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Allow questions to be saved as drafts prior to posting

Some answers take a while to complete, and sometimes they require more than one seating for completion. It would be nice to be able to save answers as "drafts".

For example, say I have been typing an answer for the past 15 minutes, but I need to leave my computer for a while or switch to another computer. It would be nice to be able to save my answer so that I can edit it and finalize it at a later time.

I realize that I could just copy the text into a text editor and email it to myself or save it to my desktop, but I think it would be nicer to have the functionality built into the site. There have been times where I have been halfway through answering a question when I have to leave and I end up closing the window and not answering the question.

Update @Tim Stone pointed out that the system will automatically save a draft for you on a set interval. I was unaware of this feature -- somehow I never noticed it. Some other people have reported that the feature is somewhat inconsistent and/or unreliable.

I would tend to agree with @nhahtdh that since the functionality to save an answer as a draft already exists, there should be a way for the user to call the "Save" function themselves.

  • 2
    The system will automatically save a draft for you already, on a set interval.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 3:58
  • 1
    I am totally weirded out by this feature as implemented. Last night, I was in the middle of writing an answer. Then I switched to a different computer - half the answer was saved, but not the previous 15 minutes of work. I also remember once seeing a "draft saved" notice beneath the textbox, and I went, "cool, just what I wanted" but most of the time I don't see one, and I have no idea whether I can rely on my draft being saved.
    – Ziv
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 4:41
  • Wow, I never even noticed that feature Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 4:43
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    @Ziv: That's my experience with the feature as well. It's very inconsistent and unreliable. I still find myself using the clipboard or a text editor. Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 4:52
  • If they automatically save a draft already, why not provide a button to manually save the draft?
    – nhahtdh
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 5:41
  • @Bolt maybe it's worth looking into then - we have the tools after all and we have devs here willing to fix bugs with joy. :) First thing I'd check is maybe the live refresh it messing with the draft saving.. Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 6:29
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/69831/… . There used to be a key binding; it was removed; there's a user script you can install. That being said, I support this question, since IMHO present implementation is spotty to the point of unreliability.
    – Ziv
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 7:29


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