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In the "summary" you should briefly describe what has been changed on the page. In the settings, you can also specify that a warning message should appear before saving if no summary was written.

Why a summary

Summaries help describe an edit. Through good summaries, other users can recognize instantly if a change is of interest to them or not, it simplifies the edit review and saves time-consuming discussions. In contrast to the general source information in the article, one can now assign the sources exactly to the changes.

However, Be Careful! Summaries can not be changed later on, so be sure to create a summary only after you're done editing!

Where do summaries appear?

It is not possible to search for the text of a summary. The text in the summary is also not indexed by search engines. The only places where a summary appears are:

Minor Edit (m)

The checkbox for minor edits can only be set by registered users. A minor edit is a change to the content of a page that can't possibly be disputed, such as fixing typos, fixing the page formatting, adding necessary boilerplate code, etc. If someone could discuss about the edit you're about to make, then it's not a minor edit.

Partial Editing

If you edit a single section by using the "edit" button next to a heading, the header is automatically inserted as gray text in your summary. The summary, which you can add afterwards itself, then appears black and to the right of the gray comment:
→Heading: Summary