Using Callouts in Obsidian

A photo of a red flag stuck in a beach.

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:

A screenshot of a couple of callouts in the default Obsidian 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?

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:

A screenshot of an unformatted text file in Obsidian.

We can add a header to make it a little easier to read:

A screeshot of the same file as above, but with a header breaking up the text.

And we can make it even nicer by adding a callout:

A screenshot of the same text as above, but broken up with both a header and 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:

A screenshot of a note with a summary in a callout at the bottom of the note.

You can use them to add additional context:

A screenshot of a file with additional context provided by a callout.

Or you can use them to hide content that you don’t want to see all the time:

A screenshot of a few expanded and hidden callouts in Obsidian.

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:

A screenshot of a green "tip" callout in Obsidian.

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.

Callout Configuration

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

Collapsible Callouts

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.

2 responses to “Using Callouts in Obsidian”

  1. Love this post, thanks for writing it. Had not heard of callouts at all, and now I’m having way too much playing with them on Mac and Android 🙂

    1. Glad to hear it Patrick! 🙂

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