interface > Show inline title" setting). Or maybe leverage the alias option to overwrite the title and I’ll use an empty space.
  • When entering reading view, I want to change the theme. When editing (where I am 99% of the time) I prefer a dark mode. But when I’m copying text or wanting to grab a screenshot I want a white background.


  • When closing a tab, it should go to the tab on the right (the one that replaces it). This would mimic Chrome and Safari and VSCode.
  • When opening a note (either Open Quickly or using the shortcut for the Daily Note) if it is already open in the existing window, go to that tab instead of opening it again.
    • Similar to how Chrome has a "Go to this tab", maybe Open Quickly could have that option (and a keyboard modifier for it).
    • For links, the default should be to go to the existing tab and using a modifier to open a new version of it.
  • When having a pinned note, clicking any links open as a new tab, but it doesn't go to that new tab. It should only open in the background with a modifier + click (again, see browsers).
  • Ability to become the default "Open with" app for markdown files. Obsidian is such a good Markdown editor it is a shame it can't be used for one-off files. But also, I am sometimes browsing my vault in finder and I just want to open that file quickly.
    • Option: provide an error bar if Obsidian doesn't see a vault for the current file (aka "This is not the ideal way to use Obsidain").
  • Ability to open up multiple windows and get access to the Left Sidebar and Right Sidebar. The fact that it is only on the "main" window is very strange behavior.
  • You can’t start a selection too far into the left and right margin.


  • When you have the New Tab window open (the empty state), if you swipe down you get the command palate. When you swipe up, you should get the "Go to file" menu.
  • Tapping the top of the status bar should scroll to the top. On long notes you have to sometimes tap twice to get it to render correctly.
  • When there is a lot of text, scrolling is jittery when scrolling large chunks.
  • When using the iOS Share Sheet to share content to Obsidian, one of the options should be to create a new note (& ability to set this as a default).
  • The new tab page should include a button to open the Daily Note and Random Note (or ability to customize which buttons are there). These are accessible via the bottom right menu, but it would be nice to remove the extra tap (plus that menu has really small text).
  • When pasting a URL, check if I’m pasting into a link block, if I am, don’t create the new link syntax (this works properly on the Mac).

Fixing these would continue to improve my usage of Obsidian, but I’m sure I’ll find other things to request in the future and I’ll attempt to occasionally update this list as things are fixed (or as I find/create the feature requests or bugs).

If you haven’t tried Obsidian, I do highly recommend it.

Ryan Mathews

Ryan Mathews

San Francisco, CA