For example: Original thread

I don't know why such "bad" question got some amount of upvote, obviously the answer is use the right tool for the right work, and already discussed in answer and comment session, just like you wont ask how to draw street fighter in excel , you can actually draw with excel, but you wont do it. So should I downvote or flag question that "doesn't make sense"?

  • If it "does not make sense" then the question is not clear. If you don't find the question helpful, vote, to indicate you don't find the question helpful. There is no "correct" action in a case like this. The community is moderated by, normal users, if 5 people agree the question should be closed it will be closed. If multiple people feel an answer is bad, it indicates to a moderator, the content should be deleted. With enough reputation you can vote to close yourself, if you don't have enough reputation, you can only suggest that vote be started by flagging it.
    – Ramhound
    Feb 24, 2016 at 16:39

3 Answers 3


So should I downvote or flag question that "doesn't make sense"?

Why do you think the question doesn't make sense?

I don't know why such "bad" question got some amount of upvote,

The probable duplicate question How do you view the bottom of really tall cells in Excel? got even more votes (67 vs 12).

obviously the answer is

It might be obvious to you but the OP would not have asked if it was obvious to them.

you can actually draw with excel, but you wont do it.

Why mention this? It has nothing to do with the OP's question, which is about scrolling.

My opinion:

  • It is a perfectly valid question to ask.

  • The answers that say "don't use this do that instead" don't make it a bad question.

  • The up-votes show that some people think it a useful question and makes sense.

  • You are free to downvote if you disagree, of course.

  • You can also flag it but the people in the appropriate review queue (depending on which flag you choose) may well disagree and reject your flag.


There are already two good answers. Let me add a few thoughts to fill in around the edges.

  • Closing (or flagging) is focused on whether the question meets site criteria (e.g., on-topic, answerable, within the intended scope of a single question, etc.), rather than quality.
  • Voting is focused on question quality and usefulness

The purpose of the site is to build a knowledge base of questions and answers that will benefit others. So to the extent that we can, it's desirable to improve questions if they aren't understandable.

  • Comments are the tool to ask clarifying questions so the question's shortcomings can be addressed.
  • Voting can provide an incentive if the OP isn't responsive to comments, or an alert to readers that there may be some ambiguity or other issues. But responsible voting includes retracting a downvote if the issues are fixed.
  • When attempts to improve the question have been exhausted and you think the question is still unclear and/or generally of no value to anyone, voting is an appropriate way to express your opinion. An explanatory comment is another way, which adds more value. A vote with an accompanying comment provides the most value.

That said, we all approach questions with a particular mind set and knowledge. We may see things others have missed, see things from a different perspective, not be familiar with related facts that point to a specific answer, or our brain might not make a connection that upon clarification leads to a forehead smack.

Even bad questions can receive an upvote or two. However, when a question is heavily upvoted, that's a sign that a lot of people found it clear and valuable. Before jumping in with a downvote in those cases, it pays to take a step back and ask whether you might be missing something that others saw, and maybe post your observation in a comment and see if you get any feedback.

Also, with "doesn't make sense", keep a distinction between incomprehensible and misguided. If a question is incomprehensible, the appropriate action is to get it fixed so that it is understandable and answerable. If a question is misguided, that can point to the answer, which involves explaining why/how the OP is thinking about the problem incorrectly. In that case "doesn't make sense" can actually be a good question that, when properly answer, helps others clarify their thinking.


You are free to use your votes as you please. If you don't like a question, downvote it (and maybe leave a comment explaining why).

In this specific case, I'm not sure that flags are appropriate. I'm fairly certain this was in the close queue for some non-duplicate reason a while back, and I chose Leave Open. (I might be thinking of another question, though.) It's an adequate question, and apparently a common one to which there is not yet a good answer. DavidPostill's answer did point out that it's likely a duplicate, and I would add that asking about two programs in one question is not the greatest thing to do. Perhaps the Excel aspect should be removed so that it's focused and not a duplicate. All of that said, the question is clear, and an "unclear what you're asking" flag would almost certainly be declined.

Frivolous questions, like trying to make a movie in Excel, shouldn't be closed, but would warrant downvotes for being pointless. (Depending on the phases of the moon and what voters had for breakfast, it might instead get massively upvoted. Still, you can use your votes as you please.)

If a question is really not clear, you can and should flag/VtC it as such.

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