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This is more of a general question to see if there are any quick ways to edit very poorly formatted questions/answers. I looked through StackApps but didn't find anything.

For example, you might find a question that has very poorly formatted code (with too much white-space) or even this question which has countless <p> tags in the body of the question.

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Maybe I am missing something but is there anything that can be added to the edit/markdown toolbar that will include find/replace or decrease indents?

When you do a lot of editing this gets frustrating.

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it takes less than 15 seconds to open a text editor and copy the text there, make the find/replace thing, select all and paste back –  ajax333221 Jul 26 '12 at 17:56
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@ajax333221 right and that is what I typically wind up doing but it can be a frustrating especially if you are doing that and then you get the message that another edit has happened. What I am asking for is for a tool to make this easier on the site without having to move it to a text file/SSMS. –  bluefeet Jul 26 '12 at 17:59
    
(As an aside, in this specific example, I'd just copy the rendered HTML from the preview, and start from there.) –  Arjan Jul 26 '12 at 18:09
    
@Arjan yes, I agree. Sometimes it's even more annoying though. Last week I had someone who thought that their sample data looked more like a table if instead of spaces they put ............. between data elements. –  Aaron Bertrand Jul 26 '12 at 19:34
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2 Answers

As a very anal particular formatter, I highly concur. When it's that bad, I pull it into Management Studio (2012 version) which has very powerful search/replace functionality (similar to previous versions) but way more powerful region editing features. It's so much better than it used to be - I used to always have Excel open so I could add/remove string delimiters etc. between columns of data. I really should do a webcast because talking about it doesn't do it justice, and it's impossible to harness the power in a screen shot.

That said, there are probably plenty of other text editors out there that people are using, and can do this stuff even more efficiently. But it would be great if we had something native that allowed for a little more powerful editing (mostly abolishment actually of dumb stuff).

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At least for me, this is one of the most frustrating things about editing. There are some times that there is just too much to correct. –  bluefeet Jul 26 '12 at 17:31
    
@bluefeet I'm the same. But once I start editing a post, I don't have the willpower to abandon it. Pulling it into Management Studio makes quick work of it, and less chance my edit reason will include a snarky comment. :-) –  Aaron Bertrand Jul 26 '12 at 17:32
    
Only for someone to make some minor edits, no longer allowing you to simply post your corrected version.... <--- TEH ANGER!!! But yeah, +1 –  Bart Jul 26 '12 at 17:50
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@Bart I wonder if there's a feature request in there - for 10k / trusted users, allow us to lock a question for editing, with a "do not edit, I'm working on it!" sign. The same way we get completely prevented from editing if there's already an edit in the queue. I haven't thought it completely through (e.g. There'd need to be a time limit) but I think it could be useful. –  Aaron Bertrand Jul 26 '12 at 17:53
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@Bart I filed a feature request. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/141252/… –  Aaron Bertrand Jul 26 '12 at 19:19
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For Firefox, the "It's All Text" extension is very useful for advanced editing. It adds an "edit" button to every text box that opens the contents in an external editor.

You can configure it to use your favorite external editor that supports all advanced editing features you like.

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