I try to use references and tags only deliberately to connect rem where I think I possibly might want such a connection in the future. For example if I often use a term in a subtree I just use the reference in the or a few key ideas. I don’t know if that is a good idea but I hope to keep backlinks relatively clutter free.
So I essentially use references as high quality backlinks and text references as low quality ones.
As a result I’d like to have the option to individually reference text occurances, i.e. to change a low quality link to a high quality one selectively. You could for example add the link button behind head blue background line as well or do something on hover.
Note that there is another flavor of “convert all text-references to a rem reference”, namely converting all, different text snippets on a single page to a corresponding reference.
For Roam Research there is the
Unlink Finder which does that:
Mindforger also does autolinking: https://github.com/dvorka/mindforger/releases/tag/1.52.0
This IMO also an important function to surface connections because you usually don’t know for what concepts you already have taken notes. I would call them “forward links” analogous to backward links.
Again I would not just convert everything automatically. Maybe there should be a toggle to autolink the references temporarily with a command in the reference context menu to make them permanent.
For symmetry there should be also an option to remove a reference, both in text and in a search portal (which might use the same UI).
This could be integrated in the context menu or be a button above the hover preview.
Regarding the button placement I probably would swap it with the refresh button because the refresh form a unit with the search input.