I have just made my first attempted edit of a post here other than my own and I am confused on what a substantial edit is because the edit appears to be rejected because the my edit was not "substantial"? I have seen edits that are much less by others to my own posts.

I am trying to figure out what "substantial" is so I only make "substantial" edits in the future

2 Answers 2


A substantial edit is one that addresses all of the issues in a post. For example, if there are spelling and grammar errors, but you only correct the formatting of some code elements, that would be too minor.

In that specific case I don't necessarily agree with the edit being rejected. You corrected some grammar and capitalization, and you removed irrelevant passages. Perhaps you could have removed the incorrect use of code formatting too.

Note that it was the OP of the post who rejected your suggestion, and the OP always has the last word on suggested edits.

  • That helps. Also, I didn't know the OP can outright reject or approve edits. Now it make sense! Thanks!
    – Damon
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 9:46
  • @Damon your edit was very well done. myself I prefer to leave peoples comments, and Thanks items, and humor, a kind of freedom of speech and ability to have fun and gratitudes and all.
    – Psycogeek
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 9:53
  • @Psycogeek I agree with you free speech comment; I will keep that in mind on future edits.
    – Damon
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 10:02
  • @Damon Please remove "Thanks" and similar content. See Should 'Hi', 'thanks,' taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?. Of course you can keep humor etc. in, but we prefer to keep the signal vs. noise ratio high.
    – slhck
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 10:04
  • @Damon if you need practice, I usually have some twisted spelling and incomprehensable postings out there :-)
    – Psycogeek
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 10:06
  • @slhck I will keep that in mind. Thanks for the link!
    – Damon
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 10:13
  • @Psycogeek Your not the only one. I've edited my own posts several times, and they still have more to edit after that!
    – Damon
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 10:15
  • If an OP "always has the last word ..." how does an OP "reject" a suggested edit that has been "accepted" by others? Of course, the OP can "unedit/re-edit" their post, or do a "roll-back", but can the OP actually "reject" a suggested edit after it has been "accepted"? Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 5:22
  • @Kevin No, but they can review it. It only takes one review then (by the OP) instead of the usual two.
    – slhck
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 6:18
  • In theory, yes. But in practice, suggested edits happen at "random" times, and are "approved" or "rejected" by others so quickly (within a few minutes), that usually, by the time the OP knows about it, it has already been approved or rejected by others. I mean it's not the sort of thing you are expecting to happen at any particular time for any particular question. Correct me if I'm wrong, but for the OP to participate in the review, they have to have that particular question displayed, and have to refresh the browser at the right moment to see that there is a suggested edit to be reviewed. Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 7:03
  • @Kevin Yes, you're right. You get a notification that an edit was suggested to your post though, so you have the chance to manually undo (or re-do) it later if it was already approved (or rejected) by others. That process could certainly be improved.
    – slhck
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 7:14

I wouldn't bother editing a post which meaning is easily understood. I'd edit a post if meaning is hard to understand or something is very ugly.

Other occasions I've edited a post is when something has changed since the post was written. For example if post states that program x cannot do something, but now it can, I'd edit the post with information that the said program can now do that (including version number). Or maybe syntax has been simplified or something like that.

This doesn't mean I'd correct simply incorrect posts. In the case a post is plain incorrect I'd post another answer that is correct. Depending on level of incorrectness I can also downvote the post. But I believe that if original answer is correct for the time it has been written, it deserves to get the corrections for the good of everybody reading that answer.

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