As it is right now, we cannot see the raw source of the suggested edit. There are diff views and that's useful but sometimes the changes are so subtle, the actual formatting needs to be inspected if there are some problems. Or the changes are significant (but necessary) that it is hard to ensure that the changes aren't damaging or the diffs just get in the way of looking at the changes. To further complicate things, it is difficult the even access the original source if there's a pending edit suggestion. The suggestion may be inadequate and would need to be rejected. It may even be destructive (e.g., changing the formatting too much) and improving (and marking as not helpful) would be impossible since the original revision is no longer available (easily).

There's a particular case which prompted this request. I needed to migrate an update "answer" (10k) (original suggested edit and revision history) from an unregistered user into the question (where it belongs). It is impossible to view the source of the edit so I could copy the contents. The existing views renders and removes visible content from the post so using those were not an option. I was forced to accept and wait until another person accepted the changes just to be able to get at it.

Can this view be added? It's already possible to see the source of existing posts so why shouldn't we be able to view the source of suggested edits? And this doesn't seem to be something that Greasemonkey can fix.

To be consistent, a link could be placed in between the markdown diff and permalink links. Then this view will just be a raw, side-by-side view of the original post's source and the suggestion. Here's some images for comparison sake and a mockup of what I'd hope to see.

Rendered HTML view:

Rendered HTML view

Markdown view:

Markdown view

And what I envision the raw source view could look like:

Raw source view

And this would be applied to the permanent suggestion page and the popup.

  • I'm confused -- when I go to approve or reject an edit, there's a Markdown diff available. Where in the system do you want this added?
    – Jon Seigel
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 2:07
  • 2
    I think Jeff is asking for a third viewing option, that just shows raw text before and after. (I sometimes get annoyed with the coloring and strikethroughs and so forth; just raw text might sometimes be superb.)
    – sarnold
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 2:53
  • I'm quite sure the option existed once...
    – Arjan
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 7:28

2 Answers 2


A lot has changed in the diff engine for suggested edits since you originally posted this question.

The markdown diff now is what you're asking for, just with the differences highlighted:

enter image description here

What does a non-colorized version of this newer "Show the markdown diffs side-by-side" view give you?

  • This view doesn't quite work though. If there's enough lines that are were unchanged between the revisions, those lines will be displayed as "N identical lines skipped". So you can't really see the original source all at once, just bits of it. Commented Apr 28, 2012 at 17:11
  • I guess my biggest issue is that "improving" a bad suggested edit will pull the source of the suggestion, not the original revision and there's no easy way to get that as long as the suggestion is not accepted or rejected. The workaround to get the source would be to look at the revisions page and grab the source from the revision there. But that's not readily available for new posts. I'd want to be able to just copy the original source somewhere at least or allow me to "improve" the original revision when a bad suggestion is in the queue. Commented Apr 28, 2012 at 17:14

+1 and bump.

I've just approved this edit. The OP had put in some angular brackets without clicking {} or using a code tag so the original code wasn't viewable unless you looked at the source.

The editor then comes along and fixes the post.

However, because the question had not been edited I couldn't view the source of previous edits. As there was an edit pending I couldn't see the original source either without approving or rejecting the edit.

Trusting that the user wasn't an insane code inserting maniac I approved and was happily proved right.

I do think it should be possible to view the source though so that someone can double check if they would like to, especially when posters are using mark-up.

Maybe a little clicky link under the permalink button?

You must log in to answer this question.

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