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SO and GitHub have an easy way to format hyperlinks by hiding the URL behind some descriptive text by enclosing the text in brackets followed by an URL in parentheses.

How can I do something similar in SharePoint when writing blog comments? This product has such a horrible UX.. I'm about to rip my hair out.

I tried the SO method, no go. I tried a few others based on other WIKIs I had used: no luck. I then tried injecting an actual HTML anchor tag <a href='url'>text</a> and then magically it shows me a link formatting form beneath the comment textarea, which got me there, but then I had to go back and clean up the comment text to make it look right.

What's the proper method?

The goal is to have a hyperlink with text such as "Developer Notes" instead of an ugly 256-character URL. Apparently nobody in my organization has figured this out yet because every post they make contains the giant ugly URL, which also means you hit the max-character limit sooner. Please help!

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I figured it out. It doesn't work with relative URLs, and so if you are linking to a page or wiki entry on the SharePoint site you must use the full URL starting with the protocol. If you paste or type a full URL it will automatically show you the URL-formatting options, but only if you move your cursor over the URL that you typed.

Easy method:

  1. Paste "http://stackoverflow.com" into the Discussion/comments textbox.
  2. A mini-form shows beneath the textbox with URL and Display as fields (though it's not obvious that they are editable, at least on our company site, because the values after the labels look like plaintext until you mouseover and then a border appears so that you know it is a textbox.. again, horrible UX with no obvious affordance for editability)
  3. Type into the box beneath the Display as label and you get your pretty text, and you won't exceed the max-char limit as quickly!
  4. Click the "checkmark" icon/button to save the URL formatting options. (This will update your comment text, but will not actually post the comment yet, which is good.)

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  • @Eric Alexander: OK you win. Anyway, as a sharepoint admin, are you aware of whether this is a disable-able feature? (ability to format links in discussions/comments?) – nothingisnecessary Sep 16 '15 at 19:12
  • It's as best as it can get I believe, digging through to the the site column as part of the Comment content type, it is set as Enhanced rich text (Rich text with pictures, tables, and hyperlinks) which is the richest setting of the multiple lines of text fields. – Eric Alexander Sep 16 '15 at 19:29
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I've tested this on a few of our SharePoint 2013 environments and it's the same.

With discussion boards and the comment board web part, the user adds hyperlinks using the ribbon. However, with blog comments the ribbon panel isn't visible.

So unfortunately, I would say it's by design that you can't add hyperlinks with display text in blog comments.

  • Thanks for trying it out, but You CAN do it. It's just not at all obvious.. and for some reason seems to be either not documented or not widely used. Searching google for a while did not bear any fruit. But if you play around with it by typing out <a href="url">text it at some point automatically converts into a hyperlink and shows the formatting options. – nothingisnecessary Sep 16 '15 at 18:53
  • Ah in that case good find! I have tried playing around with it by directly adding the <a tag inside the comment text area as suggested, but it doesn't seem to work for me :-/ – Adam Larner Sep 16 '15 at 19:03
  • I'm not a sharepoint admin, so maybe this is an optional feature? But if I paste a full URL (including the protocol part) then it gives me the formatting options. I belive I was missing this before either because I pasted too much text at once or tried to use relative path since the linked content is on the same SharePoint site. – nothingisnecessary Sep 16 '15 at 19:10
  • You are certainly having better luck than me. I've tried in both Chrome and IE11, and the comment body is definitely not allowing rich text for me. – Adam Larner Sep 16 '15 at 19:15
  • Perhaps you could get around it by creating a new 'rich text - multiple lines' column for the comment content type (don't say that too quick!)? - But I'm not too sure whether the blog comments display view would be able to pick that new column up though. – Adam Larner Sep 16 '15 at 19:19

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