Help:Pages

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Every page on Wikibooks has a unique name (a string of characters) which appears in that page's URL and by which it can be wikilinked. Various different forms of the name can be used. In particular, the name as it appears in the URL uses underscore characters where the name displayed in large font as the page header uses spaces. Details of the forms of page names and restrictions on them are given below.

Name of a Wikibooks page. The wikilink for that page is [[Microtechnology]], and the URL is http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Microtechnology.


Creating

The form below will allow you to easily create a new page. The 'create page' button takes you to an edit page to enter the new text. If you want to experiment, use the sandbox first. The following characters are not allowed in page titles: # < > [ ] | { } and the forward slash (/) is reserved for creating subpages to comply with naming conventions. Names are case sensitive and spaces are allowed. If you are seeking to create a recipe for the Cookbook or content for children as part of Wikijunior, you need to use a "namespace" prefix before the title (see below).


You can also start new pages by:

  • Following a link to a new page which does not exist yet, which likewise launches the edit page.
  • Adding a link to the new page on an existing page, such as the sandbox, and click the preview button to preview your changes. From the preview area click on the newly created link, which will switch you to editing a new page, if the page does not already exist, without updating the previous page.
  • Typing the name of new page in the address field of your web browser, replacing current page name. Using this method for the new page displays the default "Wikibooks does not have a page with this exact name" message. The default page has the usual Edit tab replaced by a Create tab, which can be clicked to begin adding content.

Links are a convenient way to navigate books and to make followers aware of new pages. Links to new pages typically exist to encourage people to add new material and/or as part of a plan to add new material. Links to new pages typically look different from links to existing pages in that they have a red color, causing them to often be called "red links" or "broken links". When a new page is created links typically change to a blue color, causing them to often be called "blue links" or "working links".

Note:
The sandbox is emptied on a regular basis and should only be used for temporary experiments. So, remember to bookmark what you have created in order to edit it again in the future. If you are a registered user, it will also appear under "My contributions". For persistent draft material, you can use your user account sub-pages, and move the subpage when ready. To create a user subpage, use a reference (title) like: 'User:UserName/New subpage'.

Namespaces

Wikibooks pages which are not part of regular books are prefixed with a "namespace" identifier. For books, the "basename" is the full page name.
Wikibooks namespaces
Basic namespaces Talk namespaces
0 Main Talk 1
2 User User talk 3
4 Wikibooks Wikibooks talk 5
6 File File talk 7
8 MediaWiki MediaWiki talk 9
10 Template Template talk 11
12 Help Help talk 13
14 Category Category talk 15
102 Cookbook Cookbook talk 103
108 Transwiki Transwiki talk 109
110 Wikijunior Wikijunior talk 111
112 Subject Subject talk 113
Virtual namespaces
-1 Special
-2 Media

A Wikibooks namespace is a set of Wikibooks pages whose names begin with a particular prefix recognized by the software (followed by a colon), or in the case of the main namespace have no such prefix. For example, the user namespace consists of all pages with names beginning "User:". Books appear in the main namespace, with no prefix.

Wikibooks has 26 current namespaces: twelve basic namespaces, each with a corresponding talk namespace; and two virtual namespaces. These are all listed in the box to the right.

Basic namespaces

Wikibooks' basic namespaces and their functions are listed below.

  • Main namespace (no prefix): contains all books. Sometimes referred to as "mainspace".
  • Project namespace or Wikibooks namespace (prefix Wikibooks:): contains many types of pages connected with the Wikibooks project itself: information, policy, essays, processes, discussion, etc. The prefix can be shortened to WB: (see Aliases below), and there are many short redirects in the namespace written with capital letters that make pages easier to access, so for instance, Wikibooks:Reading room can be abbreviated WB:Reading room or even just WB:RR (due to Wikibooks:RR being a redirect).
  • Subject namespace (prefix Subject:): for reader-oriented portals that help readers find books related to a specific subject.
  • User namespace (prefix User:): contains user pages and other pages created by individual users for their own personal use. Pages under this namespace can still be viewed and modified by others, so do not keep any of your sensitive data here.
  • Cookbook namespace (prefix Cookbook:): pages about cooking recipes and methods reside in this namespace.
  • Wikijunior namespace (prefix Wikijunior:): books in this namespace are for infants to be read to and for young children to read to themselves.
  • File namespace or Image namespace (prefix File:): contains file description pages for image, videos, or audio files, with links to the files themselves. See Special:ListFiles. Since many files used in Wikibooks are housed at Wikimedia Commons, those files will not have local pages but instead mirror file pages from Commons. There are three versions of links to files:
    [[File:Foobar.jpg]] will insert the image, video, or audio directly into the page, except for audio MIDI files where a text link to the description page will be inserted;
    [[:File:Foobar.jpg]] will make a text link to the image, video, or audio description page;
    [[Media:Foobar.jpg]] will make a text link directly to the image or audio or video clip.
    The prefix Image: can be used instead of File: (see Aliases below).
  • MediaWiki namespace (prefix MediaWiki:): a namespace containing interface texts, such as the links and messages that appear on automatically generated pages. Pages in this namespace are permanently protected. For a list of these messages, see Special:AllMessages.
  • Template namespace (prefix Template:): contains templates—pages that are intended primarily to be used on other pages to insert standard text or boxes such as navigation links.
  • Category namespace (prefix Category:): contains category pages, which display a list of pages and subcategories that have been added to a particular category, and optional additional text.
  • Transwiki namespace (prefix Transwiki:): "transwiki" is the process of moving content from one Wikimedia project to another. Content in the Transwiki namespace have been moved to Wikibooks, but not yet incorporated into a book or other page.
  • Help namespace (prefix Help:): contains pages which provide help in using Wikibooks and its software, both for readers of books and for editors.

The basic namespaces are sometimes referred to as "subject spaces", especially in contrast to "talk spaces". For instance: "File space is the subject space of the File talk space."

Talk namespaces

Each of the above namespaces has an associated talk namespace. The talk namespaces are designated by adding talk: to the normal prefix. For example, the talk namespace associated with the main namespace has the prefix Talk:, while the talk namespace associated with the user namespace has the prefix User talk:. Most of the pages in the talk namespaces are used to discuss changes to the corresponding page in the associated namespace. Pages in the user talk namespace are used to leave messages for a particular user. The user talk namespace is special in that, whenever a user's talk page is edited, that user (if logged-in) will see a box saying "You have new messages" on the top every page that they view until they visit their talk page.

Virtual namespaces

There are two virtual namespaces that are not editable: Special and Media.

There are some virtual namespaces that are not editable:

The Special: namespace consists of pages (called special pages) that are created by the software on demand, such as Special:RecentChanges. These pages can be linked as usual, as [[Special:RecentChanges]].

The Media: namespace can be used to link directly to a file, rather than to the file description page. See information above on the File: namespace.

Modules

A Wikibooks module is defined as a page that has textbook-like material on it and can be used to distinguish a content page from its talk page. A complete Wikibook is typically composed of many Wikibooks modules. With very few exceptions, all of the printed text on the paper of a printed version of a Wikibook comes from one or another Wikibooks module of that book.

Only content found in the main namespace, Wikijunior namespace, and Cookbook namespace can be referred to as modules.

But not all pages in those namespaces are considered to be modules; some that are not are:

Aliases

There are eight aliases defined for namespaces: WB: and Project: (both for the "Wikibooks" namespace), WJ: (for the "Wikijunior" namespace), COOK: (for the "Cookbook" namespace), SUB: (for the "Subject" namespace), CAT: (for the "Category" namespace), Image: (for the "File" namespace), and Image talk: (for the "File talk" namespace). All of these are case-insensitive.

If a link is made to a page title beginning with one of these strings, or if such a title is entered in the search box or used in a URL, the alias is automatically replaced by the true namespace prefix. Hence entering WB:Reading room or Project:Reading room is equivalent to entering Wikibooks:Reading room. It is not possible to create a page with a title beginning with one of the alias strings.

Case insensitivity

Standard namespace names and aliases are case insensitive. The same applies to the first character after the colon. Hence the following all link to the same page:

Namespace-dependent functionality

The following software functions and configurations are dependent on namespace:

  • Search results, listings of recent changes and other special page output (such as Special:AllPages) can be restricted to particular namespaces.
  • The subpage feature can be enabled or disabled per namespace. It is currently disabled for the File, MediaWiki and Category namespaces. But their talk spaces and all other namespaces have the subpage feature.
  • The random book feature (in the sidebar) feature is restricted to the main namespace.
  • Pages in the category and file namespaces are automatically treated as category pages and file description pages respectively, and links to such pages behave in the corresponding non-standard ways.
  • The template namespace is the default for using {{...}} brackets (the "Template:" prefix can be omitted when performing these operations). See Help:Templates for their use.

Discussing

A discussion page (also known as a talk page) is a page which editors can use to discuss improvements to a book or other Wikibooks page.

The discussion page associated with a content page is named "Talk:Example", where "Example" is the name of the content page. For example, the discussion page for discussion of improvements to the book Learning Theories is named Talk:Learning Theories. The discussion page associated with a page in another namespace is named by adding "talk" after the namespace label; for example, the discussion page for Wikibooks:Welcome is called Wikibooks talk:Welcome.

User pages also have associated discussion pages (for example, User talk:Example). When another editor needs to contact you, they will usually do this by leaving a message on your discussion page. When someone has left you a message that way, you will see an information notice the next time you log in or view a page on Wikibooks.

Where to find discussion pages

The discussion tab

When viewing a book (or any other non-discussion page), a link to the corresponding discussion page appears on the "discussion" tab at the top of the page. Click this tab to switch to the discussion page; you can then view the discussion page and its history, and edit it if you want to add a question or comment.

If the "discussion" link is red, it means no discussion page has been started yet. Click the red link to begin a discussion page for that content page. (It is also possible for a discussion page to exist while the corresponding non-discussion page is a red link; this often occurs in User space, when a user has received discussion page messages but has not started a user page yet.)

To go back to the content page from its discussion page, use the leftmost tab at the top of the page, labeled "book". For pages other than those in books, this tab may say something different, like "user page" or "project page".

Discussion page use

Sections

To discuss a new topic, start a new section by going to a new line and typing a title like this: == Heading ==, replacing "Heading" with a suitable title for the topic you wish to raise. Place new discussions at the bottom of the page. You can also use the tab labeled "add topic", at the top of a discussion page, which performs these steps automatically.

To respond to a discussion already in progress, add your comment below the last entry in the discussion. If you want to respond to a specific comment, you can place your response directly below it. When doing this, keep in mind the advice given below about indentation.

Sign your contributions

You should sign and date your contributions on all discussion pages. To do this easily, type four tildes (~~~~) at the end of your comment, or just click the signature button on the row of buttons above the edit box. This will be automatically converted into a user signature and the date and time. (You can change the form of your signature using your user preferences.)

Indentation

Indentation is used to keep discussion pages readable. Comments are indented to show whether they are replies to other comments, and if so, which ones.

Comments are indented using one or more initial colons (:). Each colon represents one level of indentation. You will see these colons in the wikitext when editing a discussion page, but when viewing the page itself you will see the indents.

The first comment in a section will have no colons before it. When you reply to a statement, you should use one more colon than the number that appear in the statement you're replying to. For example, if you're replying to a statement that has 2 colons before it, your response should have 3 colons before it.

The following is an example of a discussion page discussion using indentation. The text typed in the edit box is shown on the left, and the resulting display on the right.

How's the soup? --[[User:John|John]]
:It's great!! --[[User:Jane|Jane]]
::I made it myself! --[[User:John|John]]
Let's move the discussion to [[Talk:Soup]]. --[[User:Jane|John]]
:I tend to disagree. --[[User:George|George]]

How's the soup? --John

It's great!! --Jane
I made it myself! --John

Let's move the discussion to Talk:Soup. --Jane

I tend to disagree. --George

If you wish to reply to a comment that has already been replied to, place your response below the last response, while still only adding one colon to the number of colons preceding the statement you're replying to. In this example, note that Jane, George and Jim are each responding to John's comment.

How's the soup? --[[User:John|John]]
:It's great!! --[[User:Jane|Jane]]
:Not too bad.. --[[User:George|George]]

:Terrible. --[[User:Jim|Jim]]

How's the soup? --John

It's great!! --Jane
Not too bad.. --George
Terrible. --Jim

Note that comments are displayed closer together when indented by the same amount (see George's reply in the example above). This can cause confusion to readers glancing through a conversation thread, since several multi-line comments can be mistaken for a single comment. To produce normal paragraph spacing, add a line break first as Jim has done.

The next example shows a more complex discussion. Even though Jane has responded to John first, and Elliot responded to Jane, we can still easily see that George's comment is meant to be in response to John's original question:

How's the soup? --[[User:John]]
:It's great!! --[[User:Jane]]
::Just ''how'' great was it? --[[User:Elliot]]
:::''Really'' great! --[[User:Jane]]
:Not too bad.. --[[User:George]]
::I thought it was a ''little'' bad... --[[User:Sam]]

How's the soup? --John

It's great!! --Jane
Just how great was it? --Elliot
Really great! --Jane
Not too bad.. --George
I thought it was a little bad... --Sam

Note that if your comment consists of more than one paragraph, you must repeat the colons at the start of each paragraph. An alternative is to type the line break tag <br /> in the wikitext instead of starting a new line.

When a long discussion has many indents, the discussion may be awkward to read, particularly on smaller screens. Eventually, for everyone's convenience, a replying editor will "start over" by responding without any colons at all. The {{outdent}} template can be used for this purpose.

You have new messages

After someone else edits your user discussion page, the alert below is automatically displayed on all pages until you view your user discussion page. If you click "new messages" it will direct you to the bottom of your discussion page. If you click "last change" it will show you the last edit done to your discussion page.

You have new messages (last change).

Guidelines

How to use book discussion pages

  • Communicate: If in doubt, make the extra effort so that other people understand you. Being friendly is a great help. It is always a good idea to explain your views; it is less helpful for you to voice an opinion on something and not explain why you hold it. Explaining why you have a certain opinion helps to demonstrate its validity to others and reach consensus.
  • Stay on topic: Discussion pages are for discussing the page, not for general conversation about the page's subject (much less other subjects). Keep discussions focused on how to improve the page. Irrelevant discussions are subject to removal.
  • Be positive: Book discussion pages should be used to discuss ways to improve a book; not to criticize, pick apart, or vent about the current status of a book or its subject. However, if you feel something is wrong, but are not sure how to fix it, then by all means feel free to draw attention to this and ask for suggestions from others.
  • Stay objective: Discussion pages are not a forum for editors to argue their personal point of view about a controversial issue. They are a forum to discuss how the points of view of reliable sources should be included in the article, so that the end result is neutral. The best way to present a case is to find properly referenced material.
  • Deal with facts: The discussion page is the ideal place for issues relating to verification, such as asking for help finding sources, discussing conflicts or inconsistencies among sources, and examining the reliability of references. Asking for a verifiable reference supporting a statement is often better than arguing against it.
  • Share material: The discussion page can be used to "park" material removed from the page due to verification or other concerns, while references are sought or concerns discussed. New material can be prepared on the discussion page until it is ready to be put into the page; this is an especially good idea if the new material (or topic as a whole) is controversial.
  • Discuss edits: The discussion page is particularly useful to discussion about edits. If one of your edits has been reverted, and you change it back again, it is good practice to leave an explanation on the discussion page and a note in the edit summary that you have done so. The discussion page is also the place to ask about another editor's changes. If someone queries one of your edits, make sure you reply with a full, helpful rationale.
  • Make proposals: New proposals for the page can be put forward for discussion by other editors if you wish. Proposals might include changes to specific details, page moves, merges or making a section of a long page into a separate page.

Good practices

  • Before starting a new discussion, ensure there is not already an existing section on the same topic. Duplicating the same discussion in multiple sections on a discussion page causes confusion, erodes general awareness of points being made, and disrupts the flow of conversation on the topic.
  • Comment on content, not on the contributor: Keep the discussions focused upon the topic of the discussion page, rather than on the personalities of the editors contributing to the discussion page.
  • Sign your posts: To sign a post, type four tildes (~~~~), and they will be replaced with your username and time stamp, like this: Example 13:21, 9 May 2008 (UTC). Please note that it is impossible to leave an anonymous comment because your user name or IP address is recorded in the page history.
  • Keep discussions focused: Discussions naturally should finalize by agreement, not by exhaustion.
  • Read the archives: If you are a new editor to a book, be sure to read the archives. Not only are content disputes valuable examples of discussion page behavior, but they contain a lot of expert knowledge surrounding the topic. You may quickly find your questions and/or objections have already been answered if you try searching all the archives for that page at once using the prefix parameter.
  • Be welcoming to newcomers: People new to Wikibooks may be unfamiliar with policy and conventions. Please do not bite the newcomers. If someone does something against custom, assume it was an unwitting mistake. Politely and gently point out their mistake, reference the relevant policy/guideline/help pages, and suggest a better approach.
  • Avoid posting the same thread in multiple forums. This fragments discussion of the idea. Instead, start the discussion in one location, and, if needed, advertise that in other locations using a link. If you find a fragmented discussion, it may be desirable to move all posts to one location, and linking to it. Make sure you state clearly in edit summaries and on discussion pages what you have done and why.

Unacceptable behavior

  • No personal attacks: A personal attack is saying something negative about another person. This mainly means:
    • No insults: Do not make ad hominem attacks, such as calling someone an idiot or a fascist. Instead, explain what is wrong with an edit and how to fix it.
    • Do not threaten people: For example, threatening people with "admins you know" or having them banned for disagreeing with you. Explaining to an editor the consequences of violating Wikibooks policies, like being blocked for vandalism, is permitted however.
    • Do not make legal threats: Threatening a lawsuit is highly disruptive to Wikibooks, for reasons given at the linked page.
    • Never post personal details: Users who post what they believe are the personal details of other users without their consent may be blocked for any length of time, including indefinitely.
  • Do not misrepresent other people: The record should accurately show significant exchanges that took place, and in the right context. This usually means:
    • Be precise in quoting others.
    • When describing other people's contributions or edits, use diffs. The advantage of diffs in referring to a comment is that it will always remain the same, even when a discussion page gets archived or a comment gets changed.
    • Generally, do not alter others' comments, including signatures.
  • Do not ask for another's personal details
  • Do not impersonate other editors
  • Do not claim to be an administrator or claim to have an access level that you do not have, as this can be highly disruptive. User access levels can be checked at Special:ListUsers by anyone.

Archiving

It is customary to periodically archive old discussions on a talk page when that page becomes too large. Bulky talk pages may be hard to navigate, contain obsolete discussion, or become a burden for users with slow Internet connections or computers. There may be circumstances where it would benefit discussions to keep older sections visible on the talk pages; namely, to allow newly visiting editors to see which issues have been addressed already and avoid redundant discussion. However, this situation can be better addressed by use of the {{FAQ}} template. Notices should also be placed at the beginning of the talk page to inform all editors of an archive.

Regular pages are not archived because previous versions may be seen in the history tab; the practice of archiving is particular to talk pages and the reading rooms, which often swell to great length. Archiving one's own user talk page is optional; some users simply blank the page, as the history is kept available for future reference.

When to archive, and what may be the optimal length for a talk page, are subjective decisions that should be adapted to each case. For example, ongoing discussions and nearby sections they reference should generally be kept intact. When archiving by creating subpages cutting and pasting the content should be used, which retains the talk page history in a single location. It is helpful to label archives with dates and a brief summary of the main discussions.

Procedure

Archive pages are usually named as follows: take the name of the talk page, and add '/Archive #', where '#' is the number of the archive. Note that the word 'Archive' has a capital 'A', there is a space before the number, and there are no leading zeros.

For example:

  • the 20th archive of Talk:Main Page would be named Talk:Main Page/Archive 20
  • the first archive of User talk:Example would be named User talk:Example/Archive 1

Remember to use the correct namespace – the part before the colon (:) – when archiving your own user talk page. It should start with "User talk:", not "Talk:".

  1. Click on Edit for the talk page you wish to archive.
  2. In the edit box, highlight all the text you want to archive, right-click (Windows/Linux) or control-click (Mac) and then select cut. The text will then be copied to your clipboard. Note that any WikiProject header templates should remain on the main talk page and should not be cut and pasted to an archive page.
  3. While still in the edit window, make a link to the archive name you plan on creating – you can link directly to a subpage by putting a slash (/) in front of it.
    • If you're making a topical archive, use the name of the topic, for example [[/Place of birth debate]].
    • If you're just archiving old discussion, use the next available number; so if the last archive page was Archive 3, call it [[/Archive 4]].
    • If there are no archives yet, call it [[/Archive 1]].
    • Archive links can be conveniently placed in an archive template (How to do this is described in the archive box section below)
  4. Save the page. You should now have a page of recent discussion with a red link to your archive at the top.
  5. Open the newly created subpage by clicking the red link. Paste the old discussions from your clipboard into the edit box.
  6. Add {{talk archive}} to the top and bottom of the page. This adds a notice explaining that the page is an archive, and links back to the main talk page.
  7. If this is a numbered archive, you can add a navigation template to make it easier to navigate through to other numbered archives. See the navigation templates section below.
  8. Save. You have now created an archive.

Automated archival

MiszaBot can automatically create cut-and-paste archives for any discussion page (one that has "talk" in the namespace), by moving sections to a subpage when they have received no comments for a specified period of time. See User:MiszaBot/Archive HowTo for instructions on setting this up.

Navigation templates

If the archive page is a numbered archive page ("Archive #" where # is the number of the archive), you can add a navigation template to make it easier to navigate through to other numbered archives.

  • {{archive-nav}} needs the archive number as a parameter – for example {{archive-nav|3}} on Archive 3.
  • {{archive nav}} similar to the above, but a dynamic list of links, – for example {{archive nav|33}} on Archive 33.
  • {{atn}} is similar, but doesn't need a parameter.

Archive box

On regularly archived talk pages, it is useful to have an "archive box" template. Common usage is to place the archive box below other header templates and before the first section heading so that the box appears to the right of the table of contents. Alternatively, the {{talk header}} template will provide automatic links to archives using standard naming.

If the new archive has been created through the cut and paste procedure and if the page already has an archive box, add the link to the new archive page to it if the archive box has a manual listing.

If there is no archive box yet, you may want to set one up. Use the {{archives}} template for an automatic listing of archives if using the standard naming. If using nonstandard naming, the template will accept a manual list on a subpage of the talk page being archives. It can also be collapsed and can be configured to include a search box for easy searching of archive pages. See the documentation for details.

Moving

Pages may be moved to a new title if the previous name is inaccurate, incomplete, misleading, or for a host of different housekeeping reasons. When a page is renamed, its page history is attached to the new name, and the previous title is automatically redirected to the new name (bots and administrators have the option of suppressing the redirect). Only autoconfirmed users may move pages due to persistent page move vandalism. If you are an unregistered user or newly registered user, you may request a page move at Wikibooks:Reading room/Administrative Assistance.

The terms "rename" and "move" mean the same in this context. They just refer to different models for picturing the operation:

  • rename: keep the page but give it another name; the page history is now attached to the new name; a new page with the old name is created which redirects to the new name and whose page history records the renaming.
  • move: move the contents and the page history to a new page; change the old page into a redirect; change the page history into one that only records the move.

When a page in the file namespace (that is images, media) is moved, the associated file is moved as well. Only Wikibooks administrators can move these pages. Pages in the category namespace cannot be moved.

Reasons for moving a page

There are many reasons why you might wish to rename a page:

  • The title has been misspelled, does not contain standard capitalization or punctuation, or is misleading or inaccurate
  • The title does not follow Wikibooks' naming conventions
  • The name is ambiguous and renaming it in some way will avoid confusion with an existing, similarly named topic
  • The scope of the page has been reduced, extended, or otherwise changed
  • It is a page that has been created as a subpage of a Wikibooks user's user or user talk space for development purposes and it is ready to be posted to the mainspace

How to move a page

Note that in order to be able to move pages yourself, you must be logged in and you must be autoconfirmed). Moreover the move will fail if a page already exists at the target name, unless it is simply a redirect to the present name that has never been modified (check the edit history).

The move option appears when you move your mouse cursor over the small drop-down menu, shown here. (Other users may not have the "TW", which is an optional gadget in preferences)
A common example: moving a userspace draft into place.

The steps for moving a page are as follows:

  1. With the page to be moved displayed, choose the "move" option near the top of the page. In the default layout, this is in a drop-down menu to the right of the screen, after "History" and the "Watchlist" star (see picture). You'll be asked for a new name for the page, and given the option to also move the page's talk page (this box should usually be left checked). Complete the "Reason for move" field (which is like an edit summary). Although filling out the "Reason" field isn't required, you should state a reason for the page move.
  2. When ready, click the move button and, if successful, the page will be renamed to the new title.
  3. Once the page has been moved, this will be recorded in the Move Log and a "move has succeeded" message will be displayed.

The old title will become a redirect page, so any links to the old title will still go to the new page. However, note that double redirects (pages that redirect to the original page), will not automatically follow to the new page, so you can follow the following procedure to correct this:

  1. Open the "What links here" in the toolbox near the bottom of the sidebar.
  2. In the section of that page marked filters, click on the button labeled "Hide links". This will result in the page only showing redirects to the prior name. Open each of the redirect pages (best to do so in new tabs), click Edit for each one, and change their target to the name of the page to which you have moved the page.

You should never just move a page by cutting all the text out of one page, and pasting it into a new one; old revisions, notes, and attributions are much harder to keep track of if you do that. (But you may have to if, for instance, you're splitting a page into multiple topics. If you do, please include a note in the new page's edit summary and talk page stating where you took the text from.) Also see #Fixing cut and paste moves below.

Moves where the target name has an existing page

In most cases non-administrators cannot complete a move where the existing page exists. Administrators can move a page, deleting an existing page with a name equal to the new name of the moved page, in one step.

If the new title already exists and isn't just a redirect to the old title, with no history, and you are not an administrator, the wiki will tell you that you can't rename the page. If this happens, list the move at Wikibooks:Reading room/Administrative Assistance, or (if the replacement of the existing page merits further discussion) nominate the existing page for deletion (typically via Request for Deletion).

Move-protected pages

Administrators can protect pages from moves, so that only administrators can move them. Pages that are protected from editing are also protected from moves. If a page is protected from moves, the "Move" link will not be available. In this case, you can ask that an administrator move it for you, but you should not manually move the page by copying the contents to the new page and redirecting the old page to the new page, as this destroys the page history.

Undoing a move

To undo a move from page A to page B, simply move page B back to page A.

Note that usual "undo" link on history or diff pages does not work on moves.

The software requires that the redirect be pointing to the page you're moving it from. Therefore, if a vandal moved Page A to Page B to Page C, you cannot simply move C to A, you have to:

  1. Move page C to page B
  2. Move page B to page A

If page A has subsequently been edited, only an admin can sort things out:

  1. Delete page A (make sure it has no useful history)
  2. Move page B to page A.
  3. Delete page B (should be a history-free redirect to page A)

"Move wars" are highly unproductive, and leave vast numbers of pointless redirects littering the place, which some poor soul will have to fix.

After undoing a move, if you do not need B as a redirect, edit the page and tag it for deletion with {{delete|unneeded redirect}}.

Swapping two pages

To swap pages A and B, including history:

  1. Move page A to page C (previously non-existing)
  2. Tag page A for deletion with {{delete|delete to make way for move}}.
  3. Move page B to page A (allowed because A is deleted)
  4. Tag page B as above
  5. Move page C to page B (allowed because B is deleted)
  6. Tag page C as above

Help with this task can be found at Wikibooks:Reading room/Administrative Assistance.

Fixing cut and paste moves

Sometimes renamings have been performed by new users without access to the move function or by unregistered users who are not permitted to rename pages. Such manual moves were done using cut and paste. As a result, the page history of a page can be split among two or more different pages.

In some circumstances, administrators are able to fix this by merging page histories.

Warning: this procedure may only be undone by an administrator, by spending quite silly amounts of time: to undo a merge, every single version has to be manually reassigned to the correct source page (by deleting the revisions that are in the correct location currently and moving the other revisions to their new correct location, then undeleting the revisions that were in the correct location). Do not do this if you are not sure what you are doing.

Follow this procedure to merge page histories:

  1. Suppose we wish to merge edit history from Alabama/History (old title) into History of Alabama (new title):
  2. Move Alabama/History to History of Alabama with comment history merge. A warning will appear stating that the destination page exists and asks whether you want to delete the page to make way for the move. Check the box to delete the page.
  3. Undelete the History of Alabama page.
  4. Edit History of Alabama to restore the most recent version.

Note that the page history will often look wrong until the last step here is carried out, because it doesn't update after an undeletion until the next time the page is edited.

Automating multiple page moves

Administrators are also given an option to move up to 500 subpages and talk subpages along with the desired page. This is useful for talk pages with archives. Standard users can move the subpages by hand. If an entire book with its subpages is being renamed, request assistance from an administrator.

Merging

A merger is a non-automated process by which the content of two pages is united on one page. Reasons to merge a page include: unnecessary duplication of content, significant overlap with the topic of another page, and minimal content that could be covered in or requires the context of a page on a broader topic.

Merging is a normal editing action, something any editor can do, and as such generally does not need to be proposed and processed. If the merger is controversial, however, you may find your merger reverted, and as with all other edits, edit wars should be avoided. If you are uncertain of the merger's appropriateness, or believe it might be controversial, or your merger ends up reverted, you can propose it on either or both of the affected pages.

Proposing a merger

  1. Create one discussion section, typically on the destination page's discussion page (also known as the talk page). This should include a list of the affected pages and a merger rationale.
  2. Tag each page with the appropriate merger tag. All tag discussion page links should be specified to point at the new discussion section.

To propose a merger of two or more pages, place the template {{merge|OTHER PAGE|Talk:THIS PAGE#Merger proposal}} at the top of each page or section.

Please use the third parameter to direct to the same discussion page. Otherwise, two separate discussions could take place in each of the respective discussion pages. If the third parameter is not specified, the "discussion page" links lead to the discussion pages of both merger candidates.

If you know which page should be removed, use {{mergeto|DESTINATION PAGE|Talk:DESTINATION PAGE#Merger proposal}} on that page, and {{mergefrom|SOURCE PAGE|Talk:DESTINATION PAGE#Merger proposal}} on the page that will remain and will receive the contents of the source page. Unless a third parameter is specified in these templates, all discussion page links to lead to the discussion page of the destination page, avoiding the two separate discussions problem that may occur with {{merge}}. It may still be preferable to link to a section on the discussion page; this is useful for directing the reader to a specific section of a long discussion page, when it may not otherwise be obvious where the discussion is located.

After proposing the merger, place your reasons on the discussion page.

Closing instructions

If there is clear agreement with the proposal by consensus, or if there is silence, proceed with the merger.

To provide clarity that the merger discussion is over and that a consensus has been reached, it may be important to close and then archive the proposal discussion. To close a merger proposal discussion, indicate the outcome at the top. If the merger is particularly controversial, one may take the optional step of requesting closure by an uninvolved administrator at Wikibooks:Reading room/Administrative Assistance.

To archive a merger proposal discussion, a {{closed}} template is generally placed between the header and the top of the discussion and a {{end closed}} template will need to be placed at the bottom of the discussion.

Here is an example of how to archive a merger proposal discussion:

 ==Merger proposal==
 {{closed|1=The result was '''merge''' into DESTINATION PAGE. -- ~~~~}}
 Hi, I would like to discuss...
 {{end closed}}

Performing the merger

There are two basic types of merger; which to use depends on how much content of the source page you want to keep:

Also remember that almost all pages have a discussion page. To avoid losing quick access to that historical discussion, a link to the source page's discussion page should be placed at the top of the destination's discussion page, such as:
Page merged: See old discussion page [[talk:PAGENAME|here]]

Full-content paste merger

  1. Open the source and destination pages in two separate edit windows/tabs.
  2. Cut/paste the entire content from the source page into the destination page and remove the {{mergefrom}} tag.
  3. Save the destination page, with an edit summary noting "merge content from [[SOURCE PAGE]]" (This step is required in order to conform with Wikibooks' licensing requirements. Do not omit it nor omit the page name.)
  4. Edit the destination page again and delete the redundant content, editing until it looks good and consistent.
  5. Save the destination page. (Edit summary of "cleanup after paste/merger" is appropriate.)
  6. Check "What links here" on the source page for any links to the page and correct them to point to the destination page instead.
  7. Ask for a history merger between the two pages by placing {{now merged|DESTINATION PAGE}} above all content on the source page.

Performing a merger in this manner is beneficial when you want to include all the content from both pages in the final page and the source page will no longer exist.

Selective paste merger

  1. Open the source and destination pages in two separate edit windows/tabs.
  2. Cut/paste the desired content from the source page into the destination page and remove the {{mergefrom}} tag.
  3. Preview and edit the destination page until it looks good and consistent.
  4. Save the destination page, with an edit summary noting "merge content from [[SOURCE PAGE]]" (This step is required in order to conform with Wikibooks' licensing requirements. Do not omit it nor omit the page name.)
  5. Delete the text taken from the source page, note the merger (including the page name) in the edit summary, and save the page.
  6. Check What links here" on the source page and correct any links that should point to the merged content page.
  7. Add {{copied|from=source|to=destination|diff=permanent diff}} onto the talk pages of both pages. This not only helps clarify attribution at the destination, but helps prevent inadvertent later deletion of the source history.
  8. Afterwards, DO NOT ask for a history merger between the two pages.

Performing a merger in this manner is beneficial when the source page will continue to exist in a revised form and the page history for that content must be kept in place with the material that remains following the merge.

Deleting

Pages can only be deleted by administrators and community consensus must have been demonstrated. For certain uncontroversial circumstances, users can request a speedy deletion. Any page that does not fall under the scope of the project or has no meaningful content may be nominated for deletion.

Note that the editors will often have contributed the content in good faith and may be offended by the nomination. If you have concerns about whether the content belongs at Wikibooks, begin by addressing it on the talk page. Often the content contributor will understand that it is out of scope and accept the need to move the content elsewhere. Being polite and helpful in finding the relevant portions of Wikibooks policies goes a long way.

Should you nominate a page for deletion, consider notifying major contributors (the deletion tags provide a handy code). Be respectful and detailed. In the case of a speedy deletion, distinguish between worthless content and good faith efforts, both in the speedy tag reason, as well as on contributor pages.

Speedy deletion

There are certain situations where consensus does not have to be demonstrated for each case. See WB:SPEEDY for the list of criteria. Essentially, if a page has no meaningful content, it can be deleted. You can also ask for pages where you are the only contributor of, or pages in your part of the user namespace to be speedily deleted.

To nominate the page, place {{delete|<reason>}} at the top of the page, with the <reason> citing the speedy deletion criteria.

When in doubt, make a formal request for deletion (see below).

Requests for deletion

Should talk page discussions not bear fruit, you can make a formal request for deletion which consists of three steps.

  1. Place {{rfd}} at the top of the page in question. If you are nominating a whole book, it's enough to tag the main page.
  2. Notify contributors, for example with {{subst:rfd warning|<page name>|~~~~}}. If they may not have seen the discussion on the talk page, restate your rationale there. Should the content be deleted, the talk page goes as well and your note may be the only sign of that page once they return.
  3. Take your request to Wikibooks:Requests for deletion. There is a handy link titled "add a new entry" which pre-loads a template and lists a few tips above the text area.

Discussions are rarely closed within a month, but can go on for several times that longer if discussion continues or consensus is not reached. A page is only deleted if there is consensus. Without consensus, the page is kept. As with all consensus decisions at Wikibooks, there are no votes; only arguments.