I was reading through the Formatting Sandobox here.

In the comments section of this answer, there are some comments that contain some text to the right of the username.

Such as:

Hello, I am Jon Skeet. ‮ teekS noJ - – Manishearth Mar 30 at 11:18

As a reply to a comment that asks how do they do that a user writes:

Yay, I figured it out!! Copy the character inside the codeblock to get it it's a mirroring character. Note that the codeblock may have placed itself after my username. "‮‮ " – Manishearth Mar 27 at 12:43

But I don't understand.

Can someone clarify?

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    I am not sure ... ‮ ?ew naC – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A May 8 '12 at 12:56
  • To clarify the comment, I'd supplied the character in the codeblock. ‮‮?huh ,looC – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 13:34
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    Actually, my attempt at identity theft would have worked better at Physics, where the comment-username link styling and normal link styling is the same. (Cue complete chaos and identity theft spree at Physics) – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 13:36
  • Whats cool is that Chrome's devtools are themselves webapps, so they get screwed by the character as well; and grokking how Panama and the rest did this magic was pretty hard (I knew it was a bidi thingy, but I first was looking for an unclosed bidi rtl span). All the devtools show is the mysterious <naps/> closing tag. :P – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 13:39
  • @Manishearth Actually that tag doesn't need a closing tag :) (it is a self-closing tag) – Anish Gupta May 8 '12 at 13:41
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    @AnishGupta: But naps have a duration! They must have open-close tags! And they must be nestable (seen Inception? ) :P – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 13:44
  • @Manishearth I don't get that. I didn't see Inception. – Anish Gupta May 8 '12 at 13:45
  • @AnishGupta: First thing, did you realize that <naps/> is </span> unicode-backwarded? Use Chrome, right click on Panama's comment (not mine, mine opens a new line and screws the effect), and inspect. There will be a mirrored span--> naps. As for my comment, I was saying that a "nap" (i.e. sleep), has a duration and thus does not qualify as a self-closing tag. And Inception had to do with dreams-within-dreams-within-dreams, so I was saying that, in addition to being non-self-closing, they must be nestable ;-) – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 13:48
  • Random, bad, HTML joke, really :/ – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 13:48
  • I realised that naps is span backwards. I did the Chrome thing when I read the question. Now I get the nap/sleep thing. I read the inception bit and thought it must be something to do with the movie. – Anish Gupta May 8 '12 at 13:51
  • Why the downvote? – Anish Gupta May 8 '12 at 14:05
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    Just to let you know, downvotes work slightly differently here on meta – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 14:07
  • @Manishearth: ‮. ti daer I wonk I‮ – Anish Gupta May 8 '12 at 14:10
  • Why more down votes ? – Anish Gupta May 9 '12 at 6:05
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    @AnishGupta but yet you make the same comment... – amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A May 9 '12 at 21:34

That is a unicode (RIGHT-TO-LEFT OVERRIDE) hack:



Here's a website which you can directly copy it from instead of having to mess around with hex codes:

Copy the character from between the parentheses


I think it's better to copy the parentheses themselves, and then remove them one by one. You may have to use your keyboard arrow keys for this, since the bidi character is invisible even when selected. It takes some practice and you have to realise that sometimes you need to move the arrow keys in the other direction.

  • It doesn't work in chrome :( – Anish Gupta May 8 '12 at 13:58
  • @AnishGupta: Clarified – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 14:01
  • ‮‮‮won gnitset :) skrow tI – Anish Gupta May 8 '12 at 14:03
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    @AnishGupta: ‮‮!eikooc a evaH !og ay erehT – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 14:05
  • What's a bidi character? – Anish Gupta May 8 '12 at 14:12
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    @AnishGupta: Bidi=BiDirectional . Some languages like Hebrew and Arabic write right to left. There's some CSS that can help here, and a bunch of Unicode overrides like the one above. – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 14:14
  • Thanks! The comment needs to be at least 15 characters so I'm adding all this junk – Anish Gupta May 8 '12 at 14:15
  • @ani - or just use a few zero width Unicode characters - pick it up from in between the brackets --> (​)... – Lix May 8 '12 at 15:18
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    :) ​​ ​​​​​​​​​​ – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 15:19
  • @Lix I'm aware of them but I couldn't be bothered to find them online – Anish Gupta May 8 '12 at 15:24
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    @lix I was trying to use em recently, but all my efforts of copying the character failed. I finally scripted it :p – Manishearth May 8 '12 at 15:27
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    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ – Anish Gupta May 25 '12 at 14:11
  • Love this. ‮‮It is awesome! – coneybeare Mar 11 '13 at 23:03

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