In an answer to this question: Can we have some linking etiquette and guidelines? I suggested that if a link is made to a related page on the TeX SE, the link text should be the document/question title. This provides much more information about the target link than "this question" or "here".

Much to my surprise, I discovered that there is some automatic support for this built in. In the paragraph above, I did not paste the question title; instead, I pasted the bare URL and SE serves up the title as link text. Schweet!

However, there are still some improvements that IMO should be made to this feature. Among them:

  • This isn't implemented at all in comments. Since comments can't be edited after a while, the ability to enhance their links with titles is lost forever. So I think comments should get the same treatment.

  • It should also work in the preview window when editing. Right now the preview I'm looking at does not show the feature I'm touting. I would not have noticed the feature at all had I not been writing an answer using different linking styles and discovered that what I had wanted to use as an example of bad practice was automatically corrected, after I submitted.

  • I think that there should be quotation marks around the link text/title of linked page. On the main site the color of link text is not that different from that of regular text, so links don't stand out as much. Which is not my complaint, except that when the link text is a title. Then it's hard to distinguish between the author's words and the reference without extra punctuation. (That's why I put a colon in the first sentence.) I would like to be able to type:

    In an answer to https://tex.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/489 I suggested...

    and see

    In an answer to “Can we have some linking etiquette and guidelines?” I suggested ...

    I'm not sure if I want the quotation marks to be part of the link text or not. If they were the above would look like

    In an answer to “Can we have some linking etiquette and guidelines?” I suggested ...

  • 1
    I like it! Regarding the quotation marks: If we get them, I'd like them fancy. Since your feature-request would affect all SX- and SO-sites, maybe it's good to post the same over at meta.SO? Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 14:00
  • I agree with Hendrik - I could try migrating it to meta.SO if you like (don't know if that would work, but I can try ...). Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 14:51
  • @Andrew: go for it Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 17:13
  • (To anyone on meta.SO looking at this) I hope I did the right thing by migrating this as it seemed to belong here and Matthew'd written it so well that I didn't want to waste all his effort by manually reposting it! Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 19:09
  • @Andrew that's fine; this question is about all sites, so it's good on meta.SO
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 19:49
  • 1
    Ad 3: what if the title itself already has quotation marks? I'd say: "No "quotation marks" within quotes!" (Just like I dislike smileys within parentheses. ;-))
    – Arjan
    Commented Mar 16, 2011 at 9:55
  • 1
    +1 for asking to resolve URL titles in COMMENTS Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 12:10
  • @MichaelFreidgeim: thanks, but the question seems to have been resolved long ago in the negative. Best to look for a client-side solution. Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 12:34

2 Answers 2


Hi, I'm Ben, and this is my boss:


My boss guesses I will answer if I feel like implementing point 2. He doesn't know. You'll have to ask me.

My answer is: This works here on Meta now, and will work everywhere else the next time we do a network-wide build. Since this is the main part of your question, I've marked it ; Jeff has already responded why the other two minor points will not be implemented.

  • Assuming I understand what you said there, thanks. Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 1:05
  • You know that automatic linking also works within backticks? (I kind of would not expect that.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 12:32
  • @Arjan: Good point. But at least it "works" consistently between the preview and the final version ;)
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 12:36
  • Actually I was not very precise: it only links within backticks if there is other text within the backticks too. Also, it links when using explicit Markdown <bare links>. (But you're right: preview matches the final result in all cases!)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 25, 2011 at 12:47
  • You shouldn't set the status completed until resolving url titles in comments will be implemented Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 12:11
  1. This will not ever be implemented for comments as they are rendered on the fly, so this would cause crippling slowdowns on the network.

  2. Maybe, Ben has committed us to a strategy of "100% perfect javascript preview rendering" so I leave that up to him. If he feels like implementing this (it will be hard) then I guess he will answer. If does not feel like implementing it, then I guess he will not answer. I don't know. You will have to ask him.

  3. I don't agree with this request; if you want quotes, put them in explicitly.

  • 4
    ad 3. But if I add quotes, the feature stops working.
    – Caramdir
    Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 21:54
  • Can for urls in comments titles be added after the save? It will improve readability of comments and will make writing comments easier. Commented Apr 18, 2013 at 12:06

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