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A diff is the difference between two versions of a page. It can be viewed from the page history: for every version there are potentially two radio buttons: the left column is for selecting the older version, the right column for selecting the newer one. Pressing "Compare selected versions" gives the difference between the two versions.

For special cases (the diff for a single edit or between an old and the current version) other possibilities are clicking cur or last in the page history or on the Recent Changes page. The diff is also shown during an edit conflict so you can see exactly what you need to reintegrate.


How it looks

The two versions are shown side-by-side. In the old version paragraphs which differ are yellow and in the new version they are green. In left-to-right languages, the old version is on the left. This is reversed in right-to-left scripts. Text removed within a paragraph is shown in red on the old version. New text within a paragraph is shown in red on the new version. If a whole paragraph was removed or added, the text is not red but just black, while the other side is blank (white). Unchanged text is black on grey, only parts before and after changed text is shown.

The diff shows differences per line. Some editors find that adding manual line breaks improves the diff function.

As well as showing the difference between versions, the diff page has links to the user page and talk page of the users who edited both the last and current versions. Links to the users' contribution lists are also shown. For sysops, a rollback button is shown allowing them to revert from the new version to the old one. Note however that this is even shown when viewing the diff between the recent version of a page and a version older than the last version by an author other than the one of the most current version, in which case the rollback would not undo the change that is displayed. Thus if user A vandalized a page, and user B partially reverted that vandalism, the diff of the two together shows the remaining vandalism, but rollback reverts the partial repair by user B!

Edit summaries are also shown on the diff page. These appear in the row beneath the user names. If the user has used links in their edit summary, these act as links on the diff page as well.

In 1.4 there are also links to both versions, and the previous and next diff.

This example shows the top of the diff page, with the links described above.

Revision as of 22:32, Aug 03, 2003

Angela (Talk | contribs)
Edit summaries in diffs are great

Revision as of 00:10, Aug 18, 2003
Tim Starling (Talk | contribs)    [rollback]
Reverted edits by Angela to last version by Anthere

When moving or copying a piece of text within a page or from another page, and also making other edits, it is useful to separate these edits. This way the diff function can be usefully applied for checking these other edits.


After the table of differences, the latest of the two compared versions is shown fully.

In the case of the Classic skin with quickbar, the diff page does not have the quickbar, to provide more space. Therefore the diff page is also useful for viewing the page on full screen width, without changing the preferences.

With the Monobook skin the panels on the left are also on the diff page.

Page widening is more likely on a diff page, because there are two columns, but also because URLs (especially long ones) are not hidden.


To do a comparison with the older page rendered below the table of differences, provide the URL as follows.

Open the revision of one page that you wish to compare to another, for example, and the revision of the other page that you wish to compare, for example Copy the oldid number of one page (&oldid=78722 in the first example) and replace the text oldid with diff: &diff=78722. Paste this string into the URL of the other page between that page's title and its oldid (&oldid=98420 in the second example), so you have something like this:

You may remove the page title (title=Main_Page in the example above) from the URL if you wish, but this is not necessary. The resulting diff will compare the given versions of the two pages [1].

To compare the current version of the page and a given oldid, you can put "current" after "diff=" instead of an oldid. For example,

would compare the current version of this page with the version that has oldid 124558.

External link


Wikipedia-specific help


This page is a copy of the master help page at Meta (for general help information all Wikimedia projects can use), with two Wikipedia-specific templates inserted. To update the main text, edit the master help page for all projects at m:Help:Diff. For Wikipedia-specific issues, use Template:Ph:Diff (the extra text at the bottom of this page) or Template:Phh:Diff for a Wikipedia-specific lead (text appears at the top of this page). You are welcome to copy the exact wikitext from the master page at Meta and paste it into this page at any time. To view this page in other languages see the master page at Meta.

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This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).

You can access the history of a page by clicking "History" from the edit button dropdown

Each editable page on Wikia has an associated page history, which consists of the old versions of the page text, as well as a record of the date and time of every edit, the username or IP address of the user who wrote it, and their edit summary.

You can access a page's history via the 'Edit' button's dropdown menu. It can also be viewed via a link in toolbar when visiting a page.

Quick overview:

  • The newest changes are shown at the top
  • To view a specific version, click a date
  • To compare an old version with the current version, click cur
  • To compare a version with its predecessor, click last
  • To compare to specific versions, select the left-column radio button of the older version and the right-column radio button of the newer version, and then click "Compare selected versions"
  • Minor edits are denoted as m
  • Edits by bots are denoted as b

Step by step

Below is an example of a page history:

Screenshot page history

Page history, with labels

Edits are shown from newest to oldest. Each edit starts on a new line and shows the time and date, contributor's name or IP, edit summary, and other related information for the edit.

Let's look at some of the features of this page:

  1. The page name and namespace.
  2. (cur) takes you to a 'diff' page - any page showing the wikitext difference between that edit and another version of the page history. In this case the diff page is comparing the selected version and the current version. The current revision appears below the changes, so you can see how the page is now rendered.
  3. (prev) takes you to a diff page showing the changes between that edit and the previous version. The most recent version (the one on the same line as the "last" you clicked on) appears below the changes, so you can see how the page was rendered.
  4. The two columns of radio buttons can be used to select any two versions on the page for comparison. The most recent version is shown below the comparison.
  5. The time and date of the edit, expressed in the local time according to user preference setting, which links to that specific revision.
  6. The username or IP address of the contributor appears here with links to their message wall or talk page, and contributions.
  7. This is the edit summary - the text the user wrote in the editor's edit summary box.
    • Some of these begin with an arrow link and grey text. This means the user has edited a specific section of the page (named in the grey text). This text is automatically added when you edit a section. A standard edit summary can still be added by the user, which appears in black text.

If a page has been renamed in the past, the entire edit history of the article, before and after the move, is shown. The old title becomes a redirect and loses its edit history.

Edits made to deleted pages are not kept in contributor's User contribution pages. However, the revision history is kept and can be retrieved by an administrator, who can also undelete the page.

Going deeper

Creating feeds

Feeds (RSS and Atom) for the history of a page are available - you can use a feed aggregator or other tool to monitor changes to the page.

The RSS extension will allow you to include the RSS feed into another wiki page.

Linking to a specific version of the page

If you want to link to a specific revision of a page, click on the related date for the version on the page history. The resulting URL is suitable for use as a permanent reference to this version.


  • If a page contains any time-based variables, its rendered content will use the current date/time, not the time as it was when the revision was saved.
  • The latest versions of templates and images are used; if they have been revised, the page may look different than it was at the time the version was saved.

Exporting page history

You can export a page's history using the export tool.

Image history

An image or other media file can be replaced by a different image, by uploading a new image file with the same name. All versions are kept. The image history listing forms part of the image description page, which appears when you click on the image. From here, the image history can be viewed, and older versions can be deleted or restored.

See also

Further help and feedback

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