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I have just recently started editing the post on Stack Overflow.

I found some posts which only required 2-3 character changes like they had correct grammar but some mistakes in spelling.

When I tried to correct the spelling mistakes, and clicked on "edit", it said:

Edits must be at least 6 characters

I don't know why Stack Overflow added this limit. How can I edit only 3-4 characters in a post?

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marked as duplicate by animuson, Mat, Matt, gnat, Bart Mar 7 '13 at 19:23

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Such a small edit indicates this is a trivial change - not something worth it. You can always look to see if there is anything more to improve, if you feel strongly about it. – Oded Mar 7 '13 at 18:56
@Oded, and if the post is excellent except one minor tipo? – user209407 Mar 7 '13 at 18:59
@foo- Let it be. – Oded Mar 7 '13 at 18:59
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Suggested edits are not free; it costs significant time and effort for community members to review them. Consequently, the system adds a bit of friction to discourage trivial suggested edits.

This is in alignment with community consensus; if you make a suggested edit, make sure you are fixing all of the problems with a post, and not just the one you saw.

When you earn 2000 reputation, you will gain the ability to make single-character edits (if you must) without requiring review.

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but there are lots of reviewers I think!! – Sumit Bijvani Mar 7 '13 at 19:09
great, so this is only way to edit single character? – Sumit Bijvani Mar 7 '13 at 19:13
You shouldn't need to change a single character. If a single character really needs to be changed, let someone with 2000+ rep do it. Seldom is a single character the only thing wrong with a post. – Robert Harvey Mar 7 '13 at 19:14

In a post you can always find some characters to change which do not necessarily increase the quality of the post. And such small things can be used for gaining more review points initially IMO (probably will get rejected as minor in review queue). But unnecessarily increases the size of review queue.

So it is better to edit only if it is actually worth.

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To answer, well you don't. You don't just edit 3-4 characters. Most of the times if there are 3-4 characters to edit there are a lot more thing to improve on the post. Else you should let people with 2k+ rep do it. Edits should be more than trivial and provide a substantial improvement to the post.

Sometimes you could improve some formatting or some syntax to make it clearer. Maybe also the title need capitalization, maybe there are tags to change.

It's up to you but there are always more than 3-4 characters to improve.

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When I was in grade school, we were given an assignment: Come up with a rough draft for a story. The emphasis was supposed to be on 'rough'.

I started writing my story. I think it was about a dragon terrorizing a country and a knight coming to save them all, but I'm not too terribly sure. 9 year old me wasn't that imaginative, so it could have possibly been The Red Cross Knight story.

When I had finished, I informed the teacher. She then asked me to go through, proofread, and edit the story (editing mistakes in spelling, grammar, etc).

After 2 minutes of doing this, I triumphantly handed my paper in, confident that the three mistakes I had found were all the mistakes in the story.

Boy was I wrong. The problem is, I couldn't see it because I wasn't looking hard enough. I wasn't asking myself the critical questions I should have:

  • If I take away this sentence, does the story still make sense?
  • If I reword this sentence to be in the active voice, does it improve the story?
  • If I make all sentences so simple that they don't need commas, does that improve the story?

If you look hard enough, or even not-so-hard enough, and you focus on making the content better when you edit it, you'll always be able to find enough to edit to pass the system's check on edits.

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This eloquently explains what you should do, but not why the system discourages trivial edits. – Robert Harvey Mar 7 '13 at 19:09
@RobertHarvey I sort of thought that was clear. The system is the teacher. The teacher knows better than we do. That's why she's the teacher. Also: We're not awesomely perfect, so there are going to be errors. Sigh. Guess this is further proof I need another draft. It's turtles all the way down. – George Stocker Mar 7 '13 at 19:37

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