I'm an adherent of "broad" concept tags because I believe that a tagging system that is based on a few dozen well-chosen "high-level" tags faciliates (if only indirectly) ferreting out questions that cover specific problems.

One subject area with a quite unambiguous definition -- at least in my opinion -- are "headings" or, as the LaTeX Companion calls them, "sectioning commands". This area is about \part, \chapter, \section, \subsection & friends. (Even about \paragraph, although this is exhibit no. 1 for "LaTeX macro name capable of being misunderstood".)

I assume that the current coexistence of on the one hand and and on the other hand is yet another example of early-adopted macro name tags not scrutinized up to now. Looking at questions tagged with vs. ones tagged with , the classification seems to have happened as luck would have it. ( questions are tagged in a more systematic way, but I still think that a separate tag for \chapter that replaces the "broad" concept tag is, on balance, undesirable.)

I therefore propose to make and a synonym of . As a variant that would avoid the danger of confusion with , the (from now on unmated) concept tag could be renamed to .

EDIT: Did I mention that this would involve no manual retagging? ;-)

EDIT 2: Proposal changed significantly, see my answer below.


2 Answers 2


(This is a reply to Stefan's answer, but too long for a comment.)

Stefan is correct that the tag could feature hundreds of questions in a few years -- right now, the tag with the highest number of questions, , is already at 318 questions. Stefan is also (obviously) correct about the availability of tag navigation and the fact that a question can feature up to five tags. But my proposal was motivated by the very aim that is also important to Stefan: ease of access to particular questions. So let's take a second look at the current tagging situation for & friends.

Regarding \chapter, Stefan has a point in that this macro is implemented in a different way, and that this fact is mirrored in numerous question tagged with . Here's an example: Chapter starts on right hand side. On the other hand, there are questions that offer advice which is also valid for lower-level sectioning commands. Again, an example: How can I display a short chapter name in the header and a long chapter name in the TOC?. Note that this question does not featute the tag, presumably because the questioner was not aware of its more general nature. My point: Even if an additional tag may well have merits, the "broad" concept tag should not be omitted. (Note: Everything I said about \chapter is also valid for the \part macro, which has not necessitated a tag up to now.)

Assuming that the tag should be preserved does not equal preserving the current situation as a whole. I still maintain that the breakdown of questions into vs. happened by rolling the dice, and that a special tag is a stumbling block for accessing relevant answers about headings in general.

My revised proposal thus is: Merge and into a new concept tag called . Keep the tag, but add the tag to every question tagged with because numerous of these questions are also relevant for lower-level sectioning commands (and because "normal" users cannot assess if this is the case for their particular question about \chapter). And yes, add a tag. :-)

EDIT: Used as new term for the broad concept tag.

EDIT 2: Changed to the plural form .

EDIT 3: I ask a moderator to do the following:

  • Make and synonyms of the new concept tag . (I have already created this tag.)

  • If it can be done automatically, add the tag to every qestion tagged with but do not remove the tag. (I suspect this will have to be done manually in the course of the next weeks.)

EDIT 4: The latest proposal, which will be implemented by manual retagging in the next few weeks, is a general tag plus the specific tags , , and .

EDIT 5: Also, some of the questions currently tagged with (which deals with \par) will have to be retagged as .

EDIT 6: Moderators: The question can be tagged as .

  • @lockstep: Adding a broad tag to questions with only specific tags would be fine. Besides headings, {sections} alias {sectioning} concerns also numbering, page style, TOC entries, page breaking and bookmarks, while {headings} seem to match just headings style.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Mar 3, 2011 at 22:15
  • 1
    @Stefan: We seem to largely agree about adding broad tags (I would call them "necessary in some cases" instead of "fine"). For numbering vs. style/formatting questions, IMO an easy-to-understand approach would be {sectioning}{numbering} vs. {sectioning}{formatting} (instead of {sectioning} vs. {headings}).
    – lockstep
    Mar 3, 2011 at 22:25
  • 1
    @lockstep: This finally gives me a decent idea for defining {formatting}: “Questions about formatting specific elements/parts of a document. This tag should always be used in conjunction with a tag describing those elements, like {sectioning} or {index}.” (I'm in favor of {sectioning} btw.)
    – Caramdir
    Mar 4, 2011 at 3:19
  • @lockstep: I would not throw {sections} into the {sectioning} pot if these questions are specifically about sections or (sub)subsections, since we also keep {chapters} and {parts} from that general pot. {headings} is now synonym to {sectioning}.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Mar 4, 2011 at 8:47
  • @Stefan: While I wouldn't rule out the possibility that for some questions a specific {sections} tag may be useful (though I'm more skeptical then with regard to {chapters}); I have to stress the fact that the current {headings} vs. {sections} apportionment happened mostly by accident. So please throw {sections} "in the pot" for now.
    – lockstep
    Mar 4, 2011 at 9:04
  • @lockstep: why not add {sectionings} to {sections} questions, together with removing {sections} from those questions which aren't specifically (sub)sections related. Keeping {sections} for pure (sub)section questions. I know {sections} and {sectioning} sound too similar. That would not be the case with {headings} as main tag, which sounds also very descriptive regarding the purpose.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Mar 4, 2011 at 10:26
  • @Stefan: On second thought, I agree with the manual retagging approach outlined in your first sentence. However, I'd prefer {sectioning} for the general tag and, say, {sections-sub} for the lower-level tag. {headings} is more about formatting the actual headings, and may be mixed up with {header-footer}.
    – lockstep
    Mar 4, 2011 at 11:42
  • Maybe we can test the current tags ({sectioning}+{subtags}) a few days to see how people react.
    – Caramdir
    Mar 4, 2011 at 16:56
  • @lockstep: Even if it's very similar, I like {sectioning} for the concept and {sections} for the section/subsection /subsubsection commands. The latter could be clarified both by the wiki excerpt/ tag info and also by making {subsections} and {subsubsections} to synonyms to {sections}.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Mar 5, 2011 at 14:37
  • 1
    @lockstep: since they (default) use \@startsection as well, just with different argument values, they can go to {sections} as well. I guess we don't really need synonyms unless such tags would appear themselves at some time.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Mar 5, 2011 at 15:15
  • {sectioning} has been agreed, {headings} is already a synonym to that. Regarding {sections-paragraphs}: why not, however I don't like such long tag names. But the purpose would be clear.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Mar 5, 2011 at 15:36
  • @lockstep @Caramdir: I suggest incorporating some of the agreements of the comments into the answer, bringing it up to date, and removing some of the comments (including this) to clean the page a bit.
    – Stefan Kottwitz Mod
    Mar 8, 2011 at 10:29
  • Re EDIT 4: Oh noooooooooooooo! Mar 10, 2011 at 17:11
  • @lockstep: Better than your last edit, just flag the question for moderator attention. Mar 27, 2011 at 14:06
  • @Hendrik: I tried and failed. Will try again.
    – lockstep
    Mar 27, 2011 at 14:08

I suggest we preserve these three tags.

What if we merge? In some years we could have 500 questions tagged without any tag that allows distinguishing chapters, sections and parts. Seems like a mess to me. If I've got a problem with chapter heading spacing or with part page design, I would have to use full-text search or scroll through hundreds section related questions.

Part headings have their own style, often on a dedicated page. Chapter headings are special, bot in output (displayed label) and in implementation (spacing, special macros for making the head). In contrast, sections, subsections and subsubsection are often done by \@startsection and can be treated similarly.

We have 5 possible tags for each question! That's not designed for using just broad tags. It allows a broad tag, another tag nearly as general, a concrete tag and up to two related tags. Why not use them?

We've got a tag navigation on the right. When I'm browsing the questions, I can see the tag and switch to that for finding broader solutions and packages. If I feel lost among 500 questions, I look at the right and pick the related tag which matches better: or or - it's even a filter: + may match my question perfectly. Similarly, + leads me to those plain pages questions.

I suggest, let's keep both general and specific tags. I don't see a problem if we would even have some more tags. It allows specific search. Just broad tags should be used as well then.

Let's preserve these tags to the point and let's allow fine filtering with tag combinations - for the future of our growing site.

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