Questions tagged [faq]

These posts are your quick guide to the what, how, where, and when of the Stack Exchange network.

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653 votes
8 answers

Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really "good answers"?

I have often wondered at the practice on Stack Overflow, Server Fault, and the other sites where someone will ask a question and an answer will come in that says "Look here: https://link ...
50 votes
9 answers

How can I get answers fast?

How do I ask a question so that it can get a quick response? I see some of the questions are very old and still not answered, but some others get a very quick response. Return to FAQ index
84 votes
5 answers

How do I write a good answer to a question?

Are there guidelines for what constitutes a good answer? Let's discuss. Perhaps, we can come up with some ideas for the FAQ. Building off Should the official FAQ include information on how to ...
281 votes
1 answer

How can I delete my account?

How can I delete my Stack Exchange account(s)? Also, What happens to my content? Can I request it be deleted as well? What if I'm suspended, rate-limited, or banned from posting questions or answers? ...
244 votes
13 answers

Embrace the non-Googlers

There seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to "easy" questions that involve quickly answering by copy/pasting embarrassing links to (or similar responses in comments, which aren't downvotable) ...
111 votes
2 answers

What are the moderation tools available to 10,000+ reputation users?

The site FAQ refers to moderation tools, available to users who've earned more than 10,000 reputation: 10,000   Delete closed questions, access to moderation tools What are these tools ...
69 votes
14 answers

How should you respond to "Give me a fish" / RTFM questions?

How should you respond to "Give me a fish" / RTFM questions? I mean the case where people post questions simply to get someone else to write their code for them, on topics that would usually be the ...
372 votes
2 answers

Database schema documentation for the public data dump and SEDE

Stack Exchange releases "data dumps" of all its publicly available content roughly every three months via, and also makes that information queryable over the Internet at the ...
139 votes
2 answers

What's the recommended syntax for an image with a link?

What's the recommended syntax for an image with a hyperlink? I tried doing it with the markdown toolbar buttons and the image and link buttons conflict with each other, so I had to resort to HTML. For ...
534 votes
1 answer

What HTML tags are allowed on Stack Exchange sites?

Stack Exchange sites use Markdown for questions and answers. Per the Markdown specification, intermixing HTML and Markdown tags is allowed, but not all the HTML tags are allowed, to avoid XSS. Which ...
117 votes
1 answer

How long does it take for badges to be awarded? How are they generated?

Do badges get calculated in real time, or do they get calculated by an external service? How long does it take for a badge to be awarded, once its requirements are met? Does Stack Overflow use any ...
214 votes
1 answer

How do I change my login provider(s)?

I no longer use the service that I originally used to register, and would like to change the service I use to log in, or at least add a second account. Is this possible? How do I change my login ...
177 votes
2 answers

How does comment voting and flagging work?

Comments can now be upvoted and flagged. How do those features work? Do users get rep for their upvoted comments? Do upvoted comments have any effect on comment sorting? And can users see their own ...
772 votes
1 answer

Which tools and technologies are used to build the Stack Exchange Network?

What tools and technologies are used to build the Stack Exchange Network? See also: Which tools and technologies are used to build Data Explorer? Return to FAQ index
281 votes
1 answer

How does duplicate closing work? When is a question a duplicate, and how should duplicate questions be handled?

Questions can be closed as duplicates. When are two questions considered duplicates? Which question is the duplicate? It's a duplicate. What do I do? Should I edit the question? Should I answer it? ...
22 votes
6 answers

What is the etiquette for correcting old questions with incorrect answers?

What is the etiquette for fixing up questions which have an incorrect answer that is the highest voted answer, or a wrong answer is accepted? Related: Why do incorrect answers keep getting “accepted”?...
610 votes
1 answer

How does the bounty system work?

It's possible to offer and award bounties of reputation on questions. What is a bounty? How can I find questions that have a bounty attached? How do I start a bounty? When can I start a bounty? Why ...
37 votes
2 answers

How are Stack Exchange sites officially branded?

How are sites in the Stack Exchange network, including Stack Overflow, officially branded? How are their names abbreviated? What conventions should be used in the FAQ? Return to FAQ Index
88 votes
12 answers

Are taglines & signatures disallowed?

I recently had a number of my valid answers voted down because people objected to the fact that I added a tagline to the end. The answers were correct for the questions asked and the downvotes were ...
87 votes
11 answers

Thanking users who answered my question

Quite often a number of users will give similar answers to one of my questions. Sometimes someone will give an answer that is interesting, but does not really help with my question. In all cases, I ...
311 votes
2 answers

Should questions include "tags" in their titles?

I've seen questions edited to remove the language name from the title. Won't search engines - and folks using search engines - have an easier time finding them if these "tags" are kept as ...
25 votes
1 answer

How do I remove an OpenID or login?

How do I remove login credentials (emails or OpenIDs) from my account? For more information, see "How do I add or move login credentials from my account?" in the Help Center. Return to FAQ Index
56 votes
4 answers

Who owns the content I post?

Does Stack Exchange own the content that I post? What do I do if I want all of my posts and my user account deleted? Return to FAQ Index
296 votes
1 answer

Do posts have to be in English on Stack Exchange?

Otherwise known as 必须用英语吗?(is English required?) ¿Necesito hablar en inglés? ?האם אני חייב לכתוב באנגלית Muss ich auf Englisch schreiben? Do I have to use English when posting a question, an answer ...
61 votes
3 answers

Denoting keyboard shortcuts in Stack Exchange posts

What is the recommended method/syntax for denoting keyboard shortcuts in Stack Exchange questions and answers? For example, how would you write the following in a less verbose manner? Press ctrl, ...
57 votes
7 answers

View or search for unanswered questions with a certain tag

How do I view unanswered questions with a certain tag? How do I search for unanswered questions with a specific tag (or tags)? Return to FAQ index
1114 votes
1 answer

How does accepting an answer work?

What does it mean to accept an answer? How do I accept an answer, and what are the rules? Can I accept my own self-answer? What are the reputation benefits? Which answer should I accept? Should I ...
232 votes
4 answers

How is the default user avatar generated?

Is there a name for the default avatars that are generated for users who do not assign one themselves and register using an authentication mode other than Google or Facebook? Not the avatar of the ...
395 votes
1 answer

How do I format my code blocks?

How do I post text so that it is formatted as code? What do I need to do so that my code shows up properly — not escaped or removed — when posted? And how to get the correct syntax ...
194 votes
1 answer

Who is the Community user?

I see the Community user on the user page. It seems to edit posts sometimes. What is it? And why has it downvoted over 1800 times? See also: What are “Community Wiki” posts? Return to FAQ Index
52 votes
7 answers

What third-party tools are there for the trilogy websites?

What third-party tools, plugins, addons, widgets are there for the trilogy websites? Return to FAQ index
110 votes
1 answer

How can we get rid of misspelled and unused (or "zombie") tags?

During the re-tagging of questions, tags sometimes become orphaned from existing questions. Are these zombie tags ever removed from the tags list? What if a tag is misspelled and needs to be removed?...
65 votes
2 answers

How do I correctly tag my questions?

Here are some tips for tagging questions. These guidelines will help you more accurately tag your questions, which in turn will help them get more attention and lead to better answers faster. For ...
518 votes
1 answer

How does deleting work? What can cause a post to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? What are the criteria for deletion?

What circumstances can cause a question or answer to be deleted, and what does that actually mean? How can a post be deleted? When can't I delete my own post? Can I still see my post even after it's ...
250 votes
1 answer

What are the limits on how I can cast, change, and retract votes?

What limits are there on how I can vote? How often can I vote? How do my votes become locked/unlocked? Return to FAQ index
57 votes
4 answers

Why does the "Unanswered Questions" tab show questions that have answers?

Why does the "Unanswered Questions" tab show questions that have answers? Return to FAQ index
54 votes
1 answer

What do "watched tags" and "ignored tags" do?

What are watched tags and ignored tags? How do they work? What are tag subscriptions? What are interesting tags? On Stack Overflow, the content of the main page question list appears to be influenced ...
64 votes
5 answers

How do I search for questions with (or without) specific tags?

How do I search for questions with specific tags? How do I search for questions that have specific tags? How do I search for questions that contain specific text, as well as specific tags? Are there ...
58 votes
5 answers

Answer or comment: what's the etiquette?

I very often see comments about a question posted as answers, e.g., "format it this way" or "why don't you post it over here". I think this practice clogs up the answers and the comment feature is ...
141 votes
1 answer

How do "badges" work?

What are badges? How do users get badges? How can users get tag badges? Can badges be lost/revoked/taken away after they are awarded? If so, how and when? How can I suggest a new badge? For more ...
215 votes
1 answer

How do comments work?

Across the Stack Exchange network you may leave comments on a question or answer. How do comments work? What are comments for, and when shouldn't I comment? Who can post comments? Who can edit ...
582 votes
1 answer

How does "Reputation" work?

On Stack Exchange, users may gain a certain level of reputation. What does reputation do? How can a user gain or lose reputation? See also: What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it? in the ...
103 votes
1 answer

How does editing work?

It is possible for users to edit an existing post. How do edits work? Who may edit a question or answer? How can you tell what has been changed between edits? For more information, see "Why can ...
37 votes
1 answer

Flagging a post for moderator review

Suppose I want to have someone with moderator abilities review a post. What would be the best way to flag this? Is there already some standard way to do this that I don't know about? For more ...
299 votes
6 answers

Do I have to worry about copyright issues for code posted on Stack Overflow?

I was wondering about the copyright of code snippets from answers. Let's say you ask a question and the solution consists of ten lines of code, which are given in an answer. Are there any restrictions ...
118 votes
1 answer

What is a "locked" post?

On Stack Exchange, a post can sometimes be "locked": What does it mean to lock a post? Who can lock a post? When should a post be locked? Return to FAQ index
1059 votes
1 answer

What are "Community Wiki" posts?

Some questions and answers are marked Community Wiki and are owned by a community wiki user: (In fact, this very question is one of them) Why have Community Wiki posts? How do Community Wiki posts ...
209 votes
1 answer

What is a "closed" or "duplicate" question?

Questions can be closed or marked as duplicates. What does it mean for a question to be "closed"? What does it mean for a question to be marked as a "duplicate"? Who can close a ...
171 votes
27 answers

How should we deal with Google questions?

There have been a lot of questions that can be answered with a simple Google search. For these questions, an answer can be found by just copying and pasting the question directly into the Google ...
72 votes
8 answers

Filtering questions by multiple tags

I know you can select a tag and then click on unanswered to view the unanswered questions for that tag. But is there a way to view questions only for a certain set of tags > 1 tag? Mainly I'd like ...