What is the purpose of the "Convert to a heading" command?

I do not understand the purpose of the / command Convert to a heading.

It looks like all this setting does is the equivalent of adding # to make an H1 header.

I think there must be more to it, since: a) There isn’t really a need for a menu item just to add a # to the beginning of a block, and b) adding the formatting does not turn the block into whatever a heading is, in regards to this command (after adding H1 formatting, the available command option is still Convert to heading, rather than Convert back to block.

Is there a purpose, other than visual rendering, of a block that’s converted to a heading?

Maybe it’s just a shortcut that is faster than moving the cursor at the beginning, type # and then move back at the end

No, I don’t think so, because if that were the case, then manually adding the # should result in the available command switching from “convert to heading” to “convert back to block”, but it does not.

Maybe making the command palette aware of what’s in the block would take a lot of work and they postponed it.

But it already works, if you use command palette to make the change. I’m fairly sure that the command palette doesn’t track the changes that have been made using it, so it must be aware of the state of block vs. heading.

But what you suggested makes me think that maybe the heading property (as it is intended to be applied via the command palette) is something that either had a use in the past, or might have a use in the future, but that doesn’t really do anything now, and has just not been removed.

You can position your cursor at the beginning of the block using Alt-a.