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I do not have enough reputation to make my own edits. When I try to make an edit, e.g., to a title to clarify it, I get an error that I haven't made a change of at least six characters.

It seems that this calculation is only happening to the body of the message and not to the title box, so this seems to be a bug.

The work-around I've used is to arbitrary add enough spaces at the end of a paragraph in the actual post. Interestingly, this is enough to fool the character-limit calculation.

Update: @waffles tests provided enough of a controlled experiment to pinpoint the problem. In the examples where I was getting an error, I was making large changes to the title and also making, e.g., a one-letter typo correction to the body. The small edit to the body overrode the fact I had made a change to the title. If titles are to be edited more freely, my opinion is that this should hold regardless of any edits to the body.

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The rules are different for suggested edits. Every edit must be approved by peers so they are not "free" and must be substantive.

If you want to freely make single character edits, earn 2k rep for editing.

That said we feel that title is significant enough that small edit suggestions are allowed there. However, we want suggested body edits to be substantive.

It is a rare post indeed that is so very perfect that less than 6 characters in it can be improved. :)

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  • $\begingroup$ @Jeff, I think you may have misread my post or maybe it wasn't clear enough. For example, I tried to edit only the title of a post the other day and couldn't due to the character limit. My attempted edit of the title far exceeded six characters. In order to get the edit to go through, I had to then fake out the character-change limit by adding six spaces to the body. Does that clarify my post? $\endgroup$ – cardinal Feb 28 '11 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ @cardinal ah, I see -- I'll clarify with sam, that might be a bug. $\endgroup$ – Jeff Atwood Feb 28 '11 at 22:08
  • $\begingroup$ @cardinal, I just submitted a char title edit, just fine. $\endgroup$ – Sam Saffron Feb 28 '11 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ see: stats.stackexchange.com/suggested-edits/43 $\endgroup$ – Sam Saffron Feb 28 '11 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ @waffles, @Jeff, aha! Thanks for the example. The problem happens when you have a title edit and a minimal body edit. So, if I make any change to the title and, say, correct a one-letter typo in the body, then I get the error message. That seems like faulty logic! (That is, if I am able to change the title without the character limit being imposed, I should also be able to change both title and body together without the limit.) Should be a one-line code correction. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 1 '11 at 1:45
  • $\begingroup$ @cardinal no, it seems correct to me. If you touch the body, then make it substantive. 6 characters is a very mild limit. $\endgroup$ – Jeff Atwood Mar 1 '11 at 4:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Jeff, Ok. Your call. Seems strange to me. No restriction if $A$, but do restrict if $A \cap B$. Anyway, my work-around works, which makes the six-character limit effectively moot. $\endgroup$ – cardinal Mar 1 '11 at 4:22
  • $\begingroup$ There really ought to be an exception to the "at least 6 characters" rule, if the edit is in a TeX formula. I'm trying to correct a plus sign in a formula that the user clearly intended to be a minus sign, but I can't because I don't have the rep on this site. Surely the difference between + and - is a "substantive" change, right? $\endgroup$ – Tim Goodman Jul 19 '17 at 19:23

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