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This is a reference question for people wondering what the best practices are when editing posts.


When should I edit posts?

Any time you feel you can make the post better, and are inclined to do so. Editing is encouraged!

Some common reasons to edit are:

  • to fix grammatical or spelling mistakes
  • to clarify the meaning of a post without changing it
  • to correct minor mistakes or add addendums / updates as the post ages
  • to add related resources or hyperlinks

Try to make the post substantively better when you edit, not just change a single character or remove a 'thank you'. Tiny, trivial edits are discouraged.

How do I edit posts?

The edit link is available under each post.

What happens when I edit a post?

The post will be updated to show the latest editor, as well as the original author. All edits are saved and tracked in a revision history with attribution to each editor.

The revision history can be viewed by clicking the date and time next to the edited post (e.g. "edited 3 days ago").

Editing a post also bumps the question to the top of the homepage. Make your edits count.

Reviewing suggested edits

In addition, users with this privilege level also get access to the suggested edits queue. The queue has a list of posts which have been edited upon by users who don't have edit privileges. This queue can be accessed over at the suggested edits tab in the review section.

Users with this privilege level get access to the Low Quality Posts list where they can improve the low quality posts, or suggest they are deleted.

6

I think it's important to edit posts that include links to images not hosted on third-party sites and re-upload these images to stack.imgur.com. We can't count on the longevity of third-party image hosts, and the lack of graphical examples could render the question useless or non-nonsensical without them.

There are cases where a post works better without certain images set as inline, but they should still be re-uploaded to ensure that they'll be there for anyone that stumbles across the post in the future

This goes for both questions and answers!

  • 2
    I've sometimes wondered why there is no image upload for comments, for this exact reason. I sometimes use the `answer' editor to upload image and then link to it in a comment. – Joonas Mar 25 '13 at 10:26
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I think there's a bit too much editing taking place in general. Some questions are completely reworded with an edit and, at times, lose the entire "voice" of the original text.

Correcting issues such as links or misspellings is one thing, but to completely rewrite a question or answer in your voice rather than the original poster's voice, is simply wrong in my opinion.

I think a lighter hand where editing is concerned would be helpful. I would immediately leave any site if I saw something I posted completely reworded for the sake of rewording.

While grammar and spelling are hella good, to a degree, this ain't no english.stackexchange.com

  • I edit a lot (lately more than ever, so I guess this probably refers to me :D), but the sole purpose is to make the questions easier to understand. I didn't at first, but I discussed in SO and I now tend to agree with this question's first answer. It doesn't mean we can't go in a different direction in GD. Would like to see other opinions on this matter, perhaps a new question would be good. – Yisela Mar 18 '13 at 8:34
  • Wasn't referring directly to you Yisela. I understand editing for clarity. But I've rolled back edits on my own answers just because users wanted to make it sound as if they posted the answer. Written language has a style. I'll edit, but try not to change the style. That's all. – Scott Mar 18 '13 at 8:43
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    Exceptions are always present for obvious non-English speakers. – Scott Mar 18 '13 at 8:51
  • Can I PLEASE edit to correct your two errors in the last line? :P – Brendan Mar 18 '13 at 19:11
  • @Brendan better now? :) – Scott Mar 18 '13 at 19:45
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    Ahhhhhhhhhhh :P might as well add one more bit to it... – Brendan Mar 18 '13 at 20:34

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