i had to break a message into pieces because it was too long. comment fields here say how many characters are left, but chat messages don't, and i can't find information on their size. (i probably just don't know where to look.) they do seem to be smaller than comments, though.

a clear indication of the permissible size of a message, or a count-down a la comment, or even both, would be very welcome.

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    I wrote a test message in our main chatroom and the limit is 500 chars. :) Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 18:58
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    @Paulo -- is this actually visible on the chat page, or did you count? <g> (that's about a hundred characters shorter than allowed for a comment, so it's kind of impertinent to suggest that "extended comments" be transferred to a chat, don't you think?) Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:24
  • @doncherry -- appreciate the addition of "feature-request"; i guess it is, but i hesitate to be so forward when i don't know whether the answer already exists somewhere. Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:27
  • @barbarabeeton: Then it would be a duplicate, but I don't think this was a {discussion} (not any more than every feature-request is a discussion). I'd assume there's a similar thread on Meta Stack Exchange, but I haven't checked.
    – doncherry
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:33
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    @barbara: I counted them -- to be honest, I filled the chatbox with a's until one char before the cryptic your message is too long info and then asked Python to count the whole amount for me. :) I'm not a fan of chatrooms as an extension to a discussion in a question/answer; I usually like to follow them in loco. One advantage I see in chatrooms is that they are easier to follow, in the sense of context: you can reply to an specific sentence and everybody will be able to check the context. :) Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:44
  • @doncherry -- well, i took a look at meta stack overflow, but the volume is too overwhelming (570 "size", 1240 "chat") for me to continue now. when i tried to combine with a "+" i got a suggestion to try google, but that didn't decrease the volume. when i tried again with "message+size+chat" there were only 4 hits, none of them remotely relevant. sigh. maybe i'll try again tomorrow ... or hope that a more skilled searcher has pity and gives a better pointer. Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 19:47
  • @barbarabeeton: I actually couldn't find anything with combinations of +[chat](must be tagged with chat) and limit, character*, or count*. I guess you could go ahead and start a feature request over there.
    – doncherry
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 20:31
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    question/request now posted to meta stack overflow. we'll see what comes of it. Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 22:25
  • @Paulo -- if you answer this, just a simple answer with the length, i'll accept it -- i don't like to leave questions hanging. it looks like it's not going to get any action anywhere else, though someone on meta stack overflow has commented there that it doesn't seem to be documented anywhere. (i really appreciate your technique for determining the result! kudos!) Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 13:27
  • @barbara: thanks, I'll write an answer. :) Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 14:36
  • @barbara: I found a trick to allow messages > 500 chars. I've detailed it in my answer. :) Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


The limit is 500 characters. When the message length is > 500, the following behaviour is triggered:


Unless we reduce the length until <= 500, we won't be able to post it.

It seems that if we add a line break to our message, that is, pressing Shift + Enter to move the cursor to the next line, we can "bypass" the 500-char limit:

Image 2

The shortcoming of this approach is that the MarkDown syntax will be automatically disabled. So, if we write e.g This is **a test**, it will be handled literally instead of converted to "This is a test".

Update (Andrew's comment): When adding a line break, SE thinks you're going to upload a code listing, or similar. That's why Markdown is disabled.

When breaking a line, an extra button appears. If we click it, it will format the whole message as a code excerpt:

Image 3

If the message/code is too long, it will be displayed partially:

Image 4

Then we can click the see full text link to expand it. :)

  • sneaky! (gee, where's that full text ...) Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 20:01
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    Worth noting that when you're doing the sneaky get-around then SE thinks you're going to upload a code listing, or similar. That's why Markdown is disabled. Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 22:12
  • @Andrew: Thanks Andrew, I updated the answer. :) Commented Jan 22, 2012 at 23:59

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