Before posting a question on the forum, I check for answers related to my question. As always, I do not find any answers pertaining to my topic and ask my question. Nevertheless, a lot of my questions have been marked as duplicate.

My first question is "how do I better search for answers so that I do not keep asking duplicate questions?"

My second question is "why should we keep marking questions as duplicate if people cannot find the original question to begin with?" I mean, if people can ask the same question without using the same terms/wording, then it would make sense to keep both versions of the question and not allow the "back end" to destroy it.

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    Too short for an answer: It is almost certain, that there is already at least one question and an answer on topics as Creating a table/tikz graphics/math symbol/matrix typeset/toc formatting, because most users new to LaTeX run in to the trap ;-), therefore a high chance of Duplicate. More sophisticated (sorry for that term) features are asked most time only once, requiring TeX internals, which is not needed for the everyday user of LaTeX. Posting a duplicate is no stigma and does not change the reputation (as far as I know), otherwise I refer to Werner's answer.
    – user31729
    Jun 11, 2014 at 6:11

1 Answer 1

  1. It's true that you need to know what to search for in order to find an answer, yet you don't know the answer to your question to begin with. So, it's definitely difficult to never ask a question that hasn't already been asked. Overcoming this obstacle comes from spending time on the site, but could also be avoided by visiting the chat room first and asking for some guidance from the regulars.

    Regardless, the advanced search techniques are available to all users which could be used to focus your efforts.

  2. Duplication on this site is okay for exactly the reason you mention. One doesn't always have the same idea to start out with, yet the solution is the same, possibly resulting in the post being marked a duplicate.

    Note that questions marked as a duplicate should hang around (won't be deleted; I don't think there's any minimum requirement to be met here) and can therefore be found by future visitors. And, since each duplicate question is linked to the source duplicate, the connection to the ultimate solution is always available. Consider a question marked as a duplicate to act like a signpost for future visitors. So, both versions will be kept under certain conditions.

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