When comparing Zettlr vs Obsidian md, the Slant community recommends Obsidian md for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform note taking app?” Obsidian md is ranked 29th while Zettlr is ranked 40th. The most important reason people chose Obsidian md is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Focuses on writers
While many Markdown editors don't offer specific support for a certain type of workflow, or offer features for scientific workflows only, Zettlr offers features that help the writing process of journalists or researchers in the arts and humanities. It's a lot more text-focused than most editors.
Pro citation support
while it supports many syntax (chart, easy image insert, etc.) found in other editors, the great citation support made it possible to write real articles. Citation from Zotero and Mendeley can be inserted easily which is a huge plus
Pro Renders math in-place through KaTex
Pro Almost perfect!
After testing more than 30 alternatives, paid and free, I can definitely say that this is the best option, still not perfect, there are some bugs like creating / editing tables and resizing images, but the PROS destroy the CONS, easy quotes, WYSIWYM , attachments tab (supports attaching and opening links to any file), table of contents, TAGs, easy hyperlink between files (same as citations), export to many formats (like Word, HTML5, PDF)...
Pro Locally stored, not dependent on cloud
Pro Lightweight and very customizable
Pro Fast growing
It's becoming more powerful everyday, it seems like they add many functions within several days.
Pro Markdown makes for flatter learning curve
Pro Fast development with regular releases
Pro Helps visualize personal knowledge in ways nothing else allows
Pro Markdown rather than outline/blocks
This allows you to link notes back and forth really easily.
Pro Cross-platform: works on Linux, MacOS, and Windows
There is no mobile app yet.
Pro In-line tagging
Ability to tag-as-you-write and find each occurrence of a tag in the entire vault makes it very easy to organize and retrieve notes
Pro Infinite panes, split panes, lock panes
In Obsidian, pane = window = note = page
Obsidian allows you to open as many notes as you can fit concurrently in your screen. You can split a pane horizontally/vertically. You can lock/link panes so they scroll in sync, useful for and edit & preview modes.
Pro Multiple Vaults
A Vault in Obsidian is like a database. Internal links and files are not shared across Vaults. Each Vault is opened with a separate instance of Obsidian. Each Vault can have its unique app settings and plug-ins. Useful if you have distinct/unrelated projects or "data spaces" requiring different workflows and data relations.
Pro Daily Notes with template
Daily Notes plug-in, when clicked, generates a new note with the current date. Great for journaling and reduces friction in your writing habit.
You can create a custom template for your Daily Note.
Pro Readable as it hides the [[ ]] around links when in Preview mode
This is a big difference, as having to read through long-form texts laden with [[links]] gives friction.
Pro Functionality extensions with a growing number of plugins
Pro Very easy to use and link notes, preserves the standard form of markdown
Linking notes is a game changing feature. Very easy to use and link notes. Their implementation of markdown doesn't deviate from the standard form of markdown and so the same files can be used by other markdown programs without any consequence.
Pro Page previews on hover
When you hover on an internal [[link]], you get to preview the note without opening it on a new pane.
Page preview plugin must be enabled.
Pro Intuitive and easy to use with an excellent help system built-in
The app doesn't frustrate the user - the built-in help is excellent.
Pro Slides for giving presentations from within Obsidian
Easily turn your notes into simple yet sleek powerpoint-style presentations by enabling the Slides plugin and adding the --- separator.
Pro Random Note
A plugin that, when clicked, surfaces a random note from your vault.
Pro Great onboarding experience
The onboarding consists of well-written help documentation (saved as a vault) served in small chunks and organized systematically so that you become familiar with all its features as well as get hands-on experience in real time.
Pro Multiple cursors
A feature unseen in other tools.
From the help doc, "This can be useful when modifying a lot of lines in the same way, for example putting - at the beginning of multiple lines to turn them into a list, or appending [[ to a series of links you’ve copied from elsewhere."
Pro Vim key bindings
Can switch on or off Vim key bindings in the editor settings.
Con Large, slow, can't open just a single .md file
Con No WYSISYG editor yet (like Typora)
But it's on the backlog, though.
Con Missing a few small things that would otherwise make this product great
Ability to fold headings in View mode (currently in edit mode only).
Ability to add dates that link to a daily note, when that day/note may not yet exist.
Con No mobile app
Con Pretty new software, so at this moment there is a limited amount of resources / howto's available
Con No Table Editing Yet
Con Needs to be polished
They still need time to fix some bugs.
Con Requires .md files
Can't read .txt or other plaintext file formats.