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In this question, I included a lot of detail that turned out to be unnecessary and misguided.

The first responder helped me realize that I was over-thinking the problem, and I accepted his answer.

I think the question might have value for others, but only if I completely rewrite it without all the extra garbage I included originally. The edits would amount to essentially a complete rewrite and might make the responses appear out of context.

Is it acceptable to totally overhaul a question after accepting an answer?

Note: I found a possible duplicate after posting, although my issue is more about fixing a question vs. improving it. I'm open to deleting this question if appropriate.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

I've had this happen to me on occasion.

I feel comfortable with making small edits to my posts, correcting errors, etc. that don't completely change the meaning, without indicating that I changed anything. That's what the revision history is for, after all.

But when I have to totally overhaul the post, I try to strike the text here's a really long and off-topic sentence or something that nobody really needs to read in order to not mislead later readers. (Why the heck did this answer get 4 upvotes? What an idiot!!! -1 -1 -1). Yes, anybody can see the revision history, but sometimes it's nice to just have a visual cue that some substantial editing has taken place.

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Thanks to both responders - found both answers equally helpful. Would have accepted both if it were possible. Thanks again. – cantera25 Nov 30 '11 at 20:16

If your edits change the question so much that it is basically a different question and its answers are no longer applicable, leave the question alone. Walk away.

If you can add clarity to a question, do so. If the question itself is fundamentally the same, the answers fit, then by all means, make the question better.

From your description, it appears your question and answers served a good purpose. You were overthinking the problem, the answer brought that to your attention. In my mind, that has value. Someone else may in fact overthink the same problem.

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