Before the introduction of table support, there were various posts across the network that used ASCII-styled (or other similar) tables as a workaround. An example of this is this answer.

Is it acceptable if I mass edit such posts (and bump them) to make the tables support the new table syntax? Also, is table support stable enough for me to make such edits now?

Update: As noted in the comments, SciFi is actively looking for those posts and selectively editing them.

  • 7
    Regarding stability: table support has existed for years, since back when SO Documentation was a thing. There was a lot of work done at that time, and then it just sat around for a long time while we planned out how to release CommonMark (which it depended on) to the main sites first. So it is fairly stable. We didn't just cook this up right before release. It was built and actively used a long time ago.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 1:49
  • 2
    Mass edits are rarely acceptable.
    – Mast
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 11:32
  • 2
    FWIW, SciFi is actively looking for them
    – OrangeDog
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 15:31
  • For just short text entries, all the new format does is use up more that twice as much screen space. Also don't use it for what should be code initializing a table or actual output.
    – philipxy
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 4:57

1 Answer 1


Hardly an official answer, but here's my take on it.

The upside of these edits is that they make posts look better. The downside of these edits is, as you noted, that it will bump old posts. So the question boils down to "is the tradeoff worth it?"

Personally, I'd say no. yes, those posts would look better with the fancy new markdown tables, but if they're buried in history, who even looks at them? My two cents - if you come across an old question that got bumped somehow, and have the time and energy to edit its tables formatting, by all means, go ahead. If you intend to actively search for questions with malformed tables and get them bumped, you risk drowning out the front pages with questions that really have no new information added to them - only the improved formatting. I'd refrain from doing that.

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