Disambiguation. For the Community, this intends to be the very short One-Question/One-Answer the original started out to be. So, for comments on this, please see and participate in the original thread.

For the \LaTeX typesetter submitting the question. Welcome to Tex.SX. You've just submitted your question. You're new to this whole Q&A resource, including this website. An early response asks you for an MWE (minimal working example). How do you provide that?

  • 3
    This doesn't help. For starters, \LaTeX isn't interpreted the way you want it to, so newcomers may find it strange. In regular text, LaTeX would suffice. For more, see my comment to your answer.
    – Werner Mod
    Sep 30, 2018 at 5:44
  • 5
    This area has already been well covered in other meta posts, going back to the earliest days of the site. Can you clarify what you are asking that has not already been included, and why you've chosen not simply to add to or edit the existing answers to those questions?
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Sep 30, 2018 at 6:21
  • @JosephWright Yes. Thanks for asking. To cover this again (it's in other segments of this thread), there are a (great) number of, "Please submit MWE" initial responses. If the OP knew "how to," it'd probably be there. It's not there. Why not? Because, those new to this forum are not familiar with the "how to." They've never done it before. "What does 'minimal' mean?" doesn't matter until something exists. "Minimal" addresses "Step 2." I'm addressing "Step 0," or "Step 1." Reducing the "newness" is aided by One-Question/One-Answer approach. I've provided that. And, I'm blasted for it. :) Sep 30, 2018 at 12:29
  • @werner There's little question that this is a "duplicate" of the earlier one. But, neither is a duplicate of the "dissertation." Sep 30, 2018 at 15:45
  • Here's your "duplicate," at least in spirit! tex.meta.stackexchange.com/q/7388/170846 Oct 1, 2018 at 22:51

1 Answer 1


Submitting the MWE of the issue you're asking about is as easy as copy/paste from your .tex file into the question window.

That's it. That's all there is to it.

We could ask for a copy/paste of the essence of a working example of the problem from your .tex file, but it's shorter to say, "Please submit an MWE."

@Troy recommends using the "{}" feature in the website.

"What's that?" you ask, because you're new to the site? There's an orangish, redish link right above this box labeled "advanced help" that takes one to the additional details on the features available in this window. There are many features, and the one of focus for submitting an MWE is the "{}" button. If all else fails, just push a few buttons and see what happens. Nothing is submitted until you submit it.

Those new to the site may also benefit, as this author has, from knowing that where one pre-indents one's code before copying, the necessary leading four spaces on each line that this website needs for "knowing" that what's being placed into the window intends to be code, are already in place.

@Troy's approach is more efficient, once one gets the hang of it.

@marmot, @Werner, and others, also admonish understanding "minimal," which is addressed in the "dissertation" found here. Some typesetters have very long and involved documents, and what "minimal" encourages, basically, is removing everything that doesn't matter for the problem. (Yes, make a copy of the original, of course, and prune the copy down to the MWE.) At the extreme bottom of that "dissertation" is the needle in the haystack provided above.

We look forward to addressing your question. Having the MWE typically makes processing your question that much more time efficient.

If this has been helpful for you, please participate long enough to earn enough points to come back and vote this up as something that helped you when you needed help.

  • 2
    You mention "At the extreme bottom of that 'dissertation' is the needle in the haystack provided above"... So it seems the main issue you have is that this was not made readily apparent in the dissertation answer. For that I would suggest we edit the dissertation answer and move that request to the front/top and elaborate on how to trim things down. That seems far better that what you've posted here as a new Q&A.
    – Werner Mod
    Sep 30, 2018 at 5:42
  • @Werner Well, maybe, but we're still talking about two different things. The "dissertation" answers, "What does 'minimal' mean?" That's not even a relevant question until there's an MWE to review. "What does 'minimal' mean?" is "Step 2." "How to" submit the code into the question is "Step 0," or "Step 1." So, per One-Question/One-Answer, the "dissertation" isn't helpful on this "how to" point. I'd leave the "dissertation" "as is," because it addresses "What does 'minimal' mean?" This "how to" is a (completely) separate Question/Answer. "Minimal" dates to Day One. Don't see any "how to." Sep 30, 2018 at 12:45
  • 1
    Paragraphs 4-7 of your answer can just be replaced with a picture of the button in question and it would convey the same amount of (useful) information to the new user. I know this is well-intentioned, but regarding code formatting, I find it's usually faster for the high rep users to just make the edit instead of directing them to this answer. It'll even be faster just to leave a comment (like I did in your answer): then if they pick it up, that's great, if they don't, that's no big deal as well. With the {} button (under the use of an experienced (/s) user, it only takes a few seconds anw.
    – Troy
    Sep 30, 2018 at 16:09
  • @Troy Well, you can well imagine that the overpowering refusal to see what the newbie sees is an interesting issue to address. I do appreciate your comments and suggestions. The clobberings by the others are still learning experiences. Sep 30, 2018 at 16:22
  • Another example. Is Corentin's "A Tip" comment "dissertation" or "how to?" tex.stackexchange.com/questions/79091/… Oct 1, 2018 at 18:41
  • That is a boilerplate comment -> tex.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/430/text-building-blocks
    – Johannes_B
    Oct 2, 2018 at 5:26
  • @Johannes_B That's a very helpful list. Good to know. As far as getting "how to" to the newbie, this still "hides" what they need to know; hence, the value in a One-Question/One-Answer version of the "help" (desk) info. Oct 2, 2018 at 8:49
  • 1
    I can sort of see that there might be a desire to have a shorter description of what an MWE is that does not overwhelm newcomers. However, frankly, I am not sure that what you propose is the optimal way to accomplish this. If you read your Q & A yourself, would you say that this gives a quick description of an MWE? (Of course, different people learn differently, and there might be some who get the point from this, I just want to mention that I do not.)
    – user121799
    Oct 2, 2018 at 17:45
  • @marmot I really do appreciate your time and perspective on this very important issue. i need to clarify that I'm not the one addressing "what 'minimal" means?" Shortening the dissertation is fine, but that's not this issue. I'm the one addressing "how to insert the code into the question window." I'm looking at Step 0, maybe Step 1, rather than the content of the MWE, which is no earlier than Step 2. So, I'm fully open to the more informed methods of inserting code, which could have been supplied as improved Answers, which still accomplishes the purpose of addressing the "how to." Oct 2, 2018 at 18:44

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