Taken from this question.

A lot of times, when I'm going through old questions and editing them, I tend to see a lot of formatting and grammatical errors, and I then proceed to fix them.

The problem is that, I rarely find myself ever needing to use the Edit Summary. Not that it isn't useful, but typing out what I did (basic cleanup, retagging, etc) is such a hassle that I rarely go out of my way to fill it in.

Concurrently, the default edit summary will state number of characters changed as well as retagging and rollbacks.

Can we have a button that will allow you to instantaneously add a edit summary? So for example, adding a "formatting" button or "grammatical errors" button would allow for quick, concise edit summaries without inhibiting users who edit a lot of posts.

Do we need to fill in the Edit Summary?

Also, side note: Would changing the edit summary to a tag based form increase or decrease the quality/quantity of edits? For example, tagging an edit as "spelling", "formatting"

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    You're happy to comb through bad posts fixing everything up, but then typing 'basic cleanup' is too much trouble? I'm... confused. Grateful for your cleanup work, but confused. – blahdiblah Mar 15 '13 at 19:13
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    Doesn't your browser's autocomplete basically do this for you? – Ben Brocka Mar 15 '13 at 19:15
  • It seems trivial in proportion to the grammatical errors and formatting issues I see. A lot of of edits are based around formatting and grammatical errors (ie wall of text). A "hot" button would do nicely – yuritsuki Mar 15 '13 at 19:16
  • @BenBrocka Also, no. I don't have autocomplete, at least on Chrome. – yuritsuki Mar 15 '13 at 19:16
  • Thanks for the constructive criticism guys. I'll definitely keep this in mind when editing things from now on. – yuritsuki Mar 15 '13 at 20:13

The reason the system forces you to write edit summaries is so that you can be as verbose as possible to the reviewer. Don't use "formatting", use "Formatted code, removed unnecessary backticks". Don't use "spelling", use "fixed spelling of X". It's OK to have generic summaries, but specific ones are much, much better.

So I'd be against this feature. Be slow and methodical when editing stuff, don't try to zip through.

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    The system doesn't force you to write anything. I consider review summaries to be for myself just as much as they're for the OP or other editors. – Pops Mar 15 '13 at 19:33
  • @PopularDemand: It does for <2k users. But yeah, this question seems to be targeted to >2k users :/ – Manishearth Mar 15 '13 at 20:48

Can we have a button that will allow you to instantaneously add a edit summary?

That'd be like having git supply a commit comment automatically: "Improved code." People would love that! But, it'd also make the commit comment essentially useless, because nobody would bother writing a thoughtful and descriptive comment. Same here. You should indicate what you changed (and why if it's not obvious). I read the edit summary all the time when reviewing, and it irks me when editors don't bother explaining themselves appropriately.

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    git commit log: improved code, improved code, improved code, worsened code, fired bob, improved code... – Ben Brocka Mar 15 '13 at 19:49
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    @BenBrocka Wait... was Bob checked into the the repo? – blahdiblah Mar 15 '13 at 19:51
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    Bob was an uncommitted git. – Caleb Mar 15 '13 at 19:52

I find revision comments like "cleaned up post" or "fixed grammar and typos" rather useless and have stopped putting them in. If I need to see what an edit did, I can check the diff. If you just fix some typos or obvious grammar or formatting mistakes, I'd leave the summary empty, no need for stock reasons here.

The revision summaries are mostly useful to write why you edited the post, if it is not immediately obvious.

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  • Well, it is called "Edit summary", not "Edit reasons". Although I understand that checking the diff shows exactly what was changed and that filling that field is not mandatory. I tend to put a summary and, if necessary, the reasons. Do you know of a canonical Q&A about this here in Meta? – brasofilo Mar 15 '13 at 21:43

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