Since almost all writing is (eventually) done on a computer, is it reasonable to ask technical questions on Writers?

The kinds of things I'm thinking of are: document formatting, automated reformatting, conversion between document file types, document version tracking and management tools, problems with "writer's" software...

There are some other sites that these questions might apply to (for example tex.stackexchange.com if you're using TeX/LaTeX), but the types of problems above are either outside the scope of any particular tool, or highly specific to writers rather than general computer users.

(I'm trying to clarify the scope given the "precedent" on StackOverflow: many questions on SO regarding applications that programmers use could go on SuperUser, but because they're programmer-specific, the in-depth knowledge needed to answer them is more likely to be found in the StackOverflow user base.)

2 Answers 2


I'd rather we not get lots of "how do I change a font in word" questions. Using the logic of only welcoming questions about writing processes:

Questions that would better be asked on SuperUser:

  • "How do I set one-inch margins in Word?"
  • "How do I create a custom dictionary?"

Questions that intersect with writing, on the other hand, would belong here:

  • "How do I set a template in my software for standard manuscript format?"
  • "How can my co-writer and I use the same custom dictionary in Word?"

The trick is that such questions should be identifiable as questions that support the process of writing.

  • I suspect if you allow questions like "How do I set one-inch margins?', then it is going to be hard to disallow questions like "How do I change the font?". Since both support the goal of writing, I think both types should be allowed. Commented Jul 22, 2011 at 17:13

I think formatting, automated or otherwise is 100% within writers.SE's mandate. I think document conversion, version tracking and tools forms part of the (if generally approved going forward) community wiki type of data. I think, however, that software issues is stepping across the line.

Also think this question is related to Is it appropriate to ask questions on specialist knowledge areas?

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