Atm, if you want to view the Markdown source of a question/answer (on SO/SF/SU/MSO at least, probably all stack exchange sites), you have 4 options:

  • Gain enough rep to edit posts, then click the edit button.
  • Hope it is CW, and have enough rep to edit CW posts, and click the edit button.
  • Wait for the OP to edit the post, and click the edited link to view revisions, then view source.
  • (Horrible kludge this one). Either manually or via Greasemonkey go to http://example.com/posts/id/revisions, then click view source. For example, for this question: https://meta.stackexchange.com/posts/24400/revisions

Would it be possible to have a view source button for those of us who cannot edit questions in the place where the edit button would be if we could? After all, it's those with less rep (and therefore less experience) who are more likely to need Markdown help.

  • An obscure UI that requires typing is considered to be a horrible kludge now?
    – Shog9
    Commented Oct 2, 2009 at 18:08
  • 12
    @Shog9: I'll have to agree with the OP on this one: it is a kludge. Not one that impacts me personally, but still a kludge. Commented Oct 2, 2009 at 18:10
  • I see it more as a hidden feature :)
    – perbert
    Commented Oct 2, 2009 at 18:20
  • So.. all the comments are positive, any idea where this is going? Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 1:52
  • @Yossi: Nowhere, I don't think the SO team have seen it.
    – Macha
    Commented Jul 30, 2010 at 19:53
  • @Macha: that's too bad. I guess not enough interest... Commented Jul 31, 2010 at 1:12

5 Answers 5


I personally have never used the View Source...ever. But if it's available in most instances, it might as well be available to everyone.


This would be nice to peek at how someone has formatted something. It is currently possible through URL hacks but it would be convenient to see a link.

Just turn the "asked Oct 2 '09 at 18:02" into a link.


I agree with the OP. Just a few minutes ago, I wanted to see how someone had formatted their content in an answer... 'view source' is an invaluable noob tool, and noobs won't have access to 'edit'.

A 'show source' link where the 'edit' button will go (when they have enough karma) will help new users learn how to format their posts in a more aesthetic and informative manner.


No longer a problem, even rep 1 users can edit, and therefore view source.

  • 2
    Not on meta sites though Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 15:58
  • Also not true for locked posts. Commented Jan 19, 2018 at 15:47

You might consider installing this UserScript from Stack Apps. Apparently (among other things) it provides:

  • Inline viewing of post revision source Markdown on the post history page

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