Please add support for text highlight, e.g. with the <mark> HTML5 tag.

Often it is desirable to preserve original formatting in quote citations (that already uses bold, italic and underlining), and also a need for emphasizing a specific part of the quotation, with a different style. In this situations, this feature would come handy.


> **[Highlighter](https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Highlighter&oldid=867188893)**
> &nbsp;&nbsp;*For the cosmetic product, see 
> [Highlighter (cosmetics)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highlighter_(cosmetics)).*
> A **highlighter** is a type of writing device used to <mark>draw attention to
> sections of text by marking them with a vivid,
> [translucent](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translucent) colour</mark>. A
> typical highlighter is
> [fluorescent](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent) yellow, (…)

This is currently rendered as:


  For the cosmetic product, see Highlighter (cosmetics).

A highlighter is a type of writing device used to draw attention to sections of text by marking them with a vivid, translucent colour. A typical highlighter is fluorescent yellow, (…)

if <mark> was supported, would render as:


The vivid yellow (or default browser styling) would not be necessary (don't take the example quotation literally). The main reason for this request is that the highlight feature would satisfy the need for “higher meta-level” of the text emphasis, expressed e.g. in: Add quote markup to comments

A solution, that would prevent the highlighting in non-quotation text would be good, to prevent misuse of this feature.

  • 8
    please no. We already have bold, italic, underscore etc - we don't need any more...
    – Rory Alsop
    Nov 19, 2018 at 11:58
  • @RoryAlsop "underscore"?
    – DocRoot
    Nov 19, 2018 at 17:43
  • @RoryAlsop Underscores are no-solution, just a different syntax for italic and/or bold typesetting. I'm talking about different appearance to the reader, than bold and italic.
    – mykhal
    Nov 19, 2018 at 17:50
  • 5
    @mykhal: We already have italics, bold, and both. We do not need a "higher meta-level of text emphasis". And quite frankly, I prefer less attention-drawing markup to more; people frequently overuse the markup we already have. There are too many posts by people who think that every word needs to be emphasized in order for people to understand them. Nov 19, 2018 at 18:43
  • @Nicol As you see, the original example quotation already uses bold and italic (also underlined text), I don't think that usage of bold&italic would be distinguishable from original formatting and perceived as a text highlight. Often it's desirable to preserve the original formatting, and add one more to select the specific discussed fragment. The highlight would be a good choice, I think.
    – mykhal
    Nov 19, 2018 at 18:58
  • 4
    @NicolBolas Don't forget about code sample and blockquote, which some people also use for highlighting. Nov 19, 2018 at 20:27
  • If you specifically want to "highlight" (ie, draw attention) text in a quotation then you should not copy the other formatting/highlights from the quotation and simply emphasis the part you want to highlight.
    – DocRoot
    Nov 19, 2018 at 21:20
  • @NicolBolas, Using code sample for text highlight would be a just an ugly hack due to the mono-spacing side-effect.
    – mykhal
    Nov 22, 2018 at 17:40
  • @mykhal: I didn't say anything about using code sampling as a replacement for highlighting. Nov 22, 2018 at 17:40

2 Answers 2


I think when considering this, you need to think about how it will abused. We already have all kinds of existing formatting being used improperly by new users. I'd rather not start seeing arbitrary parts of questions highlighted because someone wants their question to "pop" or something.

I agree a highlighting mechanism might be nice if used sparingly and properly, in something like an answer for emphasis on a key part, but I can't see this going over well on a whole.

The less noisy Stack Overflow (and the rest of the network) is, the better. I disagree with the proposal.


There is an ongoing conversation in the CommonMark Discussion forums around adding highlighting to CommonMark. This is relevant since Stack Exchange uses CommonMark as its Markdown specification.

The proposal there is to treat code fenced with == as highlighted:

> Do or do not, ==there is no try.==

Text with a section of it highlighted

If this gets added to CommonMark, it might be worth adding this to Stack Exchange using the CommonMark syntax.

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