I'm new to this site and have a similar/the same problem as one already posted, but its answers do not work for me. I posted my issue in the same thread as the original, but someone commented I should ask it as a follow-up question instead. Why is that? How exactly should I post it? Should I keep my original post or delete it? Why couldn't I comment to the original question in the first place?

(Posted by a moderator as proxy for such new users in general. Answers should explain the common questions about this mentioned above, so that this thread can be used as a link target in a text building block.)

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I thought we should have such a meta question about this, similar to I've just been told I have to write a minimal example, what is that? for MWEs. –  Martin Scharrer Dec 22 '11 at 9:28
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1 Answer 1

TeX.SX (and all other networks on Stack Exchange) is a Question & Answer (or Q&A for short) site where users ask questions, which are then answered by community members. This structure is the fundamental building block for the site. The top entry of every post is the question, while answers are given below it.

Here is what the FAQ mentions regarding posting answers:

Remember, if it's not an answer to the posted question, it does not belong among the answers!

By adding a follow-up question within the answer section of a post (also called a "non-answer"), many things can happen:

  • Your question will typically be displayed at the bottom of the entire post, since answers are usually sorted by vote count (unless otherwise selected by the user). As such, your question could likely go unnoticed or not receive the attention it deserves.
  • The community could consider this a bad thing, and flag it for moderator attention. If left unattended, your question could even be downvoted by the community members (causing a loss in reputation) since you are not adhering to the Q&A format of the network.

It is therefore suggested that you do the following:

  • Repost your question as an entirely new question by clicking the Ask Question link within the site banner:

    enter image description here

    Include a reference to the original post by starting with something like:

    This is a follow-up question to http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/...

    and adequately describe why the presented solutions do not solve your problem. This will give the community a frame of reference from which to formulate an alternative approach, taking your setup and new constraints into consideration.

  • Delete your original question from the answer section of the previous post, by clicking the delete button at the bottom of your question:

    enter image description here

    Even though it will still be visible to you (and some high-reputation users), it will be considered removed from the "answer" section of the post. Alternatively, click on the flag button and request that a moderator delete it for you:

    enter image description here

    Moderators are there to keep the site clean, responding to flagged non-answers by community members through comments and eventually deleting them.

Also, if you are a fairly new user, asking a new question is the best way to solicit feedback, both via answers from the community as well as comments from other users. Posting a non-answer, however, generally restricts your responses/feedback. As such, feedback and clarification of your problem is best served as a question on its own (even if it is a follow-up), rather than an "answer" to another question.

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