or
Caleb
feature-request
The preview window in chat is very distracating. For short messages there are two places things are changing as I type and my eye gets confused which to focus on. For  longer messages the height of everything jumping around just adds more confusion.

I think previews make sense for posts where there is a lot of visual separation and potentially a lot of formatting. For chat I don't really find it useful at all. Markdown formatting typically used in chat is minimal enough and simple enough to "shoot from the hip" anyway.

I would like an option in my profile (or wherever) to completely disable the feature and not show the pane at all. Less clutter, less jittery movement.
Top Answer
Paul White
Chat message preview was added based on user feedback and has been very well recieved.

Please don't take it away.

Making it an option in the profile seems sensible if it is not too much work.

There might be a thousand other things you want to do first.
Answer #2
Josh Darnell
As an alternative suggestion to a per-user option (on the profile page), it might be nice to have a keyboard shortcut that toggles the preview on or off (ctrl + p comes to mind, but that's already used for printing in most browsers - but who prints anything these days :P).  

This way you could quickly toggle it on, to see how a message with complicated markdown renders for example, but otherwise it is dismissed.

This toggle could be "remembered" in the browser session without needing to be a persistent user profile option.
Answer #3
Monica
Possibly related: I would like more room for message entry.  I know that as I type more the box expands, but that causes things to move around (worse with the preview) too.  I'd really like to have a box that's a few lines high right from the start, which also gives me the benefit of not having to look at the *very bottom right* of my browser to type at all.  (This is one of the less-comfortable places to focus, at least for me -- though I think I've seen research supporting the claim that it's a weaker zone in general.)
Answer #4
Caleb
This won't be _quite_ as easy as just adding `display: none;` to the element (or I would do it myself in a user style) because the same pane is re-used to show one bit of information that is functionally useful: who if anybody is getting pinged by the message.
Add a way to hide or disable chat markdown previews
Paul White
Only quarks can read the text in the preview box
Monica
Another place you could put it is in the preview box -- where it says "Preview", add "(ctrl-X to toggle)" (whatever the command is).
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
That works.
Josh Darnell replying to Jack Douglas
Good idea, I like it!
Jack Douglas
that only works if it is 'on' by default for everyone — but I don't think anyone is suggesting it shouldn't be
Jack Douglas replying to Josh Darnell
In this case I think we can address discoverability by telling the user the shortcut on the profile page where they toggle it to 'of' by default
Monica
Some sites address discoverability with those pop-up "tips" aimed at new users or people using a feature for the first time.  Getting those right is hard (too early and people just dismiss them, too late and they don't help), but it's an approach.
Josh Darnell
That's probably a little naive, but there you go :)
Josh Darnell replying to Caleb
The discoverability issue is a a great point.  My thought is that many people won't mind the preview (I like it personally) so it should be on by default.  Those that don't like it will go searching for a way to remove it.  As long as we have some kind of site help page, FAQ, Meta post that details things like this, hopefully that is enough.
Caleb
By the way I _LOVE_ keybindings for everything. I find sites that implement them usually do it poorly though and they almost always conflict with the plethora I have setup myself.
Caleb
@Josh I like that suggestion, probably the trickiest part would be the "discoverability". How would a user know the preview is available or that it can be turned off with a keystroke?
Paul White
I also like the combo of a profile default plus keyboard shortcut override as @Josh suggested.  
Keyboard shortcuts for common formatting would be nice in chat too, by the by.
Monica
(Have to go to a meeting; back later.)
Jack Douglas replying to Monica
yes that is one advantage
Jack Douglas
that's ok, me too!
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
Understood.  The keyboard shortcut is still an option (and people'll just have to learn it).
Monica
Thinking out loud here. :-)
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
My gut reaction is that that would be a little surprising/weird, but I wonder if popping up the preview at the end of the message (if there's markdown) would work?  Downside is you'd need to hit enter twice to actually send -- first pops up the peview, seconds says "yeah go ahead".  I don't know if that's too weird.
Jack Douglas
but interface clutter is going to be a massive problem if we try and put too many options in it
Jack Douglas
very true
Monica
If it's a profile toggle with no other affordance, that'll be a self-fulfilling prophecy because it'll be too hard to switch for just one message. :-)
Jack Douglas
One further idea to mull, how would you feel about a preview appearing automatically as soon as you use markdown (we can test for that as the preview is already generating on the fly)
Jack Douglas replying to Monica
I was thinking the people who hate it probably wont ever want it, and those who love it will probably never mind it. Maybe that's wrong!
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
However, if it's in the profile then it's hard to turn on for that *one* message where you really want it.  Profile default plus a keyboard shortcut would address that I think.
Monica
(I hadn't read that yet when I said that stuff about browser session.  We have the same idea I think.)
Jack Douglas replying to Monica
the problem with that is if 90+% of people won't use it, it just crowds the interface for them. Adding a toggle to the profile doesn't have that downside…
Monica
Or a keyboard shortcut like Josh suggested, but buttons are more discoverable.
Monica
But here I meant a button next to the message-entry textbox, so you could turn it on or off as needed without going to settings.
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
User profile, or whatever you're doing to remember session state (like you're keeping track of which notifications I haven't seen, and when I come to topanswers.xyz it brings me to meta automatically).
Jack Douglas replying to Monica
With a setting in the user profile you mean? If so, that sounds like a reasonable compromise.
Monica
I just don't want to have to look at it all the time when I benefit from it maybe 1% of the time.  (Even when I use Markdown, I'm using simple Markdown and I know what it'll look like.)
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
I think it'd be great to have a "preview" control that would, on demand, pop up a preview of the current message.  Or make the section togglable and remember the user preference.
Monica replying to Jack Douglas
Oh, I'm not saying we should put the new-message box at the top; that would be weird.  I just meant that having a few lines rather than one would mitigate the visual challenge of it being at the bottom.
Jack Douglas
the preview is really really useful if you use markdown in chat. Otherwise not *so* much.
Jack Douglas
@Caleb `display: none` on `#preview .markdown` should work — but if I'm suggesting user styles/scripts perhaps we are already turning into SE…
Jack Douglas
@Monica having chat upside down, with the input area at the top followed by the latest chat messages, would be significantly easier to code and mean we don't have to contend with various browser bugs too. Sadly everyone expects chat to be this way up!
Monica replying to Caleb
With a little bit of font zoom, I almost never have just a one-liner.  This message is three lines for me.
Caleb
@Monica I would support the 2 or 3 line default too. The layout changing as I type normal length messages is bothersome. Exacerbated by the preview also growing, but 2 or 3 lines by default would be nice.
Caleb
@Paul I'm sure its useful to  some, I wouldn't abandon the feature. I found it obnoxious right off the bat. I tried to give it a week or more to see if it would grow on me. It hasn't ;-) First class chat and no comments at all has, but not the chat preview. Hence why my take was to make it an optional extra.