I haven't been able to work out if this is possible or not, but it would be great.


Question: Need a tool for X:
 - Must do Y
 - Should do Z
 - Works on windows/linux/Mac

Answer: Use XFoo
     - Must do Y <Green>Yes</Green>
     - Should do <Red>No<Red>
     - Works on windows/linux/Mac <Yellow> Partial</Yellow> work on linux and mac, don't work on windows
  • 1
    This isn't possible on SE currently. I posted as a comment rather than an answer because you've tagged as [feature-request].
    – Flyk
    Feb 13, 2014 at 13:25
  • 1
    Why all the downvotes? I thing this would be really useful for us. Can someone answer with somehting like "We don't need colours and supporting them would be bad, becuase people would abuse them to make answered rainbows of unreadability?" Feb 13, 2014 at 23:53
  • I guess downvotes because people disagree with the idea. And I do too. On meta, it's convention to... vote with votes. I really don't see how adding colors adds any value, quite an opposite for 99% of the cases people would use those. People seem to love highlighting points (with italics), highlight more (with bold), and if possible, highlight even more (blockquote and bold). Colors are just the next step.
    – Olli
    Feb 19, 2014 at 14:00
  • 1
    Related question in meta.stackoverflow.com
    – Olli
    Feb 19, 2014 at 14:04
  • @Olli, I know downvotes mean they think it would be a bad idea, I was asking Why is it a bad idea? Which tyou did answer to an extent Feb 22, 2014 at 2:11

2 Answers 2


Of course, it would be possible to do something like this:

tick http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/54/Dialog-accept.svg/16px-Dialog-accept.svg.png This is a great thing!
x http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/97/Dialog-error-round.svg/16px-Dialog-error-round.svg.png This is a terrible thing!

Or, more like the OP has it:

(Using the Tango SVG icons from Wikimedia in this example.)

We knew that already, of course, but perhaps this is one of the reasons that extending SE's Markdown could be resisted.

Update: I just put the icons to use in a real answer, and it seemed useful. Here are ready-made links using SE's Imgur upload:

  • Green = ![y](https://i.sstatic.net/G4dGO.png) = Yes/Good
  • Yellow = ![?](https://i.sstatic.net/aA3om.png) = Maybe/Note
  • Red = ![x](https://i.sstatic.net/w0Zjv.png) = No/Bad

Of course, using these multiple times in a single post could use this syntax:

![Yes][y] / ![Note][?] / ![No][x]
[y]: https://i.sstatic.net/G4dGO.png "Yes"
[?]: https://i.sstatic.net/aA3om.png "Note!"
[x]: https://i.sstatic.net/w0Zjv.png "No"

Alt and Title text ensures that browsers without images, or screenreaders, get the necessary information. (You already knew that, too.)

  • 3
    Please use SE's imgur uploader to prevent image rot
    – JohnB
    Feb 19, 2014 at 12:55
  • @JohnB - had no idea what you meant, but tracked down the info in Meta. Will update...
    – Dɑvïd
    Feb 19, 2014 at 13:04
  • 3
    For anybody using this method, please use this only as a supplement to copy that also gives the same message. Don't just say "* [yes image] feature 1 * [no image] feature 2", use meaningful copy like "* [yes image] Supports feature 1 * [no image] Does not have feature 2". The cases of screen reader/broken image are handled by the alt text but that is NOT the only scenario that needs to be considered, the data from SE posts is consumed many different ways and there is no substitute for words. Thanks!
    – Caleb
    Feb 21, 2014 at 11:25
  • Nice suggestion. Didn't know [?] would work. Nov 19, 2015 at 15:25

From meta.stackoverflow.com:

enter image description here

No, seriously. Having colors would enable people to abuse them. Of course, we also have a possibility for people to abuse headlines or subscripts, but colors can be very distracting if not used correctly.

In order to highlight stuff, we already have boldface and emphasized text. If you can't make clear what the error is, for example, you probably need to rewrite a bit.

I have nothing to add. Well, actually I do.

  • Based on my experiences with review queues on other Stack Exchange sites, people almost always either don't use any formatting at all - including line breaks - or they overuse formatting.

  • In forums where there's bold, emphasize, colors and larger fonts available, formatting tends to escalate: first you have long post, then you add some (well-thought) bolding, but after editing you think you should highlight yet another thing, but it boldface is not enough anymore, so you add another color. I'm glad majority of the people have not noted that there's actually support for large-font titles in SE.

  • In my opinion, even boldface and emphasize is rarely necessary on well-formatted posts (however, when iterating through list of requirements on the answer, highlighting either answer or quoted parts improve readability).

  • Using too much colors cause unnecessary problems for colorblind, and on low-end devices.

Instead of adding colors ("Yes"/"No"/"Partial"), maybe those points should be categorized, like this:


  • Must do Y: I have used feature Y extensively. The only problem is with stability, when used with feature Z. However, there's rarely need to use these together, so it is not an issue.
  • Must do M: my comments on feature M


  • Should do X: [this plugin] might help with X, but it is not completed yet.

This does not require adding more formatting options, but makes it easy to see what features are there and what is missing. Of course, this is only applicable for e.g 5 or more bullet points.

This being said, I agree having easy-to-use icons available would be a good thing, something like ones in @David's answer. That's way better than having colored text, and on certain scenarios improve readability more than above suggestion.

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