Following up from some comments1 left on this question, here is a brief list (quick braindump) of common things to keep an eye out for, when making an edit to tidy up a post:

Obvious mistakes

  • Typos
  • Spelling:
    • commonly used 3d -> 3D;
    • proper capitalizing:
      • printer/electronics make and model like:
        • ramps -> RAMPS,
        • ender -> Ender,
        • bltouch -> BLTouch, etc.;
      • software products like:
        • cura -> Cura,
        • octoprint -> OctoPrint,
        • pronterface -> Pronterface
      • Others:
        • gcode -> G-code;
  • Grammar.


  • Removal of signatures;
  • Removal of greetings, such as "Hi"/"Hi there";
  • Removal of 'Hope this helps' - "Stack Overflow is like an encyclopedia, so we prefer to omit these types of phrases. It is assumed that everyone here is trying to be helpful." - I saw this quote on SO.
  • Removal of "Thanks" - this is both contentious and up-for-debate on some SE sites. However, if you agree with the above quote for "Hope this helps", then the same can be applied to "Thanks" - it can be assumed that you will be grateful - also "Thanks" reduces the encyclopedia "look" of SE.

Correct use of SI units

  • SI units are the standard (Imperial units can be used as secondary units but should be put in between parentheses after the SI units);
  • Adding non-breaking space before SI units ( ) - see Don't forget the space!;
  • Temperature units:
    • Celsius: c or C or oC -> °C (°C)
    • Fahrenheit: f or F or oF -> °F (°F)
  • Electrical units:
    • Voltage: v -> V;
    • Current: a -> A;
    • Resistance: Ohms -> Ω (Ω)


  • Break up walls of text, into more easily digestible paragraphs;
  • Replace slang, or text-speak, with grammatical English;
  • Possible re-arranging of text blocks, into a more logical, or clearer, sequence - if, for example, the post (usually an initially poor quality question) has slowly been built through a series of edits responding to repeated requests for additional information. However, care should be taken not to cause a conflict with the author's intent - respect the OP.
  • Remove instances of "EDIT:" and the such like (e.g. date and time stamps). There is already a link to the edit history of the post, which viewable by all, so there really is no need to replicate this in the text - it just disrupts the readability and flow of text.

Text formatting

  • Removing HTML tags (i.e. <br>) when there is a markdown equivalent;
  • List formatting, and associated additional indenting of linked paragraphs and code;
  • Quotes must be blockquote formatted and have the source provided, preferably as a link. This is to avoid accusations of plagiarism and possible legal action.
  • Code formatting: G-codes should be code formatted, i.e. surrounded by backquotes (`), indented by 4 spaces or (for multiple lines) enclosed by triple single backquotes (```).


  • Image descriptions, and image hover tags;
  • Clickable image display - i.e. [![<imagedescription>][x]][x], sometimes, somehow, the "outside" wrapper brackets get lost;
  • Orientation of image - requires a bit of "manual" labour in an image editor;
  • Appropriate size of image, crop out excess white border surrounds - requires a bit of "manual" labour in an image editor;
  • Ensure that the image has been added to the Stack Exchange imgur, rather than just the vanilla imgur, or an external site, as this reduces the chance of an image disappearing, due to link-rot.

Inlining links

  • Inlining links with the title of the linked page;
  • Inlining YouTube links with the title of video.


  • Don't forget to check the title, for spelling, etc., it can be easy to just focus on the body of the question, and overlook the title itself;
  • Title case should be replaced by regular case, i.e. "This Is Very Ugly To Deal With";
  • Remove any information, already present in the tags, which is repeated in the title. For example, if the title is "Filament - Is PETG more weather resistant than PLA?", the tag can be used instead, and the redundant "Filament" can be removed from the title2.

Information from comments

  • Often there is a large amount of additional information in the comments beneath a post, in response to requests from other users. This additional information really should be in the post itself. The comment should be copy/pasted into the post and tidied, if necessary.
  • Once the edit has been approved, the comment should then be flagged as "It's no longer needed"

There are probably more examples, so this list may get updated from time to time.


1 I wrote this post as one central post doesn't seem to exist. There is a series of disparate meta posts (either on this meta, or other meta sites, or the main SE.Meta site), each dealing with one of the different facets of post editing, listed above, which I'll get around to posting links to. However, generally, it is by looking at other people's edits (across the various SE sites), that one gets an idea as to what should be fixed.

2 Of course the and tags can also be used, but you wouldn't want to also remove them from the title as it would become meaningless..!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Many thanks for the question, as it is now, it is already pretty big for just a brain dump! As an aside, how do we encourage people to edit? It always seem to be the same editors. $\endgroup$ – 0scar Jan 4 at 12:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That is always a bit of a waiting game - however, we do occasionally get some new editors coming along... people who want to give their reputation a bit of a boost. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Jan 4 at 13:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Also, keep an eye on the comments, when asking a poster for extra information, make sure it is edited into the question. After that comments may be flagged for "It's no longer needed". $\endgroup$ – 0scar Jan 6 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ instead of the HTML variant I generate the fixed space with ALT+ 0160 $\endgroup$ – Trish Jan 15 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish - The problem with that is that it is Windows specific and it isn't visible, so it isn't clear if it has been added or not (I think? I can't check either of those statements at the moment) $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Jan 15 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ huh... otherwise: include "Centigrade is an angular measurement of $\frac \pi {20000}$ and not unit of temperature" into the unit part. $\endgroup$ – Trish Jan 15 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish - I'm not sure I understand what you mean about the Centigrade, but feel free to add anything that is a common editing mistake to the post if it has been omitted. :-) $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Jan 15 at 14:47
  • $\begingroup$ How should menu items in software, i.e. Cura, or settings, i.e. 'Layer Height', be formatted? $\endgroup$ – agarza Mar 10 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish - I've only just noticed (from your comment) that you can put MathJax in comments, I never knew that. Now that is cool! :-) $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Mar 10 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ @agarza - Please see this answer $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Mar 10 at 17:38

In response to argarza's comment:

How should menu items in software, i.e. Cura, or settings, i.e. 'Layer Height', be formatted?

Formatting menu items

I normally use Bold. However, I have seen other people use italics. It's probably best to stick to one or the other. Shall we say Bold? I (personally) prefer bold as it seems clearer to me.

Italics would be more suited for use as stressing a point or a particular word, IMHO.

For a menu delimiter, I normally use this character: (&#x25B6;), as it (again) is clearer to see. So for example a hierarchical menu would look like:



ViewDeveloperView Source

Note: that the arrow is not bolded, here is the actual markdown:

**View** ► **Developer** ► **View Source**`

I've also seen code formatting used for menus, but IMHO, I think it looks nasty, see this answer (which, incidentally, is where I lifted the arrow from).

Note: This is not an official "Stack Exchange" policy (I'm not even sure that one exists, w.r.t. formatting menu items or what-have-you). I did come across this today, however: How do I make a good edit?, which has a good answer from S. L. Barth. See this comment:

I've tried to get all editing information together here on MSO. A few rules of thumb: quote markdown is only for quotes. code markdown is only for code. Personally, I also believe that boldface and italics should be avoided when possible.

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    $\begingroup$ For reference, the arrow (►) is &#x25B6; $\endgroup$ – agarza Mar 10 at 17:56

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