Some SE sites only allow editing for clarity, while others also allow editing for correctness and sometimes even adding content--basically treating the accepted answer as a wiki answer. To what degree should we edit questions and/or answers?

For example, What woods are soft enough for glazier points? discusses glazier points but some of us weren't familiar with that term. It seems like editing the question to include a photo should be allowed.

Another case might be an answer which is pretty complete but lacking some detail or options. For example, suppose there's a question asking, "How do I do X?" If there is an answer which already lists several (but not all) options, is it acceptable to simply add more options to the existing answer, should I simply add a comment and hope the original author incorporates it, or should I write my own answer which includes the options I'm aware of, even if some overlap with those discussed in an existing answer?

3 Answers 3


On the other sites, if I feel an answer(s) don't capture all of what I think is important I will usually post my answer often as an 'addendum' to the other answer. I might start with 'Adding to rob's answer there is also ...' if there is an answer that is very well done and it is almost pointless for me to add an answer with the missing pieces, then I'll leave them a comment, if they add it to their answer, great, if not it is at least still in the comments

  • 2
    Excellent points. As more folks come in to the site, there may be new answers with a totally different approach to an accepted or highly rated answer. Rarely is more information unhelpful. I am all for being more lenient on editing or just adding a new answer to supplement another good answer.
    – datUser
    Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 17:57

Comments can be/are deleted so important information placed there can be more easily lost. I've seen entire discussions removed from answers on some sites.

At Aviation.SE, there is a fair bit of question & answer editing for clarity, grammar, spelling and completeness. Very few people seem to be offended by it.

If I see poorly worded, unclear questions or answers, my expectation of the validity of information decreases. I'd say that editing, even to improve grammar adds value to the site.

Just saw what I thought was a really good title edit on this question.

  • 1
    I've already taken some comments from answers and added them. They were too important on there own and belonged there.
    – Matt
    Commented Mar 20, 2015 at 0:39
  • 1
    Title editing is very important. You'll often times get things like "I NEED HELP!" and nothing else. This does not help the next person, because they need help too! Helping people understand to explain their problem, yet being concise in titles is very important. Editing in these questions is essential to a healthy site. Commented Mar 24, 2015 at 11:40

Editing is a good thing. What generally is the biggest taboo in editing is changing an answer/question so much that the OP's original intent is lost.

A lot of new users will post a questions that simply are good questions but written very poorly with little context. Or they often write a lot of context and forget to ask a direct question. Editing these types of posts to clarify the question, to add more context or clarify the context is not only fine but encouraged.

Answers the same way if you can improve an answer with an edit you should. The objective of the site is to have good questions and good answers, editing by experts helps that cause.

New people tend not to read the faqs, and other information and while they have a good question in mind they often do not write a good question for the site. It is the experts job to moderate these into good questions rather then close them.

You will note that once the site gets out of private Beta, into public Beta, users need more score to edit questions without peer review of those edits. I think it is 3000 points for a site and 1500 points for a site in beta to submit edits without peer review. This insures that the edits are made by experts or reviewed by the experts for a site. Which keeps the edits on topic and fair.

All edits can be undone. You may often find that an edit is bad, and choose to undo the edit or take a shot at the edit yourself. It is all about making a question or answer useful. All published writers are edited in book, articles etc. Writers hire people to proofread their work and suggest changes that range from correcting typos to changing whole chapters. We all own whatever anybody posts here in the sense that we want it to be a quality piece of work and we should treat it that way.

We also should help the new people that will be coming along, to edit a question so that they learn the SE ways of doing things. Editing is a valuable tool that helps a site obtain a good quality. Editing rather then closing is a much better way to engage a new user with the site.

So edit away and don't be shy.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .