When you're typing an answer, you normally want to refer to the question for details. However, it is annoying to have to scroll up to get to the actual question when there's already an answer. Is there an option to hide the other answers?

  • 9
    Open the question again in a separate tab and tab back and forth? Is this really that big a problem? Jul 24 '13 at 12:40
  • @MartijnPieters It's not, I was just thinking way too complex. Jul 24 '13 at 12:44
  • There are some OLD duplicates, which however were created when things looked different (like before the inline editing was introduced), such as When I'm composing the answer I want to see the question somewhere near and Display the original question beneath the answer edit form.
    – Arjan
    Jul 24 '13 at 12:46
  • On the other hand, @Martijn and all, how hard would it be to add a button to toggle displaying the other answers? (That said, if other answers have been posted, one might want to ensure one's new answer is not a duplicate of those.)
    – Arjan
    Jul 24 '13 at 12:50
  • @Arjan Not really dupes then, are they? Jul 24 '13 at 13:13
  • Indeed. Above, maybe I should have typed OUTDATED rather than OLD. ;-)
    – Arjan
    Jul 24 '13 at 13:15
  • "Hide other answers" made me instantly recall pain of reading (downvoting, flagging etc) multiple repetitive answers whose authors would rather benefit from studying of what was written before them
    – gnat
    Jul 26 '13 at 14:01
  • @gnat I should add that the AJAX (saying 1 new answer or w/e) should still pop up, and you can toggle the option and see if the new answer is like yours. Jul 26 '13 at 14:02
  • I have a problem... I won't be able to assign the bounty as I'll be away :/ What can I do? Jul 27 '13 at 19:44
  • @MartijnPieters Yes, in fact, to me it is too much trouble to tab back and forth. So I open the question again in a new window and look at them side-by-side. ;)
    – Adi Inbar
    Jul 27 '13 at 20:21

I like to see other answers as soon as they're posted. Often someone will provide a detailed answer while I'm still writing my own response. In such situations, I abandon my draft, up-vote the other answer and move on.

So if we implement this suggestion, I would be strongly in favour of showing the answers by default and providing the option to toggle to hide. I would also question whether it's ever a good idea to be unaware of other answers.

  • 2
    Toggle? Yes. And you could still have the AJAX when there's a new answer, so you untoggle and see it. Jul 24 '13 at 13:10
  • If you are going to hide the answers you may miss some good suggestions and answers. Moreover, from the other answers you gain a lot as well (sometimes you can also correct them). In such cause I believe looking at all the answers posted will make you understand the question better and enhance the answer you are providing.
    – raajesh
    Aug 2 '13 at 8:44

I have implemented this as a userscript:

a screenshot of my userscript with the changes marked with red freehand circles


Sorry for the non-smooth behavior. I am willing to add a sliding animation, but it might take some time to make it look good. Tables (ahem) don't transition properly and jQuery can't animate classes, but there's nothing wrong with moving styles out of CSS stylesheets, right?

I do, however, ensure the check box doesn't scroll away when you click it. It might be inconsistent with the behavior of AJAX updates (ahem), but I like it better.

Hm... maybe the "hide all answers" checkbox should be moved somewhere else? I don't think it should be hidden completely until you start answering (click textarea - visually locate and click checkbox - click textarea again -- not a good workflow)

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