Essentially, I'd like to propose a similar close reason to the one on Ask Different

Basic Customer Support or questions asking to recommend or find off-site resources (Mac/book/software/tutorial) are off-topic for Ask Different as they tend to attract opinionated answers and spam. Instead, edit to clearly describe your problem and the research done so far to solve it.

The first link points to a Meta Q/A by a 120k moderator, clearly outlining the reasons why customer support should not be on topic.
If required I can paraphrase that into here as our version of the answer, but I'd rather garner opinion first.

Though our subject matter is of course different here, I feel that questions asking about particular software functionality would best be referred to that developer's site.

The best answer we could give here would be to point to the relevant page in the manual - which of course then falls down at the "research done so far to solve it" bit ...and will go out of date as soon as there's a new software version with new manual.

Case in point would be - Fl studio how to quickly find pattern's effects from playlist view? - which is not at all about sound design even in it's broadest sense, it is a "how to use my software" question.

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure I understand the bit about attracting opinionated answers and spam. These seem like they would attract the least of this kind of thing possible since they have an extremely concrete answer vs more subjective questions that we would deal with outside of "how do you do x in software y" style questions.

I also don't really agree that most of the logic in the 120k post applies for us. In a community like a general Apple Q/A it makes sense to rule out questions that have nothing to do with Apple other than happening to be a software package that runs on Apple, such as the clash of clans village question, but such questions don't naturally show up on a site like this.

Arguing that the questions are often vague or overly urgent isn't a horrible argument, but it also isn't something that needs its own close reason as we already have both an "unclear what you are asking" and "too broad" options depending on what the specific issue with the question is, both of which are more specific as to the actual problem.

We may need to come up with a balancing point for "read the manual" style questions, but it's important to remember than in technical software, just trying to research the answer to a question is not as trivial as it is for more general use software.

A user may know the type of thing they are trying to do, but have no idea what they should search for to find the feature. Asking where they find a particular feature, by correct name, in a menu is probably not a great fit as it is pure "read the manual", but the very subtly different "how do I accomplish this kind of thing in software x" where they don't know what the feature actually is is a question I think should certainly be on topic and one that if we had such a close reason, would often be incorrectly closed.

I'm not sure how we handle closing the former (if we, as a community want to) without having the later also often get grouped in incorrectly (unless we also want to close the later, but I'd personally argue against it.) I don't really think the close reason, as phrased, makes sense or would be helpful though. I also don't really think the reasoning in the Apple post is particularly well thought out or applicable here.

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    The Customer Support & 'shopping recommendation' close flag was [badly] companded into a single reason. It is currently being separated out. I still think 'why doesn't my software do what it ought?' belongs on their site, not ours. Case in point from today - sound.stackexchange.com/questions/41457/… imo, that's a 'how do I make my computer behave' question, not a 'sound design' question even at its broadest definition.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 19:23

This may be a bit besides the point, but I don't see that there's a need to close questions of this nature right now.

I think we could reasonably judge these kinds of questions based on quality and close VLQ if needed.

On the other hand, if there's some value to be salvaged by researching the answer or expanding the question then I think that's a good thing for the site.

Currently, we don't seem to get so many questions that it becomes necessary to further differentiate on quality.

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