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The purpose of this question is to collect a list of Tips and Tricks for using MO in a more efficient or otherwise better way.

If you know some trick or have a tip you want to share with your MO-colleagues, just add an answer here.


Notes:

  1. Please, only one tip or trick per answer. If you have more than one to share, just add a new answer.

  2. Many will still remember the Tips and Tricks page from the old MO. This is (at least presently) gone, but even if it were to be restored, its content would need to be updated. A copy of this page was provided by Kaveh on the question of KConrad asking about the whereabouts of said page. There the idea for this question came up to organize the updating and (at least intermitent) displaying of this information. To just take an entry from the old list and to update it as needed (in some cases, perhaps not at all) and to copy it here as an answer is explcitly encouraged.

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  • $\begingroup$ Likely it will be good to have this CW, so that editing will be simple for all answers. If I understood things correctly, I thus need to flag for moderators, which I just did. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jul 6 '13 at 10:41
  • $\begingroup$ You understand correctly. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 6 '13 at 12:17
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Getting the TeX source for a formula: By right-clicking on a formula (at least under Firefox) you get a menu that allow among other things to view its TeX and MathML source.

(With Firefox you actually get two menus on top of each other, the second being a Firefox-specific menu, but you can let the second menu go away...)

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Edit histories. You can tell that a post has been edited because it says something like "edited 8 hours ago" or "edited yesterday" at the bottom in the middle. If you click on "8 hours ago" (resp. "yesterday"), you can see the full edit history of the post. [Taken with minimal change from the original list.]

An additional detail. Even if a question was not yet edited, in the sense of the text having been changed, its edit history can still contain interesting information but there is no link to it, for example it contains the information who reopened a question (if this happened). A way to access it is to navigate manually to the URL http://mathoverflow.net/posts/xyz/revisions where xyz is the number of the question, which can be seen from its URL, the common form of the URL is http://mathoverflow.net/questions/xyz/the-title-of-the-question (note that here it says 'questions' while for the former it has to say 'posts').

[If somebody has a more convenient and still non-invasive way for the "additional detail", please mention it; by non-invasive it is meant other than by simply editing the question.]

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    $\begingroup$ See SE modifications userscript. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Jul 6 '13 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the pointer; I am as of yet completely unfamiliar with all the available scripts. This looks interesting. $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jul 6 '13 at 19:59
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    $\begingroup$ You may want to have a look at useful userscripts. $\endgroup$ – Kaveh Jul 6 '13 at 23:06
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Get latest posting: In the main page http://mathoverflow.net and also when viewing questions under https://mathoverflow.net/questions sorted by 'active' (yet not for the other ways of sorting there) every question has a line of the form

"35m ago Unknown 1"

which shows the time and the author of the latest answer or edit. If you click on the time component - here "35m ago" - you are directed to that posting.

This also applies to and can be useful on this "meta".

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a useful thing to know, in particular for questions that already have many answers. Thank you for sharing it. I only removed the mention of "comment" as it seems comments are not taken into account (also I made more explict in which tab-views one has this feature available). $\endgroup$ – user9072 Jul 7 '13 at 14:17
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View Markdown source. Suppose you are really curious how somebody typeset something in a question or answer. Here are two ways to see the way it was done.

  1. If the post has been edited, you can view the edit history (see another answer to this question) and click the "source" link above a revision. This will show you exactly what the person typed in order to get the result you see. If the post has not yet been edited, then it is still possible to proceed along these lines (see the above mentioned answer) but this is a bit tedious, so you might prefer the other way in this case.

  2. Start as if you would want to edit or to suggest an edit to the post, that is via clicking the link "edit" or via clicking the link "improve this question" below the post (which one you will see depends on your account or you being logged in but for the purpose at hand it is all the same). Then you are shown exactly what the person typed. If you choose this option please be careful not to actually edit the post or to suggest an edit in the process; but just do not click "save edits" but rather "cancel" or simply navigate to another site and this is fine (even if you should have changed something before).

[Taken but modified from the original list, in view of changes relative to editing possibilities.]

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[Per quid's suggestion, I am placing here a slightly modified version of my answer to this other question explaining one nice use of the search function.]

The search function (also usually available on the top right corner of the mathoverflow page) can be quite useful. For example, it can be used to show the questions on the front page while omitting all questions which were migrated (respectively, closed).

In order to omit all questions which were migrated to another site, use the search function with the query:

is:question migrated:no

This is equivalent to visiting the url https://mathoverflow.net/search?q=is:question+migrated:no. You can also order these by "active" or "newest" by clicking on the corresponding tab, or by visiting e.g. https://mathoverflow.net/search?tab=active&q=is:question+migrated:no for the "active" tab. Essentially, this will list all questions on the front page while omitting the ones which were migrated. This view will also display the beginning text of each question, which is in my opinion an added bonus.

If you want instead to remove all questions which were either closed (including questions on hold) or migrated, perform a search query for:

is:question closed:no

The search function can be quite useful in other ways: to search for tags (even allowing disjunctions, conjunctions, and exclusions of tags), questions and/or answers by a specific user, among other possibilities. For further references on search queries, see the search tips. These tips are also available when you use the search function on mathoverflow by clicking "Advanced Search Tips" on the right.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the contribution to this thread! $\endgroup$ – user9072 Aug 6 '13 at 7:10
  • $\begingroup$ @quid: My pleasure! $\endgroup$ – Ricardo Andrade Aug 6 '13 at 7:13

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