Block References

Moving this item here from the Questions Category:

I understand that in many instances, atomic notes are preferable to relying on block references, but without the latter I’m hamstrung. I have the Bible in Markdown and would like to link to or quote specific verses in my notes. Reformatting all 31K+ verses into atomic notes isn’t feasible.

There are two key questions to be answered here, and neither the basic Markdown syntax nor any of the common extensions provide any answers:

  1. What is the convention for identifying and delimiting a block within a text file? In other words, how do we know where a block starts, and where one ends? And how is it identified, so that it can be easily referenced from elsewhere? I can think of various possibilities here, but don’t have any obvious answers. @miscemw, it would be interesting to see a copy of your file containing your Bible verses, to see what might work for you.

  2. What is the convention for referencing a block within a Note from another Note?

Obsidian is what I know best, so I’ll reference that. It handles block references with the footnote convention, and that works well. To reference the paragraph, or block, I’m writing here, I’d add a ^ reference (random or otherwise) to the end of it, separated by a space. Eg. ^blk1

A blank line between paragraphs delineates one block from another. The reference should be automatically generated, but also editable. Obsidian might assign ^e38ck9 as the block reference for a particular Bible verse I try to link to if it doesn’t already have one, but I preempt that by assigning block references before they’re needed, based on the verse number - ie ^v23. Typing ![[Genesis#^v2]] gives me just that verse, as an inline transclusion.

In Obsidian I can easily reference a block inside another note, add additional notes around the transclusion, then transclude that entire block—including the earlier transclusions—into another note.

Use case: for each individual book of the Bible, I keep an index page where I transclude my favourite verses. The # Favourite Verse section of each summary page is then transcluded onto another page, containing all my favourites from, say, the first four books of the New Testament.

I don’t think Notenik should become an Obsidian clone, but I do think this feature would help make it a major contender for folks like me whose needs are relatively simple.

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Okay, so someone that’s not me has already been crazy enough to put every single Bible verse into its own file! I’m convinced that’s a better way to go than the block reference I originally talked about. My question now is, how do I embed one file into another, so that the contents show up inline? I’ve had a look at the Notenik documentation, and can’t find anything under E for Embed.

The Include command will probably do what you’re looking for. Give this a try:

You can also use ctrl-S to help you select a second Note and format the Include command for it.

Let me know how this works for you!

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Thank you, that’s what I was looking for.

You mentioned above wanting to take a look at my files for the Bible project. Here they are: Bible in Markdown for Obsidian, iA Writer

Files are embedded with the ![[file name without file path]] syntax.

The latest release, 10.7.0, includes a couple of changes to increase interoperability with Obsidian and iA Writer. BTW, I purchased a copy of your KJV Bible project. Nice work!

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Great news! Thank you for the support, it means a lot. I’m honoured you thought it worth paying for.

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The format of block reference IDs is not the same as footnotes.

Obsidian footnotes take the form of [^1], [^text], or ^[inline footnote].

Obsidian block reference IDs are either automatically generated by the Obsidian editor when a transclusion is created: referencing text from file1 in file2 like this: [[file2^ which presents a list of blocks in file2. When the user selects a particular block, the block reference ID is generated, so the file transclusion looks like [[file2#^8fdfa2]].

Users can create block references, either numeric or textual, like ^this-block-here, but those aren’t footnotes, either.

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Good point, thanks for clarifying. Ignorant choice of words on my part.