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Suppose you are writing a lengthy answer with some spoiler blocks in it. You want to check how some of it looks, so you scroll down to one of the spoiler blocks and click it.

What should happen: The spoiler block's contents are revealed.

What actually happens: The spoiler block's contents are revealed, but you don't see them because the page also scrolls up to the text-editing box where you're editing the Markdown original. To see the contents of the spoiler block, you have to scroll down again.

Why it matters: It's really annoying! We encounter it a lot over on Puzzling where I'm a moderator, because some puzzles require quite lengthy answers and our usual practice is to make a lot of use of spoiler tags. It's especially annoying if you have several spoiler blocks in your answer and want to look at the whole thing. What should be click-click-click-click turns into click - unwanted scroll - curse - scroll back - click - unwanted scroll - scroll back - etc.

I think this happens (1) only in answers, not in questions and (2) only when writing a new answer, not editing one that already existed. (Both of these seem rather weird to me, and it's possible that I'm overgeneralizing from a small amount of evidence. I haven't done a lot of experiments.)

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  • For me the bug occurred on a question too (specifically this question) but that could be related to the fact that I don’t have an account on puzzling. Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 11:55
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    It happens because when you're writing/editing a post and you click in the preview, it focus the textarea - consequently, causes the scroll. Yes, it's annoying, and not only for clicks in spoilers... It seems to be like this since 2009: clicking on the preview box when trying to click on the edit box Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 12:13
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    @Rafael And beneath: "we're implementing this as a temporary workaround" – Jeff Atwood Dec 21 '09
    – zcoop98
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 14:16
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    Very genuine question– does anyone actually like or use this feature on purpose? I've only ever had it be frustrating/ annoying; I would much rather have the ability to click/ select/ copy the text in the preview than have it lurch back up the page every time, especially with longer posts.
    – zcoop98
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 14:18
  • Wow, good find. As you will gather from the above, I hate this "feature" and wish it would go away. I was prompted to write this up because someone else on Puzzling was complaining about it. I have never heard of anyone saying "oh, look, it does this neat thing"... Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 14:33
  • @zcoop98 , I've definitely used it, for instance, on the very rare occasion when I'm proof reading for typos Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 14:36
  • @GarethMcCaughan It happens in answers and questions, even while editing.
    – Stevo
    Commented Oct 8, 2021 at 5:13

1 Answer 1

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There is a condition in the code that skips the annoying scrolling behavior if you have something selected.
So to reveal the spoiler without getting booted up, move the mouse cursor over the "Reveal spoiler" text at the right, hold left mouse button, move the cursor slightly to the left or right, and release the left mouse button. The selection does not really show up, but it's enough to trick the code.
This also works everywhere else in the preview area.

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    I can confirm that this works! But I'm not going to accept this answer even though it may be the best one available, because I think accepting an answer to a bug report should be reserved for when the bug is actually fixed. I'm sorry about this, because otherwise this answer totally deserves a bunch of points. Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 11:32
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    No worries, that makes sense! I just have a feeling that nobody will care and it will never get fixed.
    – Niko O
    Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 11:50
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    I have the exact same feeling, alas. Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 11:55

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