Help:Reverting

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What is Reverting?
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  • Reverting is a powerful tool available to us here on the Wiki. A simple revert can undo all changes made to an article after a specific time in the past, resulting in a page that is identical to that previous version.
  • An Undo is a special kind of revert that allows a user to get rid of a single edit sometime in the past; rather than getting rid of all recent edits, the Wiki software automatically generates a new version of the page without the edit that has been "undone." This new version of the page will retain all more recent edits, which makes it unnecessary to redo all recent useful edits.
  • The Undo feature will, since it attempts to create a new version of the page without the edit in question, occasionally disrupt formatting. As such, undo should be used sparingly, and only when it will be genuinely useful.

When should I revert?
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When to Revert:

  • Reverting is a tool mainly used to fight vandalism (the intentional damaging or defacing of pages).
  • You can revert your own edit if you realize that it is wrong (you should have noticed this in the preview, though). Be careful if some other editor has made changes in the interim, as a revert will discard those newer changes.

When not to Revert:

  • If the change is something that can be improved by editing it (i.e. poor word choice, incorrect formatting), then reword it instead of reverting it.
  • If you are not sure if a revert is appropriate, discuss it on the talk page before doing so.
  • Do not revert a page simply because you disagree with an edit (be it inaccurate, biased, or poorly worded). Improve the edit, rather than reverting it.
  • If you disagree with a revert, DO NOT REVERT THE ARTICLE AGAIN. Discuss the changes on the talk page instead.

All that's great, but how do I revert?
  • Go to the page, click on "history" at the top ("Page history" in some skins), and click on the time and date of the earlier version to which you wish to revert.
  • Then when that page comes up, you'll see something like "(Revision as of 22:19 Aug 15, 2002)" below the title.
  • Verify that you've selected the correct version, and click to edit the page, as you would normally. Important: in the case of vandalism, take the time to make sure that you are reverting to the last version without the vandalism; there may be multiple consecutive vandal edits, sometimes interspersed with constructive edits.
  • You'll get a warning, above the edit box, about editing an out-of-date revision.
  • After heeding the warning, save the page. Be sure to add the word "revert" and a brief explanation for the revert to the edit summary. Some users abbreviate "revert" as "rv". A useful addition is to link the usernames associated with the versions you are reverting from and to. For example, a good edit summary when reverting vandalism would be rv edits by 127.0.0.1 to last version by Example due to Vandalism
  • Click on "history" again. A new line will have been added, and you'll be able to verify (by clicking on "last") that you un-did the vandalism plus all subsequent bona fide edits, if any. You are responsible for re-doing all the subsequent edits which you un-did.
  • Hint: In a vandalism case where sections of text were simply deleted and then subsequent edits were made by others, it may be easier for you to cut and paste those missing sections of text back in, than to revert and then re-do the edits.
  • Check the contribution history of the user who vandalized the article. (Click on their IP address or username. That will often bring you directly to their User contribution page, if you clicked on their IP address. If you are able to click on their username, that will bring you to their User page. In the lower left-hand corner, there is a toolbox with a "User contributions" link. Click that.) If this user is vandalizing many articles, please report them to the administrator noticeboard

An Undo is done slightly differently:

  • Like a revert, go into the page's "History" tab. However, unlike clicking on the time and date of the version you wish to undo, take a look at the circles to the left side of the version history.
  • Click in the left-hand circle next to the revision before the edit you wish to undo, and click in the right-hand circle next to the edit you wish to undo.
  • Press the "Compare Selected Versions" button.
  • On the right side, there will be something similar to Current revision (18:34, 26 April 2007) (edit) (undo)
  • Press the "Undo" link.
  • Press "Save Page" at the bottom.
  • Fix any formatting that may have been messed up by the process.
  • And, you're done!
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