A check to the minor edit box signifies that only superficial differences exist between the current and previous version: typo corrections, formatting and presentational changes, rearranging of text without modifying content, et cetera. A minor edit is a version that the editor believes requires no review and could never be the subject of a dispute. An edit marked as minor appears on the right of a lower case, bolded "m" character (m) in the history.
By contrast, a major edit is a version that should be reviewed to confirm that it is consensual to all concerned editors. Therefore, any change that affects the meaning of an article is not minor, even if the edit is a single word; for example, the addition or removal of "not", which can vastly change the meaning of a sentence, paragraph, section or article.
The distinction between major and minor edits is significant because editors may choose to ignore minor edits when reviewing recent changes; logged-in users might even set their preferences to not display them. If there is any chance that another editor might dispute a change, it is best to not mark the edit as minor.
When to mark an edit as minor
- Spelling corrections.
- Simple formatting (e.g., capitalization, punctuation, or properly adding italics to non-English words like folie des grandeurs).
- Grammar corrections. When the current word, does not match the meaning that is implied, changing it to fit is a minor change. Example: usage of there/their/they're, AN in-place of A, etc.
- Formatting that doesn't change the meaning of the page (e.g. adding horizontal lines, splitting one paragraph into two—where this is not contentious).
- Obvious factual errors (e.g., changing "Nixon resigned in 1874" to "Nixon resigned in 1974").
- Fixing layout errors.
- Adding and correcting wiki links.
- Removing vandalism and graffiti.
- Essentially all things you feel "requires no review and could never be the subject of a dispute"
When to not mark an edit as minor
- You've added a little bit of new information about the game itself. No matter how little, even if it was just 1 number/letter. New information can always be disputed, thus is never minor. Minor edits are not about how much information you added.
- You've added some extra information to one of your talk posts. Anything added is never minor, even on talk pages.
- Grammar Changes. When the current phrasing, does not match the meaning that is implied, changing it to fit is NOT a minor change. Example: the easiest way/an easy way, two things out of three/two out of three things, etc.
- Added a "minor bug". Just because the bug itself is deemed minor, the edit itself adding it still one that could possibly be disputed.
- Fixed a small error on the game, that relates to game data. EG: Updated a page to say a bug is now fixed based on the release notes by clearing the bug template. May seem small, but given how often the release notes contain errors, it is an edit that could be disputed.
Things to remember
- Any change to the source text (Wikitext), even if it does not affect the presentation of the page in HTML (if it involves adding a space or a line break, for example) will still be treated as a change according to the database.
- Marking a major change as a minor one is considered poor etiquette, especially if the change involves the deletion of some text.
- 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.
- If you accidentally mark an edit as minor when it was in fact a major edit, you should make a second edit, or dummy edit, noting in the edit summary that the previous edit was major. As a trivial edit to be made for this purpose, just opening the edit box and saving (changing nothing) will not work, neither will adding a blank space at the end of a line or a blank line at the end of the page—in these cases the edit is canceled and the edit summary discarded. However, one can, for example, add an extra space between two words, or a line break. These changes are preserved in the wikitext and recorded as a change, although they do not change the rendered page.
- It may be worth communicating any disagreement about what is minor via Talk or a message to the contributor, being careful to avoid a flame war ("I thought your change was a bit more than minor—maybe I am being over-sensitive?"). There is a gray area, and many contributors will appreciate feedback on whether they've got it right.
System operators and users who have been granted access 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. This is because the cumulative effect of the edits and the rollback is nothing. 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). This has the undesirable effect that if preferences have been set to hide minor edits, and an undesirable edit has not been marked minor, one sees that, but not a possible semi-automatic reversion, in Recent Changes and Enhanced Recent Changes.