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This documentation implements additional styling with CSS that inserts icons before special links, such as GitHub, logos, bug icons, etc. MagicLink does not inject icons or CSS to insert icons, but it is left to the user to implement (if desired) via the provided classes. User's are free to reference this documentation's source to learn how.


MagicLink is an extension that provides a number of useful link related features. MagicLink can auto-link HTML, FTP, and email links. It can auto-convert repository links (GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket) and display them in a more concise, shorthand format. MagicLink can also be configured to directly auto-link the aforementioned shorthand format.

If you happen to have some conflicts with syntax for a specific case, you can always revert to the old auto-link format as well: <>. If enabled, repository link shortening will be applied to the the angle bracketed auto-link format as well.


It is also recommended to use SaneHeaders when using MagicLink to avoid problems when specifying a repository bug (using the syntax #1) at the start of a line. Python Markdown, by default, will treat #1 as a header if detected at the start of a line without SaneHeaders.

The MagicLink extension can be included in Python Markdown by using the following:

import markdown
md = markdown.Markdown(extensions=['pymdownx.magiclink'])


MagicLink supports auto-linking HTTP, FTP and email links. You can specify these links in raw text and they should get auto-linked. There are some limitations placed on MagicLink to keep it from aggressively auto-linking text that is not part of links. If you have a link that cannot be detected, you can always use the old style angle bracketed link format: <>.

- Just paste links directly in the document like this:
- Or even an email address:

MagicLink supports shorthand references for GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket issues (#1), pull/merge requests (!13), GitHub Discussion (?1173), commits (7d1b190), and compares (e2ed7e0...90b6fb8). You can also reference repositories (facelessuser/pymdown-extensions) and users (@facelessuser). Mentions also works for social media (only Twitter is supported at this time).

The syntax used is actually very similar to GitLab's syntax. GitLab was chosen as its syntax bridges the gaps between the three providers. GitLab and Bitbucket require a pull specific syntax while GitHub does not have one. Also, while GitHub uses #<num> for issues, pulls, and discussions, the idea of using a different symbol for issue types gives us the context we need to generate the correct links for issues vs pulls, etc.


To enable shorthand syntax for code repository providers and social media providers, enable repo_url_shorthand and social_url_shorthand respectively in the options.

To use this feature you must first specify in the options your provider to which all shorthand references are relative to, but you will still be able to reference outside of your defaults. And if you are specifying a code repository provider as your default, you must also specify the user and repo (repository) which adds more context and allows you to shorten the syntax even more for issues relating to your default user and/or repo. This is useful if you are using MagicLink to write documentation for a project that is hosted on one of the supported code repository providers.

If you are using this extension more generally, it may make more sense to set a social media provider as the default provider. There is no need to set a user or repo for a social media provider as the context is not useful for mentions. You will still be able to reference repository links with shorthand if it enabled, albeit in a longer format.


Links are not verified, so make sure you are specifying valid issues, repositories, and users as they will be auto-linked even if they are not valid.


Mentions of other users are performed with the following syntax: @{user}. To reference a provider other than your default, use the format @{provider}:{user}



For code repository providers, you can also mention repositories. This feature is actually inspired by the GitHub only extension Python-Markdown/github-links, which performs similar auto-linking. The syntax to auto-link a repository with mentioning is very similar to auto-linking a user, except you append the repository to the user name like so: @{user}/{repo}. If specifying a non-default provider, the form would look like: @{provider}:{user}/{repo}. The output for repository mentions omits the @ symbol and will just show the user and repository, but you are free to style it with CSS to make it stand out more like has been done in this document.

Repository Mentions


Issues, Pull Requests, and Discussions

Issues, pull requests, and GitHub discussions are specified with #{num}, !{num}, and ?{num} respectively. When specified in this manner, the links will assume the default repository and default user for generated links.

To specify an issue for a non-default repository under the default user, prefix the repository: {repo}#{num}.

To specify a repository under a non-default user, prefix both the user and repository: {user}/{repo}#{num}.

Lastly, to reference an external provider, use the format {provider}:{user}/{repo}#{num}.

The syntax was borrowed and adapted from GitLab as they use !{num} for pulls and #{num} for issues, ?{num} is our own take for discussions. This syntax was mainly used to ensure we could provide context to the link generator. When rendering the actual links in your documents, it will use the syntax associated with the specified provider. If this is unsatisfactory, you can override this behavior with the icons option and all links will will use the same specified convention on output regardless of the provider.










GitHub actually gives pull requests and issues unique values while GitLab and Bitbucket can have pulls with the same ID as an issue. So with GitHub, you can use #{num} format for both issues and pulls, and GitHub will redirect you to the appropriate issue or pull.

GitLab and Bitbucket must specify pulls different from issues, hence the !13 format. Though GitHub doesn't need to use the pull format, you can if you like. This format was actually borrowed from GitLab.


Commit shorthand syntax is simply the 40 character commit hash value: {hash}. And much like issues and pull requests, you can denote a repository under the default user with {repo}@{hash} and a repository under a non-default user with {user}/{repo}@{hash}. Lastly, to reference an external provider, use the format {provider}:{user}/{repo}@{hash}. If the default provider is a social media provider, then only the latter syntax can be used.






GitLab offers a useful shorthand to specify links to compare differences between two commits. This has been adopted for all the supported repository providers.

Specifying a compare link is very similar to specifying a commit link except you must specify the older hash and the newer hash separated by ...: {hash1}...{hash2}. To specify a compare for a non-default repository under the default user, prefix the repository: {repo}@{hash1}...{hash2}. And to specify a compare under a non-default user, prefix both the user and repository: {user}/{repo}@{hash1}...{hash2}. Lastly, to reference an external provider, use the format {provider}:{user}/{repo}@{hash1}...{hash2}.





MagicLink can also recognize issue, pull request, commit, and compare links, and render them in the same output format as the repository shortcut links feature.

If we specify long form URLs from external providers, they will be shortened appropriately.

External Provider

When specifying links that reference the configured provider, user, and repo, some links will be shortened differently in light of that context.

Internal Provider

MagicLink will shorten user name and repository name links, but every site has some links that will conflict, or better stated, will have links that follow the pattern of user name and repository name links, but are not actually either. For example, is not a user name, nor are any links under support repository names. By default, MagicLink has provided a list of exclusions for each provider to avoid treating such links as a user name or repository name. You can override them and add more via the option shortener_user_exclude.

New 7.0

MagicLink added user name and repository name link shortening along.

Custom Repository Hosts

It is possible that someone may be running their own private GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket repository. MagicLink allows for the creating variants of either of these repository providers with a custom host. MagicLink provides no additional control over specifics, so if this is sufficient for your needs, then it give it a try!

To specify a custom provider, you simply need to specify them via the custom option.

  1. Simply specify the name to identify the provider (must only contain alphanumeric characters). Provider name is used when manually specifying a provider (@provider:user) and will be used to generate custom CSS classes magiclink-provider.
  2. Specify the type. Is this a private github, gitlab, or bitbucket provider.
  3. Specify the label for tooltips.
  4. Specify the host for your private repository.
'custom': {
    'test': {
        'host': '',
        'label': 'Test',
        'type': 'github'

Host URLs assume the www subdomain, and will generate the URL pattern to capture explicit or implicit www in host URLs, whether you specify it in the host URL or not. If your repository does not use www subdomain, then set the option www to False. Most people will never need to touch this.

Lastly, shortener_user_exclude will assume your custom provider requires the same exclude list of the specified type and will copy them for your custom repository. If this is not sufficient, you can add an entry to shortener_user_exclude for your custom repository provider using your specified name. If you manually set excludes in this manner, no excludes from the same type will be copied over.


For normal links, no classes are added to the anchor tags. For repository links, magiclink will be added as a class. Also, an additional class will be added for each repository link type and provider.

Link Type Class
General magiclink
Mentions magiclink-mention
Repository Mentions magiclink-repository
Issues magiclink-issue
Pulls magiclink-pull
Commits magiclink-commit
Compares magiclink-compare
GitHub magiclink-github
Bitbucket magiclink-bitbucket
GitLab magiclink-gitlab
Twitter magiclink-twitter

Styling Links

With a little bit of CSS, you can also add icons in front: 7d1b190, e2ed7e0...90b6fb8, etc.

You can also use the normalize_issue_symbols option to make issue type links all render with # and then use CSS to add fancy icons to distinguish them: #1, #13, and #1173.

CSS is not included and the examples are just to illustrate what is possible, and to explain why our documents will often have links with special icons.


Option Type Default Description
hide_protocol bool False If True, links are displayed without the initial ftp://, http://, https://, or ftps://.
repo_url_shortener bool False If True, GitHub, Bitbucket, and GitLab commit, pull, and issue links are are rendered in a shorthand syntax.
social_url_shortener bool False if True, Twitter user links are rendered in a shorthand syntax.
shortener_user_exclude dict See below Specifies a list of user names to avoid when attempting to shorten links. See User Excludes for more info.
repo_url_shorthand bool False If True, you can directly use a shorthand syntax to represent commit, pull, issue, and mention links for repository providers and they will be auto-linked.
social_url_shorthand bool False If True, you can directly use a shorthand syntax to represent mention links for social media providers and they will be auto-linked.
provider string 'github' The provider to use for repository shorthand syntax and shortener.
user string '' The default user name to use for the specified provider.
repo string '' The default repository name to use for the specified user and provider.
labels dict {} A dictionary for overriding repository link title text. See Labels for more info.
normalize_issue_symbols bool False Normalize issue type links (issues, pulls, and discussions) to all use # instead of the respective #, !, and ?.

User Excludes

Defaults for shortener_user_exclude:

    "bitbucket": ['dashboard', 'account', 'plans', 'support', 'repo'],
    "github": ['marketeplace', 'notifications', 'issues', 'pull', 'sponsors', 'settings', 'support'],
    "gitlab": ['dashboard', '-', 'explore', 'help', 'projects'],
    "twitter": ['i', 'messages', 'bookmarks', 'home']

When overriding, only the providers that are explicitly provided get overridden.


By default, MagicLink provides titles for the repository links in the form {provider} {label}: {info}. You can specify different values for {label} by configuring the labels option.

The default values are:

        'commit': 'Commit',
        'compare': 'Compare',
        'issue': 'Issue',
        'pull': 'Pull Request',
        'mention': 'User',
        'repository': 'Repository'

You only need to provide the options you wish to override. Assume we wanted to adopt the GitLab terminology for pull requests, we could simply set labels to:

        'pull': 'Merge Request'