So I've got this awesome related question I want to share in a comment. I've got the URL right here, but if I just drop it in the comment, all I get is a URL. So now I've got to paste the link, fiddle with some []s and a couple ()s, then go back and copy the question's title, paste that in there...and that's only because I know how to do that. Plenty of people don't even know the markdown syntax so they just paste raw links.

How about we auto-parse question titles to add the [Title]() silliness around the question URL when it's pasted in raw?

A previous suggestion Replace links with the current question title in comments was declined because comment markdown is parsed on the fly so these requests would be done each page load. Instead I suggest the system automatically add the markdown, there's no added requests on read, and only the one extra check on write. In the odd case that a comment + the extra link prettification would be too long to post, the parser could just not add the pretty.

I'm not sure how hard it would be to parse, but it seems like it should be fairly easy to at least recognize the /questions/1/ and /q/1/ URL formats for the sites we have (most of them under the same domain), and it would make sharing these links so much more pleasant.

Think of all the hideous raw URLs that would instantly be prettied into beautiful, readable, semantic links.

  • Comment Link AutoPrettifier </obligatory shameless self-promotion>
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 16:50
  • Actually doing it isn't hard, but modifying the actual source automatically still feels a bit wrong. I guess the system does that anyway to a degree with actual posts (which also have a longer edit period in which to notice), but hmm...not sure what the alternative would be.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 16:51
  • @TimStone The only thing that's all that different from the automatic markdown from markdown buttons is intent; there's still lots of formatting that gets used automatically. I see it more like oneboxing though, but less obtrusive.
    – Zelda
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 17:00
  • I suppose my concern was that it complicated things if you didn't want the transformation to happen, but then again I can't really think of a use case for why you wouldn't.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 17:05
  • @TimStone plus we already automatically do similar inside post bodies
    – Zelda
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 18:29
  • @TimStone: I don't really get why it would be a problem to automagically do this for raw shortlinks. There isn't a reason to leave them raw besides obfuscation, and that is most certainly NOT a good reason. (Full question links I'm ambivalent about, since it's at least possible to determine what the link is without clicking through. And yay for comments three years later...) Commented May 5, 2014 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


As a fast workaround, you can easily convert the question to a link by those steps:

Example URL:

  1. Paste it into the commentbox
  2. Shift+Ctrl+<-- repeat until you marked the question part of the url cross-site-question-parsing-for-question-urls-in-comments that is not needed in the post.
  3. Ctrl+x
  4. type )
  5. Ctrl+<-- repeat to the beginning of the URL
  6. type [Ctrl+v](

this will look like this:

whis is quite satisfying in a comment, and close to
Cross-site question parsing for question URLs in comments

  • Why would the slug "cross-site-question-parsing-for-question-urls-in-comments" not be needed? Please leave that in the URL; it makes URLs much easier to recognize and allows a browser to mark them as visited.
    – Arjan
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 13:58
  • When you open such a short link, the slug is automatically re-added anyway and the brouser-url stays SEO optimized
    – rubo77
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 14:01
  • @rubo77 When I hover my mouse over a link, the slug is not automatically re-added. SEO is secondary, the primary goal of a link is to convey information to a human reader.
    – Rob W
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 14:29
  • you are right, i didn't notice the hover title tag
    – rubo77
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 15:36

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