I attempt to write my edit summaries with the utmost care, but on occasion, I'll be moving to fix something else, and I'll end up with a messed up summary. I have found that if I re-edit within a certain time frame, I can change the summary.

However, I'm wondering if there is a way that I'm not aware of to edit the editing summary without having to make any additional changes.

If there is, or if this feature could be added, the readers of millions of future "fixed spe" messages would thank you.

I did search a bit on this, but searching "editing of edits of edit summaries" confounded the works.

  • 7
    There is, but you need to put a summary for the edited summary edit, and that summary itself can't be edited.
    – JNK
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 20:09
  • There was a Meta post long ago about how this behavior opened up an avenue for abuse.
    – Pops
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 20:11
  • @JNK Yes, you must have been inspired by the last bit that I added to the question even before I was.
    – jonsca
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 20:12
  • @jonsca - just picked up on the inherent humor in trying to edit an edit
    – JNK
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 20:13
  • @Popular Yes, I could understand that. The entire editing system requires quite a bit of trust as it is, though. I promise I won't change all of my summaries to read "Pi11s 4 fr33" :)
    – jonsca
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 20:14
  • Not sure if this was it, but if it's not, it's similar: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/18110/…
    – Pops
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 20:18
  • 1
    @Popular I wasn't aware of that, but I'm just suggesting a Edit Summary next to the Link|Source|Edit. I guess you could hide that button from anyone but the current editor.
    – jonsca
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 20:21
  • Oh, I know, I wasn't trying to say that your request was good/bad/duplicative. It just reminded me, that's all.
    – Pops
    Commented Jun 29, 2011 at 20:29
  • Feature request to change this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/79180/…
    – unor
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 0:48
  • another feature request : meta.stackexchange.com/questions/289244/…
    – qdinar
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


You can make it without any additional final changes, but in reality what you can do is make two changes in the 5 minute grace period. This is a workaround and a somewhat taxing one at that, but it's functional and I do it all the time.

First, edit your question with some very small edit. It doesn't matter what it is. You should elect to add your new edit summary at this point - thanks to this new feature, it will stick around. It'll also make the job easier since you can just edit it in place rather than re-type the whole thing.

After submitting that edit, start editing again and simply remove the change you made in the previous edit. The end point will be all the content of your previous edit, but you'll have the revised summary you wanted. If you didn't elect to add the summary in the previous step, by the way, you'll obviously need to add it in this revision. Otherwise it'll be all for naught!

  • 1
    I had thought about this approach, but it feels like a workaround. C'est la vie, I suppose. :) Thanks, Grace.
    – jonsca
    Commented Jun 30, 2011 at 2:53
  • Hmm, took me more than 5 minutes to learn about this workaround... I'll use it next time though.
    – oberlies
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 15:41

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