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New plugin: WP Emphasis

Advanced users of the New York Times may know about the “two-shift click” trick on that website: hit the shift button twice on any article page, and you then have the option to link to specific paragraphs or even highlight arbitrary sentences throughout the article, in a way that’s stored in the URL so you can send it around. It’s a shame it’s not more widely known — it’s pretty amazing.

Anyway, it works through a little Javascript plug-in called Emphasis, developed in-house at the Times and released open-source1. I poked around a little bit and found that a developer named Ben Balter has released a WordPress plugin to implement Emphasis on blogs, and so I decided to give it a spin. Now you can link to any paragraph and highlight any sentence in any post: just hit shift twice and click the pilcrow or the sentence and the URL bar will update.

Every site in the world should provide at least anchor links to different paragraphs, and Emphasis seems like a pretty good method for doing it. For now I just hope it’s helpful, but in the future I’d love to see more people using it.

  1. with no obvious license, alas