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I like how tags are cleverly displayed in gray boxes in this question, among others: http://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6119/retag-request-opensource-open-source

What's the markdown syntax for this?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

That would be the <kbd> tag:

<kbd>hello, world</kbd>


hello, world

It's used mainly to demonstrate keys that the reader is supposed to press, like ctrl+t, etc.

Though <kbd> is an HTML tag, StackOverflow applies some CSS to make it look like a real button:

kbd {
  background:#EEEEEE none repeat scroll 0 0;
  border-color:#CCCCCC #AAAAAA #888888 #BBBBBB;
  border-width:1px 3px 3px 1px;
  padding:2px 4px;
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Ah, thanks. So this is just standard HTML, not markdown? Any special CSS required to format it like the real tag rectangles? – An̲̳̳drew Jul 21 '09 at 3:44
Yes, and I've updated my answer to include it – Kyle Cronin Jul 21 '09 at 3:58
Coolness . – An̲̳̳drew Jul 21 '09 at 4:17
This should be added to the "Formatting reference" – TM. Jul 27 '09 at 6:16
Cool, I think I may have to copy and paste that into my personal CSS for help pages, I can see this making a real difference to users when suggesting they press a specified button. – DaveM Jun 29 '12 at 8:51

Note that, if talking about actual tags, it's better to use the new [meta-tag:tags] -> syntax; see Is there some markup to post tags? or the formatting help for details.

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