A small PSA, but as a friendly reminder I think it's worth bringing it up.

When you add a comment such as the following:

Possible duplicate of this

It would benefit everyone a tiny bit more if you added the title of the other question you are linking to:

Possible duplicate of Are passwordless SSH logins more secure?

Or if you are linking to an answer in a different StackExchange site (which is more common, as the Questions that may already have your answer suggestion box isn't cross-site), perhaps consider adding the site title to the comment as well:

Possible duplicate of Information Security SE: Are passwordless SSH logins more secure?

Note: When you "vote to close" a question, the comment added by StackExchange automatically includes the title. Therefore, this PSA is only for cases when people manually add the "possible duplicate" recommendation as a comment. (They sometimes add manual comments if they feel the question isn't similar enough to warrant a duplicate flag, but feel the user may still benefit from the other question's answers; these may take the form of "Related, but not duplicate".

This suggestion of including the title applies to any time you link to another answer (or even another page on a website), not just possible duplicates. You don't always have to include the title, but you should at least give the user a forewarning of what you are linking to.

  • Can you supply us a userscript that generates the necessary markdown for us, please? (say, add "share as markdown" and "share across SE" next to / instead of the usual "share" link) Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 3:32
  • 2
    @JanDvorak I use a bookmarklet for this purpose. It's not SE-specific because I use it for other sources too (Wikipedia, etc).
    – user259867
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 3:59
  • 1
    @CareBear nice! can you post the bookmarklet (with a link to the others) as an answer here? Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 4:03
  • 1
    Well, request for global replacement of links with titles has been declined before. Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 7:15
  • Shadow Wizard's link shows that there has been a request about implementing link beautification in comments. The link also shows that although SE has declined the request, SE's objections are vacuous. There's a simple technological solution, and it can be implemented. If SE refuses to implement it, then no, I'm not going to fill the gap.
    – Louis
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 11:30
  • 1
    @Louis it has been declined by Jeff Atwood. I don't think that should count. Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 15:52
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    @JanDvorak I don't understand how the fact that Jeff Atwood declined it makes it not count.
    – Louis
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 15:54
  • @Louis the community frequently disagrees with Jeff Atwood. Also, he's gone now. Sure, he's the founder, but still.... Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 15:56
  • @Louis Exhibit A, Exhibit B, Exhibit C. And back in the day, Jeff Atwood used to have supreme power, but the last few years he has allowed moderators more power and freedom to reign.
    – IQAndreas
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 15:57
  • 1
    @JanDvorak If what you mean to say is that given the history of that feature request and the history of feature requests in general, SE could very well reconsider and accept it now, then okay. But saying "I don't think that should count" does not convey this. Still, until someone brings that request back up for discussion, it's been rejected and its status has not changed since its rejection. So as it stands now, it is rejected. If SE thinks links to post should be beautified, the simple solution is to implement that feature request.
    – Louis
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 16:07
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    I know comments are second class citizens and all that, but this is where I'd really like a preview of some sort so we can be sure we've got our formats right.
    – Mark Hurd
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 3:34
  • What Jeff said about additional database queries still holds true, I don't think we'd do it, especially since you can just do it yourself with markdown. This isn't that big of a problem to warrant that much additional overhead.
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 14:29
  • Also, just in a general sense - we're open to review anything we've long since declined because things change over time. That goes for anything Jeff, Shog or myself has declined; Jeff's decisions to decline something aren't automatically more likely to be reconsidered because he's no longer here, and his absence doesn't make those decisions any more or less sound.
    – user50049
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


At the suggestion of Jan Dvorak, I'll add a simple tool for easy creation of formatted links: a bookmarklet which I use for including all kinds of links in SE posts and comments. When used on a webpage to which you want to link, it outputs [text](url) where text is the text selected on the page, or, if nothing is selected, the page title (<h1> element). The source code is below. One could convert the URL into short format /q/nnnn when the page is within SE network, but I did not bother.

if (!t) {t=document.querySelector('h1').textContent;}
window.prompt('Copy to Clipboard','['+t+']('+window.location.href+')');
  • Incidentally, I think that leaving comments in the form Possible duplicate of creates unnecessary confusion, because the comment looks exactly like an auto-inserted comment associated with a close vote/flag. If I am not voting to close, I would use a different phrasing, like Similar question: ... or See ....
    – user259867
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 6:18

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