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When editing an article on the site, there is a small field labeled "Summary" under the main edit box.
The text written here, up to 200 characters, will appear in italics on the Recent changes page and in the page revision history (see also below). You should write a short summary of the changes you have introduced into the article. In addition (or alternatively), the summary field could explain why the change to the article was made, in order to allay the concerns of other contributors (in the case of potentially controversial or confusing edits). Longer explanations should go on the talk pages.
Efficient contributors to Wikipedia have developed a number of abbreviations for the summary field:
|| What it means
| "+" or "-"
|| Addition or removal, see rm or remove
|| Fixed typos (wags also use "tipo", "tyop", etc)
|| Fixed spelling mistakes
| lk(s) or link(s)
|| Added link(s)
| ext lk / link(s)
|| Added external link(s)
|| Created links / converted markup, especially of new articles
| fmt, fm, formatting, or MoS
|| Applied manual of style formatting
| #REDIRECT [[other page]]
|| Made the page a redirect to other page
|| Miscellaneous copyediting
| [[name of other article]]
|| Added the link name of other article (maybe a bit of text too); this is especially useful if the link is to a new article, to draw people's attention to that, for people who keep track of pages on their watchlist, but not systematically of all new pages.
|| Reverted a previous edit (this short summary is sufficient only in the case of an obvious error or obvious vandalism)
| see Talk
|| An explanation/discussion of this edit is on the article's talk page.
| rm or remove
|| Additions and removals are also sometimes abbreviated as "+" and "-" (e.g. "+official website link")
|| Duplication, e.g. "-dup" or "rm dup"
|| Disambiguating a wiki link. (e.g. changing [[Sonic 1]] to [[Sonic the Hedgehog (16-bit)|Sonic 1]])
|| What follows gives the full added text, it does not make sense to open the article unless you want to see the text in context or want to make another edit.
|| A comment was added to this page. This is most commonly used on talk pages.
Avoid "-" (single hyphen) as a separation sign, it gives confusion with the meaning "remove".
When starting a new thread on a Talk page, optionally the "Post a comment" feature can be used. Then the edit summary is automatically the same as the new section header.
Places where the edit summary appears
The following pages generated by the MediaWiki software will display the edit summaries:
The site search can not search edit summaries, and they are not indexed by Google.