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People rarely look at a page title in their browser, unless they're bookmarking the page (the page title is used as the default bookmark text).
I doubt there's any "maximum", in the sense that the browsers will crash if you exceed it. They will simply display the first n characters (easily determined if it's important) and throw away the rest.
There is a url limit. Certain browsers will crash if you exceed the limit. I saved the original source of this info [boutell.com] a few months back and tested it out and proved it to be true.
Here it is:
Although the specification of the HTTP protocol does not specify any maximum length, practical limits are imposed by web browser and server software.
Microsoft Internet Explorer (Browser)
Microsoft states that the maximum length of a URL in Internet Explorer is 2,083 characters, with no more than 2,048 characters in the path portion of the URL. In my tests, attempts to use URLs longer than this produced a clear error message in Internet Explorer.
After 65,536 characters, the location bar no longer displays the URL in Windows Firefox 1.5.x. However, longer URLs will work. I stopped testing after 100,000 characters.
At least 80,000 characters will work. I stopped testing after 80,000 characters.
At least 190,000 characters will work. I stopped testing after 190,000 characters. Opera 9 for Windows continued to display a fully editable, copyable and pasteable URL in the location bar even at 190,000 characters.
[edited by: kamikaze_Optimizer at 8:42 am (utc) on Nov. 13, 2007]
[edited by: phranque at 2:51 am (utc) on Feb. 12, 2008]
[edit reason] quote attribution and trimmage [/edit]
My early attempts to measure the maximum URL length in web browsers bumped into a server URL length limit of approximately 4,000 characters, after which Apache produces a "413 Entity Too Large" error. I used the current up to date Apache build found in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4. The official Apache documentation only mentions an 8,192-byte limit on an individual field in a request.
Microsoft Internet Information (Server)
The default limit is 16,384 characters (yes, Microsoft's web server accepts longer URLs than Microsoft's web browser). This is configurable.
but techman was asking about titles, so only have this to offer:
there is no length limit on titles per se.
i believe the practical limit for what is typically displayed on a search engine results page is 60-65 characters.
W3C recommends restricting the length to 64 characters as a matter of style.
There are plenty of SEO and display considerations involved when determining title length, but since that is not part of the OP's question, no point in going into it here.