I should begin by saying that this is not picking on someone particularly. I am presenting just a general thought concerning some standard way of writing question titles Is it not important to write our questions with as much specification as possible? If we ask very localized questions with general terms I feel it may mislead our searching for a specific topic or a general topic.

I will give some examples. In stackoverflow.comI have seen many questions on using regular expression in Notepad++. Most of them only have similar titles.

  1. Search for "word<>" and replace with "word=word1"
  2. Regex to find all hrefs that contain a path but no "." (dot)
  3. Regex not matching text with newlines in Notepad++
  4. Find lines matching regex and select a different part of the line
  5. Search and append with regex in Notepad++
  6. Remove all lines that don't match regex in Notepad++
  • Yes, it is important but you haven't really specified any thoughts; other than to note that the title's aren't particularly good. Also, bear in mind that there are over 3m questions which means that some will always be nearly identical. Jul 3, 2012 at 19:26
  • 1
    The reason why a better title can't be found (would be difficult to find) in those instances could be that the questions are too localised to extract some meaningful title?
    – assylias
    Jul 3, 2012 at 19:27
  • 1
    @Charles: nice :)
    – Mat
    Jul 3, 2012 at 19:27
  • @Charles: Thanks. I should honestly say I saw the title of this question but did not change it. May be it is because of laziness/lack of time that we do not try to be specific in writing the title. :)
    – Stat-R
    Jul 3, 2012 at 19:31
  • 3
    You tell me. (Image taken from this answer.)
    – Pops
    Jul 3, 2012 at 20:09

2 Answers 2


Is it important? You bet!

The title of your question is how people find the question to begin with. SO isn't just about helping people, it's also about building a repository of knowledge. An excessively generic title, a confusing title, or even a verbose title can all be detrimental to people finding your question later and either helping you or learning from the question and answers.

If you find yourself asking a question, and you can't boil the main point of the question down into a concise, descriptive title, chances are that you need to give the question (and how it's being asked) more thought.


I am just asking what we need to keep in mind while forming the question title

See this Jakob Nielsen article.

Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines

Microcontent needs to be pearls of clarity: you get 40-60 characters to explain your macrocontent. Unless the title or subject make it absolutely clear what the page or email is about, users will never open it.

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