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Atm, if you want to view the Markdown source of a question/answer (on SO/SF/SU/MSO at least, probably all stack exchange sites), you have 4 options:

  • Gain enough rep to edit posts, then click the edit button.
  • Hope it is CW, and have enough rep to edit CW posts, and click the edit button.
  • Wait for the OP to edit the post, and click the edited link to view revisions, then view source.
  • (Horrible kludge this one). Either manually or via Greasemonkey go to, then click view source

Would it be possible to have a view source button for those of us who cannot edit questions in the place where the edit button would be if we could? After all, it's those with less rep (and therefore less experience) who are more likely to need Markdown help.

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An obscure UI that requires typing is considered to be a horrible kludge now? – Shog9 Oct 2 '09 at 18:08
@Shog9: I'll have to agree with the OP on this one: it is a kludge. Not one that impacts me personally, but still a kludge. – Joel Coehoorn Oct 2 '09 at 18:10
I see it more as a hidden feature :) – perbert Oct 2 '09 at 18:20
So.. all the comments are positive, any idea where this is going? – Yossi Farjoun Jul 29 '10 at 1:52
@Yossi: Nowhere, I don't think the SO team have seen it. – Macha Jul 30 '10 at 19:53
@Macha: that's too bad. I guess not enough interest... – Yossi Farjoun Jul 31 '10 at 1:12
up vote 8 down vote accepted

I personally have never used the View Source...ever. But if it's available in most instances, it might as well be available to everyone.

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This would be nice to peek at how someone has formatted something. It is currently possible through URL hacks but it would be convenient to see a link.

Just turn the "asked Oct 2 '09 at 18:02" into a link.

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I agree with the OP. Just a few minutes ago, I wanted to see how someone had formatted their content in an answer... 'view source' is an invaluable noob tool, and noobs won't have access to 'edit'.

A 'show source' link where the 'edit' button will go (when they have enough karma) will help new users learn how to format their posts in a more aesthetic and informative manner.

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No longer a problem, even rep 1 users can edit, and therefore view source.

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Not on meta sites though – ThiefMaster Oct 29 '13 at 15:58

You might consider installing this UserScript from Stack Apps. Apparently (among other things) it provides:

  • Inline viewing of post revision source Markdown on the post history page
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