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Why I Built Obsidian Clipper

Why did I decide to build Obsidian Clipper?

I initially found the bookmarklet created by @kepano and wanted to use it to capture small snippets from web pages. I preferred to capture these snippets in my daily notes for later review. I quickly ran into CORS (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing) issues, as the original bookmarklet was making calls to pull in Turndown and another library for cleaning up the output, and these would often fail on websites that had CORS configured not to allow remote scripts to be loaded.

I originally rewrote the bookmarklet but found it tedious to configure which vault it was going to. I thought it would be interesting if the bookmarklet could be automatically configured based on the vault that was currently being used, so I started working on the Obsidian plugin, which is now Obsidian Clipper.

I added weekly note support because I could, though I don’t use this feature and have considered removing it.

The next thing I wanted was a clipper clipping to what I call a “Topic” note. The use case for this is when I am researching a specific topic and want to collect information on it. I can use this bookmarklet to capture snippets for a particular “Topic” note. I use this feature often.

I added support for generating a Chrome extension because I started using the Arc browser, which doesn’t support bookmarklets.

Next, I wanted to change how I was storing the clipped data. I wanted a database of clippings and to keep the same workflow that I had. To meet this goal, I added support for capturing clippings to a folder storing clippings in notes named after the top-level domain of the clipping. If this option is turned on, clippings are stored in this folder structure, and a reference to the clipping is created in the proper note based on the bookmarklet type (Daily, Topic, etc).

I added basic support for Canvas once that was added but have yet to do much with it, though it can be an interesting approach to handling a Topic note style of data collection.

Currently, I am working on a large refactor that allows you to configure and manage multiple clippers, even multiple clippers that clip to the daily note, which is a use case I have.

Screen shot of the new Obsidian Clipper settings

You can learn more about Obsidian Clipper at https://docs.obsidianclipper.com