I’ve come across this question Non-intersecting values in columns in Excel which was put on hold as unclear what you're asking.

What is not clear with this question? It is well explained and even includes examples.

The only thing that may be missing is that the user didn’t include what they have tried so far. If this is the reason it was closed, the message is wrong, otherwise I don’t see why it was closed.

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    The fact the user didn't provide what they have tried, only what they want, is the reason it was closed.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 21, 2015 at 17:22
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    So the message is misleading
    – User15
    Sep 21, 2015 at 17:40
  • I would say that is a safe bet. "Questions that only ask for code are too broad and are likely to be put on hold or closed."
    – Ramhound
    Sep 21, 2015 at 17:47
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    @Ramhound I think there's a tendency to slap the "Too broad" vote on Excel questions that don't show what they've tried. However, I feel in many cases this is unfair to inexperienced Excel users and to those who are facing genuinely difficult but not project-sized tasks. In this specific case, all that is needed is a formula, and it's not straightforward. If the OP includes a formula that doesn't work in the question, honestly it doesn't help anyone answer. It just serves to show effort, which is a plus. But to require that to keep the question open is silly, let's be honest.
    – Excellll
    Sep 21, 2015 at 17:59
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    @Ramhound if so, it should be closed as too broad not as unclear. However I disagree with your bet, as @ Excellll pointed out all we need is a formula.
    – User15
    Sep 21, 2015 at 18:31
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    @Excellll, I don't disagree with your general assertion, that sometimes the "Too Broad" is used for situations that really should have their own catagory (one of my fav's would be "Homework"), but I can't agree about not showing code. Look at StackOverflow, where code lives. many of the best answers are a single line correction, which can help uses that are having trouble with the syntax of that line, but have a differant goal for the overall script. in general there are more people interested in help with a single function than there are folks that want to do exactly one thing with 3 columns. Sep 26, 2015 at 3:53

1 Answer 1


I've nominated the question to be reopened.

The request is clear enough to me and is likely to be useful to other users as well. I believe the only issue is that there is no indication of what the user has tried. This in itself is not a valid reason for closing a question.

If users take offense at a perceived lack of effort, they should feel free to down vote. However, if the question does not meet any of the established question closure reasons, there are no grounds for voting to close the question.

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    I agree, there is a tad too much jumpiness and negativity. Please cut them a little slack. Sep 22, 2015 at 3:48

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