I had posted a question (How do I setup keyboard macros?) because I couldn't find a dupe of it with an answer. About an hour later I found a solution and answered my own question.

Now my quandary... Do I go to those historical questions and mark them as dupes of my recently posted Question and self-Answer?

The alternative would be to migrate my answer to the earliest question and mark my own question as a dupe.

On one hand I hate deleting what I write but on the other hand I want to do the right thing.

Your thoughts?

  • It all depends on what you search - I searched "Ubuntu keyboard shortcut for string" and got a post with autokey as an answer
    – muru
    Commented Jan 1, 2017 at 3:54

4 Answers 4


Of course, if older questions have upvoted answers, voting to close them as dupes of your own new question would most likely be unjustified. In the case that your post really is better, clearer, more upvoted, it might be OK, but I would definitely ask others for opinions on the case before voting.

However, I say you should feel free to vote those old posts as duplicates of yours, if you have an answer and those posts do not. I would feel no qualms about doing that myself.

Well done for solving an old problem!


When I see similar questions which I can't or don't feel like closing as duplicates, I usually post a comment under one of the questions with a link to the other one. This makes question linked - I don't know all the implications, but the obvious one is that both questions get hyperlinks to each other in the Linked sidebar. This improves navigation without any ethical implications that voting to close might have.

Having said that, if your self-answer covers an older question better than its own answers, I advise you to vote to close and let the community decide.


I would say that unanswered questions should be marked as dupes of answered ones.

However, if there are upvoted and / or accepted answer(s) in a number of similar questions they should be flagged for merging. This to me is the most logical approach.

  • 1
    Actually, one can mark an answered question as a duplicate (example), though perhaps one shouldn't do that since there's no point. Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 11:23
  • @DmitryGrigoryev I would think that one should take that on a case by case basis as it should depend on the specific circumstances to some degree whether to dupe or merge. I've been attempting to get a [discussion] (meta.askubuntu.com/questions/16361/…) going on this topic. Sadly, the only opinions currently represented there are my own.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 15:02

A duplicate question is a "signpost" to a better/more thorough/canonical/whatever question that is more likely to aid future users of a site in getting their question answered.

Given this, it would make no sense to close a highly-publicized and well-written question with a number of well-written answers in favor of and older and not as up-to-par question. Instead, I'd close the other way, redirecting the old question to the newer one.

Really, if duplicates are ways to find a question likely to help, duplicates should point to the questions that have the most chance of helping, not necessarily the oldest one.

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