Help:Edit summary

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An edit summary is an explanation of the changes made to a given page in an edit. Although not required, editors are encouraged to write accurate and detailed summaries (for more information, see Help:Edit summary on Wikipedia).


The edit summary box can hold one line of 200 characters. If you attempt to type or paste more, only the first 200 characters will be displayed - the rest will be disregarded. Also, for example attempting to add 10 new characters (at the end or in between) to a summary already containing 195 characters will result in the first 5 new characters being inserted and the second 5 being disregarded.

The "Show preview" button also provides a preview of the edit summary to facilitate checking links.


Edit sum1

An explanation of an edit typed in the Edit Summary text box.

Always fill in the summary field. This is considered an important guideline. Even a short summary is better than no summary. An edit summary is even more important if you delete any text; otherwise, people may question your motives for the edit. Also, mentioning one change but not another one can be misleading to someone who finds the other one more important; add "and misc." to cover the other change(s).

Accurate summaries help people decide whether it is worthwhile for them to check a change. We've found that summaries often pique the interest of contributors with expertise in the area. This may not be as necessary for "minor changes", but "fixed spelling" would be nice even then.

In the case of a small addition to an article, it is highly recommended to copy the full text of this addition to the summary field, giving a maximum of information with a minimum of effort. Put ft in front, as an abbreviation of "full text" (see the Abbreviations section for other abbreviations). This way, readers of the summary will be unlikely to check the page itself as they already know the extent of the edit. These kinds of edits allow users to check Recent changes, Page history and User contributions (see below) very efficiently - this also reduces the load on the servers.

If the addition is more than 200 characters, so it does not fit fully in the edit summary box, you should write a short summary of the changes you have introduced into the article. For an addition of, say, 400 characters you can also save time by simply copying that into the summary field. The excess will fall off, and the first 200 characters will usually be acceptable as a crude "summary".

Unfortunately you can copy only one line of text from the edit box into the edit summary box. The contents of further lines can be pasted at the end of the line. Thus, for example, a bulleted "see also" list is cumbersome to put in the edit summary box. One possible workaround for a new list is putting the list on one line, separated by the asterisks for the bullets, copying it to the edit summary box, and then, in the main edit box, putting the new lines before the asterisks.

In addition to a summary of the change itself, the summary field may also contain an explanation of the change; note that if the reason for an edit is not clear, it is more likely to be reverted, especially in the case that some text is deleted. To give a longer explanation, use the Talk page and put in the edit summary "see Talk".

After saving the page, the summary can not be edited--another reason to avoid spelling errors.

In the case of important omissions or errors in the edit summary, you can make a dummy edit just to put the correction in the edit summary.

Places where the edit summary appearsEdit

Edit sum2

The previously displayed edit summary as it appears in the page history.

The edit summary appears in black italics in the following places:

* Use the enhanced watchlist to see all recent changes in the watched pages, not just the last change in each page.


See Edit summary legend for a list of commonly used abbreviations in edit summaries.

File upload summaryEdit

When uploading an image one can supply an upload summary. This serves multiple purposes:

  • as second part of the automatically created edit summary of the upload log (the first part giving the file name)
  • as text in the entry of the image history
  • in the case that the file name of the image is new:
    • as edit summary for the creation of the image page
    • as wikitext for the editable part of the image page, which includes the following possibilities:
      • briefly describe the image
      • provide internal or external links
      • call templates
      • specify one or more categories the image is in

The capacity of the upload summary is one line of 250 characters; in the upload log the last part may fall off, because this can contain 255 characters, including "uploaded "filename"".

Note that there is no preview function to check the code for the links, template calls and category tags, but of course, if needed one can edit the image page after uploading, to correct errors and also to extend the text.

See also Help:Image page.

Section editingEdit

When applying the section editing feature the section title is automatically inserted as initial version or first part of the edit summary. Put more details after this text. In the case that you provide a long summary yourself you can delete the section title in order to stay within the limit of 200 characters. The automatic text appears by default in gray, with the manually typed text being black. If you create a new section before or after an existing section by clicking a section "edit" link, please delete the automatic edit summary to avoid confusion.

For edits made before May 2004, the automatic part of the summary is surrounded by "=" signs.

Standard summariesEdit

Edit sum3

Available standard edit summaries

Wookieepedia has 30 standard summaries available. These make it easy to select a common reason for an edit, and easy for other editors to understand upon viewing. These options are divided into six sections:

  • 1. Refactoring
  • 2. Content
  • 3. Removal/Reversion
  • 4. Templates
  • 5. Corrections
  • 6. Categories

The individual available options are as follows:

  • 1.1 Cleanup
  • 1.2 Formatting
  • 1.3 HTML tidying
  • 1.4 Wookification
  • 1.5 Fixing something Wikia broke
  • 2.1 Page created
  • 2.2 Updated with new information
  • 2.3 Expansion
  • 2.4 Rewrite
  • 2.5 Added sources/appearances
  • 2.6 NPOV
  • 2.7 Replaced duplicate image(s)
  • 2.8 Updated references
  • 3.1 Reverted vandalism
  • 3.2 Reverted fanon
  • 3.3 Removed personal attack
  • 3.4 Removed unverified info
  • 3.5 Removed unsourced image(s)
  • 4.1 Added infobox
  • 4.2 Added disambig template
  • 4.3 Added quote
  • 4.4 Changed quotes
  • 4.5 Removed quote
  • 5.1 Corrected spelling/grammar
  • 5.2 Corrected tense
  • 5.3 Factual correction
  • 5.4 Corrected template usage
  • 6.1 Added category
  • 6.2 Removed category
  • 6.3 Changed category
  • 6.4 Alphabetized categories

This is a glossary of terms used on Wikia, and on wikis in general, based on the Wikipedia glossary.

Contents: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Also used: sysop.
Short for Administrator. A user with extra technical privileges who does housework such as deleting pages and blocking vandals.
An HTML term for code that lets you link to a specific point in a page, using the "#" character. You can use them to link to a section of a page.


Removing all content from a page. Newcomers often do this accidentally. On the other hand, if blanking an article is done in bad faith, it is vandalism. If blanking is done to a vandalized brand-new page, it is maintenance, and the page should be deleted by an admin.
Action by an admin, removing from a certain IP address or user the ability to edit a wikia. Usually done against IP addresses that have done vandalism or against users who have been banned.
Boilerplate text
A standard message which can be added to an article using a template.
Also used: edit link, red link.
A link to a nonexistent page, usually colored red.
Broken redirect
Redirect to a non-existing page. These are listed at Special:BrokenRedirects and should usually be removed or redirected.
A user who has the ability to promote and demote other users to the positions of rollback and admin, and promote to bureaucrat.


The Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License is the license under which most of the content on Wikia is published.
See also Help:Wikia copyrights.
Copyright violation.
See also Help:Wikia copyrights.
Cut and paste move
Moving a page by taking the text of the page, and copying it into the edit window for the second page. Generally considered worse than the 'move page' option, because it causes the page and its edit history to be in different places. Cut and paste moves can be fixed by administrators.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:How to fix cut and paste moves.


See Disambiguation.
Data dump
To import material from outside sources into Wikia without editing, formatting and linking. This is often not useful and generally discouraged.
See also Wikify.
Dead-end page
Page that has no links to existing other pages, except perhaps interlanguage links. Special:Deadendpages lists them.
See De-sysop.
Also used: De-admin.
Take away someone's administrator status. Local bureaucrats and Wikia Staff have the ability to do this.
Also used: Un-Wikify.
To remove (de-link) a wikification of an article. This can be done to remove selflinks or excessive common-noun Wikification.
The difference between two versions of a page, as displayed using the Page history feature, or from recent changes. The versions to compare are encoded in the URL, so you can make a link by copying and pasting it - for instance when discussing a specific change to an article.
See also MetaWikipedia:Help:Diff.
Dirty Diff
When a diff contains unexpected changes to the wikitext markup, unrelated to the user's input.
This may occur when pasting rich-text, or when the Visual Editor alters formatting.
Also used: dab, disambig.
The process of resolving the conflict that occurs when articles about two or more different topics have the same natural title.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Disambiguation.
Disambiguation page
A page that contains various meanings of a word, and points to the pages where the various meanings are defined.
Double redirect
A redirect which leads to another redirect. Counter-intuitively, this will not bring one to the final destination, so it needs to be eliminated by linking directly to the final target page. Listed at Special:DoubleRedirects.
Short for a duplicate article. Often used when identifying a duplicate page that needs to be merged with another.


Edit conflict
Two or more parties both attempt to save different edits to the same page at the same time. Usually if this happens you will be asked to re-make your edit into the newly modified page.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Edit conflicts.
See Broken link.
Edit summary
The contents of the "Summary:" field below the edit box on the "Edit this page" page.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Edit summary.
Edit war
Also used: revert war.
Two or more parties repeatedly making their preferred changes to a page, and undoing the changes they don't agree with. An edit war should be stopped and the disagreement resolved on a talk page.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Edit war.
Also used: ext. ln, ext lk, or extlink.
A link to a website outside of Wikia. The alternatives are an internal link within the same Wikia community, and an interwiki link to a different Wikia community.



GNU General Public License. MediaWiki, which runs Wikia, is released under this license.


Also called: page history
All previous versions of an article, from its creation to its current state.
See also: MetaWikipedia:Help:Page history


Also used: wikilink
A link pointing to another page within the same wikia created by using the wikitext markup double square-brackets "[[" and "]]". These links usually show up as blue if they are working, and red if they are broken. Note that they do not have the arrow symbol characteristic of an external link.
Interwiki link
A link to a different Wikia community. Usually links a word or name to a page covering the topic in depth on another wikia. Also seen at the bottom of pages when the page is available in different languages.




See Interwiki link.


The software behind Wikia, and a namespace. Originally developed for Wikipedia.
See also Help:MediaWiki, Help:MediaWiki namespace.
Taking the text of two pages, and turning it into a single page. Also used for the combination of two wikias.
A website other than Wikia that uses content original to Wikia as a source for at least some of its content. This is allowed under CC-BY-SA.


A way to classify pages. Wikia has namespaces for the main content, pages about the project (which on many wikis will be in the main namespace), user pages (User:), special pages (Special:), MediaWiki pages (MediaWiki:) and talk pages (Talk:, Wikipedia talk:, and User talk:).
See also Help:Namespace.
"Neutral Point of View", or the agreement to report subjective opinions objectively, so as not to cause edit wars between opposing sides. As a verb, to remove biased statements or slanted phrasing. As an adjective, it indicates that an article fits this idea of neutrality. Commonly used at Wikipedia, where NPOV is a primary policy, it is also a local policy on many Wikia communities.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.
Null edit
A null edit occurs when an editor opens the edit window of a document then re-saves the page without having made any text changes. This is sometimes done as a lazy way to purge – to update the functioning of templates (which require articles containing them to be edited in order for any changes to take effect). Moreover, a null edit can more quickly populate the page being null-edited into a new category. The term also applies to making a very small, non-substantive change (e.g., removing an unneeded blank line or adding one) in order to get the article history to register a change, for the purpose of leaving an edit summary that responds to a previous one.


A page with no links from other pages. You can view lists of orphaned articles and images.


A link where the displayed text is not the name of the target article. Such links are created using the pipe character "|" e.g. [[Target article|Displayed text]]. The pipe trick is a software feature that generates the displayed text for you in certain circumstances.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Piped link.
Point of view. Often used negatively as an adjective to indicate bias, as in "That reply was POV, not neutral.".
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Point of view.
Project namespace
The project namespace is a namespace dedicated to providing information about a wiki. At Wikipedia, this is used to separate policies from encyclopedia articles. It is less commonly used at Wikia.
Protected page
A page that cannot be edited by all users. A page can be protected against anonymous users and new accounts, or against all users except admins. Often this is done to protect against frequent vandalism or to cool down an edit war.



An abbreviation for Special:Recentchanges
Also used: redir.
A page title which sends the reader to another page. This is used for synonyms and ease of linking. For example, copyright redirects to Help:Wikia copyrights.
See also MetaWikipedia:Help:Redirect.
See Broken link.
An edit that reverses changes made by someone else.
See also Help:Reverting
Revert war
See Edit war.
Requests for adminship. A page where users can ask to be made admins on a community.
Remove. Used in edit summaries to indicate that a particular piece of text or formatting has been deleted.
To change a page back to the version before the last edit. Admins have special tools to do this more easily.
The generally used top level category.
Revert. An edit summary indicating that the page has been reverted to a previous version, often because of vandalism.
See also Help:Reverting.


A sandbox is a page that users may edit however they want. This is for users to experiment and gain familiarity with Wiki markup.
Section editing
Using the 'edit' links to the right of the page, one can get an edit window containing only part of the page, making it easier to find the exact spot where one wants to edit. Javascript is needed for section editing. You can turn section editing off in your preferences under the "Enable section editing via [edit] links" option.
A Wikilink contained in an article that points the reader to that same article, e.g. linking Help:Contents in the article "Help:Contents". Such links are automatically displayed as strongly emphasized text rather than links, but the more complex case of a link which redirects to the same article is not, and should be de-wikified.
The wikia's overall layout and appearance. Currently, two basic choices are available: Wikia and Monobook, and the user can choose between them in Special:Preferences. All wikis display in the Wikia skin by default. Customizations to the colors and other details can be made in a personal css file, or, as an admin, by using Special:Themedesigner.
See also Help:Theme designer.
Sock puppet
Also used: sock, alt
Another user account created secretly by an existing user of the wikia, often to manufacture the illusion of support in a vote or argument, or to avoid a block.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Sock puppetry.
Soft redirect
A very short article or page that essentially points the reader in the direction of another page. Used in cases where a normal redirect is inappropriate for various reasons (e.g. it is a cross-wiki redirect)
Short for spelling correction. Used in edit summaries.
Separating a single page into two or more pages.
An article usually consisting of one short paragraph or less. A {{stub}} template is often added to mark intended content and invite others to add to the page.
A very short stub. For example, an article that is no more than a simple definition ("An airplane is a type of winged flying vehicle").
A page connected to a parent page. You can only create subpages in certain namespaces.
See Admin.


Talk page
A page reserved for discussion. Many pages within Wikia (except talk pages themselves!) have talk pages attached to them, though some communities use Help:Comments on article pages.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Talk page.
A way of automatically including the contents of one page within another page, used for boilerplate text, navigational aids, etc. Templates on Community Central can be used on any other Wikia (see Help:Shared templates for details).
See also: Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Template namespace.
A user who incites or engages in disruptive behavior (trolling).
See also Wikipedia:Internet troll, Wikipedia:Wikipedia:What is a troll.
A cute misspelling of "typo". Used as an edit summary when correcting typos.


Going against the basic concept of a wiki. Usually saying that something is un-wiki means that it makes editing more difficult or impossible.
A small colored box which allows users to add small messages on their user page. Most people use this to share facts about themselves, such as their interests, hobbies, likes, and dislikes.
For more information about userboxes, check out the userbox template on Templates Wiki.
User page
A personal page for editors at Wikia. Most people use their pages to introduce themselves and to keep various personal notes and lists. They are also used to communicate with other users via the Message Wall or user talk page.
See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia:User page.


Some kind of bot being used for vandalism or spamming. Recognizable by the fact that one or a few IP-addresses make many similar clearly vandalistic edits in a short time.
See also Help:Blocking#Vandal bots, MetaWikipedia:Vandalbot.
Deliberate defacement of pages on a community. This can be by deleting text or publishing nonsense, bad language etc. The term is often incorrectly used to discredit the views of an opponent in edit wars.
An abbreviation used at Wikipedia, meaning Votes for Deletion. This is one method users at Wikia might choose to decide which pages are deleted.


A set of pages selected by the user, who can then click on My watchlist to see recent changes to those pages.
See also: Help:Followed pages.
A contributor to a Wikia project.
Also used: Wikivacation.
When a regular editor of a wikia takes a break from the project.
See also MetaWikipedia:Wikibreak.
To format using wiki markup (as opposed to plain text or HTML) and add internal links to material, integrating it into the wiki. Noun: Wikification. Sometimes abbreviated wfy.
A link to another page on the same Wikia community, as opposed to an external link.
Wiki markup
Also used: wiki text, wikitext.
Code like HTML, but simplified and more convenient, for example '''bold''' instead of <b>bold</b>. It is the source code stored in the database and shown in the editor in source mode. Searching by the MediaWiki software is done in the wikitext, as opposed to searching by Google, which is done in the visible text. The size of a page is the size of the wikitext.
See also Help:Editing.
Properly Wikimedia Foundation Inc., the non-profit organization that runs Wikipedia and other projects. Wikimedia is not officially affiliated with Wikia. The name is often confused with MediaWiki.
A project run by Wikimedia to create a free content encyclopedia using wiki software.
Personal stress or tension induced by editing wikis, or more often by being involved in a conflict with another editor.
See also MetaWikipedia:Wikistress.

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