I just asked my first question on stackoverflow and I'm really impressed that my question seems to be answered sufficiently already! See:

Width of an element accounting for quirks mode in javascript?

The issue I have is that the last two answers combined would provide the most complete answer. What's the proper way to go about combining them, marking the question answered, and giving credit where credit is due?

Thanks big time guys for saving us all from experts exchange hell!

Edit: Wow, 5 responses in 5 minutes. I think what makes the most sense is that I create my own answer out of the two. I don't think the second part of my question was answered though.

What is the proper way to give credit to the 2 answers that I'm combining? Is an upvote for each sufficient?

  • The custom seems to be that questions about SO should be community wiki. To make this community-owned, edit the post, check the community wiki box, and save.
    – tvanfosson
    Oct 22, 2008 at 2:56

8 Answers 8


It takes 2,000 reputation to edit another person's post (https://stackoverflow.com/faq). You can, however, post your own answer to the question summarizing what method you used to resolve the issue and any other comments/conclusions. That is quite acceptable.

There is no (current) way to accept two answers simultaneously. This question has a rather heated discussion on the issue (apparently it has been proposed on uservoice and denied by Jeff Atwood himself): https://stackoverflow.com/questions/206541/why-cant-i-accept-my-own-answer#206583

It would also be polite to upvote the answers you used, if you haven't already.

  • Great, how do I ensure the two answers that were most correct receive proper credit?
    – christoff
    Oct 22, 2008 at 3:01
  • There isn't an option for marking 2 "correct" posts as answers. When I had this problem on a question I asked yesterday, I accepted the question with the answer that I actually used, even though both were valid. If you can't make that decision, I would just upvote and leave the question unanswered.
    – amdfan
    Oct 22, 2008 at 3:05
  • Thanks, it seems like 2 upmods and marking my combo as the most correct will be sufficient.
    – christoff
    Oct 22, 2008 at 3:12
  • No I think you should mark one of the questions answered - maybe the person with the lowest rep. I appreciate your concern, but not selecting 'answered' makes a question look abandoned. If you want, put in comments and links for all the answers you used.
    – Robert Paulson
    Oct 22, 2008 at 3:20
  • Valid point, it's not a perfect system.
    – amdfan
    Oct 22, 2008 at 3:45
  • If you combine them into your own answer, it would also be polite to make your answer be a community wiki answer, so that you do not gain rep from votes. Oct 24, 2008 at 18:07
  • 1
    The link to stackoverflow.com/questions/206541/… doesn't work for me.
    – nagul
    Aug 10, 2009 at 10:15
  • "deleted by Jeff Atwood♦ Apr 18 at 11:12"
    – nickf
    Aug 14, 2009 at 2:13

You could edit your own original question to note that two of the given answers should be combined for a more-complete answer.


Just put a note at the top of your new answer: "Combining responses from Judy and Bob, the following seems to be the better answer:"

Then just combine them.

People may think you're stealing others answers but that's not my view. The idea of SO is to get the best answers, not to placate the egos of others.

If your combo answer is better, it will rise to the top.


Be bold and swoop in and compile them into a stand-alone answer that grabs the meaty chunks and serves it all on the one plate instead of a buffet.

Prime example, the accepted answer on How to view the source of HTML emails at SU cherry picks from the previous answers posted and compiles them into a nice little bundle of joy.

The sum in this case looking a whole lot more than the parts. Though it was rather lacking in nodding the cap to the previous answers from which the bones were picked off.


Two options as I understand them:

  1. if one answer is very close, but just needs some tweaking then you can just edit that answer to tweak it to be the correct answer. This assumes you have enough reputation (2,000) to edit answers.
  2. supply a new (third in your example) answer that includes a combination of the two (or three or four answers that are partial)

If you had sufficient reputation points, you could edit one of the responses to include the relevant information and turn it into the "best" answer. I don't think I've ever seen anyone do that though so I guess there must be a feeling of ownership, despite what Jeff and Joel say on the podcast. You can also answer your own question - this is also encouraged.


If you don't have the rep to edit and you want to copy the source/markup used to create the answers into your new answer you can do the following:

If the question or answer has been edited so that it has an edited X timeunits ago link, you can click on that link to view the revision history and then click the view source link to open a new tab/window with it in (it will also expand/collapse the revision as a side effect).

If it hasn't been edited then you can still view the revision history, but you'll have to manually enter the url in your browser's address bar. For questions, take the number in the middle of the page's url; for answers click on the link link for the answer to get it's unique number in the anchor of the url (after the # character) and then go to the url:



Accept the best of the two answers and add a comment referring to the other answers

  • Accept one to two answers (e.g. the better/more complete of the two).
  • Add a comment (you need 200 points to do this) to the accepted answer summarizing the additional points from the other answers.
  • Give credit to these additional answers by up-voting them and by stating in your summary where the info comes from.

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