When editing my question or answer, I want a blank "comment box" under the "edit summary" box.

The edit summary field is documented by answer https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/84708/242736 to explain "what is edited" and not "why edit was done".

I want to use that additional comment box to explain "why edit was done". Other people also wanted to write about "why edit was done": Why aren't edit summaries shown? (I was requested not to write this feature-request as an answer to that post.)

It would be more convient to fill that comment while editing than afterwards. And without that comment box, readers have the time to be confused and post such comments between my edit and my comment.

For example, in some of my answers to a Tex.SE question, I have taken in account suggestions posted by others in the comments; I then added a comment to thank them, and also to let the reader understand that these comments have expired; it would be better if I could expire myself the comments as discussed in this question.

  • Why on earth would you use a comment on the post — which is for temporary notes — to explain why an edit was done? The answer you cite suggests including that information inside the post, not as a comment. But actually that information usually belongs in the edit summary — the history of the post does not belong inside the post. For example: if it's for things like “corrected foobar to foobaz because that's the name of the function in the API”, it belongs in the edit summary. Nov 25, 2013 at 10:13
  • Without comments on edits, older comments may easily become meaningless as explained in question meta.stackexchange.com/questions/146708/… Nov 25, 2013 at 10:46
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    I don't get it. You're proposing to add one more comment that may become obsolete, why? Nov 25, 2013 at 10:51
  • @Gilles there is some merit here. Sometimes the user who edit will also post comment explaining why and what he edited, this will be a shortcut. user2987828 - you probably better read this to understand the downvotes you get: How do I participate in Meta Stack Overflow and not die trying? :) Nov 25, 2013 at 11:06
  • @ShaWizDowArd Such comments are usually redundant. Nov 25, 2013 at 12:10
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    The revision and diff shows what is edited, the summary explains why it was. Usually.
    – random
    Nov 25, 2013 at 21:20
  • The only need I've ever had for this is to post something like a "@somebody Edited." comment, but, from the last paragraph, this doesn't appear to be what you're referring to. Can you justify why you'd want to do this with a concrete example? Nov 25, 2013 at 21:43
  • I now comment here that I just edited to take Dukeling's comment in account: this is a second example. Unfortunately, I did not find an example where the delay between comment and editing generated fruitless comments. Nov 25, 2013 at 22:18
  • +1 For research effort and clarity. Not useful though.
    – NGLN
    Dec 12, 2013 at 12:16
  • ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ May 8, 2017 at 2:19

1 Answer 1


This request is largely made obsolete by the ability to edit posts inline, which is a privilege given at (I guess) 2k reputation.

Once you get this privilege, if you type in your comment before saving, and post it either right after or just before, while they won't be posted at the exact same time, the time difference between the two should be mere seconds.

Mainly with regard to editing someone else' post: (old response)

You absolutely should be using the edit summary to justify your edit (i.e. explain why it was edited), if justification is required.

Note that the only people who should care about this summary are those who would be reviewing your edit and the author of the post (and perhaps people who read the post before it was edited).

If this summary might be important for a random visitor who reads the post at some point in the future, some version of it should absolutely be included in the post itself instead. But, if you think this needs to be done, you should be careful - you're likely making an "invalid edit" or a "radical change" - you may consider just commenting and letting the author edit the post him/herself if he/she thinks it appropriate.

(There are borderline cases where you may want to reply to a comment after editing - in this case it makes perfect sense to comment as well, but it should be fairly rare)

  • Thank you for your answer. I was rather thinking about editing my onw posts, but after some comments have already done on previous versions of that post. I will update my question with that precision. Nov 25, 2013 at 21:11
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    Yes. Also, that edit summary remains part of the post's history and can be inspected later, but comments can disappear. Everything a reader needs to know about the edit should be apparent from the edit itself plus the summary. Nov 25, 2013 at 22:20
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    @user2987828 Updated answer. Nov 25, 2013 at 23:20
  • Why has this "priviledge" been restricted to power users ? It does not allow anything that cannot be done without, it just allows a nicer interface. Nov 26, 2013 at 9:18
  • Why did you commented about your edit, the "edit summary field" should have been enough as your comment meta.stackexchange.com/questions/208852/… is not "important for a random visitor who reads the post at some point in the future" (your words in current state of meta.stackexchange.com/a/208950/242736). Nov 26, 2013 at 9:22
  • @user2987828 "Why has this 'priviledge' been restricted to power users?" - No idea, that's probably only something Stack Exchange staff can answer for sure. You can log a feature-request to lower or remove the rep requirement, but I don't really expect it to go well. "Why did you comment" - one should still reply to comments (and I edited that section to say it's mainly related to editing someone else' post) - it's not really important to someone who reads the post in the future, but rather your comment - those comments can probably be removed without causing the post to lose any value. Dec 4, 2013 at 12:32

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