The other day I discovered that we have all sorts of really neat shorthand links we can use in comments!

Comments support only bold, italic, code and links; in addition, a few shorthand links are available.

italic and bold text, inline code in backticks, and basic links. Supported shorthand links:

[meta] – link to the current site's Meta; link text is the site name (e.g. "Super User Meta"). Does nothing if the site doesn't have (or already is) a Meta site.

[main] – like [meta], just the other way around.

[edit] – link to the edit page for the post the comment is on, i.e. /posts/{id}/edit. Link text is "edit" (capitalization is respected).


[ask], [answer] – link to the How to Ask or How to Answer page.

With so many people complaining about / asking why they were downvoted on meta, I request a new comment shorthand link:

[metavotefaq] – link to the faq section vote-differences. Link text is "Voting here works a bit differently from other Stack Exchange sites."

This way, we can easily comment to someone asking "Why was I downvoted?":

Because [metavotefaq]
  • 1
    Yes please! -----
    – Pekka
    Nov 26, 2011 at 14:07
  • 3
    And I'd love to see some generic comment macros as well, like a polite official version of "please don't just post a link to a web site that doesn't work; please post some code here" - I know there are browser extensions that can do this, but it would be nice to have those built in. But that is a different request, I guess.
    – Pekka
    Nov 26, 2011 at 14:08
  • Oooooh great idea @Pekka -- If you post that as a question in and of itself please link me and I will upvote! Nov 26, 2011 at 14:15
  • will do, although I think that has been requested and declined before - I'll search for it later
    – Pekka
    Nov 26, 2011 at 14:16
  • This: FAQ [META-FAQ#vote-differences]
    – nhinkle
    Nov 26, 2011 at 20:31
  • I wonder, would it be just as helpful to have an s.tk link too/instead? Nov 26, 2011 at 22:42

1 Answer 1


You mean like [meta-faq#vote-differences]? This will generate a quick link to the FAQ section on meta votes being different. You could leave a comment like this:

Votes on Meta are a bit different - they indicate disagreement, not necessarily that you are wrong. See the [META-FAQ#vote-differences] for more details.

This wouldn't insert the whole "votes are different" text, just the link. You could combine this with the Proforma Comments script from StackApps though:

This script adds a little 'auto' link next to all comments boxes. When you click the link, you see a popup with 6 configurable auto-comments, which you can easily click to insert.

The tool lets you save custom pre-formed comments. You could write a standard response to "why was I downvoted" which includes the short link mentioned above.

  • 2
    In accordance with faq I am upvoting this answer due to the freehand circle within. (Okay, I'm really just testing your advice) Nov 26, 2011 at 21:38
  • Awesome, that works well. Thanks! I'll probably opt for the Proforma script though because 1. Benjol is awesome and 2. As you said, this just generates a link saying faq. Also, I'm probably going to have a difficult time remembering the shortcut [meta-faq#vote-differences] Nov 26, 2011 at 21:41
  • @TheUnhandledException you didn't vote me up for freehand circles? Aw... now I'm sad. What if I put in a pony?
    – nhinkle
    Nov 27, 2011 at 3:52

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