Simple ways to include links to User Stories, Feature Specs, Issues and more

This post documents the several simple and flexible methods that Testpad has for including links to third-party content.

Why link to anything?

It's very common when writing tests to want to associate the tests with why they exist. This usually means linking the test in some fashion to the User Story (or feature spec, or requirement definition etc) that scopes what the tests need to check is working.

In other scenarios, it's common to want to provide the tester with additional resources in the form of links to help documentation, or other further context on the where/why/what of the topics under test.

Simple clickable links

As usual, Testpad doesn't try to be complicated with making such connections to third-party material. Instead offering a variety of methods for including clickable links that simply load up the referenced page in a new tab... basically what the hypertext in http means!

To include links in your tests, choose from:

  • Plain links displayed as
  • Markdown-style links
    [TestpadHQ]( displayed as TestpadHQ
  • Wiki-style links
    [[ | Testpad]] displayed as Testpad
  • Short-codes for common link patterns
    e.g. automatically recognising something like US:123 as a link to say and displaying it as say User Story 123

NB don't forget to enable links in Project Settings

Include links wherever they're helpful

Testpad lets you include links in most places that accept text input:

  • Test text titles
  • Test text comments
  • Embedded in test text
  • the Notes field behind every test
  • Script Description blocks
  • Note Items in Folders that sit beside links to Scripts
  • Comments against individual results

Plain Links

Whenever you include an obvious link (starting http:// or https://) in some text, Testpad will recognise it as a link and display it as a clickable link opening in a new tab. If the link isn't too long or complicated looking, this method is basically just for free and happens without even reading up on the details!

Markdown-style Links

If you go to Project Settings for your project, you can enable Markdown-style Links (they're off by default), which means any time you include a link with the pattern [Title](link), the "link" will be displayed as the clickable "Title". Useful for longer/complex URLs that otherwise confuse the text they're appearing in.

Wiki-style Links

Similarly, in Project Settings, you can alternatively enable Wiki-style Links, so that any time you include a link with the pattern [[ link | Title ]], the "link" will be displayed as the clickable "Title".

Short-codes for common link patterns

Lastly, and perhaps most powerfully, Testpad includes a link pattern generator which is great for when you want to include lots of links to very similar URLs. For example, if every test block needs to link to the User Story item in JIRA that it pertains to, it would be tedious to include the full JIRA path in every test title.

The Project Settings page lets you define short-codes that map a prefix:code pattern onto a link pattern. This is probably best explained by example:

The definition:

is defining a short-code "story", such that whenever some text includes "story:ABC123" (i.e. "story" followed by a colon followed by some characters), the short-code will be replaced with a link to "" that's displayed as User Story ABC123.