I was pasting results from Google Translate into a quote in a question and it looked like this

By overlaying the more because

In reality the markdown is this

>By overlaying the more because <What is the other side 
` Ru to one representing the thumb of muscle 
< To SenWataru and ho stick base of Ne亢layers of trout 
Although a state of twisted without breaking the non- g was Li 
Only to cowpea in the following figure around the hand of Saki珊 
Become good long as )

This is not related to blockquoting since it does not matter that I am doing that. I know the issue is the less than symbol because it is immediately next to the alphabetical character W. I am assuming the renderer is seeing a partial html tag. If I put a number there or a space instead it is fine.

Likely this is a dupe but I didn't find what I was looking for outside of the following:

Why can't markdown used by Stack Exchange properly render a backward slash?

Which does not help since I am not working with backslashes.

  • I answered my own question while trying to be sure there wasnt a dupe. There still could be.... The sandbox is not a good dupe target so I pulled out what I wanted to so I had an answer.
    – Matt
    May 27, 2016 at 18:01
  • Cheers, this got nothing to do with the less than character being next to alphabetical character, and also not related to being inside a blockquote. May 27, 2016 at 18:15
  • @ShadowWizard Thanks for finding the dupe. I know the blockquote is not related. I mentioned that in the question. What is the actual problem then? I only said alpha since a number, for example, didn't cause the same issue.
    – Matt
    May 27, 2016 at 18:16
  • The "problem" (which isn't a problem, see in a bit) is that for security reasons, SE strips all possible HTML tags, except those which are whitelisted, e.g. <a>, <img> etc. So the combination of < followed by a letter is considered a possible tag and stripped, unless formatted as code. I might have been wrong to say "nothing to do with the less than character being next to alphabetical character" - it's just not the way you thought it is. So, since HTML tags must begin with English letter, it won't strip when the < is followed by digit, or non English character. Hope it's clear now! :) May 27, 2016 at 19:26
  • Yes its clear. My fault for saying alphabetical and being ignorant of the greater character set. I only usually think of standard ansi code when I saw alphabetical. I was close to right but my reasoning was not completely correct.
    – Matt
    May 27, 2016 at 19:28
  • Yup. All good, and keep in mind you can also use the backtick to format the less than symbol, though unlike using &lt; it will get a different format and color. May 27, 2016 at 19:31
  • Yeah I was trying to avoid code markup.
    – Matt
    May 27, 2016 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


I found an answer in the Formatting Sandbox from this answer


So using the HTML entity for less than &lt does the job.

  • 2
    Its &lt; Do not miss the ending semi colon character. Jan 31, 2019 at 7:32
  • It also works for &gt;. :) Feb 13, 2019 at 20:37

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