There are some text formats which help us to provide more readable answers, comments, and questions, but I learned them by editing other answers. I don't know where the source is, for example:

code style (Ctrl + K or `your text`)

Big Style (#Big Style)

Bold Style (Ctrl + B or **your text**)

Some functionalities like: &le; → ≤, &Omega; → Ω, or a<sub>1</sub> → a1.


But I don't know other text magics for this site. The &x; format is not exactly the same as TeX symbols, and it's not easy to find the true format. I think there should be a guidance for these formats and other hidden features of Stack Overflow.

Also these formattings do not work in code style. For example, if I have pseudocode and I want to use &x; formats, it wouldn't work there.


2 Answers 2


&le; and similar are HTML character entities. You can generate pretty much any symbol using them. See the linked list for more.

You can also of course just paste the character itself instead of the entity. For example &rarr; will produce →, but it's the same when I just copy the arrow → (see the source of this post to see what it looks like).

You can also paste them from a Character viewer like on OS X:

To "fake" code, you can create a blockquote with >, and then wrap the actual code in backticks.

> `this.looksLike("code")` &rarr; but it isn't!

will result in:

this.looksLike("code") → but it isn't!

The rest of allowed HTML and Markdown syntax you can find here:

What HTML tags are allowed on Stack Exchange sites?

Stack Overflow Editing Help

You can generate many desired looks with this. Feel free to experiment in the formatting sandbox, where others test or show off their HTML h4xx0r skillz.

  • Wow very nice, but you know how to enable them in codding format for example using &rarr; in coding format? Or in comments?
    – Saeed
    Feb 17, 2012 at 12:00
  • Also this not shown a<sub>1</sub> format or similar approaches for power, ....
    – Saeed
    Feb 17, 2012 at 12:03
  • HTML entities aren't allowed in comments. For the "fake" code, see my edit above.
    – slhck
    Feb 17, 2012 at 12:24

With a little bit of experimenting I've found that:





  • These are simple ones e.g my sample &rarr; is harder than them, but there is lot of such things, and they aren't same as Tex format, there should be some good guidance not experience.
    – Saeed
    Feb 17, 2012 at 11:55
  • @Saeed - see the Wikipedia page linked to by slhk in his answer
    – ChrisF Mod
    Feb 17, 2012 at 11:57
  • I see that chris.
    – Saeed
    Feb 17, 2012 at 12:01

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