Implicit Link Names

John Gruber gruber at
Tue Mar 30 19:09:56 EST 2004

Már Örlygsson <mar at> wrote on 03/30/04 at 11:53p:

> > Seems like I've seen about this, but I can't find it in the
> > archives:  Will there by a way do allow the "implicit link name"
> > syntax to do without the following `[]` brackets?  In other words,
> > like [this] instead of like [this][]?
> Interesting question. I was thinking the same thing the other day...
> However, square brackets are a standard way to indicate words/sentences
> inserted into direct quotations, like this:
>     > "I think [Google] is the best search engine."

I'm not sure about this, but it wouldn't be as dangerous as you're
thinking. In your above example, `[Google]` would only turn into a
link if it was defined as a link elsewhere in the document:


For example, you can write this:

    Blah blah [link][1].

And unless you define a link named `1`, it won't be turned into a
link either.

All things considered, I'd perhaps like to use


instead of


but underscores are spoken for.

I tend to agree, however, that `[this][]` is a bit awkward. 4
punctuation characters seems like too much.

* * *

The other request I've gotten, off-list, is for support for this:

    Blah blah link[1].
    [1]: url

which would turn into:

    Blah blah <a href="url">link</a>.

I'm less inclined to support this. There's a bit of variety in the
link syntax Markdown supports, but the one constant is that [link
text] is set in square brackets.


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