3

As in "that which could be edited," or "editable" if you will.

4
  • 3
    For what it’s worth, the Oxford Dictionary of English lists ‘editable’ as an adjective that can qualify text or software.
    – user14698
    Nov 10, 2011 at 16:16
  • I couldn't find it listed as a recognized word at all, but thanks. And it sounds too much like "edible," which makes things worse :/
    – wanderer
    Nov 10, 2011 at 16:21
  • 1
    And first recorded in 1935. Nov 10, 2011 at 16:25
  • 4
    @wanderer, welcome, you should use tools such as onelook to search multiple dictionaries online.
    – Unreason
    Nov 10, 2011 at 16:31

7 Answers 7

12

"editable" seems to be in-use currently and is growing in popularity. Since it seems to be a relatively recent coining, I'd recommend using it for technical audiences but might avoid using it if I thought my audience would prefer more "established" words.

ngram showing sharp rise in use of editable around 1980

Also, the Corpus of Contemporary American English shows some usage of the word in the way you'd expect. Most of these uses are computer-related or academic publications.

4
  • 1
    So... what word/phrase did people use before the 1980's? ;) Nov 10, 2011 at 16:31
  • I think before the rise of computers, "editing" was limited to, well, editors, and there wasn't any special need for a special adjective to describe that which could be edited. Paper was inherently editable.
    – Lynn
    Nov 10, 2011 at 17:55
  • 3
    I just tried that google word-count-in-books-thing, and found that "revisable" was in heavier usage until the mid-1990's: books.google.com/ngrams/… Nov 10, 2011 at 21:11
  • Editable seems like a normal word that can be applied to text. But if OP is worried he might confuse it with edible, and thus be forced to eat his words, he could consider amendable Nov 11, 2011 at 15:49
8

You could use revisable if you don't like editable.

7

Though I like editable best, changeable is a possible answer.

7

How about "updateable", "changeable", and/or "modifiable" ?

5

How about "mutable"?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mutable

2
  • 1
    I just don't think "mutable" is apt for usage referring to text. It just doesn't sound right :/
    – wanderer
    Nov 10, 2011 at 16:19
  • 2
    Well certainly it depends on your specific application of the word. If you're writing for a technical audience I think that mutable would be a very concise choice. If you're writing for a non-technical audience "editable", as Bavarious suggested, might be the best fit. Nov 10, 2011 at 16:23
3

As others have said, "editable" is technically correct. Depending on the context, you may be able to say it in a different way, to avoid the awkward-sounding "editable":

Instead of:

The box is light gray when the text is editable.

Consider:

The box is light gray when you can edit the text.

You can edit the text when the box is light gray.

The box is light gray when editing is enabled.

2

Proper terms:

  • Editable *
  • Customizable
  • Changeable *
  • Alterable
  • Modifiable *
  • Revisable *

Slang:

  • Modable

Words stated in previous posts are marked with an astrix *

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