Wikipedia:Merging and moving pages

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Merging and moving are two important ways articles can be changed on Wikipedia.

  • "Merging" is when the information on two pages about the same thing (or almost the same thing) are combined into one page by hand.
  • "Moving" is the same as "renaming" a page — that is, giving it a new title.

Merging[change | change source]

There are several good reasons to merge pages:

  • There are two or more pages on exactly the same subject.
  • There are two or more pages on related subjects that have a large overlap. Wikipedia is not a dictionary; there does not need to be a separate article for every idea in the universe. For example, "Flammable" and "Non-flammable" can both be explained in an article on Flammability.
  • If a page is very short, and cannot, or should not, be expanded much, it often makes sense to merge it with a page on a bigger topic.
  • If a short article needs the background material from another article for readers to understand it.

Merging should always leave a redirect or a disambiguation page in place of the merged place. This is often needed to see the edit history for the page the merged text came from. Even if it seems rather pointless, leave it in place. Extra redirects do not hurt anything, and are sometimes helpful. Also, other websites may have made links to the old page title, so we will want to redirect new visitors to the merged page. We do not want people accidentally making a new page at the old title, not knowing that the merged page is already there. Redirects also show up in search results, helping people who might be looking under the "wrong" title to find the page that they are looking for.

You may find that some or all of the information to be merged is already in the other page. That is fine; feel free to get rid of the repeated parts and only add new stuff. If there is no information to be added to the other page, you can say in your edit summary on the merged page (as you are turning it into a redirect) that there was nothing to be merged.

How to merge pages[change | change source]

Merging is something any editor can do, and if you are sure that something should be merged, you can go ahead and do so. But if the merge is argued, you may find your merge reverted, and as with all other edits, edit wars should be avoided.

If you are not sure if merging is right, you should propose it on the pages in question. After enough time has gone by to talk about it (at least 5 days), you may do the merger, or ask someone else to.

Proposing a merger[change | change source]

To propose a merger of two or more pages, place the tag {{merge|(other article name)}} at the top of each page. It should look like this:

Merge-arrows.gif
It has been suggested that this page or section be merged with (other article name). (Discuss)

The "Discuss" link normally leads to the top of the article's Talk page.

If you know which page should stay under the same name, you can use the tag {{mergefrom|(other article name)}} on that page, and {{mergeto|(article name)}} on the page or pages that should be merged and redirected to the first page. Using these templates saves other editors time deciding how to merge, and causes all "Discuss" links to lead to the same talk page, of the first page. These templates will appear as:

Mergefrom.svg
Mergefrom.svg
It has been suggested that the text on (other article name) be merged into (added to) this project page or section. (Discuss)

and

Merge-arrow.svg
Merge-arrow.svg
It has been suggested that the text below be merged into (added to) the (other article name) page. (Discuss)

After proposing the merge, put your reasons on the talk page and check back in a few days for answers from other editors. If there is no disagreement after five days that the articles should be merged, then go ahead and merge them.

Performing the merger[change | change source]

  1. Open the two pages being merged in two different windows or tabs.
  2. Copy or cut-and-paste any information from the first page that isn't already on the other page.
  3. Add #REDIRECT [[PAGENAME]] to the first page.
  4. Be sure to take the merge tag off the other page before clicking 'show preview'
  5. Click 'show preview', and edit the other page until it looks good.
  6. Save both pages, and make a comment about the merger (including the page names) in the edit summaries.
  7. Check "What links here" on the first page to find and fix any double redirects. Double-redirects do not work, and must be renamed to point to the other page name.

If you can't fix up the new article, please tag the article with {{cleanup}} for attention of other editors.

Renaming / Moving[change | change source]

On Wikipedia, usually anyone logged in can change the name of a page from its current name to a new one. This is called "moving," because the effect is as if the page has been moved. A redirect is created at its old name so that links still work.

After a move to fix a spelling error or typo, you may want to list the first redirect for deletion at Wikipedia:Redirects for deletion. This usually only needs to be done in special cases.

  • Misspelled – The most common reason for moving a page is that the name is misspelled or incorrectly capitalized. Please fix any and all of these as you see them.
  • NPOV – Words used in a page's name show a bias or point of view. The neutral point of view policy requires that titles be given "neutral" titles — using general and unbiased words.

Sometimes, you may think that a page is wrongly named for another reason. For example, "Napoleon" is more well-known as "Napoleon I of France." However, this is where a redirect would be better. Most people would not search for Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné, but for Mme de Sevigne.

Cross-namespace moves[change | change source]

The move feature is able to move pages in any namespace (except category), and even able to move pages from one namespace to another. Cross-namespace moving is needed when a page is accidentally created in the wrong namespace; for example, moving Talk/Abraham Lincoln to Talk:Abraham Lincoln, or moving Articles for deletion/Some article to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Some article. In some cases, new users may create articles on themselves, that they mean to be their user page.

Often, other types of cross-namespace moves will be opposed by other people, and should be discussed with other editors. Wikipedia:Simple talk is the best place for this.

How to rename a page[change | change source]

Note, you must be logged in to do this, to an account that is at least 4 days old.

  1. Go to the page that you wish to rename.
  2. Click the tab labelled "move."
  3. Type the new title, add a reason, and click "Move page."
    • The old title will redirect to the new title.
    • The old edit history will be moved to the new title.
  4. Check for redirects. Double-redirects will not link right, and must be renamed to link to the new page name.
  • Do not move or rename a page by copying/pasting its content. Doing so destroys the edit history. If you come across a cut-and-paste move that should be fixed by merging the page histories, please follow the instructions here to have an administrator fix it.

If you cannot rename a page, or you think that the renaming may be opposed, please go to Wikipedia:Simple talk and list it there.

If the move does not work, it is often because there is already an article at the title where you're trying to move the article. This is likely to happen if there is a history of moves from one name to another. This can be fixed by an administrator after discussion at WP:RFD.

If there is only a redirect with no history at the other name, the move will still work — the designers of the MediaWiki software saw this as a special case where nothing will be lost if a move is performed.