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This question answers how to write a URL in a comment without making it auto-link (using the '`' character).

How do I write a URL with internal formatting (bold or italics or both) without having it auto-link?

Example: http:// www.boldtext.com/not_bold_at_all.html

(Note: I had to put a space after the second / to get this to submit properly).

For example, I just edited a question where two unlinked URLs are presented for comparison, and a section changes in each url; in my opinion, that change should be emphasized for readability.

After writing this question, I suspect the solutions could be

  1. don't preface the url with http://, and instead just write the domain path out and highlight the appropriate sections.
  2. put a space after the second /, as I did in my example above, which isn't an apparent solution to most users
  3. preface the "http{s}://" section with a "don't auto-link" special-character

Are any of the above preferable solutions to this dilemma, or is there an implemented alternative?

Test: <code>http://www.mysite.com/<b>subfolder</b></code> as http://www.mysite.com/subfolder doesn't work.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Nest the formatting. http://stackoverflow.com is a bold non-clickable link, formatted as:


To make it italics as well, simply add underscores or more asterixes: http://stackoverflow.com

You cannot use MarkDown for inter-word formatting though. You'll have to switch to using HTML markup:


is formatted with


To completely defeat the auto-linker however, you need to replace any one character in start of the URL with an entity character:

  • http://stackoverflow/questions/ (uses &colon; instead of :)
  • http://stackoverflow/questions/ (uses &#47; instead of /)
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Revised the question; I'm looking for how to format specific internal portions of the URL, not the entire URL. –  JoshDM Feb 28 '13 at 16:19
@JoshDM: I saw the switch, edited my answer accordingly. –  Martijn Pieters Feb 28 '13 at 16:21
OY. SLAPS FOREHEAD. I have been habitually conditioned to NOT use HTML within comments, so that super-obvious solution simply didn't occur to me. A+. –  JoshDM Feb 28 '13 at 16:23
<code>http://www.mysite.com/<b>subfolder</b></code> doesn't work. Your use of the bold entity immediately after the last / is why yours works. –  JoshDM Feb 28 '13 at 16:28
While more complete, Goran beat you to it by 6 minutes, Martijn. :-D –  JoshDM Feb 28 '13 at 16:37
@JoshDM: that's life while multitasking! :-) –  Martijn Pieters Feb 28 '13 at 16:38
@JoshDM, If Martijn's answer is better, then it is common practice to unaccept the lower quality answer and accept the higher quality, as long as it answers the question better and/or in more detail. –  Grammar Feb 28 '13 at 16:45
@Grammar - done for legacy reasons, but a question to that point (as I know Martijn didn't actually do what I'm about to posit); what if someone went through and edited their question deliberately to snipe "better" suggestions from other answers in the same question in order to just create a more comprehensive answer with the intent to build reputation? –  JoshDM Feb 28 '13 at 16:51
Josh, most of SO (me included) will incorporate other's answers into our own, to make them more complete and help more. We do this so that all the information is in a single post, because many visitors only read the accepted answer to fix a problem. Naturally, this habit will carry over onto meta. Auto-correct, stop changing META to MEAT, please. –  Grammar Feb 28 '13 at 17:01

You could use a character entity for one of the characters that trigger the auto-linking.



will display as


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This is a much better solution, as it solves the problem where the formatted section isn't the first section. –  JoshDM Feb 28 '13 at 16:30

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