What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 131 Stack Exchange communities.

It would be very useful to have a command that hides text, and not just makes it invisible as in the spoiler feature. The reader can then toggle hide/unhide if they are interested in a certain level of detail.

A typical use of this function would be for mathematical question:

Q: How can I calculate this complicated integral ....?

A: 1) Complete the square in the exponent.

hidetext: Detailled messy calculation.

2) Change variable $x$ to $x-2$.

hidetext: More details.

3) Use the formula for the Gaussian integral to get the result ...

hidetext: Details on this calculation plus weblink on Gaussian integral.

This is an example of another forum of what this can look like (click on the word Casework):


share|improve this question
See - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1191/… –  ChrisF May 7 '11 at 21:12
Yes, I have seen this feature, but mere invisibility is not very practical to hide calculatory detail that distract from the proof structure. –  Phira May 7 '11 at 21:15

1 Answer 1

I don't think this is a good idea. It would encourage badly written posts that rely too much on the hiding to be readable, and relies on the user to act beyond reading and scrolling. I recommend that start with a short summary, and use titles for the meat of the answer. This makes the steps visible at a glance without introducing any burden on the user.

To calculate this complicated integral:

1. complete the square in the exponent;
2. change the variable $x$ to $x-2$;
3. use the [Gaussian integral](link).

Completing the square

## Completing the square

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Pellentesque
sodales scelerisque bibendum. Curabitur hendrerit nisl ut ligula euismod

Change of variable

## Change of variable

Integer lobortis laoreet nulla quis pellentesque. Nam dignissim volutpat
justo a adipiscing. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per
conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Integer ac urna vitae diam
sollicitudin gravida at vel nisi.

Gaussian transform

## Gaussian transform

Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur
ridiculus mus. Praesent id neque et metus ultrices consequat sed id nisl.
Quisque vitae elit metus.
share|improve this answer
Well, it will hardly be a surprise that I disagree. The point is that one user needs the details on the change of variable while the other one needs other details and it is much easier and less burdensome to not have to look for the few details that are actually interesting among the many details. I also do not see what kind of badly written post would be encouraged. –  Phira May 7 '11 at 22:29
@user9325: My proposed structure has two parts: a short introduction, and the main meat of the various parts. I think the short introduction and the part titles often require different wording, which can't be the case in your structure since they use the same text. –  Gilles May 7 '11 at 22:33
What would stop you from writing the exact paragraph above including the title into the hiding text? –  Phira May 7 '11 at 22:38

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .