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Since this is the Summer of Love, in helping the newbies out I find myself linking to Wikipedia quite often (as they're usually woefully lacking in basic understandings of the topics they're asking about). Linking to these articles would be much more convenient (and I'd be able to fit more content into a comment) if there was a shorthand for Wikipedia links. The current syntax means I'm taking up 30 character plus the length of the article name: [](

Usually the words I'd like to become a link also happen to be the article name. It would be extremely convenient if I could take advantage of this fact and make those words a link simply by enclosing them in [w: and ] (or something similar).

So when I want to link someone to the article on Stack Overflow, currently I have to do:

[Stack Overflow](

Under this proposed feature that could be shortened to:

[w:Stack Overflow]

I fully admit this shortcut is most useful in comments, but very much so when I'm trying to link to multiple articles, and help people in their understanding of various topics. Also, it might save a few keystrokes in Question/Answer posts.

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This is a great idea, but why limit it to wikipedia? It would be nice to have [u:Chris S] links to a user, [q:146274/175984] to a question, and [a:146274/175984] to an answer. – dasblinkenlight Sep 7 '12 at 15:47
@dasblinkenlight I was trying to solve a specific problem, you're just making the world a better place. – Chris S Sep 7 '12 at 17:05
I think it doesn't hurt to just start with one type of link, and Wikipedia is as good a first one as any. (Unless the team would want to start with internal links like user, question, answer) Once the infrastructure is in place, it shouldn't be too hard to add in shortcut syntax for links to additional sites. – David Z Sep 7 '12 at 17:44
Edit Overflow has a utility to format links, including the inline format used in comments. From the main window, Menu Action/Markdown utility (F8). If the term has already been looked up in the main window ("SO" for Stack Overflow is built-in), then the utilty window will be filled in with the information and the only thing to do is to choose the format (for example, "Inline") and press button "Generate". – Peter Mortensen Sep 7 '12 at 17:50
@PeterMortensen This really isn't about typing less so much as it is fitting a whole helpful text into the comment box, complete with links. That tool might be slightly helpful, though it seems like it takes a lot of clicks/strokes to accomplish the same thing, but it wont help with the comment character limit. – Chris S Sep 7 '12 at 17:52
@dasblinkenlight I think you meant [u:175984], names change a lot (while IDs don't) – ajax333221 Sep 7 '12 at 22:06
@ajax333221 I think you're right, an ID is better. – dasblinkenlight Sep 7 '12 at 22:11

I agree with this feature request; but I want to emphasize about how much more useful this would be on sites that aren't Stack Overflow.

Most of the time, when linking on Stack Overflow, you're linking to an API reference or some such; there are lots of those, so maybe this wouldn't necessarily be the most useful feature.

However, on other sites, especially ones like SciFi, History, Movies&TV, Christianity, Anime, and the new Mythology stack (Public Beta as of today!), this could really come in handy. On these sites you might want to do this often for providing an easy reference for people reading your questions that don't have as much background as the author or answerers.

There is already a precedent for making magic style links like this; we could just add this same behavior for Wikipedia links.

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