Many puzzles are based on the series started by @JLee, and through carefully copying templates by the community, both have a nicely looking LaTeX table and a CSV version. The latter is useful because you somehow can't copy/paste the content of the LaTeX table.

With the New Feature: Table Support being rolled out this week, I suppose we can convert the tables to 'regular' Markdown tables (slowly, in order not to flood the homepage with bumps), and get rid of the CSV versions, since the table content is now finally copyable. I hoped it would be compatible with screen readers as well; thanks @Sciborg for the confirmation. For science, I've edited my two questions in this tag so you can experiment.

Any thoughts?

(Inspired by this edit by @bobble.)

  • $\begingroup$ I used a Markdown table there because there wasn't any table to begin with, and I wasn't sure how to make LaTeX tables work. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Dec 8, 2020 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ Figured I should mention here - I use a screen reader (NVDA) and it deals with the new Markdown tables great. Can hover over each cell of the table and it gets read out to me. So they are wonderful for accessibility too :) $\endgroup$
    – Sciborg
    Dec 8, 2020 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ If we decide to edit them all we need to be careful not to flood the front page all at once (EDIT: Which I just realised is exactly what you said here!). I've just Skipped a Suggested Edit in the Review queues that did this, because I figure we should get some kind of consensus first on whether this is actually worth doing. $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 8, 2020 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ Do we have to do all these edits by hand o.O? Or is there some automatic tool that scans all the older posts and converts the tables? $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    Dec 9, 2020 at 8:47
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    $\begingroup$ @melfnt yes, by hand. The Data Explorer can help find them, though. $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    Dec 9, 2020 at 8:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Sciborg how do they compare to MathJax tables such as the one in this answer? I prefer the looks of the MathJax tables, but would definitely change to or at least include Markdown tables if that enhances accessibility. $\endgroup$
    – SQB
    Dec 14, 2020 at 7:45
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    $\begingroup$ @SQB I can answer for Sciborg here - their screen reader doesn't read MathJax at all. Some screen readers can, but those are more expensive and in general do so imperfectly. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Dec 20, 2020 at 23:08
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    $\begingroup$ I made a converter for MathJax tables to markdown tables that can be used for easily replacing posts with markdown equivalents. You can run it here by putting the MathJax in input.txt and running main.py -- repl.it/@eyl327/MathJax-Table-to-Markdown $\endgroup$ Feb 22, 2021 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


Let's replace any unnecessarily MathJax'ed tables with Markdown ones for any post

... as long as it doesn't clutter the front page with bumps, of course. The scope shouldn't be restricted to puzzles, as MathJax was a commonly known workaround for table formatting.

I tested copying the table directly into Excel just in case, and it worked perfectly. It's even better than CSV, which needs to be semi-manually split at commas.

  • $\begingroup$ What's you definition of "clutter"? How many bumps at a time would you be comfortable with? 1 a week? 1 a day? 1 an hour? In-between? $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Dec 9, 2020 at 0:05
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    $\begingroup$ @bobble I'm fine with 3~5 posts edited at once. I'm not sure if we need a fixed time interval though, but once in 6~12 hours looks good to me. $\endgroup$
    – Bubbler
    Dec 9, 2020 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, we don't need a fixed time interval. It's just that people will interpret "clutter" in different ways and I was hoping to set some sort of guideline. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Dec 9, 2020 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ @bobble Over on Science Fiction & Fantasy, we have a rule that no more than 5 of the top 15 posts on the front page should be last edited by the same user. Of course different sites have different interpretations of what's "too much" bumping, but that kind of ballpark seems reasonable. $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2020 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ I assume that's for necro-edits? Sometimes when I log on in the morning there's been a bunch of new posts (all near the top) and so I do a lot of editing in all at once. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Dec 11, 2020 at 23:45
  • $\begingroup$ There don't seem to have been any objections to this, and there's a decent amount of support. I'm going to work through the list of tables to convert from the Data Explorer. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Dec 30, 2020 at 16:35

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