Parens, outside

Input: ([text](http://example.com)
Result: ([text](example.com)
Expected: (text

Brackets, inside

Input: [[text]](http://example.com)
Result: [[text]](example.com)
Expected: [text]

These issues affect chat's markdown rendering too.

  • Ztext
    – YOU
    Jun 3, 2010 at 9:23

4 Answers 4


I agree on the first one. While it makes sense to put some restrictions on (e.g.) italic markup, so that

@UserXYZ: Are you sure that 2*3*4 is 42?

does the right thing, the link syntax [bla](http://x) is so unambiguous that the restriction really isn't necessary. This will work in the next build.

Regarding the second one: You can write anything you want into the link text, so I really don't see the point of checking for nested brackets, thereby making some kind of syntactic assumption about free text.

For the rare cases that there's a closing bracket in a link text, I think it's fine to require the user to type one extra backslash to escape it.


It's not only on parens, they might be expecting a whitespace before []

  • That would explain the behavior I've been seeing with italic links. (Doesn't work with asterisks either inside or outside.) And [tag] links, for that matter, (which I always do inside).
    – Gnome
    Jun 3, 2010 at 9:33

Could we get this looked at? My issue was with trying to put quotes around a link:

"text" doesn't surround the link with quotes, but [text] does surround with brackets?

Another link is 
"[Generics (C# Programming Guide)](http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/512aeb7t.aspx)"

This works in an answer

Another link is "Generics (C# Programming Guide)"

But not in a comment (see below).

Putting the quotes in the [text] works, but the quotes aren't actually part of what I was trying to link. I was taught in school (ages ago) to put quotes around the title of an article I'm referring to, like "Generics (C# Programming Guide)". But in creating a link from this, I don't think I should be including the quotes.

Of course, I was taught before the Internet, so they didn't tell us what to do in this case. Just guessing.


Well for your second example, I always would put the brackets outside of the link. And the following works (without leading whitespace):


Doesn't seem to work for parens however. This behavior makes sense to me (considering parser design). Though, not if the parens are actually balanced.

  • When used for tags, I prefer to put the backets inside; e.g. [tag].
    – Gnome
    Oct 3, 2010 at 5:00
  • As much is it would be convenient to be able to do that (within the link), I don't think they would be willing to change the comment parser for this. According to NullUser's comment here, you could probably escape the special characters using %91 and %93. %91test%93 Nope doesn't work. Oct 3, 2010 at 5:07
  • 1
    This makes “[text” a hyperlink as I reported in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66486/…. Oct 3, 2010 at 5:51
  • @Tsuyoshi: Ah I had always thought the bracket was surrounding. Well good to know. Oct 3, 2010 at 6:02
  • "text" doesn't surround the link with quotes, but [text] does surround with brackets? Jan 30, 2011 at 3:44

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