Way to edit the URL after publishing?

Silly me, I published while I was just tinkering around, and ended up with a URL like this: https://beta.observablehq.com/@mrdavidjcole/testing-observable-with-some-wistia-stuff

But then I made that notebook into one with an actual purpose, and I’d like to update the URL to reflect that. When I updated the title though, it had no effect on the URL.

Is there a way to edit the URL?



Yep! Updating the ‘slug’ (that segment of the URL) on publish is definitely on our list, and we’re working through the implementation - the main quirk is that we’ll need to redirect from all previous slugs to the newest one.

I think all you need to do is copy the contents of the mistaken notebook, move the notebook to trash (lower right), and paste the contents into a new notebook … correcting the title.

@backspaces You can also fork the old notebook, publish the new fork under a new slug, and then trash the old notebook. However, this will break any links to your old slug, so we’d prefer to let you republish under a new slug in the future and automatically redirect from the old slugs to the new one.


I have a slug and notebook title mismatch at the moment. I published a notebook to get proof reads and edits from friends, which ended up in me changing the title, and now the old notebook title is sticking around in meta data and the notebook url. Would be nice if it was editable.

I’m having the same issue. I published a notebook not knowing how the slug was derived, and got an ugly slug. To change the slug, I created a fork and deleted the original, but as the original was itself a fork, its upstream fork target is now lost.

Is there a way to manually set the upstream fork source of a notebook so that we can credit the author while working around slug rewrites?

Maybe in general when the immediate parent fork is deleted, Observable should scan proximally back up the fork-tree and re-attach the parent pointer to the first available branch?

I would be OK with that, but even before you prioritize that feature, I’d be happier with a confirmation dialog on the Publish button. AFAIK, currently you only discover the slug by publishing and reverse engineering the header distillation algorithm.

In my case, I had already done a lot of work on the article, and when I hit Publish, I had expected a confirmation dialog, or perhaps a slug form field. It was only after publishing that I learned I couldn’t change the slug.

Another solution would be to implement an “Unpublish” button, wherein the article leaves the published state and forgets its slug. Then you edit the header and republish to get a fresh slug.

Yet another solution would be to allow a “copy” operation as distinct from “fork” which preserves the fork source target. I’d be happy with whatever’s easiest to implement.

Yep. We’re planning on some interstitial for publishing so that you can confirm (and tweak) the title, slug and thumbnail before publishing.


Sounds good to me, thanks!