Some simple #HOW-TO's

I warmly suggest that you implement a hashtag #HOW-TO.

When you figure out how to do cool things, tag them within your database.

Then, on that #HOW-TO page itself, bring in references to the cool things that you have figured out how to do, and describe them. Voila!

You have started creating your own personal user-manual for Roam, within your Roam! It’s also then easier to find those things when you need them.

Was thinking it might be helpful to have a thread of these, here on the Discourse. When I see examples in other threads here on the Discourse I’ll quote them here.

Please feel free to add - just tag with #HOW-TO, please.

I’ll start below with “how to create footnotes”, courtesy of Twitter user @cortexfutura.

  1. Here’s #HOW-TO create footnotes in Roam (h/t @cortexfutura)

use an alias to a block reference. the alias will be the number of the footnote. when you “hover” over the number for a second or so, the block reference itself will come up in tiny-type.

example: 1. (note, there are three parentheses)

#HOW-TO footnote

  1. Here’s another one:

#HOW-TO create a Calendar View in Roam, courtesy of @mat

(this one is a little more complex, but it’s worth studying)

  1. #HOW-TO give your Roam a custom domain, courtesy of @alexfur
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  1. #HOW-TO

… use the “apply children as text” feature to quickly make a template for, and then copy, a table - in this case, a simple 2 x 2. Link is to demo on the Slack.

(note that I have edited this post to supercede the “old” solution since the new functionality is much smoother and will lead to more use-cases!)


I love this, use [[how to]] all the time. Started with [[how-to]] but found so many [[how to]]s in other places, made sense to let unlinked refs find new connections even with mid-sentence [[how to]] refs. Great idea, quite valuable.


Cool idea @mattbrockwell, and thanks so much for the mention!

Just in case the link is confusing, my custom Roam domain service is now called Cloakist rather than customDomainer :slight_smile:

— Alex

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  1. #HOW-TO create a simple “algorithm for decisions”, courtesy of @conaw on Twitter

(note that “algorithms for thought” is a topic unto itself, this is just one example)


#6. here’s a simple one that you can do with hiccup: code - lets you embed audio files if you upload them in mp3 format.

#HOW-TO embed an mp3 file with a player interface -

first, just upload the mp3 file as you would a pdf or an image, using the “/” menu and select “upload image or file”.

Roam will not know what you with the file once it has uploaded, so it will just create a very long URL for it and display that, instead.

Next step, is to create a :hiccup routine that refers to that URL. See code below and note you will need to copy-paste that “very long URL” into the code below, between the two quote marks. Yes, keep the quote marks - they are important.

Use the exact code below, entered into a new block (note - this does NOT require a “code block”, which is what you use for CSS and javascript - instead, with hiccup:, you just type exactly what you see, inline, into an ordinary bullet point.)

:hiccup [:audio {:controls “1”} [:source {:src “https://firebasestorage.yaddayadda”}]]]

If you do this the result should look something like this:

you can operate the music player with the slider, play button, and volume control just as you would expect, and can even download the mp3 again if you click the three dots menu, so technically you could share mp3s this way on a public database.


I really love this. It showcases part of the beauty of Roam - there is minimal structure provided so you can create a structure that functions well for you - and this example would work extremely well for me. It will take a bit of time to build, but will be so valuable.

I can easily see using the month page to add a gratitude or daily highlight log as well - maybe start and end of each day.

Thanks for sharing this!

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Holly molly this is beautifully simple! Thanks

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Re: footnotes in Roam, I see how that’s useful when working in Roam itself, but is there then any way to get the text out of Roam (into, say, a word processor) in a way that preserves the footnote and the footnote text? I’m using Roam for academic writing and have been looking for an exportable footnotes solution. Thanks.

Thanks for setting this up, Matt! Unfortunately, How-to #4 is lost to the Slack sands of time… does anyone have a copy of that trick they could add here?

@typo180 here you go - a screenshot of what was in the Slack post


I’ve been using this method to grab my daily routine template (I also update the template to the new project I’m working on, or even as a note to continue X task the next day I use the template). Metadata template for reading notes, recipe templates…etc. Hadn’t thought about using it for graphs or tables but this is a great idea!

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