When comparing Obsidian md vs Dendron, the Slant community recommends Obsidian md for most people. In the question“What are the best personal Knowledge Base apps?” Obsidian md is ranked 1st while Dendron is ranked 25th. The most important reason people chose Obsidian md is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Locally stored, not dependent on cloud
Pro Fast growing
It's becoming more powerful everyday, it seems like they add many functions within several days.
Pro Lightweight and very customizable
This allows you to link notes back and forth really easily.
Pro Markdown makes for flatter learning curve
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 Helps visualize personal knowledge in ways nothing else allows
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 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 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 Cross-platform: works on Linux, MacOS, Windows and iOS
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 Functionality extensions with a growing number of plugins
Also open for anyone to develop their own extensions/plugins.
Pro Markdown rather than outline/blocks
Pro Random note
A plugin that, when clicked, surfaces a random note from your vault.
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 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 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 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 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 Community of developers building themes and plug-ins
Due to the tool being very developer-friendly, there are tons of cool developments being made to it by 3rd party devs.
Pro Support for tags
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.
Pro Can copy search results and paste as lists and/or links in a new or existing note
Pro Not locked to a provider
No lock-in to a certain company - just markdown files on disk.
Pro PDF viewing within the app
PDFs are directly embedded in the markdown preview.
Dendron does not pull notes off your system unless you want to explicitly. There are easy guides for syncing with Github or you can always use Dropbox, Onedrive etc. to sync your notes wherever you want.
Pro Built into VSCode
If you're already developing in VSCode, it's great to have your notes in a familiar environment. Reduces switching costs and you can use familiar keybindings.
Pro Flexible hierarchies
Dendron makes it easy to create and refactor hierarchies at will.
Pro Powerful built-in publishing
Dendron ships with a configuration for publishing your notes with 11ty. The resulting site is searchable and easy to navigate, and the VS Code extension can easily place links to notes in your clipboard for rapid sharing.
Con No WYSISYG editor yet (like Typora)
But it's on the backlog, though.
Con No mobile app <-- actually it does now!
Though it is right now in the development and you can basically use any other markdown editing apps till then.
Con No ability to add dates that link to a daily note, when that day/note may not yet exist
You can create a backlink which doesn't yet exist; it just doesn't auto-fill for you.
Con Proprietary software lock-in
Creates dependence on the application with the promise that the content is yours but that cannot be entirely true without the application being free and open source software. You will end up altering the way you create the content to take advantage of Obsidian features and your processes will evolve for its workflows. This replicates the lock-in pain that people experience moving their highly personal information from one proprietary platform to the next when that initial platform stops serving them well, goes out of business, or becomes a bad actor.
Con No table editing yet
(Available as a plugin).
Con Still in beta
Con Pretty new software
At this moment there is a limited amount of resources / howto's available.
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. Can't read asciidoc files.
(Available with a plugin.)
Con No cool kid cachet to boast about at meetups
Con Built into VSCode
If you're not familiar with VSCode, there may be a steep learning curve.