Why isn't there a button in the formatting options to add spoilers? Please do so as it would be helpful. (I know to manually add ! marks to blockquotes, but it can be tedious.)

If there is a button and I have missed it, sorry for wasting your time.


1 Answer 1


We don't currently have a button on any site to do spoiler formatting. The best candidates for that feature might very well be Movies & TV or Science Fiction & Fantasy. However, there has been some resistance to the very use of spoiler markup on those sites. See, for instance, "Are we overusing the spoiler markup?" The practice of editing out spoilers in titles has also met resistance.

Even on this site, where the purpose of many questions is to hide information so that other people can discover it on their own, spoiler markup has been overused. If you have a concluding sentence in your answer, a spoiler block might be smart to add:

Therefore the only person who could have done it is the butler.

But when your entire answer is a spoiler, that's a sign you might need to add more commentary. Ideally answers would look more like someone working out a Fermi problem and less like Final Jeopardy. (Part of the problem here, of course, is questions that can be answered in a single line.)

So, I don't think making it easier to create spoiler text, especially spoiler paragraphs is a good idea.

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    $\begingroup$ Then maybe they should add a tip or something, so that new users atleast know that such a thing exists. $\endgroup$ May 12, 2015 at 9:10
  • $\begingroup$ Is there a general policy throughout the network that does not allow for it, or have you taken the decision yourself? $\endgroup$ Oct 6, 2015 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ And one more thing....... Usually, there is a tip that recommends users from not misusing a feature of a site. If this is inadequate, the functionality is granted only for users who have a certain amount of rep. I don't think making site functionality obscure is a good strategy to prevent misuse, and I don't know if such measures are practised elsewhere. $\endgroup$ Oct 6, 2015 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ @ghosts_in_the_code: After writing this answer, I'm conflicted. It's a huge pain to add spoilers intermixed with commentary and quotations. And I think the result looks pretty awful. I don't feel comfortable adding a button to insert more spoiler text as long as the feature is so flaky. But since people will continue using spoilers, we might as well help people use them effectively. The trouble is, I don't think a button will do anything to help. Maybe you can help me see how it would teach people how to use spoilers properly not just more often? $\endgroup$ Oct 7, 2015 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ There could be a button for spoilers. Whenever a new user (with only upto a certain amount of rep, say 250 rep) clicks on the button, it would first open a tootip saying: Spoilers are often over-used. Please click [here] to know how to use them properly. Are you sure you want your text to be converted into a spolier? If the user clicks yes, then it will get converted. And also, all users should be requested to inform new users of excess spoilers, and to edit their posts accordingly. $\endgroup$ Oct 7, 2015 at 16:06

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