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Recently, I was looking at Dungeon Defender questions when I noticed a slight inaccuracy in one of the answers. The ETA of a patch. It was originally the 7th, but had been changed to the 9th. Unfortunately, a simple change from "7th" to "9th" wasn't allowable. I had to edit more!

I ended up just using the long form of the date to get around it, but such a system seems unnecessary and arbitrary when you have to have a high amount of karma to make edits without approval.

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    Why not simply leave a comment for the person, telling them what the correct date is? That way, they can fix it, or someone with permissions can fix it, or at worst, we'll see the correct answer in your comment. – Dave DuPlantis Nov 9 '11 at 3:40
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    I'm not sure why we should have to resort to using comments just because the more direct method has a fixable problem. – Mr. November Nov 9 '11 at 3:43
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    I'm not sure you've shown that there is a problem. If this answer is the one to which you are referring, the existing limit made you make a more substantial edit that ended up being accepted, and that made the answer better. – Dave DuPlantis Nov 9 '11 at 11:51
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    Uh... you only have 1,122 reputation, so you're still a few hundred reputation short to full edit access; indeed, the edit in question had to be approved. Once you do hit 2,000 reputation, you can make edits unsupervised and the edit size restriction will be lifted too. – badp Nov 9 '11 at 17:25
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This is a deliberate limitation across all sites, to avoid trivial edits. In your case the limitation is definitely annoying, since that 1-character edit is decidedly not trivial. You can raise this issue on SE meta, but in general, the accepted work-around is to just add a few more actually-trivial edits into your edit. Fix spaces, punctuation, whatever little things you can find.

If you can't find anything, you can always add "invisible" information, such as an XML comment: the text <!-- edited for character count --> will not be seen.

Also note that the Edit Questions and Answers privilege, unlocked at 2,000 reputation, removes the character edit limitation.

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    Maybe I'm just mean, but I usually reject suggested edits that cheat by inserting Markdown comments as too minor. Also, this issue has been brought up on Meta Stack Exchange about a dozen times, if not more. – a cat Nov 9 '11 at 17:40
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I don't think that there's a need to change a network-wide policy for something that can easily be handled through existing tools, and I would prefer not to encourage people to find ways to get around the limits without improving content. It's simple enough to leave a note for the OP to update the answer and then to flag your comment as obsolete once the change has been made. If that isn't the situation you prefer, then consider it as motivation to earn enough rep where you can make those edits yourself!

There certainly are instances where a single character completely changes an answer, but changing the policy to permit those answers also permits the trivial edits that it was designed to prevent in the first place. Lowering the bar means swamping reviewers with low-quality changes as well as the few important edits that this change would permit.

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