There needs to be a way to make the content more scannable by adding a filesystem highlight formatting option to posts.

Here's an example of a zoomed-out post, where the yellow line is there to mark out a filepath location.

An long-text, fully-zoomed-out SE article is shown, a folder name is highlighted in yellow by wired-marker, and the question "whereis" is written in purple across the top of the image.

Here's an example on a Mozilla support article with a more readable format where they use highlighting for filenames and other items (buttons, menu items), making the steps easier to visually encode.

Currently I'm using a workaround of installing Wired-Marker add-on for Firefox.


  • Typically a linked URI is shown in blue, underscored text; therefore, a more global work-around would be links containing the "file" protocol file:///, which could then be used in coding blocks to minimize "abuse cases" (e.g., file:///.)
  • Minimizes abuse cases for tag, sub, sup, and code blocks
  • !Increases accessibility for low vision and speed reading
  • Decreases reviewing time for content being reviewed for memorization or reference
  • !Makes content more aesthetically pleasing (articles seem less intimidating and are easier to enjoy reading)
  • The community is intelligent enough to use a more complicated interface, so 'why not'
  • Obviates the need of browser extensions to work around the slovenly default-interface

Usage notes

  • Past content should be left as-is unless being (actively) reviewed
  • Prefer using actual file locations when they are handy
  • !Use with Local Filesystem Links on Firefox
  • Simple to code and does not require washing of existing content; users can simply use the new feature on future posts, old posts can be left as-is and updated only if the author deems it appropriate
  • Programmers love syntax highlighting meaning the community will likely be very satisfied with the update; so, 'why not'

Design indication

Readers want their eyes naturally drawn to important content when scanning for meta language (a frequent practice in reading for the gist).

Notice how the eye is naturally drawn to the yellow text in the image first. This is because the object moving during scrolling is the yellow object in human perception; our peripheral vision moves to this item implicitly, as an instinctual defense action (tracking fast-moving objects to notice predators). Coded blocks require more searching.

Comparison exercise

After noting how long it takes to find the yellow text on the first image, do this:

  1. Write down the time it took to find the yellow text: (ex. Yellow-find=0.01sec.)
  2. Read the comments by the Sundanese-named author, ᔕᖺᘎᕊ (pronunciation needed)
  3. Select which number the emboldened text is next to, as quickly as possible
  4. Write the time it took to find the emboldened text in the image: (ex. Bold-find=4.7sec.)
  5. Publish your results if nobody else has and answer the following: "Could you tell the difference between the bold and non-bold text?"

A where-is request is drawn; there are 5 regions indicated by numbers; one of the regions contains an emboldened comment submitted by the Sundanese-named author,  ᔕᖺᘎᕊ .

  • Solution: the file location is highlighted in yellow (or perhaps indicated in some other way). Feb 28, 2016 at 10:05
  • 1
    Why don't you just embolden the location? Feb 28, 2016 at 20:39
  • Essentially, it would be a useless change at max FOV. Feb 28, 2016 at 20:54
  • True-type fonts skew emboldened and unemboldened text on low-res images especially on older PCs with low-def monitors (see update [02/28/2016 @ 9:01pm (UTC)] for an exercise involving your comment and answering your question undeniably.). Feb 28, 2016 at 21:03
  • If you're always looking at things so zoomed out as your screenshots suggests of course it's going to be difficult to read anything
    – random
    Feb 29, 2016 at 0:08
  • @random It will be easier to read for gist at max FOV and easier to read for detail with low FOV. Speed reading has higher comprehension, overall, and it allows users to intake content more rapidly. So, the theorem is: increased comprehension of content globally + increased quantity of content read == greatly increased productivity. That's why presidents speed read and paupers don't read. Feb 29, 2016 at 0:13

2 Answers 2


No. There is not and I don't really see the purpose of it.

We have code markdown already, and you can visually filter on them. There is no need in my opinion to make something special for file paths.

  • It's useful for readability in reading-for-gist. Thank you. Feb 28, 2016 at 9:10
  • Cab you maybe show how you see this? How would it work? Where would you see it? Feb 28, 2016 at 9:18
  • @parick I'm a low-vision user. This is incredibly useful. Enjoy the SS. Feb 28, 2016 at 10:23
  • You mean layout like you have with code? What is wrong with code markup for file paths? Feb 28, 2016 at 10:33
  • It's more difficult to find quickly when rehashing. Feb 28, 2016 at 10:33
  • I have no trouble with that. It doesn't need that much emphasis in my opinion. Feb 28, 2016 at 10:34
  • That's fine if you don't, but I certainly do. There are code blocks of similar length throughout the document, and since there's not a lot of nesting in English stanzas, time-to-recall for geographical awareness is much longer after a great deal of time has elapsed. When you know what you're looking for, it's easy to quickly find it in even a longer article, because there's a neuronal shortcut; however, when you only know I'm looking for a file path, it's very convenient to have file paths highlighted for quick-locating. I've found it useful, but my memory is pretty bad, too; so, I review. Feb 28, 2016 at 10:48
  • Patrick: thank you for your guidance. Your question helped to motivate me to find the solution (this comment will be deleted). Feb 28, 2016 at 19:17
  • The reasoning of the last sentence in this answer seems analogous to the question. This is not really an answer because it does not solve anything. Feb 28, 2016 at 23:58
  • It's good to be able to accentuate essential content properly, though. Looking for better than -14 for time spent. Thanks, guys. >0 Mar 7, 2016 at 21:43





Creates the desired allusion.

Because people and organizations change slowly--making sure work is absolutely necessary--, I recommend using the work-around and not expecting quick-action SE. There are a lot of known issues that are ignored by SE, probably innocently because of time constraints--task priorities--and not wanting to mess with what works in most cases.

Regardless, I encourage users to take time to be more organized when possible so I highly recommend using the answer. I also encourage users to post feature requests and not get discouraged from updating their questions.

*Archive: Workaround

  1. Download and install Firefox.
  2. Go grab Wired Marker then restart your browser if necessary.
  3. Highlight the file path in Firefox. Right-click the highlighted text.
  4. Select Wired-Marker->Marker->Marker# from the context menu (see img). An article is shown with text highlighted, and the wired-marker context menu is revealed.
  • Why waiting works: this issue is not necessary (see answer-update) Feb 28, 2016 at 19:17
  • This is a well-maintained article with a viable solution, now. Thumbs-down trolls kick rocks. Feb 29, 2016 at 0:05

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