5

There's often an Apple Support/Knowledge base document that discusses a particular feature or answer to a common user query. I and many other users reference the link to the document in our answers.

I am wondering if it's a good practise to include the link as it is or should the title be provided as part of the link? For example, the Apple Support document discussing the Sidecar feature present in macOS Catalina and iPadOS 13 can linked to like this:

or like this:

I have taken the latter approach for a long time as I think it's descriptive to include the title to the document. However, I have often noticed many experienced users taking the former approach of not including the document title as a part of the link.

I wonder if those users are not including the title as the title may be liable to change?

I am trying to compare between the two and follow a consistent approach moving forward.

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  • Feel free to change the link answers :-) I usually try to include the title unless I‘m posting from the iPhone. – nohillside Jun 12 at 7:19
  • Thank you for you reply @nohillside I am interesting in learning what the community in general think about this and if they prefer one approach over the other. – Nimesh Neema Jun 12 at 9:26
  • And we will sound off when an edit doesn’t match our preference (LOL) - hopefully being kind and patient. – bmike Jun 12 at 20:32
7

I do tend to hide the link behind the page title, but I preface it thus

Apple KB - Use your iPad as a second display for your Mac with Sidecar

One thing I also do - this has been tested over time - is remove the 'location code' entirely, so rather than
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210380
or even
https://support.apple.com/kb/HT210380
I will reduce it to
https://support.apple.com/HT210380

as this seems to cause fewer issues on international pages.

I imagine doing this from a phone is considerably more troublesome.

After comments
I agree with both bmike & Allan's answers too, essentially that form follows function.
For instance,

You need to modulate your flanging sprocket using a dilithium crystal meta-damper - see https://support.apple.com/HT210380 for more info on calibrating your sprocket.

rather than

You need to do this first - https://support.apple.com/HT210380

or even

You need to do this - Apple KB - Calibrating your Flanging Sprocket - then you can dampen your crystals.

which is less than useless.
So, the first is explanation plus more detail on one more difficult aspect, second is just an irritating link-only, third only covers half an answer & forces the reader to click through to even get that half.

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  • Thank you. I have eventually realized the same about the locale and make sure not to leave it in the URL. I replace it with kb. Can you please elaborate on how including Apple KB in Apple KB - Use your iPad as a second display for your Mac with Sidecar can be helpful? – Nimesh Neema Jun 13 at 10:04
  • 2
    The Apple KB is really just to say, Apple link coming up, not any 3rd party site. I do the same if it's some actual software product under discussion, Parallels KB.. etc. We did some tests a couple of years ago with grg, where we discovered using /kb/ in the link didn't always work [even though it's the official method]. Removing it entirely seems to be better overall. – Tetsujin Jun 13 at 10:08
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    Very helpful. I tend to mention along the lines of for more information refer to the following Apple Support document instead of writing Apple KB, but I get the idea. Information about removing kb/ is very helpful, and I think I am going to follow it moving forward. – Nimesh Neema Jun 13 at 10:10
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    Removing the location code is an awsome idea that I’m going to incorporate going forward. – Allan Jun 13 at 10:21
  • 1
    Here's some more background on removing kb/: Changing Apple links depending on region. – grg Jun 16 at 13:50
5

I am a heavy proponent of not hiding the link so I author my articles always to show the URL and KB and will append a quick summary or copy the title based on how pretty I feel that link should be.

I will almost never do the second where the KB is invisible when reading. The “descriptive” I prioritize is knowing the Apple link / KB and not the narrative since I expect to explain in context why I feel the article is meaningful.

But, this is my preference and experience. I get others might have different priority or aesthetics.

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  • Thank you very much. I think I have arrived at about the same reasoning as you have shared above after spending the time on the site. I was looking to validate my reasoning by seeking opinions from more experienced peers. – Nimesh Neema Jun 12 at 17:44
  • @NimeshNeema Also - the wonderful thing is there’s always an exception to the rule - some times I will prefer what I state here isn’t the general case. Good thing we can edit and fix if we decide later a different choice is beneficial. – bmike Jun 12 at 20:31
5

For me, the 'authority' of the link is important, and I'm more likely to accept information from a support.apple URL than 'hot.osx.skillz.biz'.

While that info can be gleaned from a mouse-over, having it visible, in some format, is my preference.

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  • That's a very valid point. – Nimesh Neema Jun 13 at 16:45
  • 3
    Ben how about [https://support.apple.com](https://hot.osx.skillz.biz) – anki Jun 15 at 6:43
4

I tend to “prettify” links instead of having just the raw URL and this goes for not just Apple Support Documents, but articles, papers, etc. But, there are occasions where the raw URL is necessary.

Some Examples

Bottom line, this is up to the author. For links, go with what you’re most comfortable with that fits your writing style.

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  • 2
    I think I probably do a good part of this too, depending on form & function of whatever it is I'm linking to. I guess it's not a hard & fast rule, it's 'what fits the content'. – Tetsujin Jun 13 at 10:26
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    Definatley @Tetsujin - the right tool for the job! – Allan Jun 13 at 10:31
  • 1
    I used to prettify links to until recently. But I realized there may be a possibility the title may change. I like how a link to a question from Ask Different gets prettified "automatically" and picks up the current title. I wish it could be done for any link on the web. – Nimesh Neema Jun 13 at 11:41

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