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While posting a question or an answer with hyperlinks, there is no option to let the hyperlink open in a new tab/window.

enter image description here

It would be super useful if there is a checkbox "Open Hyperlink in New Tab/Window". Something like this

enter image description here

Reasons for the need of this:

  • When we open external links in the same tab, we create back-button fatigue for users. Every time the user goes to an external website they have to hit the back button to go back to the forum. If they decide to click the links on the other website, they have to hit the back button even more times to get back to our site. This is a lot of unnecessary work for users.
  • Opening an external link in a new tab allows users to explore the other site as much as they want without having to hit the back button again and again to go back to our forum. All they need to do is click the tab our forum is on. Great user experience.
  • It can save a lot of resources by opening external links in new tabs. If the user wants to go back to our forum, they won’t need to load the page again.They can just click our forum tab. This is fast and easy and doesn’t use any bandwidth.
  • Analytics issue, just in case: Many times users will click an external link in the answer/question to better understand the question/answer's context. This doesn’t mean they want to leave our forum without having finished reading the article. However, our forum site analytics will show a different story. If the external links open in the same tab, it’ll show that users are exiting our forum quicker than they actually are.

P.S.: Before posting, I did search for the question and found actually no one has raised this important issue.

  • Got to say I would find this a useful option to have as it can be annoying having to remember to either right clink a link and select open in new tab/window or end up using the back button. – Dave Humm Jun 1 '16 at 7:50
  • 2
    Though I see the merits of your points, I would not be happy if the page forces me to open the page in a new tab. If I want to open a link in a new tab, I just do it. (For me it's just the middle mouse button instead of the left one.) Otherwise, I expect it to open in the current tab. This kinda goes against my expectation as a user. – georg w. Jun 2 '16 at 8:42
  • I would not like chaos from end user's perspective.This kind of checkbox will give ability to poster and not to the end user.Other way around could be to open every link in new tab. – Mr.Frodo Jun 2 '16 at 12:46
  • I would agree with this feature only if it had a Wikipedia-style "external link" image next to such links. I do agree that I often find it to be useful to open up a new tab for things that go away from SFSE/SO, because I usually only want to go wander off and come back later. – sfdcfox Jun 2 '16 at 16:13
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I often find myself wishing that we could open external links, by default, to a new tab/window, because I personally find myself forgetting to do so, and then I lose the question I was on. However, from a usability standpoint, I would say that any such link should be identified by an icon, like Wikipedia uses. For example, I might want to render a link to Google:

[Google](external,https://www.google.com/)

Which it would be nice if it rendered like this:

Google

In regards to Mr.Frodo's comment, if we were really concerned about giving the poster the right to control this, we should also give the user the ability to override this behavior, which might look like follows:

Configure Links in Posts

  • Use Posting's configuration
  • Always Keep in Same Window
  • Open any External Sites in New Window
  • Always Open in New Window
  • Perfectly Explained. One thing which is concerning me is Why to provide this kind of ability to poster?? From the simplicity perspective it would be much better if a link has such icon with it.So if end user wants to open it in a new tab it can go with it. – Mr.Frodo Jun 2 '16 at 18:33

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