Context: I reported a bug (IMO) regarding automatic rendering of -- in Titles as a single long dash. In the process I learned that even more happens to the Title than just showing -- as .

I feel that in too many cases this is not desirable, but right now there is no way to prevent it.
A solution could be to have a checkbox below the Title entry box that lets me disable the formatting. After all I am writing the question, please let me be in control of it?

What makes matter worse is that the Preview pane does not show what 'magic' will happen to my Title, because the Title is not previewed.

I hope the setting will allow me to disable the entire SmartyPants formatting.

What would make this even better is if the Preview pane would include the Title, and of course reflect my Yes/No choice as I change it.

I made a mockup for the added checkbox + title preview:


  • 4
    Is there other title formatting apart from this one thing that one might want to disable? Either way, adding functionality / complexity to the system for something which I imagine is quite rare seems like overkill. I'd argue we should just fix the bug-by-design instead. Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 11:44
  • 2
    My proposal is to choose between either no formatting, or all formatting as it always has existed. I think yanking it out all together isn't going to get much support. I'm totally okay if the switch would be made available only on programming-related websites, in order to not confuse or bother the average subject.stackexchange.com user.
    – Peter B
    Commented Apr 5, 2019 at 11:51
  • Will it also allow other replacements on the title like: [tag], "straight quotes", em -- dash, and exclamation mark! Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 6:31
  • 1
    I’m for yanking it out altogether. An option is unnecessary complexity here. For anyone who keeps using -- expecting to get a dash, well, -- isn’t much worse and editors can edit, as they do.
    – Ry-
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 16:22
  • 1
    I'd be fine with having no Title formatting at all on all sites. It has worked for e-mail for 30 years, right? Even after the introduction of Rich Text mail: the Subject has remained plain text. And in all my years at Stack Overflow I never felt any need for Title formatting, but have felt the occasional pain that it produces (esp. because it is uncontrollable and behaves nothing like markdown).
    – Peter B
    Commented Apr 6, 2019 at 18:20


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