Recently, I turned to "the internet" looking to answer an Excel question. Over the past year, I have found myself gravitating directly to SE/SO to answer many of my technical questions (much like I did with Google and Wikipedia when they were new).

My basic question was "how could I find/replace/remove hidden characters from text pasted into Excel cells?" I found the answer here.

In this case, I had to dig around outside the SE/SO ecosystem to find the precise answer I needed. Now, I want to "move" the information I found into SE. I just ran across this Q&A and this page which seem to indicate that I could just ask and answer my own question. But, I want some community feedback before doing so (it doesn't feel right).

So, what is the etiquette for ensuring this information is available on SE? Should I ask/answer my own question? Should I ask the question and wait to see what other answers users come up with? Should I ask SE users to provide answers that are better than those on the page I linked above?


  • 7
    I vote to ask and self-answer, but do not plagiarise the info. you found elsewhere.
    – Karan
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 20:33
  • @Karan Thanks. Good point. I meant to include a line in my original question indicating that I would avoid blatant content copying.
    – D. Woods
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 1:20

1 Answer 1


Yes, writing a self-answer post is a great way to import information to the SE ecosystem.

You should still make sure to write a proper question to give others the chance to provide alternative solutions to the same problem. Your answer should be clear about where the information is coming from and the source should be linked.

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