# The less-known features

Jukka has mentioned a feature (a page for more advanced searching) that I was not aware of. Are there other less-known features that you have found useful?

Stack Exchange has an experimental feature called timeline view (example). It is useful when you want to know when a post was made, an answer was accepted, and so on (but be careful because it does not always show the complete history). See my answer to another question for more details and a link to a user script which makes the timeline view easier to use.

• I've found timeline view really useful to summarise recent activity. This saves a lot of time when there are many long comment threads and answers for a question. – András Salamon Nov 1 '10 at 11:27

We have chat ! Specifically, http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/47/theoretical-computer-science takes you to a chat area for cstheory.

Hover the mouse on the following quote and

you will see a spoiler text.

See Meta Stack Overflow for more information. Not that I think that this is useful on cstheory.stackexchange.com. :)

• This is a cool feature! – Hsien-Chih Chang 張顯之 Dec 3 '10 at 4:10
• neat feature. might be useful if people start posting puzzle solutions. – Suresh Venkat Dec 3 '10 at 8:08

This is not a less-known feature but a less-known practice. I hope that this belongs here anyway.

Changes of features and policies on Stack Overflow are listed in a thread on Meta Stack Overflow. Note that not everything on the list applies to cstheory.stackexchange.com or meta.cstheory.stackexchange.com. A Stack Exchange addict (unlike me) who is using a feed reader might want to subscribe to the feed for that thread to become a better Stack Exchange addict (unlike me).

• This answer proves that you are a SO addict, actually a better one. ;) – Kaveh Nov 5 '10 at 3:51
• @Kaveh: I clarified the answer a little in response to your comment. :) – Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 5 '10 at 11:37

Markup for tags. They automatically link to the list of tagged questions. This is sometimes useful on Meta and in tag wikis. Examples:

• [tag:graph-theory] (points to a tag on parent)
• [meta-tag:scope] (points to a tag on Meta; only available on Meta)
• [tag:this-tag-does-not-exist] (also works for a nonexistent tag)
• Doesn't seem to work in comments: graph-theory – Jukka Suomela Nov 20 '10 at 21:16
• @Jukka: Too bad. :( – Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 20 '10 at 21:20

Meta Stack Overflow has a similar thread: Hidden features of Stack Overflow? by JosephStyons. In particular, I like the following:

In the right sidebar, the date below "Latest Activity" is a link that takes you directly to the latest addition/change.

• good finding! I have been hoping for this feature for a long time... – Hsien-Chih Chang 張顯之 Jan 27 '11 at 9:31
• To supplement this answer, clicking the last-modified date/time of each question in a list of questions has the same functionality. – Tsuyoshi Ito Jan 27 '11 at 9:35

Shows answers by new users. There is also a button under answers with negative or zero votes named "flag for removal".

• Also contains an optional custom filter Containing: "thank" and custom sorts: 1. Shortest first 2. Most commented 3. Reverse Order. I found it on SO blog. – Kaveh Jan 8 '11 at 10:27
• How dumb of me! I've just found this feature and wanted to report it here. Thanks Kaveh for finding it early :) – M.S. Dousti Jan 19 '11 at 9:16

I just noticed that there are a few short cuts for linking on the main site (particularly useful when commenting).

1. for Math.SE you can type [Math.SE] and it turns into Mathematics.

2. for FAQ you can simply write [FAQ] and it turns into FAQ.

• Wow. This will be useful. How did you find it? – Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 12 '11 at 18:15
• @Tsuyoshi, posted a comment with a link to Mathematics where I forgot to put the url part. (ps: it seems that the trick also works for commenting on meta). – Kaveh Nov 12 '11 at 18:17

The site's privileges page.

It show the reputation required for performing various task.

• Yes, this is sometimes useful. Also note that the number showing your reputation points (in the bar at the top of every page) is a link to it. – Tsuyoshi Ito Nov 8 '10 at 1:42
• I didn't know that it is a link! :) – Kaveh Nov 8 '10 at 2:00

User League ranks users based on reputation gained during last year, quarter, month, week.

• The page also has a table for the number of users in each reputation range. – Kaveh Nov 9 '10 at 2:34

data.stackexchange.com can be used to extract and query various types of information about the sites (posts, users, ...). Some popular queries can be found here.

I have recently found the filters to be a useful feature of stackexchange for following several sites.

For example, here is a filter I use.