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In an answer I recently posted I tried to use spoiler markdown on multiple consecutive paragraphs. It took a while and some help to get it to work right. In short, the issue seems to be with the white space between the paragraphs?

The markdown help on spoilers says:

Spoilers

To hide a certain piece of text and have it only be visible when a user moves the mouse over it, use the blockquote syntax with an additional exclamation point:

At the end of episode five, it turns out that

he's actually his father

So first I tried just putting >! before each paragraph as the markdown help says, like this:

!Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus non risus lorem, ut interdum ipsum.

!Maecenas ut orci mauris. Maecenas molestie venenatis molestie. Praesent dapibus purus sed ligula viverra adipiscing.

As you can see, that didn't work. Realized I might have been missing whitespace after the >!. So then I tried putting >!☐ (where the ☐ represents a trailing space, which is what I really entered):

! Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus non risus lorem, ut interdum ipsum.

! Maecenas ut orci mauris. Maecenas molestie venenatis molestie. Praesent dapibus purus sed ligula viverra adipiscing.

But that, as you can again see, also failed. Finally @Niall C. (Thanks!) helped my by adding <BR>☐☐ to the end of the paragraph, and removing the return, as follows:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus non risus lorem, ut interdum ipsum.

Maecenas ut orci mauris. Maecenas molestie venenatis molestie. Praesent dapibus purus sed ligula viverra adipiscing.

This worked. Why? And can we document this better? Or I am I missing some other aspect of the markdown syntax documented somewhere else?

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    As another work around you can enter >! followed by two spaces for each blank line you want to include, rather than using the html <br> code. – Xantec Jul 31 '12 at 14:42
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    Or for the code-centric like myself, <br><br> also works. – Izkata Aug 1 '12 at 3:24
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That's somewhere between a bug and a feature request

Technically, it's a bug. But it has its usefulness. Think of it as a reminder that you should not put too much text inside spoiler markup. If you feel the need for two paragraphs, it's usually because you're trying to hide too much.

<br> is a line break. As long as you only put line breaks and no paragraph breaks, you still have a single paragraph. You can use two spaces followed by a newline instead of <br>. Don't abuse this.

  • Thanks for the pointer to the meta.SE issue. That's clear enough. But what I seem to be reading in between the lines is that in fact, spoiler tagging isn't really encouraged very much around SE. It seems to be tolerated, and then only in brief amounts. Am I wrong? I can't seem to find an official policy on this, but that seems to be the gist. So while this is a bug, it's a bug in a feature that isn't liked very much. Which is cool with me, now that I know that. Thanks. – Mark Beadles Jul 31 '12 at 21:06
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    @MarkBeadles The feature was added (for Arqade originally) and I don't think removing it was seriously considered. But it has been abused now and then, with people putting a whole post in spoiler markup. Spoiler markup is fine if used in moderation. I recommend badp's guideline, and I will enforce them by editing, even if they aren't popular here. – user56 Jul 31 '12 at 21:11
  • No problem. I marked my answer since it revolved around a particularly spoiler-y plot point at the end of Dark Knight Rises, but if that's not really the way we want to do it I'll edit my question so that it's not as much of an issue. Thanks. – Mark Beadles Jul 31 '12 at 21:12

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