Markdown lists (and oversized link text)

Continuing the discussion from Best Way to Migrate?:

You are prefixing your links with # characters. In Markdown, that makes the line a top-level heading (equivalent to an HTML <H1> tag).

From your post, the following text:

# [How to migrate to a new Mac ](https://www.computerworld.com/article/3584366/how-to-migrate-to-a-new-mac.html)

Renders as:

How to migrate to a new Mac

If you drop the leading # character:

[How to migrate to a new Mac ](https://www.computerworld.com/article/3584366/how-to-migrate-to-a-new-mac.html)

Then you get:

How to migrate to a new Mac

If you intended these items to be part of a numbered list (I’m guessing, because you prefixed the lines with #), Markdown’s syntax is to prefix each line with a number and a period:

1. Foo
2. Bar
3. Baz

Renders as:

  1. Foo
  2. Bar
  3. Baz

Note, however, that the actual numbers don’t matter. While using the actual numbers makes it easier for you to edit, they will all be replaced with a sequence. So if that doesn’t matter to you, just make them all 1.:

1. Foo
1. Bar
1. Baz

Renders as:

  1. Foo
  2. Bar
  3. Baz

The number used for the first item on the list is used to set the number for the first item, and all the rest increment from there:

27. Foo
15. Bar
3. Baz

Renders as:

  1. Foo
  2. Bar
  3. Baz

So, assuming you wanted your links to be a numbered list, you should instead code:

1. [How to migrate to a new Mac ](https://www.computerworld.com/article/3584366/how-to-migrate-to-a-new-mac.html)
2. [If macOS’s Migration Assistant fails… ](https://www.macworld.com/article/232290/if-macoss-migration-assistant-fails-here-are-other-ways-to-move-accounts.html)
3. [Step-by-Step Guide to Manual Mac System Migration](https://lowendmac.com/2009/step-by-step-guide-to-manual-mac-system-migration/)

Which will render as:

  1. How to migrate to a new Mac
  2. If macOS’s Migration Assistant fails…
  3. Step-by-Step Guide to Manual Mac System Migration

Or if you prefer a bulleted (unordered) list, as I usually do, then prefix each line with a * character:

* [How to migrate to a new Mac ](https://www.computerworld.com/article/3584366/how-to-migrate-to-a-new-mac.html)
* [If macOS’s Migration Assistant fails… ](https://www.macworld.com/article/232290/if-macoss-migration-assistant-fails-here-are-other-ways-to-move-accounts.html)
* [Step-by-Step Guide to Manual Mac System Migration](https://lowendmac.com/2009/step-by-step-guide-to-manual-mac-system-migration/)

Which will render as:

3 Likes

Um… not exactly. I didn’t prefix the links with anything, I just chose the link icon and that’s what appeared. Since I’ve never consciously used Markdown (despite being an experienced web developer), I left it at the default.

I must say I found this site’s linking interface (which I’ve never used before) to be a little awkward, compared to, say, Reddit’s. But I’m most comfortable doing things like this manually in HTML and CSS, apparently not an option here? Incidentally, do you happen to know what framework this forum runs on, some kind of Wordpress plugin perhaps?

Anyway, thanks for the information. Next time I’ll try to remember to delete the #. (BTW, in some computer languages I’m familiar with, a # signifies the start of a non-displayable comment, not a visible style of any kind).

You can enter links manually. If you simply paste in the URL, you’ll get a nice link. If it’s the beginning of a line, put a space before it to stop Discourse generating a preview box:

 https://www.computerworld.com/article/3584366/how-to-migrate-to-a-new-mac.html

results in:
How to migrate to a new Mac | Computerworld

If you want to control the text that is displayed, you enter the display text in square brackets immediately followed by the URL in parenthesis. You can put the URL itself in the square brackets if you want the URL to be displayed:

[https://www.computerworld.com/article/3584366/how-to-migrate-to-a-new-mac.html](https://www.computerworld.com/article/3584366/how-to-migrate-to-a-new-mac.html)

results in:
https://www.computerworld.com/article/3584366/how-to-migrate-to-a-new-mac.html

These forums use the open source Discourse forum software. The main TidBITS site runs on WordPress (with extensive customisation). More details are available in the article @ace wrote when the new site launched:

1 Like

Thank you for all the useful information. I’ll make a copy of this whole thread for future reference.

Let me try to make first a horizontal rule (using normal HTML) and then an ordinary-looking link (to my own website) now…


Lawrence San, [Sanstudio.com](https://sanstudio.com)

Nope, I tried to follow your instructions, both with and without using the interface’s link icon… and with a few variations… nothing worked right. I’ve been building complex websites in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP since the web was invented… that’s about 30 years now… and I can’t get this stupid “easy” interface to work for a simple link, even with detailed instructions. OK, it’s official: either my mind is rotted out or this Discourse interface (which I never even heard of before) sucks. Take your pick.
Lawrence, (not a link?:) https://sanstudio.com

What web browser are you using for writing posts? The format you used above should work, and when I simply quote your post (select the text and click the ‘Quote’ button that appears), you can see that it formats it as expected:

Maybe you could post a screenshot of your editor window? It sounds like there’s something funny going on in your setup, because both what you typed should work, and the insert link dialogue should work. This is what I get on my computer:

1 Like

Discourse supports Markdown, BBCode, and HTML.

1 Like

Strange. When I click the link icon:

Screen Shot 2022-06-09 at 12.42.30

I get a popup box:

Screen Shot 2022-06-09 at 12.40.03

And after filling it in:

Screen Shot 2022-06-09 at 12.40.19

I get a simple link:

[Apple home page](https://www.apple.com)

Which renders as:

Apple home page

So I’m not sure where those # prefix characters came from.

I do know that if you copy/paste text (including links) from a web page, Discourse attempts to copy the original formatting, inserting Markdown formatting as appropriate. If you had copied a link from a web page and that text was a heading, that would explain it.

FWIW, I never use the toolbar. I manually type in my formatting, mostly using BBCode syntax, and occasionally using Markdown. I only use HTML when I can’t easily get what I want any other way - usually for tables, since Markdown’s table formatting capabilities are pretty limited.

2 Likes

If you had copied a link from a web page and that text was a heading, that would explain it.

Hmm, perhaps that’s what happened… I don’t remember for sure, but I thought I copied them out of the URL bar.

Another possibility is that it’s because I’m using an old version of Firefox (because it has a lot of webdev extensions installed, and the changes Mozilla have made since then broke a lot of them)… also my browsers (Firefox, Chrome, and Safari) are all insanely customized (I do that to my Macs too), so it’s possible they just behave screwy due to all the code changes I made.

Or maybe my mind is just clogged up with trying to keep separate all the coding languages I’ve learned, and sometimes half-forgotten… anyway it probably is my fault, but the simple solution is not to post links here anymore. I can type really fast but beyond that, I should be fixing the bugs in my own websites, not wrestling with this one.

I really do appreciate all the helpful (and patient) people here, though.