The idea is pretty straight forward. I didn't see a related topic.

The idea would be to add a section to the user's profile where they can enter a list of canned replies. Canned replies would consist of things like:

Welcome to StackOverflow! We are a question and answer site, not a code-writing service. Please read stackoverflow.com/about to learn how to write effective questions.

(Borrowed the above from StackOverflow user @Blazemonger)

Next to the add comment button, there could be a second option for canned reply that has a drop down error which allows you to select one of your canned replies.


The goal would be to encourage the use of friendlier replies to new users, as opposed to trying to compose a well mannered response on the fly each time.

  • "I posted a question and they closed it! The ingrates just threw some boilerplate at me, they didn't even bother to give me a tailored response!" – Jonathan Garber Jan 9 '14 at 16:13
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    This would encourage the use of canned comments (whether they are fully suitable or not), instead of careful consideration of what comment to add. Additionally, having this feature doesn't guarantee comments would be polite. – Oded Jan 9 '14 at 16:14
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    There are user scripts for that, just install one in your browser if you really, really need to have this functionality? – Mołot Jan 9 '14 at 16:15
  • I have written "This is meta, for discussing stack overflow and the stack exchange network it is not for ..." so many times – Richard Tingle Jan 9 '14 at 16:17
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    @Oded Those are good points, but nothing can guarantee that comments would be polite. The idea is that it would help those who wish to be polite, remain polite. Sometimes, comments come off as impolite when written in haste. – crush Jan 9 '14 at 16:18
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    But Stack Overflow isn't a bug-fixing service... – AakashM Jan 9 '14 at 16:18
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    This already exists through the review process. (Low quality posts, first posts, late answers) for example see this screenshot: the comment in circle is a "canned reply" added via the "Late Answers" review queue. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Jan 9 '14 at 16:21
  • @ShadowWizard What do you mean? The close options? – crush Jan 9 '14 at 16:23
  • One of the canned replies I see often are those instructing users to start using the newer mysql libraries with PHP, and to start using prepared statements rather than building queries with raw user input. This is the sort of thing I'm referring to more than offering comments meant to shut down a question. – crush Jan 9 '14 at 16:25
  • @crush I mean such review queue. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Jan 9 '14 at 16:25
  • @ShadowWizard How do questions get placed in such a queue? I guess I'll research that now. – crush Jan 9 '14 at 16:26
  • @crush yep, let me know if you don't find. :) – Shadow The Princess Wizard Jan 9 '14 at 16:30

You can already do this. Install this user script, which comes with several pro-forma templates that you can add to.

Do remember to always review your pro-forma comment before clicking "add". Make sure it applies in this case, and edit to add any context-specific information.

  • Is this a browser plugin/extension? – crush Jan 9 '14 at 16:27
  • Yes, user scripts are plugins that work with Firefox (requires Greasemonkey) and Chrome (supported natively). See the "Installation" section at that link. – Monica Cellio Jan 9 '14 at 16:28
  • I'll give it a try. Thanks. – crush Jan 9 '14 at 16:29
  • Of course the existance of a user script shouldn't remove the possiblity of replicating it within the site – Richard Tingle Jan 9 '14 at 16:30
  • @RichardTingle true, but with all the feature requests they won't all be addressed anyway. They might consider ones with workarounds to be lower priority. – Monica Cellio Jan 9 '14 at 16:35

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