# Can we have the window title for a question start with the question?

The title attribute in the page of a question like Comparison between $E_2$-terms of Leray and “second hypercohomology” spectral sequences is currently set to "ag.algebraic geometry - Comparison between $E_2$-terms of Leray and “second hypercohomology” spectral sequences - MathOverflow" and I'd prefer if the title started with the question (it could still contain a tag after the question, or do away with the tag altogether). The reason is that my browser (like most, I think) has tabs and displays the title in the tab; with a few tabs open all I can see of each title is the tag, which is not very informative: I'd prefer to see the intial portion of the question.

EDIT: I followed Kaveh's advice and am using the following simpleminded script (this is version 2, as the first one was too simpleminded):

document.title = document.title.replace(
/^([^-]*) - (.*) - (MathOverflow)$/, "$2 - \$3");


If you use, say, Firefox, with the dotjs extension, you can store that text in the file named ~/.js/mathoverflow.net.js and it'll remove the tag from the question titles. (As you can see above it is a blunt tool, doing a simple pattern match to check to remove the stuff before the first " - ", if there is a second " - ".)

• Seems like an excellent request! (Everyone should vote up feature requests they like, just in case that isn't obvious.) – Scott Morrison Jul 2 '13 at 23:11
• Interestingly, on Meta the title starts with the question and doesn't include the tag. – Nate Eldredge Aug 6 '13 at 16:50

The page titles start with a tag to help search engines. Because of how search engines work, to give these tags significance compared to other words in the question title they need to be the first thing in the page titles. This request has been brought up a number of times previously so I think it is unlikely to be accepted. See for example:

First tag in the title of the page is not that convenient

It seems to me it is much faster and easier to write a simple user script to get rid of the tags in the page titles on our own browsers than to try to change the whole system.

• I would think that the words in the title are an infinitely more significant in locating a question than the tags, so even if this is supposed to be helping search engines find relevant things, it is sort of backwards... – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Jul 3 '13 at 7:14
• @MarianoSuárez-Alvarez, I am not an expert on the issue, you can read more from the links posted here. I think the easier way to solve the issue is probably using a user script to remove the tags from the titles. – Kaveh Jul 3 '13 at 7:16
• The tag in the title is essential for sites like SO and Arqade which often omit important keywords in the title and put them into a tag. But I don't think this is valid for all sites, and I've asked for this to be changed on Skeptics a while back. – user35354 Jul 3 '13 at 7:39
• @MadScientist, I personally think topic classification is essential for most of other sites also. Let me add that we have made a similar request 2 years ago on cstheory. As long as the issue explained by Jeff continues it is unlikely that SE will change its position regarding these requests. It seems they cannot even change this for users who are logged in because of search engine rules. – Kaveh Jul 3 '13 at 8:17
• I took your advice, @Kaveh, and wrote a tiny script. I added it in an edit to my question. – Omar Antolín-Camarena Jul 4 '13 at 16:11
• @Omar, nice :) btw, you can also use Grease Monkey addon if you use Firefox or Tamper Monkey if you use Chrome. There might be also some similar script on userscripts.org. – Kaveh Jul 4 '13 at 17:56
• Here is another one: userscripts.org/scripts/review/92973 – Kaveh Jul 4 '13 at 17:58
• @Kaveh, having the word «algebra» displayed in title windows is close to useless to us.... – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Jul 6 '13 at 19:40
• @MarianoSuárez-Alvarez, I agree. – Kaveh Jul 6 '13 at 19:48