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Make links in Stack Overflow answers more obvious?

Maybe this is more for SuperUser website, but as it appears all stack exchange use the same approach I'll ask it globally.

On posts, we can add links to external websites. The link to the various external websites are a light blue with no underline (I mean the HTML a href link). Now, underline in the world of HTML = a link!! Simple as that. Don't get me wrong, I'm a web dev/designer and I rather not use the underline (it's nicer on the eye) but I can't comment now on the amount of time I've replied to a post to only realize I've missed the link in the original question! Well, not only have I waisted the OP time by having to re-alert me I'm repeating his data, I've been marked down (well, it is my fault!) but worse, I may have spent a long time researching the answer!

I also know it could be my screen calibration etc, but, on SuperUser could we either have a darker colour or a rule so links are underlined through out?

As per Frédéric Hamidi response, this has been asked before, but it was asked in 2009 so I'd like this to be a new consideration (if possible).

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marked as duplicate by Brad Mace, Toon Krijthe, jonsca, Pops, Al E. Aug 13 '12 at 18:50

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Thank you - I can assume then, based upon the question originally being asked in 2009 (see your link) that SE doesn't care about this and has no intention of updating as the majority must be happy. That's cool, an answer is an answer and at least I know and (as per the link you gave) I can write a FireFox script to fix this - although it seems like a lot of work for the Superuser website when you consider I've asked 2 questions and answered 104 since last month I'm really not there for myself but to help others! – Dave Aug 10 '12 at 9:10
I took a short look at SE superuser, too and in my eyes default settings are obvious enough: blue words or any other colouring is really unusual, so I find it highlighted enough. – Shegit Brahm Aug 10 '12 at 13:26
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Personally, I'm against this feature. I never had trouble identifying links as such, and I consider non-underlined links much easier on the eyes.

For those that would prefer underlined links, I wrote this user script that underlines all links in questions, answers and comments on all Stack Exchange sites.

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Thank you. I agree, non-underlined is more atheistically pleasing to the eye (IMO) but, it doesn't stop me missing links. HOWEVER, your script does SOLVE the problem. I just edited it slightly from a{text-decoration:underline;} to a{text-decoration:underline;color:#900;} – Dave Aug 10 '12 at 12:14

Although underlining is a convention, it may be possible instead to indicate at least external links with an icon in the manner that Wikipedia does, with a bit of styling.

Example Wikipedia external link with icon

Wikipedia style:

div#content a.external, div#content a.external[href^="gopher://"] {
    background: url("data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAoAAAAKCAYAAACNMs+9AAAAVklEQVR4Xn3PgQkAMQhDUXfqTu7kTtkpd5RA8AInfArtQ2iRXFWT2QedAfttj2FsPIOE1eCOlEuoWWjgzYaB/IkeGOrxXhqB+uA9Bfcm0lAZuh+YIeAD+cAqSz4kCMUAAAAASUVORK5CYII=") 
    no-repeat scroll right center transparent;
    padding-right: 13px;

Perhaps there's scope for a user script to do that, but it wouldn't be particularly heavy, onerous or intrusive to add something similar to SE sites.

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I also believe links should be more noticeable. When links are provided as part of an answer it's usually significant they were (modulo the Veena Malik spam edit from a day or two ago ;) and it should be as easy as possible for people to identify and follow them.

I've found them less-noticeable lately on SO, but I don't know if that's an issue with my eyes, my browser, or the site. Particularly when people make links in a row.

Followup It's my eyes, I can see them fine right now. The mobile view, however, is terrible, and I have a great cel display (Samsung Super AMOLED, the only thing about this Droid Charge I love).

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