To copy a post with formatting, I have to open the edit tag. This seems dangerous, as I am afraid of mistakenly editing the proof. May the designers of the site create a new button where markup is visible for copying, without a risk of changing someone's post?

Or, if that exists. May someone direct me to it?



When you open the edit tab, as long as you don't press on the Save edit button, nothing will happen. So take what you need (without forgetting to cite your source ;) and just close the tab if you really fear to push the wrong button (Save edit instead of cancel).


Before 2000 rep: if you edit the post of someone else it will anyway have to pass by the review queue about suggested edits before getting changed. So if you made a mistake, a reviewer will probably see it and reject your edit (so no worries).

After 2000 rep: if you edit a post then the edit will be directly effective. However, you can always rollback to the previous edit. So no problem.

Conclusion: Such a feature seems not to be needed for the reasons you quoted. (maybe other but I don't know them).

  • $\begingroup$ Today I am thinking the same and found this after searching. The ideal to me is to create a button "copy source" along side "edit", so that one clicks it and the source of a question (or answer) is put into his/her clipboard. This way, he/she can view it on his/her local machine, in a latex file, and can scribble, arrange, save, or think about it. I think the feature is needed: (1) Because not every user is smart, and user friendliness is a virtue (2) Not everyone has saw this post (3) Non-user cannot edit a post $\endgroup$ Jan 3 '17 at 7:54

It is possible, and sometimes not even inconvenient. So, if you want to play it very safe do this:

Go to http://math.stackexchange.com/posts/{post-id}/revisions click "source" (for the relevant revision); or select "side-by-side markdown" (this selection seems sticky).

This can be a bit inconvenient but if the post was already edited once, this is page is linked to by the "edited {some-time} ago" in the middle of the post footer.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I imagine that either a userscript already exists that adds links to a posts's current source, or someone can come up with one on short order. $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    May 19 '15 at 19:28

Here's a bookmarklet to copy the source of questions: drag the text "Copy Question" from the page to the bookmark bar.

When you are on any question page (this or another SE site), clicking the bookmarklet will result in the question source copied to the answer box.

Source code for completeness:

n = window.location.href.split('/')[4];
$.get('//math.stackexchange.com/posts/'+n+'/edit', function(data) {
  • $\begingroup$ It would appear OP is more interested in the source of answers. $\endgroup$
    – Lord_Farin
    May 22 '15 at 5:45
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I see this now. Edited the answer to clarify it applies to copying question source only. The title and question both say "posts", so it's still on topic and may be useful to others. $\endgroup$
    – user147263
    May 22 '15 at 5:51

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