I recently made a post that used smaller headings, similar to this post.

This is a technique I often use, as I believe it helps others immediately see the content of questions, particularly longer ones that involve background, one or more questions, and code. I find I receive more upvotes on questions that use this too.

A user with a higher amount of reputation edited the posted and changed the headings to simply bold text, which doesn't have the same effect.

Related Questions

  • Is there a style guide of some kind that discourages the use of headings like these in posts? Is there room for disagreement & personal style there?
  • If a user (particularly one that seems well-regarded) changes such formatting, and I disagree with it, what is the best course of action?
    • E.g. Should I edit it and change it back? I don't want to get into some editing war with a member of the community.
  • Rollback his edit and perhaps leave a comment to ask to refrain from it. It's still your post, you have the final word. This ofcourse implies you don't abuse the things for what they're meant to do Mar 4, 2014 at 19:35
  • I doubt the other person wants a war either; if you roll it back, what makes you think a war would result? <-- Not rhetorical; is this actually plausible in your case? Maybe there are bigger problems at hand? Mar 4, 2014 at 19:35
  • @NickStauner entirely theoretical; no evidence that a problem would result. When I see someone with a very high reputation make an edit of that type, I assume it would be motivated by some larger guidelines. Mar 4, 2014 at 19:37
  • @NickStauner Roll it back once. If the edit is made again (whichever side of the issue you're on) immediately refrain from additional rollbacks/edits, flag for mod attention, and optionally comment explaining why you feel your edit was the one that was correct.
    – Servy
    Mar 4, 2014 at 19:37
  • Okay, makes sense. It didn't seem like having a comment on the question about the editing of the question itself would be a good place for it, but certainly possible. Mar 4, 2014 at 19:38
  • @goober That's a good reason to comment. Ask him why he's changing the post. If the comment thread gets out of control, then either take it to chat, or move the discussion to meta. If you can resolve it with just a few comments, then commenting is fine.
    – Servy
    Mar 4, 2014 at 19:38
  • Related: Is using header markdown okay in answers?
    – jscs
    Mar 4, 2014 at 19:41
  • @JoshCaswell that discussion is an interesting take. To me, using headings is an appropriate way to guide folks through answers. It seems that some see it as a way to grab attention away from other answers. But if that's the case, then wouldn't other answers benefit from their authors similarly guiding a user through an answer? I agree that headings are attention grabbing but they're also meant to give quick guidance at a glance. But still, enlightening as I hadn't considered the other viewpoint (attention grabbing, etc.) I think there's good middle ground to be had there. Mar 5, 2014 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


Just do a rollback, most users won't try to re-edit miniscule edits like that. If he also fixed other items, then you'll just want to edit back in your headers.

  • This seems completely reasonable. Figured I would get the community's vibe surrounding these sorts of situations. I took this course of action, editing and adding a comment as well. Thanks! Mar 4, 2014 at 19:44
  • 1
    It was an interesting wrinkle in the question to ask for a style guide. Is there none available then? Mar 4, 2014 at 19:46
  • 1
    @NickStauner, I've never seen one, you could probably make a really good post if you made one up, and then people could chime in on what they thought was important. Mar 4, 2014 at 19:50
  • @NickStauner I think it's worth it to consider the style guide further as well. As long as it's treated as a guide on how to build an effective post, rather than a rulebook, it could be very useful and could also serve as a springboard when someone does make cosmetic edits. Mar 4, 2014 at 20:00
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    I'll add that to avoid unnecessary fights, rolling back more than once is highly not recommended, and if need-be, it can be better to flag the post for a diamond mod's attention, or maybe discuss it on Meta or chat or the comments section before rolling back. Jan 27 at 6:17

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