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Help:Enhanced recent changes

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The preferences can be set to use the Enhanced Recent Changes feature (not for all browsers) instead of the classical Recent Changes. It groups recent changes per day by article, displays the titles of the changed articles in order from new to old latest change, or in the case of hiding minor edits, latest major change (send ideas for improvement to Magnus Manske, the author of this feature).

Multiple edits on the same day to a single article are grouped together on the Recent Changes screen. All the edits except for the most recent one are hidden, but can be revealed by clicking on the blue arrow next to the article. This option uses JavaScript, and won't work in every browser (see Browser issues with MediaWiki).

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This feature applies also to Related changes, but not to the watchlist.

Composition of lines

(For the pages Wikipedia:Upload log, the corresponding pages on Wiktionary and Wikibooks, and perhaps a few more pages some links are not present).

Pages for which there is only one edit

The line shows:

Pages for which there are multiple edits

The top line, which is the only one shown before clicking on the arrow, shows:

  • time
  • page name linked to the current version
  • number of edits during the day concerned (if it is the oldest day covered by this Enhanced Recent Changes page: restricted by the total number of edits covered by this page)
  • the link changes to the cumulation of these changes
  • Link Page history
  • the users, linked to their user pages

The lines per edit show:

  • time, linked to the page version created at this time
  • the link cur to this edit
  • the link last to this edit
  • user, linked to his or her user page
  • Talk, linking to the user talk page
  • edit summary


The default recent changes looks like this:

Enhanced recent changes shows changes to one page on the same line, with an arrow next to it:

File:Arr r.png 10:06 MediaWiki User's Guide: Editing mathematical formulae (2 changes; Page history) [; Anthere]
N .10:04 MediaWiki User's Guide (cur; hist) . . Brion VIBBER (Talk) (New page)
 .. 10:03 Endnotes moved to Footnotes (cur; hist) . . Maveric149 (Talk)

Clicking this arrow expands the entry so you can see all the changes made:

File:Arr d.png 10:06 MediaWiki User's Guide: Editing mathematical formulae (2 changes; Page history) [; Anthere]
 . . . . . . 10:06 (cur; last) . . (Talk) (Add examples)
 . . .. . M 10:04 (cur; last) . . Anthere (Talk) (links)
N  10:04 MediaWiki User's Guide (cur; hist) . . Brion VIBBER (Talk) (New page)
 .. 10:03 Endnotes moved to Footnotes (cur; hist) . . Maveric149 (Talk)

Common installation error

In projects outside Wikimedia it may happen that during installation one forgets (or perhaps it is missing in the installation instructions?) to copy three little image files: Arr_r.png Arr_d.png Arr_.png (blank)

to the corresponding directory. As a result the enhanced Recent Changes are more cumbersome to use.


Wikipedia-specific help

Template:Ph:Enhanced recent changes

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:Enhanced recent changes. For Wikipedia-specific issues, use Template:Ph:Enhanced recent changes (the extra text at the bottom of this page) or Template:Phh:Enhanced recent changes 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.


A screenshot of a recent changes list

Recent Changes (or as it's sometimes referred to, RC) is much like Wiki Activity: they both track contributions on a wikia. However, Recent Changes records all of the activity - it's more of a technical feed of everything that's taking place on a wikia.

Recent Changes is also really helpful to look back and find something you edited, uploaded or removed. It's a quick short-cut to seeing what's happening on your community and all of the wikias you are stopping by to check out. Whenever a change occurs, it is listed along with the user who made the change, the time, and a link to the edit. Recent Changes can be found at Special:RecentChanges.

How to interpret the log

An example change:

N 21:02 Page Name (diff | hist) . . (+33) . . User Name (wall | contribs) (test edit)
'diff' and 'hist' links
  • diff - takes you to the page diff view, which shows you what was changed from the last version in comparison with the newest version.
  • hist - takes you to the page history where you can compare old versions of the page.
N, m, b or no letter at all?
  • These are listed before the page name.
    • N signifies that the page is a new page.
    • m means that the editor marked the change as a minor edit.
    • b signifies that the page was edited by a bot.
  • If there's no letter before the page name, that means it was a normal edit. It could have been something like adding a section or sourcing claims.
Page name
  • The page name is listed and links to the most recent version of the page (including images and files).
  • A timestamp places itself before the page name, and is in sync with the time zone you have chosen in your preferences.
Strange colored numbers, what do they mean?
  • The positive/negative numbers after the page name show how many characters were added to or removed from the old page, which gives you a rough idea how much the page has changed.
  • This can be very helpful in spotting great new additions, or page-blanking vandalism.
What is that in italics inside the parentheses?
  • The italic comment inside the parentheses is the edit summary of an edit: a small comment explaining how someone changed a page. For example, if you cleaned up a messy page, you could leave cleanup as the edit summary.
  • Since edit summaries are made by choice, not all edits in recent changes have edit summaries.

Recent changes options


Links at the top of recent changes page

The first line provides links to allow you to increase the size of the RC page, so that you can see more edits going further back in time. (Items do eventually drop off of the Recent changes — you can't go back forever.)

The second line allows you to hide or show edits marked "minor", "bot", "anon", "logged-in" or your own edits. Each of these is helpful to different kinds of editors, who use Recent changes for different tasks.

The drop-down box allows you to show only recent changes for a particular namespace, such as 'File' or 'Template'.

The "Hide grouped recent changes" link turns off and on the advanced Recent Changes page, described below.

Note: This box of links can collapsed and reopened by clicking the 'Recent changes options' heading. The expanded/collapsed state is remembered on a per-community basis.

Advanced Recent Changes

By default, 'advanced/grouped recent changes' is enabled. The preference is located in the "Under the Hood" tab of Special:Preferences, under "Use advanced recent changes".

It groups recent changes per day, where "day" is defined according to local time. For each day, it groups the changes for each article, and displays the titles of the changed articles in order from new to old latest change of the day concerned, or in the case of hiding minor edits, latest major change.

This feature is especially useful if many edits are likely to occur to a single article over the course of a day, as that article will only show once on the list, with all changes to it grouped together.

See also

Next steps

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