I see that chat supports markdown (just like questions / answers / comments), but it also has a back-reference feature (:messagenumber). Is this documented anywhere? Even when using the GUI (the reply button), it's not entirely obvious how it works -- e.g. :messagenumber seems to include @user (besides causing the back-reference-highlighting behaviour)

In any case, it would be nice to have "formatting help" and "preview" links for all places where you can enter markdown formatting.

1 Answer 1


All chat messages have a permalink, and at the end of that permalink is a specific number. That number is the one that is used in the :messagenumber feature. This does indeed mean that you can link to your own messages, though you will get pinged for it. There is also a very handy userscript that displays this number at the right-hand side of the message. Another neat feature is that you can copy-paste the URL of a message into a message by itself and it will be One-box-quoted.

  • Great. Still, is the :messagenumber feature documented anywhere (in addition to this permalink number being the same as :messagenumber)? Also, I would still propose that "formatting help" and "preview" links next to all markdown-controlled text areas would make life easier for those who post.
    – justbelieve
    Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 5:41
  • Hm, perhaps this feature request might be better off on meta.SE?
    – justbelieve
    Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 5:46
  • 1
    Asking for the links would be better off on MSO, yes. As far as I know, the :messagenumber feature isn't documented anywhere; I merely figured it out on my own. Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 5:53
  • OK. I think it should be documented. And how do I move this to MSO?
    – justbelieve
    Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 7:23

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