2. Open a Massive Wiki on Your Computer

Massive Wiki Starter Guidebook version 0.1.1

About Obsidian

Obsidian is a personal knowledge management tool that stores individual pages in individual files on your computer. It uses the Markdown text format for editing pages.

Obsidian is well-suited to view and edit Massive wikis that are located on your computer.

An Obsidian "vault" is pretty much the same thing as a Massive wiki "repo".

Open Obsidian

Open the Obsidian application on your computer.

If you need to, you can download Obsidian here:


Opening The Wiki

In the small, left sidebar on the Obsidian window, look for the rectangle+circle icon directly above the question mark icon. It looks like a little safe, or vault. Click the vault icon.

In the window that pops up, look for "Open folder as vault - Choose an existing folder of Markdown files".

(If you have opened this wiki before, Obsidian will show it in the list of vaults on the left, and you can just click that directly.)

Click the "Open" button.

Navigate to the folder where you cloned the wiki's repo. In the previous page, we suggested:

  • My Documents or Documents
    • GitHub
      • massive-sandbox

At this step, select the "massive-sandbox" name and click "Open". You don't need to go into the "massive-sandbox" folder. If you do, just go back up a level so you can select "massive-sandbox".

After you click "Open", a new Obsidian window should open onto the wiki. The main section will say "No file is open", which is okay.

You can choose any file on the left to view it. "README" is the usual home page for Massive wikis.

Toggling Between Edit and Preview Modes

In the upper right, you will see three icons:

  • Edit (pencil) or Preview (page)
  • X (closes this page)
  • three dots (more options)

Click the Edit/Preview button to either edit the page, or to view it as if it were a web page.

You can also use Ctrl-E (Windows) or Command-E (Mac) to toggle between Edit and Preview.

Configuring Obsidian

Each Obsidian window displays one vault (repo).

Each Obsidian window has its own settings, separate from all the other Obsidian windows. This allows you to have different settings for different vaults and repos.

When you open a new wiki, you will want to configure some settings, probably the same ones you have set in other wiki windows. You only need to do this once, when you open the wiki, and Obsidian remembers the settings after that. But you do need to re-do the settings process for each new wiki you open.

Also, note that if you opened a pre-configured Massive wiki, like "Massive Sandbox", it is configured so that your Obsidian settings will not be shared or uploaded to other people. If you create your own Massive wiki, you may wish to configure it the same way. See the "Other Advanced Topics" page in this guidebook.

(setting up Obsidian-Git) Suggested Obsidian-Git option settings:

  • "Vault backup interval (minutes)": leave it set to "0" (zero)
  • "Commit message": set to 'YourInitials - vault backup: {{date}}' ???
  • "Pull updates on startup": OFF or ON ???
  • "Disable Push": OFF
  • "Pull changes before push": ON

(setting up hot keys) Suggested "Hotkeys" settings:

  • "Obsidian Git: Commit and push all changes with specified message": click the button to the right of the word "Blank" and enter Command U
  • "Obsidian Git: Pull from remote repository": click the button to the right of the word "Blank" and enter Command L

(other options, such as light/dark mode)

Saving work before syncing: Obsidian generally does it automatically, but you might also want to do it affirmatively with Ctrl-S / Command-S, and/or toggling to preview mode with Ctrl-E / Command-E.