I want to create links in my html output that are enclosed in brackets, so look like this: [PDF]. I used to be able to do this by enclosing the whole link in the org file in another pair of brackets, like this: [[[link][description]]].

This does not work any more: it used to work for me, but now I get an error: Unable to resolve link: "[some.site". I tried different ways of doing this (e.g. escaping the brackets), but nothing seems to work. Is this possible?

EDIT: in response to questions, here's what the html output should look like:

[<a href="https://some.site">description</a>]
  • Could you show us what the generated HTML you want should look like? Apr 16, 2022 at 13:57
  • SInce it's the description that shows, I imagine you mean brackets around the description - correct?
    – NickD
    Apr 16, 2022 at 19:52
  • Yes, enclosed by brackets. See EDIT.
    – GrB
    Apr 16, 2022 at 22:43
  • Surrounding the whole link with brackets works for me. Do you get an error? What does "it does not work any more" mean exactly?
    – NickD
    Apr 16, 2022 at 23:21
  • It used to work for me. But now I get an error: Unable to resolve link: "[some.site"
    – GrB
    Apr 17, 2022 at 2:39

1 Answer 1


If my understanding is correct: the square brackets are not semantic markup (they don't trigger/mean anything), they are purely to draw attention; in other words, they are styling. This sounds to me like something that should be done using CSS. Doing it in CSS will offer many advantages: it is automatic, it is 100% reliable and consistent, and perhaps most importantly, it does not clutter your content with semantically extraneous bracket characters.

For advice on CSS, you should visit for instance https://webapps.stackexchange.com/

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