I find that closing a question as a duplicate is very cumbersome.

For instance, if I already found a duplicate, I have the URL. I don't have the question ID or title directly. So instead of doing what would be easy, I must paste in the url to the edit box, and remove http://stackoverflow.com/questions/ from the url, then go after the number and remove /title...

Why can we not just paste in the URL and some javascript magic extract the question ID for us?

Also, see this slightly related post Greasemonkey: Easier vote-to-close for duplicates (editor's note: 10k-only); I ask why is this not actually implemented in the site?

  • 1
    +1 for bring up a great point. Feb 16, 2010 at 20:45
  • My biggest problem is trying to close dupe's on my Android phone, it's not always easy to find the url or question ID. Even though there might already be 4 other suggestions which I else would copy/paste anyway
    – Ivo Flipse
    Feb 16, 2010 at 20:45
  • My phone is basically read-only on stack overflow. I can login, but I can't answer, comment, or vote on anything..
    – Earlz
    Feb 16, 2010 at 20:48
  • I haven't figure out how to login, the provider buttons don't appear in the OpenID page on my Blackberry. Feb 16, 2010 at 20:53
  • I only get to read, because I'm unable to close easily @earlz ;-) But it shouldn't have to be that way
    – Ivo Flipse
    Feb 17, 2010 at 6:49

6 Answers 6


We improved the close duplicate dialog quite a bit.

A Care Bear has been added

  1. Shows full preview of proposed duplicate in a scrollable <div>
  2. No longer uses drop-down behavior but simpler "after pause in typing, attempt to load the question URL or ID you just entered in a preview below the input area"
  3. You can click on the previously chosen duplicates below, to get an instant preview of the dupe to judge if it is actually a duplicate or not.
  4. Handy search link in upper right (with improved search help page) to help you find those pesky dupes

Unless it is a daimond moderator only feature that is how to close works for me anyway? I generally:

  • Copy full url
  • Click close as duplicate
  • Paste url and press space
  • Wait.

The system will then popup the correct question.

  • 4
    It's not moderator only... I guess the 4th step is too difficult
    – juan
    Feb 16, 2010 at 20:42
  • I wasn't aware.. it doesn't say in the UI that you can paste in a URL, it says you must do question ID or title, so maybe include "or paste url and push tab" to the instructions?
    – Earlz
    Feb 16, 2010 at 20:45
  • I actually just tried it one day and it works since it is easier to copy the link of an existing duplicate in the list. Feb 16, 2010 at 21:00
  • 1
    When someone already voted as duplicate, I choose "too localized" to avoid the extra clicks as anyway it'll be closed as duplicate for majority vote
    – juan
    Feb 16, 2010 at 21:02
  • 10
    @Downvoter, so YOUR that guy! :)
    – Earlz
    Feb 16, 2010 at 21:04

I paste the url in, then hit the tab key, and that usually works (though not always).

It could certainly be smoother.

It's really crazy when there are existing dupe links there, that I should be able to select, but I still have to do the cut-and-paste.

  • 1
    When tab doesn't work, double-clicking on the pasted URL always brings forth the drop down list (Firefox 3.6). Feb 16, 2010 at 22:15

Sometimes when I paste a URL, the interface refuses to pop up the little drop down list, even when I strip out all the stuff besides the question ID. It's pretty annoying.

I think two things could happen here:

  • Smooth out the paste-and-select process
  • Add some UI functionality so that the duplicate questions cited in the previous votes can be selected automatically (a button would work fine) instead of having to copy/paste the URL into the text box, which, as mentioned, doesn't work so well.
  • On point 2, I believe Jeff has said that it's deliberately so that it's not so easy to just go along with the group. (And if he hasn't, he should have.)
    – mmyers
    Feb 16, 2010 at 22:10
  • You can just drag the link from the list and drop it on the text box. Most web browsers will paste what you need.
    – perbert
    Feb 17, 2010 at 1:00
  • I get what you're trying to say @mmyers, but I'm going along the group anyway. So how did this stop me from doing so, except annoy me in my civic duties?
    – Ivo Flipse
    Feb 17, 2010 at 6:51
  • @Ivo: It just makes you think a little, since it's still not difficult to copy-and-paste the URL into the text box. I think if it were a mindless one-click operation, we might have a lot of questions closed for questionable reasons.
    – mmyers
    Feb 17, 2010 at 15:42

Here's the way I do it, and it's usually pretty quick: I just hover the cursor over the link to the already chosen dupe. The link (which includes the question number) is displayed in the browser's status bar, and the (text) cursor is still in the input field. Easy enough to type those digits in.

  • I find it easier to just drag the link and drop it into the "dupe box".
    – perbert
    Mar 9, 2010 at 13:41

I don't do copy paste for url.


  • Drag dup URL to text box
  • Double-click text box and wait
  • Select and then middle-click paste (even though it's copy-paste) is also easy. You still have to click in the text box (just once) to get the javascript event to fire.
    – Gnome
    Jun 2, 2010 at 23:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .