In the What topics can I ask about here? page it clearly states that:

Ask Different is for users of Apple products. If you have a question about ...

  • Apple hardware
  • Apple software
  • Apple services including iTunes Connect (selling music, books, apps)
  • third-party hardware, services and software when associated for use with Apple products.

... then you're in the right place to ask your question!

Recently bmike corrected me because I had assumed a question about a formula in Excel was off-topic. I accepted his correction (obviously, as a moderator with the highest reputation I wasn't going to think he was wrong!), but since then I've seen a number of instances where users have voted to close questions as off-topic because the questions were about third-party software.

This got me to thinking that perhaps the What topics can I ask about here? page could do with some minor revision. It may be something as simple as a formatting change to bold the words "third-party hardware, services and software" in the last bullet point.

What do others think?

  • Whiuch questions were closed - I would also not the off topic condition - Basic Customer Support - so can be a matter of opinion which of the two criteria apply.
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 11:10
  • I'm not sure the questions were actually closed, just that there were people voting for them to be closed. But I do agree that it often comes down to a matter of opinion in terms of what category applies.
    – Monomeeth Mod
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


Well, somebody using Excel on macOS is a user of an Apple product, and the bullet list makes it rather clear what a question can be about. I partially understand your confusion, but IMHO the wording is rather clear.

  • I agree the wording is clear, but in the past week I've seen a few questions users have voted to close on the basis they were off-topic when, based on the last bullet point, they aren't. I think the last bullet point is a little lost, not only because it's the last one, but because the first three start with the word Apple which stands out because it's 'Apple' and because of the capital 'A'. Also, the stem sentence has users of Apple products in bold. I guess others will learn that these questions are on-topic, but I just thought a minor formatting change may reduce confusion.
    – Monomeeth Mod
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 10:00
  • Yeah, but then we would kind of need all bullets in bold, somehow.
    – nohillside Mod
    Commented Dec 9, 2016 at 10:01

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