A question like this is completely solved in an answer to another question, but the questions themselves are not duplicates one to another.

I've seen recently that some questions were closed but not as duplicates, instead appearing a message saying "This question already has an answer here". I find this appropriate, but I have no idea how to close a question this way. Any suggestions?

Edit. Meanwhile I've found a similar question and I've voted to close it as a duplicate, but my question still stands.

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  • $\begingroup$ And you can't just vote to close? $\endgroup$ – Thomas Nov 20 '14 at 15:27
  • $\begingroup$ I would close this specific question as "off topic because of missing context". But I think I just realized what you were asking about. In general I would leave a question open if it is not a duplicate of another question (even if it has an answer somewhere). What I would do is to provide an answer explaining how the other answer actually gives a solution to the problem. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Nov 20 '14 at 15:34
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    $\begingroup$ This could be an option, but as I said I've seen questions closed with the message "this question has an answer there" and I'm somehow intrigued that I can't see how to do this. $\endgroup$ – user26857 Nov 20 '14 at 15:37
  • $\begingroup$ It would be cool if we could merge responses. $\endgroup$ – daOnlyBG Nov 20 '14 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ When you close a question as a duplicate of another question, then the closed question will have a yellow bar at the top saying "This question already has an answer here:". Following this is a link to the duplicate question. I agree that the wording maybe isn't the best since I would only close questions as duplicates when the questions are the same. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Nov 20 '14 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ I've tried what you said, but I can't see that "yellow bar". Maybe this is (as I supposed) a feature available only to high rated users. $\endgroup$ – user26857 Nov 20 '14 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ Thomas meant that the banner is shown to everyone when the question is actually closed. Until then, it's shown to OP only. $\endgroup$ – user147263 Nov 20 '14 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Rafflesiaarnoldii: Thanks for clearing it up. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Nov 20 '14 at 17:02

Marking Question1 as a duplicate of Question2 says that anyone wishing to post an answer to Q1 should instead post their answer under Q2. This is problematic when Q1 may also be answered in a way Q1 that is not applicable to Q2.

So, the fact that a particular answer to Q2 also answers Q1 is not sufficient to close Q1 as a duplicate. Unless the questions are indeed similar, I suggest posting an answer based on the answer to Q2 (with a reference there). This could be a short explanation of why the answer to Q2 answers Q1 (sometimes this isn't so obvious), or a customized copy of the answer to Q2 (perhaps CW-ed).

This may look like a useless activity, but my top-voted answer in November (so far) is of this sort. Just a few lines, but apparently some found it useful.

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Generally speaking, I agree with Rafflesia's answer, except for one particular case:

If we have an general question with "parameters" that has been answered, for example:

How do I solve the linear congruence below? $$ax \equiv b \pmod{n}$$

...and someone asks a question that is a specific case (e.g. the parameters have been filled in) of the general question, for example:

How do I solve $3x \equiv 2\pmod 5$?

...then we should close the specific version as a duplicate of the general question.

If the application of the general question to the specific question is more involved than plugging in a few parameters, then we should post a separate answer, like Rafflesia says. Otherwise, close as duplicate.

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