When I follow the pattern in the "link template" from the prompt icon, the result isn't what's expected.

The prompt is http://example.com/ "optional title", which looks perfectly clear and makes sense. But when I type in that "optional title" it fails to do what's expected. The link is entered, but instead of a nice text string, the result is:

[enter link description here][n]

This too makes perfectly good sense, and is easy to achieve, but it negates the usefulness of the "optional title" which shows up in the draft box, but is invisible in the preview box.

I like the method that actually works better than that with "optional text", since it gives me a moment to think about what I want to say.

I find it hard to believe that this hasn't been mentioned before. I looked, but couldn't find an existing question, so this may be a duplicate. Whatever, it would be nice if the feature were fixed to give only one directive.

  • I suggest to retag this question with bug, user-interface, and a mod could add status-bydesign.
    – doncherry
    Sep 5, 2011 at 20:02
  • @Werner -- there's a reason i don't "properly and grammatically" use uppercase. i am sometimes the official spokesman for the ams, promulgator of ams-latex (amsmath and friends). when i ask a question or post an answer "on my own", i do it "informally", without benefit of uppercase. when i am conveying an official position, it is properly uppercased. this way, a reader can easily tell what is official and what is not. i do try to use correct spelling and grammar (although sometimes my fingers get away with things they shouldn't), to lessen the burden on the reader. Sep 6, 2011 at 15:48
  • @barbara: Sure. From a user or reader's point of view, there is no difference between someone posting as an official representative, or someone posting as an individual if the poster does not include any reference to that in their post. I am merely trying to provide a consistent format across all questions and posts which I am sure you can appreciate. If my suggestions are inappropriate or do not reflect well on you, rollback to your version.
    – Werner Mod
    Sep 6, 2011 at 15:59
  • @Werner: Try also google: "barbara beeton" capitalization. Sep 7, 2011 at 7:37

1 Answer 1


I had noticed that behavior, too, but never worried about it. Just now, I researched it on meta.stackoverflow.com. It is rather a correct, but misleading or counterintuitive description: The "optional title" will be displayed as a mouseover-tooltip, it really is optional. It is not the link text that'll be formatted as a link and whatnot. Example:

This is the link text that is right where the link is entered (<- point at that!)

[This is the link text that is right where the link is entered][1]

  [1]: http://www.ctan.org "This is the optional title that you'll see when you point at the link"

MSO questions:


I couldn't find any feature-request on meta.so to change this confusing description, so you could just go there and suggest it be changed. For such features that are very likely the same on all stackexchange pages, it's usually best to go directly to meta.so because it is the "parent meta" and you'll find more attention and support (or discouragement) for your requests. You'll notice it's a really vivid and occasionally fun site.

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