Just curious here.

According to the help center, you can use this markdown for images:

![sample image](http://example.com/img.jpg)

And if we want, we can also use the "reference" format for images

![sample image][1]

 [1]: http://example.com/img.jpg

So far, so good. However, the editor interface uses another format, which I'm not sure I understand the syntax of.

[![sample image][1]][1]

 [1]: http://example.com/img.jpg

with the extra brackets and the duplicated [1]. How does that work? If I remove the inner [1], I get one visible [ in front of the image.

Like I said, just curious. I can't find this format documented anywhere. And I don't understand why there are so many different ways to insert images. Do some of those formats have features the others don't have?


The first and second options you mention are equivalent. They both insert an image by providing the URL to that image.

The third option also adds a link: it combines the link markdown [link text][ref] with the image markdown ![alt text][ref] to form [![alt text][image ref]][link].

Using this, you get a linked image, which is useful because it lets you see the larger version if one is available (the display may downsize a large image).

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  • Ah... Of course I knew that images here are usually links to their full versions. And now you mention it, it's so clear that this syntax is simply an image nested in a link. Thanks for rubbing my nose in it! – Mr Reenlist'er Jan 12 '16 at 10:52

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