Help:Saving pages

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Edit summary

An edit summary is a brief explanation of an edit to a page. When you edit a page there is a small text entry field, labeled "Edit summary", located under the main edit box and above the "Save page" button. Edit summaries are displayed in lists of changes (such as page histories and watchlists), and at the top of diff pages.

Always Summarize Your Edits

When you make an edit, major or minor, always put at least a single word summary in the Summary text box. This allows others who have selected that page for their watchlist to know, at a glance, what has been changed.


Minor edits

If you are making minor changes such as spelling corrections, formatting, and minor rearrangement of text, check the box marked "minor edit". Marking a significant change as a minor edit is considered bad behaviour, and even more so if it involves the deletion of some text. If one has accidentally marked an edit as minor, the person should edit the source once more, mark it major (or, rather, ensure that the check-box for "This is a minor edit" is not checked), and, in the summary, state that the previous change was a major one.

Major edits

All editors are encouraged to be bold, but there are several things that you can do to ensure that major edits are performed smoothly. Before engaging in a major edit, consider discussing proposed changes on the article discussion/talk page. Additionally, making major changes on a subject outside of one's expertise area should also first be discussed. Once the edit has been completed, make sure you include a summary of the edit.

Edit conflicts

To understand what an edit conflict is, consider the following situation:

  • Alice clicks "Edit this page" on a page.
  • Bob clicks "Edit this page" on the same page while Alice is editing.
  • Alice finishes her edits and clicks "Save page". The page is saved with Alice's version while Bob is still editing.
  • Bob finishes his edits and clicks "Save page". Bob gets an "edit conflict" page.

See Wikipedia Help:Edit conflict for more information.

Show preview

Below the edit box is a Show preview button. Pressing this will show you what the article will look like without actually saving it. It is strongly recommended that you use this prior to saving. This allows you to check what the page will look like first and to check that you haven't made any errors. It also prevents the need for multiple saves. Saving the same article a large number of times in quick succession makes it harder for people to check what changed, and clogs up the page history.

See Wikipedia Help:Show preview for more information.