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The "minor edit" checkbox (circled)
The "minor edit" selection box (circled) in the Visual editor "save" form

A check to the minor edit box signifies that only superficial differences exist between the current and previous versions. Examples include typographical corrections, corrections of minor formatting errors, and reversion of obvious vandalism. A minor edit is one that the editor believes requires no review and could never be the subject of a dispute. An edit of this kind is marked in its page's revision history with a lower case, bolded "m" character (m).

By contrast, a major edit is one that should be reviewed for its acceptability to all concerned editors. Any change that affects the meaning of an article is not minor, even if it concerns a single word; for example, the addition or removal of "not" is not a minor edit.

Because editors may choose to ignore minor edits when reviewing recent changes, the distinction between major and minor edits is significant. Logged-in users can set their preferences not to display minor edits. If there is any chance that another editor might dispute a change, the edit should not be marked as minor. (If an editor considers a change to be minor yet conceivably controversial, it is always possible to include "minor" in the edit summary without ticking the "minor edit" box.)

Users who are not logged in to EndMyopia Wiki are not permitted to mark changes as minor because of the potential for vandalism.

A good rule of thumb is that edits consisting solely of spelling corrections, formatting changes, or rearrangement of text without modification of content should be flagged as minor edits.

How to mark an edit as minor

Below the edit summary field, there is a checkbox that says "This is a minor edit". Most browsers support access keys (keyboard shortcuts); the access key for the minor edit checkbox is i. You can mark and save an edit very quickly by using the access keys for minor edit (i) and save (s).

When filling in the edit summary, you may also press Tab ↹+Space to check the minor edit box quickly.

What to mark as minor changes

  • Spelling, grammatical, and punctuation corrections
  • Simple formatting (e.g., capitalization, or properly adding italics to non-English words, like folie de grandeur, or titles of certain works, like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)
  • Formatting that does not change the meaning of the page (e.g., moving a picture, splitting one paragraph into two—where this is not contentious)
  • Obvious factual errors (e.g., changing "Edison was born in 1947" to "Edison was born in 1847")
  • Fixing layout errors
  • Adding or correcting wikilinks, or fixing broken external links and references already present in the article
  • Removing obvious vandalism

What not to mark as minor changes

  • Adding or removing content in an article
  • Adding or removing visible tags or other templates in an article
  • Adding or removing references / citations, external links, or categories in an article
  • Adding comments to a talk page or other discussion

Things to remember

  • Marking a major change as a minor one is considered poor etiquette, especially if the change involves the deletion of some text.
  • Consequently, if you are in doubt about whether an edit is minor or not, it is always safer not to mark it as minor.
  • Reverting a page is not likely to be considered minor under most circumstances. When the status of a page is disputed, and particularly if an edit war is brewing, then it is better not to mark any edit as minor. Reverting blatant vandalism is an exception to this rule.
  • Marking your change as minor affects how it displays in some editors' watchlists. If, for example, you mark your talk page comments as "minor", then fewer editors are likely to notice your comment.
  • The designation of a change as minor or major is not a reflection of how much work went into making the change. For instance, even if you spent several hours finding and fixing problems with the formatting of references, the change would still be minor. Editors should not feel that marking a change as minor devalues their effort.

Exceptions

Administrators can semi-automatically revert the edits of the last editor of a page; all such rollback reversions are marked as minor by the wiki software. The intended use of the rollback feature is for cases of vandalism, where the act of reverting any vandalism should be considered minor (and can be ignored in the recent changes list).

Additionally, bot accounts usually mark their edits as minor in addition to the "bot" flag.

See also