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Ideally I'd like to have SE recreate the formatting in Wikipedia, with footnotes and all. Any way of doing this, either by copying the source markdown, or — even better! — the RTF directly from the screen?

For instance, let's say there's a question about democracy (in a particular circumstance, or in general), and we'd like quote the Wikipedia definition. How do we change this:

'''Democracy''' ({{lang-gr|δημοκρατία}} ''{{lang|grc|dēmokraa thetía}}'', literally "rule by people"), in modern usage, has three senses all for a system of government where the citizens exercise power by [[Vote|voting]]. In a [[direct democracy]], the citizens as a whole form a governing body, and vote directly on each issue, e.g. on the passage of a particular tax law. In a [[representative democracy]] the citizens elect representatives from among themselves. These representative meet to form a governing body, such as a [[legislature]]. In a [[constitutional democracy]] the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority, usually through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association.<ref>[[Oxford English Dictionary]]: ''Democracy''.</ref><ref name="britannica">{{cite book |last1=Watkins |first1=Frederick |authorlink1=Democracy |title=Encyclopædia Britannica |date=1970 |publisher=William Benton |isbn=0-85229-135-3 |pages=215-223 |edition=Expo '70 |language=English |format=Hardcover|volume=7|}}</ref> Democracy is sometimes referred to as "rule of the majority".<ref>{{cite web|url=http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/democracy|title=Democracy – Definition of Democracy by Merriam-Webster|publisher=}}</ref> Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no single force controls what occurs and its outcomes.

… or — even better! — that:

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… into that:

Democracy (Greek: δημοκρατία dēmokraa thetía, literally "rule by people"), in modern usage, has three senses all for a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body, and vote directly on each issue, e.g. on the passage of a particular tax law. In a representative democracy the citizens elect representatives from among themselves. These representative meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature. In a constitutional democracy the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but the constitution limits the majority and protects the minority, usually through the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, e.g. freedom of speech, or freedom of association.1 2 Democracy is sometimes referred to as "rule of the majority".3 Democracy is a system of processing conflicts in which outcomes depend on what participants do, but no single force controls what occurs and its outcomes.

1. Oxford English Dictionary: Democracy.

2. Watkins, Frederick (1970). Encyclopædia Britannica (Hardcover). 7 (Expo '70 ed.). William Benton. pp. 215–223. ISBN 0-85229-135-3.

3. "Democracy – Definition of Democracy by Merriam-Webster".

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This technique1 will enable footnote style formatting in your posts on SE.

When attempting to recreate RTF/Wikipedia styling, I kindly remind you to consider whether you want to create a Wikipedia style article in SE... or rather simply quote a tiny snippet of something. I'd discourage the former, and encourage the latter.

*1. This is an example of the technique I've linked to up above. Ah, the joys of markdown.

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  • Yeah, great. Now, how about being able to do that automatically, without having to change all formatting markup tags manually? Jul 5 '18 at 3:28
  • @AndréLevy Please give a concrete example. If you are quoting from Wikipedia for example, it should be a matter of a couple copy-and-pastes, where automation would give minimal benefit. Something like Markdown It comes to mind, but it may be much more than what you need/want. Jul 5 '18 at 4:04
  • Markdown It is for rendering markdown onto html, no? This is more of a pandoc job. So my question is about how to parametrize pandoc — or another similar tool — to produce the effect you suggested. I've just added an example to main question, using your suggested formatting. Jul 5 '18 at 5:09

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