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Sometimes I have asked a question which got no answers, but is answered in the comments to the question.

How should I handle these questions? I can't accept an answer, so it is never an accepted question.

For example this one: Menu button can only be clicked one time

(ok here the answer in the comments is from me, but nevertheless I also have others of them)

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Check out the answers over at: mark a comment as answer to a question. To summarize, send that user a comment reply to suggest writing an answer, and if no response occurs after a long enough time, post CW that answer yourself. –  Grace Note Jun 23 '10 at 12:12
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@ccomet: It's ironic, because your comment should be an answer. ;) –  Jon Seigel Jun 23 '10 at 12:14
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Also, I don't think this is a duplicate of the other question (related, but not a duplicate). That was a feature request, and this question asks what to do. It is also an old question, and we have more abilities in the system now. –  Jon Seigel Jun 23 '10 at 12:22
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@Jon Answers should be updated in the existing question to reflect the current system –  waiwai933 Jun 24 '10 at 0:30
    
@waiwai: Okay, agreed, but I still don't think this is a duplicate. The other question is a specific feature request, and this is a discussion asking what to do. –  Jon Seigel Jun 24 '10 at 0:35
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i agree with jon seigel –  RoflcoptrException Jun 24 '10 at 8:03
    
Related: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/4217/… –  Jon Seigel Jun 24 '10 at 22:41
    
The issue I have is that quesions get auto deleted if they have no answers, but the comment that "answers" the quesion may be helpful to someone that finds the question at a later state. –  Ian Ringrose Feb 17 at 10:37
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1 Answer

up vote 39 down vote accepted

For comments that solve the problem or answer the question in the best way, the polite thing to do would be to notify the author using a comment reply (@Username), and prompt them to post their comment as an answer.

If they follow up, great! Reward their ideas and helpfulness with an upvote, and accept the answer.

If they don't follow up within a reasonable period of time, you can post an answer yourself with the solution that worked, giving proper attribution to the ideas.

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I guess this would be the appropriate thing to do, especially if the question is a little older. But I often stumble across question that I know the answer to and would like to answer myself, but then I've got a heavy heart doing so if the question is already answered in the comments. Quite often these answers are from people with thousands of points of rep, so they probably should know where to put an answer. It's almost as if they want to give a short and simple answer and don't want to spend time on a (sometimes) more complete real answer, so they just post their thoughts in a comment. –  GolezTrol Aug 1 '13 at 14:49
    
As someone who has already given similar comments, I can tell you that I wouldn't care if someone else fleshed out what I hinted at, and reaped the reward. If I were in it for the points, I would have fleshed it out myself. But obviously, I was not in it for the points, but just to give a quick pointer in the right direction (probably just making a wild guess that turns out to have been correct). Most likely, I didn't have the time to flesh it out myself, so whoever puts in the effort to do so is welcome to have the points. Of course, I'll generally oblige to a request to make it an answer... –  cmaster Apr 10 at 20:44
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