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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):

http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/viewtopic.php?p=2194957#p2194957

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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

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luctus.

Change of variable

## Change of variable

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sollicitudin gravida at vel nisi.

Gaussian transform

## Gaussian transform

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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

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