As per this post popping up in the close review queue What I have to change this code to highlight more than one word in excel? I interpret this as here's my chunk of VB code, how do I make it do such and such instead. Doesn't seem like they are saying what they tried but since they provided their entire code block then maybe they are showing what they tried.

They are showing their work and they are saying what they need it to do that they cannot get to work, so what is appropriate to make an unbiased decision on my part on this sort of question?

I could look at the code and maybe figure out a solution but I don't deal with a lot of VB code or whatever. If this were a batch script though and I saw the code, understood what they were having trouble with, then I'm sure I'd think it makes sense and be tempted to answer myself.

What strategies or mindset is best utilized when it comes to deciding if something should be closed or not with an example such as this one that everyone could use?

1 Answer 1


The relevant question to ask yourself is "will I know if something I wrote solves the problem?" If it's not possible to determine whether an answer is actually doing what the question author wanted, the question is unclear and should be closed as such.

In the original version of the question, it was unclear what the author meant by "highlight more than one word." At first I thought it meant that the existing code was only affecting one instance of the word. After reading the answers, though, it looks like the script was doing a fine job of highlighting all instances of one word, but the author wanted it to highlight all instances of multiple different words. It should not require careful deduction or intense analysis to determine what the question author wants to happen. If there hadn't been the answers to clarify, I probably would have voted to close the question as "unclear what you're asking," but I edited it to contain a clear question.

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    @PimpJuiceIT Perhaps I should clarify - there are other checks that need to pass (like topicality), but the one in my post is the one that pertains to this example. A fully general answer would be "a question should be closed if it can't be answered in the SE format or if it breaks the site's scope rules," but that's too broad to be useful ;)
    – Ben N
    Jul 4, 2018 at 15:52

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