I've recently seen a few image only answers, which just take a screenshot of the book and post them as answers. My initial thought was that we need to utilize OCR to convert images to text and then add them in the answers.

Text instead of images have many advantages:

  • Few of us use textbased browsers (Lynx) which do not render any images.
  • Few of the users might be partially blind and use screen readers. The screen readers read out the image URL, which is not quite helpful.
  • Text would make the post more searchable.

Given all these, would it be possible to have a small rule which states that images should be converted to text, where possible? (I know that there are a few non-English texts which are not convertable using OCR, but then again, we are an English site. non-English text images would be acceptable provided the poster has added the translated version as text)

  • Few of them might have been my answers :) hinduism.meta.stackexchange.com/q/1113/12304 Now, I have changed few image only answers to text...You may ping me in chat if you notice my image only answers..
    – YDS
    Jan 28, 2018 at 14:02
  • @YDS Thanks for the edit! They're perfect answers now. Jan 28, 2018 at 20:26

2 Answers 2


Well, sometimes we find image only answers which answers the question and hence obviously we should not delete them as NAA (Not An Answer). These are mostly cases of posting image from a scanned book. Now talking about accepting it, we should certainly ask/recommend OP to provide the content in the form of text or convert it into text.

So, whenever you find image only posted as an answer, ask OP to convert it into the text. You may also help OP with conversion process you mentioned in the question e.g Google or Tesseract. Besides it, also ask OP to add some explanation to the answer since sometimes simply quoting the verse doesn't properly clear what asked in the question. So, it would be useful for a answer to have some explanation to be a good.

You may also flag such answer as low quality so-that it can be drawn into the low quality review queue and reviewers can improve it.

  • Image only answers are just like link like answers. They can't be deleted as NAA but there are other ways like flagging them as low quality answers. Image only answers show a very less effort when compared to other answers where the users have typed or paraphrased the answer. If someone are stubborn, don't agree to convert and say they haven't got time, what should we do? Flag as low quality? Because as said earlier, they are like link only and such answers are not encouraged on SE. Feb 15, 2018 at 3:22
  • 1
    @Sarvabhouma Yes, definitely they're of low quality and not encouraged.
    – Pandya Mod
    Feb 15, 2018 at 6:08
  • I don't get your answer, does that mean, we need to flag them as "Very Low Quality", or just comment and move forward? If the later is the case, then the OP might choose not to update their answer. Feb 17, 2018 at 1:40
  • @BhargavRao Yes, put comment and you may also flag it as low quality so-that it will be drawn to the review queue and users can improve either :)
    – Pandya Mod
    Feb 27, 2018 at 13:48
  • What if users choose Looks OK and edit later? That will be a disputed flag right? It will be a waste of a flag for a user. Feb 27, 2018 at 17:14
  • If the mod queue is low, how about a custom moderator flag? You can delete the answer and then ask the OP to update it. (Shouldn't it be the OPs duty to update the answer, see YDS's edit in the answers linked in the comment above) Mar 1, 2018 at 7:19

They should be if they are self-explanatory, comprehensive, and do not need legends to explain.

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