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This is a very frequent story for me (and I'm sure for many others too):

  1. Write up an answer, recognise two or three places that would be better served as links.
  2. Open a new tab, locate the desired resource, a full help page perhaps or (often) another question on the site
  3. From destination page, copy page title, header text, or first few words of page
  4. Paste into #1 where appropriate (Oops, forgot opening bracket: Ctrl+ a few times to get to beginning of phrase, type "[", Ctrl+ to end of phrase, type "]")
  5. Go back to destination page, put focus on address bar, make sure entire URL is selected, copy
  6. Go back to answer page, type "(", paste URL, type ")". A lot smoother this time because we remembered to bracket before pasting; doesn't always happen that way though (and let's not forget the pain of forgetting which []() is for link text and which is for URL)

A little of this pain is alleviated by using the keyboard shortcut for creating links (Ctrl+L if you didn't know, thanks for that!) in the edit text box, but only a little as you still need to copy and paste twice, and it doesn't work for comments.

Creating posts with good content and readable answers with links to more information is something important to me. I spend the extra time and effort to make it happen in spite of the work. There are many others for whom that extra is not worth it, so they'll usually either a) not link at all, or b) post the unreadable line-wrapping URL in-situ.

Sooo, Dear Lazyweb: can someone who knows how to do this stuff please create a bookmarklet or some other easy-to-use tool which can turn this:

http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=p&msa=0&msid=110062113008218362869.00047dc44105664577020&ll=42.494251,-71.142998&spn=0.011075,0.017252&z=14&source=embed

into this:

[Time Traveller drop points](http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&t=p&msa=0&msid=110062113008218362869.00047dc44105664577020&ll=42.494251,-71.142998&spn=0.011075,0.017252&z=14&source=embed)

at the click of a button (and key-press too for bonus points)?

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This would partially address advanced link syntax, pasting url is easier than id#, and easier link to doc websites. –  matt wilkie Dec 11 '10 at 7:51
    
an additional possible feature, copy the Delicio.us bookmark thingy which takes the selected text and plunks that into the description field, only in the SE case it would be an article quote block. –  matt wilkie Jul 13 '12 at 20:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I needed this as well for other sites and put together a simple bookmarklet that should work in any browser: Bookmarklet: Copy Markdown Link

share|improve this answer
    
woohoo! thanks Brian :) –  matt wilkie Nov 12 '13 at 1:34

This should probably be a comment, but to make it stand out a bit as I was oblivious about this great change for over a month (and so was the overview at Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange) I'll abuse an answer.

This is no longer needed for internal links:

  • 2010-11-05: Posting links to the very same site now automatically shows the title. So, just insert http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/59445/whatever. to become Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange. The title is not shown in the preview, but inserted when the post is created or edited. The title is not updated when it changes, unless the post is edited. It does not work in comments, nor for links to other SOFU sites. Trailing punctuation marks such as a comma, dot or question mark (without URL parameters) to get a readable sentence work just fine.

And:

It seems the only way to suppress this is to format a link as code (without any other text in that same code fragment), or create a Markdown link that has the link itself as the title; even the <..> syntax, like <http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/71975/whatever>, yields Can someone create a bookmarklet for creating markdown links?.

share|improve this answer
    
thanks Arjan, I wouldn't have caught that change if you hadn't brought it up. I don't monitor SO meta that closely. –  matt wilkie Dec 12 '10 at 7:52
    
Even more, @matt, I do follow the Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange but even that overview didn't know about that NICE change until a month later. –  Arjan Dec 12 '10 at 9:28
    
it is shown in the preview as well now, thanks to balpha –  Jeff Atwood Mar 16 '11 at 9:00

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