1

It is quite common on the internet (and commonly used on Stack Exchange also) to use a short sentence to resume a longer explanation. There are different ways to express this such as:

Short answer

...

Long answer

... x 100

.

TL;DR: ...

or simply denoting the point without a title.

The question is what would be the best solution to benefit the legibility of the text for the user reading it (I am asking specifically about which part to make bolder/more noticeable):

TL;DR:

The point is this.

vs

TL;DR:

The point is this.

vs

TL;DR:

The point is this.

vs

The point is this.


In my opinion a resumed idea should be kept to a sentence or two, not a paragraph. Also I am referring to resumed ideas, not highlighting of the points through the long answer.

2

I'm hugely in favour of putting a short summary at the top of the article. This enables me to get the answer in a nut-shell and allows me the choice of whether I want to read through two screens of verbiage to get more detail.

Your first option works best for me. People using TL;DR seem to come across as geeks who can't afford to spend the time in editing their response to make it clearer from the outset. Personally, I avoid adding TL;DR blocks if I can help it.

| improve this answer | |
  • With the first option you mean "short/long answer"? – Alvaro Nov 23 '16 at 20:17
  • Yes, I was trying to make the point that TL;DR should be avoided if possible. – user93670 Nov 23 '16 at 20:28
  • Isn't it a matter of wording? As I am not a native speaker it might have some other negative implications I'm not aware of, but I agree the "short answer" looks more elegant. But the question remains, any preference about legibility or reasons about better formatting? – Alvaro Nov 23 '16 at 20:43
1

Having large blocks of text (which could be the whole short answer) in bold seems very bad to me. Thus on SE I only bold the TL;DR: part.

(Outside SE I might use a digger font, headers, colour, ....)


Also, not asked, but "TL;DR" is understandable to fewer people than "Short answer". On non-technical sites the latter seems preferable for that.

| improve this answer | |
  • I agree on your second part about the "short answer". But what if the short answer is just a sentence, would you keep the rule? – Alvaro Nov 23 '16 at 14:55
  • Generally: yes. E.g "Short answer:<BR>No, that will not work." <BR><BR>**Long answer:** A few paragraphs here with background and how/what/why". Part of that might be that I see the short/long as a header. Even on a site with just plain text. – Hennes Nov 23 '16 at 14:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.