If you’ve been using Obsidian for a while, you may be familiar with a feature called callouts. If you’re new to Obsidian, this is what a callout looks like in the Sandbox vault:
Those orange and blue boxes are callouts! Pretty neat eh?
Callouts give you a lot more flexibility when it comes to organizing your notes. And they’re easy to use. Interested? Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- What are callouts?
- Why should I use callouts?
- How do I use callouts?
- Configuring callouts
- Collapsible callouts
- Types of callouts
What Are Callouts?
Callouts are a feature in Obsidian that allows you to add more organization to your notes.
In a nutshell, you can take blocks of content and strategically highlight or hide them, giving you many more options for prettifying your notes.
Let’s look at an example. Here’s some unformatted Text from this article:
We can add a header to make it a little easier to read:
And we can make it even nicer by adding a callout:
Why Should I Use Callouts?
Callouts have many uses, but a lot of people use them to provide emphasis. For example, you can use them to summarize a note:
You can use them to add additional context:
Or you can use them to hide content that you don’t want to see all the time:
Callouts are super flexible and valuable, so if you don’t already use them, I suggest you give them a shot.
How Do I Use Callouts?
Callouts are not a standard feature in Markdown, so the syntax might look a little strange at first.
Let’s start with blockquotes. You may have seen blockquotes before, in Markdown they look like this:
> This is a blockquote
Callouts are essentially fancy blockquotes. Anywhere that you use a blockquote, you can use a Callout instead.
And the syntax is similar, you just have to add one more line of text above your blockquote, which specifies the type and the header of the callout:
> [!tip] A tip > This is a callout
In Obsidian, the above callout looks like this:
Note: If you struggle to remember that syntax, you’re not alone. If you’re comfortable with the Command Palette, it may be easier for you to create a callout that way. Here’s how: press ctrl+p (or cmd+p on Mac) and type “callout”. Select “Insert callout” and Obsidian will add a callout to your active note.
There are three parts to a callout:
- The type of the callout
- The header
- And the body
The type is contained between square brackets, e.g. in the example above “tip” is the type. Type controls the color and the icon used in the callout. There are many types of callouts (see below).
The header is the text immediately after the square brackets. You can type anything here, and it will show up after the icon (see above, where it says “A tip”).
The body is the text on the second line. You can add as much body copy as you want, and you can add newlines in the same way as a blockquote:
> [!tip] A tip > One line of body copy > Another line of body copy
One other feature that can be extremely useful is collapsible callouts. You can turn any callout into an accordion-like feature with a single character change.
Add either a plus (+) or minus (-) directly after the type identifier. Both characters make the callout collapsible, but a plus sign will default to open, and a minus sign will default to closed.
> [!tip]- A collapsed tip > Hello there!
Types of Callouts
There are many types of callouts, that all come with their own style treatment, which varies from theme to theme. Here are all of the types of callouts currently supported in Obsidian, along with their default color schemes:
- note (blue)
- abstract, summary, tldr (green)
- info (blue)
- todo (blue)
- tip, hint, important (sky blue)
- success, check, done (green)
- question, help, faq (yellow)
- warning, caution, attention (orange)
- failure, fail, missing (red)
- danger, error (red)
- bug (red)
- example (purple)
- quote, cite (grey)
See the documentation for live examples.
If you’ve never used Callouts before in Obsidian, I suggest you give them a shot! They might make your notes a lot prettier, and therefore a lot more functional.