In inline code markup, links are not styled differently than plain text.


Only by hovering you’ll notice that there is a link.

On Stack Overflow, linked text in code markup gets a different color (+ hover effect).

Example use cases:

Whereas the Stack Overflow main site would display the inline code links in a different color:

Inline code links on StackOverflow appear blue

Besides that, it’s probably the most basic accessibility/usability requirement: links should be identifiable.

  • Can you demonstrate a case when this might be useful? Aug 31, 2013 at 16:52
  • @bybe: I edited the question.
    – unor
    Aug 31, 2013 at 21:13
  • 1
    Moot point... You've given a live example on the meta site, but you are discussing a styling issue on the main site (where styles are different). Incidentally, the SO meta site also does not style inline code links differently, but the SO main site does.
    – MrWhite
    Sep 1, 2013 at 23:43
  • @w3d: The 2nd example was meant to be a use case to show when linked code might be useful (as requested by bybe), not to show the (missing) styling. But yeah, would have been better if I’d screenshot the first example instead, but as the link color is missing here on Meta too, I didn’t think it was necessary.
    – unor
    Sep 2, 2013 at 12:35

2 Answers 2


The design updates have fixed this issue.

Now you can see if inline code is hyperlinked:

inline code: black text color without hyperlink, blue text color with hyperlink


My take on this matter is that links with code snippets shouldn't be even clickable to begin with nevermind highlighted. This is because 99.9% of the time it does not offer user experience nor helpfulness to answer the question having internal links clickable.

You can however overcome this by using the quote element as this is intended that sources can be referred too when quoting from other sites and linking back to the source.

For example:

  1. This is a sentence that uses the quote element
  1. This is a sentence that uses the code element

I see little point to no point in adapting the same 'LINK' styling in 'CODE' elements due to the fact it does not help answer the question and in no cases I can think of using this styling effect will increase user experience. The quote element has this feature because it enhances user experience citing sources.

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