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Improve backticks help text
Could the Help be better? (code section)

I don't like reading walls of text when I'm looking for something that should not be difficult to explain, so when I was looking for how to make an inline code section, I pressed Code just above the question textbox and among other things it said:

To create not a block, but an inline code span, use backticks:
Press the `<Tab>` key, then type a `$`.

And because I didn't read carefully enough the first few times, I pressed Tab and Shift-4, which added a $ sign to my Tags inputbox. Guys, could you make it a little less confusing in the example, perhaps some popular function name instead of actual keyboard keys?

To clarify, I couldn't understand the help message correctly, because "backticks" is not a word I encounter often enough in my everyday programming life. I also couldn't find it in my native layout, but it's right where the tilde is (being ~).

I think it would be somewhat better this way:

How I think it should be

  • 4
    LOL nah they should totally change it to a close-window command. Would be way funnier. – animuson Apr 18 '12 at 19:40
  • at least that would be more obvious, I could recognize that shortcut – user1306322 Apr 18 '12 at 19:42
  • Perhaps a better example is in order... – user7116 Apr 18 '12 at 19:42
  • What is needed is a PICTURE of the keyboard, maybe a couple of them in sequence, or just the use of the <kbd> tag. – jcolebrand Apr 18 '12 at 20:15
  • 3
    Kids there days! They have no discipline, no power of concentr.... Ooooh! Email! – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Apr 18 '12 at 21:28

When I read your question, I asked myself what good pressing Tab + $ would do.

And I know how to format inline code and what a backtick is!

My suggestions:

  1. Some people might know backticks as backquotes or grave accents, other's might not know them altogether. Backticks don't even appear on some keyboard layouts!

    This would make clear what a backtick is:

    To create not a block, but an inline code span, use backticks(`):
  2. Instead of changing the wording somehow to make clear that it is an example, why not change to example to something that can't be confused with instructions to insert a backtick:

    `log(x)` calculates the logarithm of `x`.
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  • +1 for #2 (</firstgraderlaughing>), that's a pretty clear example...onnn every site but Math.SE :) – user7116 Apr 18 '12 at 23:47
  • @sixlettervariables: Whoever tries to calculate the logarithm of x to insert a backtick has issues anyway... – Dennis Apr 19 '12 at 1:33

I think the highlights on the backticks make it quite clear. I'm not sure how it could be clearer.

Possibly they could be darker, but that may make the ticks themselves harder to see.


High lighted backticks

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  • Is there a badge for my first post with hand drawn red circles? – vascowhite Apr 18 '12 at 19:49
  • I think in this case (I'm looking specifically how to make the grey highlight), the whole example section should not be already highlighted grey as it is now, because it makes no sense to make grey background within the grey background. – user1306322 Apr 18 '12 at 19:52
  • I doubt that's done with markdown, probably good old html & css. – vascowhite Apr 18 '12 at 19:55
  • Also, where is the image in your post from? I don't see that anywhere. – user1306322 Apr 18 '12 at 20:12
  • Follow the link – vascowhite Apr 18 '12 at 20:20
  • Oh… That didn't look legit enough to me in your post, but now that I see it in the advanced help section, it kinda calls for another post like this. – user1306322 Apr 18 '12 at 20:26

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