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Is there a way to mention/tag a user in a question or answer?

3 Answers 3

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If you just want to mention a user in your question, you should link to their profile.

If you're trying to get a specific user to answer your question, that's not a feature of Stack Overflow. Ask the question of the whole community. If the person is an expert in the technology you're asking about (and an active SO visitor), they probably follow the tag and will find your question. It's entirely up to them whether they answer or not.


@midopa commented:

I'd like to use mentions to give credit to others' suggestions to my answers. Having to get/make a link to their profile and add it as an explicit link in my response makes it tedious.

If you only want to mention/credit someone in a post without notification, then yes, it would be nice to just @mention them. The problem is that display names on Stack Overflow are not unique, as they are on many social media platforms. I'd have to go to your profile to get your unique user ID anyway, so at that point I might as well just make a link.

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    If you're trying to get a specific user to answer your question, that's not a feature of Stack Overflow. --- this is the required feature.
    – Sunil Garg
    Sep 1, 2016 at 9:36
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    @Sunil Stack Overflow isn't for ono-on-one tutoring. Sep 1, 2016 at 11:53
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    I'd like to use mentions to give credit to others' suggestions to my answers. Having to get/make a link to their profile and add it as an explicit link in my response makes it tedious.
    – midopa
    Dec 25, 2017 at 8:41
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    in 2020, that does not seem reasonable for stackoverflow to exclude such an important feature after all!
    – doplano
    Mar 27, 2020 at 12:41
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    @FäridAlijani I strongly disagree. It is entirely reasonable that members cannot be tagged from questions or answers that they have not participated in. Adding such a feature would almost certainly drive a large number of the remaining experts away from the network.
    – PM 2Ring
    Apr 25, 2020 at 12:16
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    That feature can simply be added to the privacy settings as “don’t let others tag me or my answers” in each individual’s profile
    – doplano
    Apr 25, 2020 at 13:11
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    Alternatively/additionally, SE's settings could be such that a user may be tagged in only those threads in which he's contributed. Presumably, a user is interested in those threads. All told, there are other reasons to have this feature besides getting one-on-one help. Oct 5, 2020 at 21:50
  • After months of having a question posted, I know the package developer will probably have a good suggestion. I only know this developer through his SE answers, so it seems reasonable to @mention the user(s) you think might be able to answer the question. Here is an example: stackoverflow.com/questions/66805192/…
    – Demis
    Jul 23, 2021 at 4:13
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    @Demis I'm sure it seems reasonable to tag someone for one question. Now multiply that by the 60,000 matplotlib questions on SO. They still aren't going to see your question through the noise of all their notifications. These would just be quickly ignored by everybody. Jul 23, 2021 at 14:31
  • My situation is that I would like to send a notification to the author of a certain software, either because he probably can answer or at least might be interested in the kind of problem people have with his software, and how they workaround them.
    – d-b
    Jun 7, 2023 at 14:10
  • @doplano It is not at all an "important feature". It is exactly the opposite of how the site is explicitly designed to work. Stack Exchange sites are not for trying to find someone to help you on an individualized basis. They are for building searchable, high-quality reference libraries. Questions that you post here are not about you. Please read the tour for each site for details. If you want that sort of functionality, there are countless other places on the Internet that you can get it. Stack Overflow should feel no responsibility to work that way, just as Wikipedia doesn't. Feb 5 at 7:46
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If you want the attention of a specific member, you can look for them in the chat - you can see the active users list in the following links: (more about the reasoning behind the separation to three chat domains can be found in Why is Stack Overflow on its own chat network?).

Another option is to check their profile page; many have websites and even email addresses mentioned there, so use that to contact them.

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If I understand this correctly, then what you are looking for is to ask/invite some specific users to check your question and answer them.

You will not be able to do that in your question. Such feature is not available in SE sites.

however there is a kind of work-around to get the user's attention to your question. i.e. You can add a comment to your question using @<username> which will send an alert/notification to that particular user.

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    AFAIK, @user will only work if they are explicitly active in the ongoing communications (i.e. participating in comments.) So, the answer is yes, or no, depending. Jul 5, 2011 at 12:13
  • @Mr. Disappointment - I will just try to send you some alert from some other post in which you have not participated. Pls confirm if you get the alert. Jul 5, 2011 at 12:18
  • That's not necessary - someone will know authoritatively and provide the details, I'm sure. Just be patient. Jul 5, 2011 at 12:25
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    Yes, @MrDisappointment is correct. @replies will only work if that user has previously participated in the discussion, or under certain other well-defined circumstances. All of the information is available here in the FAQ. Jul 5, 2011 at 12:43
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    @Cody Gray, @Mr. Disappointment - Thanks for making me aware of this. I was not aware of this till now. Modifying my answer to say, there is no way to tag/invite specific users for question. Jul 5, 2011 at 12:44
  • Thanks for clarifying whether the @user notation has machine functionality or was just convention. It's nice to know what it does and doesn't do -- is this documented anywhere?
    – cboettig
    Feb 2, 2012 at 1:07
  • What about @AuthorOfTheAnswer? Would that work?
    – grenix
    May 19, 2021 at 20:42

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