When you type into the tags box, after half a second you get to see a list of the tags that start with what you type in. However if you type fast you don't see that list.

Adding a red highlight or underline will encourage people to go back and check to be sure that they want to create those new tags.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ There may be a reason for this not to happen: users might think they did something wrong if they're entering a tag that doesn't exist, though doing so should be perfectly normal and acceptable behaviour. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 2, 2012 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Acceptable, yes but normal no. It's not supposed to be common that people are creating new tags. There should be some thought put into new tags. \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon Gill
    Nov 2, 2012 at 13:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ It occurred to me to wonder: is this solving a hypothetical problem or an actual problem? If actual, what tags have you seen created that shouldn't have been? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2012 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ The actual tag I've noticed was arcane-spell-failure which has been cleaned up. It was cleaned up, but pointed out that there was next to feedback on the Ask a Question form when you type quickly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon Gill
    Nov 6, 2012 at 8:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the proposed feature would have been relevant in that case. The ASF tag wasn't created by accident—the poster knew it was a new tag and mindfully decided to create it. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 6, 2012 at 23:47

3 Answers 3


I disagree: making new tags should be acceptable, normal, and not discouraged. Individual thought is trumped here by community hive-mind, but the hive-mind must be fed raw material to do anything useful! We want individual input, even imperfect input, else we starve the SE engine.

The community will fix improper tags as soon as the work is warranted. Anything that discourages the organic growth of the tag folksonomy is something I'd oppose. We want people to make tags that they are experts in, even if they're not experts at using RPG.SE yet.

Besides, even if I agreed with the principle, I'd disagree with the proposed feature. Overloading a UI convention like wavy red underlines to mean anything other than "there is a spelling error here" is bad design. It would convey "you spelled this wrong", not "that tag doesn't exist". The meanings may be arguably close, but the closer a distinct meaning is the more the UI semantics need to be different to avoid user confusion.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That doesn't seem to be the stated position though - the first bullet point from How to Tag on the Ask a Question page is " favor existing popular tags; avoid creating new tags". Do you see a conflict between this and your position? \$\endgroup\$
    – Simon Gill
    Nov 5, 2012 at 8:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Simon Certainly we want people to use existing tags. We don't want to discourage making new ones when they can't find a relevant tag though—either one needs creating, or the existing tag isn't properly discoverable. In both cases a new tag is helpful to us. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 5, 2012 at 21:23

There is a count of the number of questions that the tag is used in. To someone sensitive to this, this count is sufficient, but it's sufficiently unobtrusive that it won't prevent new tags from someone who doesn't care about counts.


It would be useful so that users on low reputation, who can not create new tags, know that the tag they want doesn't exist. Creating Tags currently requires 300 reputation, for reference.


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