I sometimes see a question that needs a little code formatting (maybe a line of code escaped the code formatting tab/apostrophe). But when I try to edit it, I get a message the the edition couldn't be submitted because I have to change at least 6 non-space characters.

The thing is that there aren't any other changes needed in it, the only thing it does need is the code formatting.

What I sometimes do is add a few words (that aren't really needed, but they don't harm either, like in this question), and the the edit is submitted. But I don't like this method - I'm artificially adding words just to get the real edit submitted. Is there anything that can be done about this?

  • +1 I wholeheartedly agree, it'd be nice to be able to do a code-formating-only edit, and not have to make up some filler text.
    – akTed
    Commented Jan 20, 2013 at 11:10

1 Answer 1


This has been asked before on the general Stack Overflow Meta site, with suggestions to auto-approve formatting-only edits, but this has not been implemented (yet) because it could create new possibilities for gaming the system.

The general answer seems to be "Is the post otherwise so perfect that nothing in it can be improved?" They want to prevent multiple small edits that fix one thing but ignore other existing errors in the post, because every edit requires attention from another user to approve it.

  • While auto-approving wouldn't be a good thing IMO, a small 1-2 character edit to reformat text, while it does force added attention, benefits all.
    – akTed
    Commented Jan 20, 2013 at 11:12

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