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I frequently find myself trying to paste a quotation that contains some rich text, such as italics or links, and I have to reapply all the formatting myself.

It would be great if there were a way to paste rich text and have any formatting and links carry over automatically.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I link to a page (e.g., documentation), and provide a quote with the specific information I'm highlighting.

If the quoted source uses tidy HTML, often one can copy that and mix it with Markdown. Like:

“640K ought to be enough for anybody.” -Bill Gates (1981)

One of the most quoted lines of the computer era. Certainly the most quoted line attributed to the Microsoft founder.

However it is only “attributed” as in 1996 Bill decided to publically deny it in an interview:

INTERVIEWER I read in a newspaper that in 1981 you said, “640K of memory should be enough for anybody.” What did you mean when you said this?

BILL GATES: I’ve said some stupid things and some wrong things, but not that. No one involved in computers would ever say that a certain amount of memory is enough for all time.
We at Microsoft disagreed. We knew that even 16-bit computers, which had 640K of available address space, would be adequate for only four or five years.

(View the source of this post.)

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Is "tidy HTML" supposed to be related to, or just a description? – user66001 Feb 3 '13 at 1:34

I can't see this being implemented.

Why are you posting so much preformatted text? If it's copied from another site then you are risking copyright infringement claims.

When answering on Stack Exchange you should be summarising and expanding on what already exists. Linking to relevant pages - but including the salient points in the answer. This ensures that subsequent visitors don't have to go trawling the internet following one link after another and that, should a site go dark, the information is still available here.

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Not to mention the issues surrounding technical feasibility. – Tim Stone Aug 14 '11 at 17:34
That's exactly the reason I would be posting a quote in the first place. I link to a page (e.g., documentation), and provide a quote with the specific information I'm highlighting. – jtbandes Aug 14 '11 at 17:35

If you have a good answer for ChrisF's question you might be interested in various thrid-party converters:

  • PanDoc (link goes to a online live trial)
  • Markdownify is a PHP tool for converting HTML to Markdown.
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