Saw this question today, it's close to being closed. But I had to work with a champagne glass in Photoshop once and could definitely offer some tips I picked up from that experience as an answer (gave the quick recap in a comment for now). The question is poor but it definitely could be edited into a real question.

So, when should we do that, and when do we decide that it's too broke to fix?

2 Answers 2


When a post is poorly worded but the underlying intent is clear, please do feel encouraged to edit and improve the quality of the post. However, your edits shouldn't change the fundamental nature of the post by adding information that shouldn't be included, removing information that should be included, or changing the actual question.

In the case of the question you linked... I don't think editing will help. The question starts with mention of a tutorial, but then settles for "where can I find a stock photo?". Simple questions like that aren't a good fit.

That said, there's nothing to discourage you from posting an answer with "I think you're asking how to do {thing}, and in my experience you should {method}."


If you see people closing a question because they think that there's loads of material on that already and they think the asker hasn't done their homework, but actually, you know that the question isn't as trivial as it first looks, then do get involved and say so to stop it getting closed.

People sometimes make big assumptions when they see a question that they expect to be easy to solve by googling it, especially when the asker forgot to explicitly say they they made the effort and when the question is also messy and flawed in other ways, and if you know something isn't as easy as it looks, it's a good idea to say so.

If you wanted to salvage this question, you could:

  • Edit out the bit about stock photos, comment explaining to the guy how that's a separate question and not really something we can help with. And/or edit it so it's clear the focus is on how to create the effect, and good stock photos is a "By the way, for bonus points, if you happen to know of any good stock photos..."
  • Edit in your knowledge about the lack of good existing tutorials on this topic. Normally, it would be good practice to poke the person who asked the question into doing this themselves so they can show prior effort, but since this guy got LMGTFYed with a list of search results where number 3 on the list was his own unanswered question (!!!) and almost everything else was shops selling actual pint glasses, I think we probably lost that potential user already... :-(
  • If the question's closed already, flag it for the moderators to re-open it. (it's also technically possible for high-rep people to vote to re-open a question, but it requires loads of people to do it (5 I think?) within a short time frame, and they all have to somehow notice that the question needs re-opening. It almost never happens, even on sites with more regular users than ours).

Personally, I'd say that as written, it was a bad question in more than one way (which also got a bad response), but it has a potentially interesting problem lurking underneath. It shouldn't be expected that a low effort question like this should always have people work hard to save it, but if someone like you thought the underlying content was interesting enough that you wanted to save it and give it a good answer, that would be a very good thing, in an 'above the call of duty' type way. In general, editing with comments explaining why beats closing.

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