Now, it is easy to workaround this: add 10 characters, plus your one-character change, then remove these 10 characters in the next edit for the same post.

But this can hardly be what the designers intended. Instead, my suggestion is to change it to something like on Wikipedia, where you can mark an edit as "minor". Something like this:

Edits must be at least 6 characters, or select the checkbox "Minor, spelling or punctuational correction."

Edits like that will, of course, not count toward the edit-limit (before it becomes Community Wiki).

The suggestion often seen on Meta Stack Overflow is "just edit more in that post". But sometimes the post is just right, and there aren't any other spelling mistakes to correct. Why force a user to change more than necessary, or use an ugly hack?

  • 1
    possible duplicate of How to overcome "Edits must be at least 6 characters"? (which is currently the top ranked "Related" question by the way)
    – user138231
    Mar 11, 2011 at 1:45
  • 5
    @BalusC I saw that duplicate before posting this, including some others. I would like to reopen this discussion and present it as a feature request (if allowed and/or possible).
    – Abel
    Mar 11, 2011 at 1:52
  • 2
    See also: 6 character long edits, hack and Remove “corrected spelling” from the Edit Summary suggestion. And I'd really like to see evidence that there are a significant number of perfect-but-for-5-chars posts out there.
    – Shog9
    Mar 11, 2011 at 4:38
  • 3
    @Shog9: I know and read the others. A significant number: isn't it obvious then? I often correct spelling and at the same time, I often make spelling mistakes. Btw, is it possible that it depends on your rep? On SO, I don't seem to have this problem, and I saw others correcting my posts like "its" > "it's" and "loosing" > "losing".
    – Abel
    Mar 11, 2011 at 10:29
  • 1
    Yes, it is dependent on reputation, as explained in the other post. When you're at 2k, you can make edits under 6 characters. This is fine because at that reputation, your edits don't need to be reviewed by 2+ people to go through.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 11, 2011 at 15:26
  • @Abel: yes, users with more than 2K can edit without restrictions. The limitations imposed on low-rep editors are largely there to discourage incomplete edits - since each low-rep edit must be reviewed and approved, edits that make only small corrections impose an unfavorably high cost for the benefit they provide.
    – Shog9
    Mar 11, 2011 at 15:29
  • @Shog9 that sheds some new light on this, tx for explaining.
    – Abel
    Mar 11, 2011 at 16:38
  • 8
    Please do this. I just attempted to fix "Irak" as "Iraq" and had to go through the whole rigamarole. security.stackexchange.com/questions/3378/…
    – Jason S
    Apr 27, 2011 at 23:11

2 Answers 2

  • 46
    Click edit to see the answer.
    – user138231
    Mar 11, 2011 at 1:44
  • 9
    lol, better than my clumsy workaround! But still, why jumping through hoops when this nuisance prevents obviously valid edits by the ininitiated?
    – Abel
    Mar 11, 2011 at 1:49
  • 12
    Sure you can do it with tricks like this or the one the OP mentions.. but I think this trics does not solve the real thing.
    – jachguate
    Mar 11, 2011 at 1:52
  • 7
    Isn't this discouraged by mods? See waffles' comment on my answer to a related question. Mar 11, 2011 at 3:20
  • @Jason: Certainly this is discouraged. Was just kidding. For the real answer, check the linked dupe. Just improve the answer more or move along.
    – user138231
    Mar 11, 2011 at 3:21
  • 3
    I just have to accept this as an answer, it's the first time I've been able to accept a totally empty answer. I just have to, it's out of my hands ;)
    – Abel
    Mar 18, 2011 at 14:23
  • 4
    The best answer ever!!! :-)
    – Tomas
    Aug 9, 2011 at 18:55
  • 6
    As comments seem to be wanting examples: I was attempting to edit some java code where the poster had put in (double) but it needed to to (Double), this is a one character change but without it the code is wrong, with it the code compiles to get the correct answer. In the end I made some nothing-y comment change as well which the poster thought was my main edit, enfuriating Apr 25, 2013 at 11:50
  • 3
    @RichardTingle Welcome to StackOverflow! ;)
    – Dauh Fhauc
    Dec 3, 2013 at 15:54
  • @Tomas Hmm... best is hard to define... I'l say it's the shortest, and be on the save side ;) Oct 1, 2015 at 15:35

Now, it is easy to workaround this: add 10 characters, plus your one-character change, then remove these 10 characters in the next edit for the same post.

This is 100% true. But hopefully, the fact that you're having to use such an awkward workaround should set off a lightbulb somewhere in your head that says you shouldn't be doing what you're doing at all. If it doesn't... either you're not smart enough to use the system or you're being intentionally obstinate. Either way, you're probably beyond any help the devs or other users could provide.

(That's a generic "you," not you, personally.)

  • 1
    +1 because it makes me smile ;). Btw, I've been beyond any help for longer than I care to remember... (and I can't change that one spelling error in your post).
    – Abel
    Mar 11, 2011 at 16:27
  • Wait, are you serious about the typo? I can't see it... but my brain automatically fixes words for me sometimes. Seriously, I didn't see the error in this street sign last night until someone explicitly told me what it was.
    – Pops
    Mar 11, 2011 at 16:36
  • @Pop If you follow the link directly, you end up here, where there's still an error, but it's not in the sign :) Mar 11, 2011 at 17:14
  • @Jason, odd, I just clicked the link again and it still works for me. I'll imgur it... EDIT: okay, it's now here. That is a great code 403 page, though.
    – Pops
    Mar 11, 2011 at 17:25
  • @Pop I got the 403 first, but after I pasted the link in, it no longer takes me to the 403 upon clicking. I guess it's just to discourage hotlinking. Mar 11, 2011 at 17:40
  • 12
    "should set off a lightbulb somewhere in your head that says you shouldn't be doing what you're doing at all" So I shouldn't be going out of my way to help improve the site's content?
    – endolith
    May 5, 2011 at 22:02
  • 17
    "either you're not smart enough to use the system or you're being intentionally obstinate" I do not agree. If I have an opinion that a user should be able to improve a post even if it's minor improvement, it does not make me dumb or stubborn. I want to add this missing quotation mark, not because I need these 2 reps but because I want to improve the post and the system is not allowing me to do this. Is it better that this quotation mark stays forever unclosed? Certainly not. May 23, 2011 at 9:46
  • 12
    -1. Single-character typos can be extremely confusing, in some cases.
    – TRiG
    Feb 1, 2012 at 17:55
  • 2
    I disagree. If there are 2 lines of unformatted code, all I need to do is add spaces in front of them to format the code, but the system won't let me. And if the code is HTML code, formatting it as code can be very important. So basically you're saying I'm stupid because I want the whole answer to be visible instead of having half of it hidden behind markdown. Sep 14, 2017 at 16:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .