When editing a page, logged-in users may mark a change to a page as a minor edit. It is often a matter of personal judgment, but generally implies trivial changes only, such as typo corrections, formatting and presentational changes and rearranging of text without changing any content.
By contrast, a major edit makes the article worth reviewing for anyone who watches it closely. Therefore, any change that affects the meaning of an article is not minor, even if it involves one word.
The distinction between major and minor edits is significant because one may decide to ignore minor edits when viewing recent changes; logged-in users can even set their preferences to not display them. No one wants to be fooled into ignoring a significant change to an article simply because it was marked "minor". So remember to consider the opinions of other editors when choosing this option.
When to mark an edit as minor
- Spelling corrections
- Simple formatting (capitalization, et cetera)
- Formatting that does not change the meaning of the page (e.g. adding horizontal lines, splitting one paragraph into two—where this is not contentious)
- Obvious factual errors (changing 1873 to 1973, where the event in question clearly took place in 1973)
- Fixing layout errors