tl;dr - Use {} as the Code Sample icon. It would match better with the " icon and hopefully be more intuitive for new visitors.

For some reason many newcomers can't seem to find the code sample button when editing their posts. Many of them seem to be aware of the general issue and try using <code>, <pre> and other things to format their code instead. I feel like the current icon with the 1's and 0's isn't that intuitive. People may be ignoring it because they assume it has something to do with uploading binary files or converting bases or who knows what.

Anyone else agree or should new visitors just buck up and figure it out?


3 Answers 3


Interesting, I'm inclined to agree.

{ } is a little language specific but since JavaScript and all C based languages use that, it seems to have enough currency to be recognizable.


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You could just make a button that says 'Code' on it.

Just saying...

  • 3
    I suppose if you wanted to make it completely obvious... :)
    – Brad Mace
    Commented Dec 17, 2010 at 6:41
  • 2
    I think it would also be helpful if the Code button's text were formatted in a fixed-width font like the code is.
    – jwiscarson
    Commented Dec 19, 2010 at 1:44
  • 1
    Folk may think it is short for "plz give me the codez" though...
    – gbn
    Commented Dec 22, 2010 at 4:39

Hmm..you may have liked it -- but I find it ugly as hell, and not nearly charming as the classic "binary" icon :-(

{ and } in a markup could mean anything - what does tie it to "code" ? The 010101 thing reminds me of "escaping things to let content untouched" - which I want for binary content and for code samples.

On a second thought, maybe, instead of a plain pair of brackets, create an icon that looks like a code pattern maybe a three line


icon instead?

  • 11
    Did you try to fit that into a 20x20 pixel button? The 2nd line is 13 characters, excluding the indentation...
    – Arjan
    Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 17:35

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