I've been on SE for a while now, and it's always irritated me that I couldn't include (bracketed text) within "link text" in comments.

I've quite often found myself posting a comment where the entirety of the text I want to be visible to other users is simply one or more sentences lifted straight from a web page, so I just enclose the required text in [square brackets], followed by the web address in (round brackets).

But if the text includes round brackets itself (not at all uncommon), this used to mess up the display, so I got into the habit of changing them to {curly brackets}. I've been slavishly doing this for years, so I don't actually know exactly when the HTML implementation for SE comments got "smarter". But I just forgot to apply my "fix" in this comment here, and was most gratified to see that it worked anyway.

I'm not sure "patting the development team on the back" is a proper use of SE Meta, but I'm chuffed. And if anyone else longed for this nifty little tweak, they might be glad to know it's been implemented.

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    I'm sorry, but no, this is not a good use of Meta. On here we generally complain about the developers, their terrible work and how unusable the site is. We wouldn't want them to think too highly of themselves. So perhaps edit your post to include an insult or two? – Bart Aug 7 '15 at 17:02
  • @Bart: You're quite right, of course. The truth is they're lazy sods, all of them. I've been waiting years for SO to start employing some really hot-shot techies who could implement a decent wireless interface direct into my brain, to pick up and properly format all those wonderfully witty comments I feel sure are lying around in there somewhere! :) – FumbleFingers Aug 7 '15 at 17:08
  • But if you want [link text with [square] bracket](meta.stackexchange.com/search)... escaping is necessary: link text with [square] bracket. – user259867 Aug 7 '15 at 19:24
  • @Normal: Oops! I'll edit that. (But I'm not the only one who makes that mistake! :) – FumbleFingers Aug 7 '15 at 20:26
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    Looks like this has been a feature since January 2011. I'm sorry it took so long for you to find out =0 – MTL Aug 7 '15 at 20:32
  • @Shokhet: Are you sure about that? The penultimate entry here (dated 2011-01-06) says they now support inserting links containing parentheses, giving an example where the link address includes brackets. Which doesn't necessarily imply that's when they started supporting brackets in the "display text". I suppose it's at least possible I've always headed of the problem since then by judicious editing before posting a comment, but it doesn't really seem that long ago when I last "got it wrong" and had to "edit" the comment. – FumbleFingers Aug 7 '15 at 20:48
  • No, I'm not sure about that. That was the only hit I found on that page for parentheses, so I assumed that it was the same, but perhaps not. – MTL Aug 9 '15 at 2:42

To add some potentially useful information here...

While round parentheses in link text do not present a problem now, square brackets still do (only in comments, in posts you can use link with [square bracket] and something all you want).

The remedy is to escape the things you want to be treated as literal characters, by preceding them with a backslash:

[link with \[square bracket\] and something](https://meta.stackexchange.com/q/262287)
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    If I'd only known how to do that, I'd probably never have been sufficiently irritated over the years to have posted here when things finally improved! – FumbleFingers Aug 7 '15 at 20:31

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