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I have no issues with what Obsidian is. My only complaint is with what it isn’t: a Markdown editor.

I know you can edit Markdown in Obsidian, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I mean editing any .md file in Obsidian. Right now, you’re limited to your vault, which makes sense, since Obsidian is a note-taking app–a second brain app. Everything you need is right there in your vault. The thing is, I don’t really care for the whole “second brain” thing. I tried it for a bit, but it really didn’t stick. It’s a nice place to put notes if I don’t know where else to put them, but sometimes I just wanna edit a Markdown file with Obsidian’s QoL.

The Hack

I don’t call this a hack to be arrogant or even facetious. I just mean I wanted to make technology do something it wasn’t created to do. I wanted to turn Obsidian into an editor.

There are a few approaches to this method. The first that probably comes to most people’s minds is to edit Obsidian’s view of your file system so it thinks your whole computer is a vault. I didn’t do that, but that would be really cool. Instead, I just wrote a script that copies your .md file into your vault and copies it back when you’re done. Definitely not the most elegant solution, but it works for my purposes.


The issues with this project were unrelated to the actual manipulation of the vault. Instead, I realized that in order to take advantage of Obsidian’s features, I would have to engineer changes on top of them to make them compatible with any mainstream Markdown editor.

In particular, Obsidian’s image linking is fantastic, especially combined with their drag-and-drop feature for images. The problem is that Markdown doesn’t usually support images linked like this: ![[image.img]]

So, I had to find all the instances of images like those, reformat them, and when copying the Markdown, copy the linked files as well. While I did learn a bit more about regex in the process, the solution is quite messy and works under fairly strong assumptions. Nevertheless, it works.


Image-linking isn’t the only useful feature in Obsidian. Making more of these QoL standards available through this script means I can take full advantage of the tools Obsidian offers. For example, linking pdfs, better tables, and tags would all be fantastic if I could integrate / hide them seamlessly with this script. Or, I could add scp support so I can use this on ssh servers.

I probably won’t do any of that that, since I don’t really like doing more than making quick prototypes to prove that I can. Who knows? Maybe some day.

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