Wikipedia:Merging and moving pages

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Proposing a merge

To propose to merge two pages, put the template {{merge|OTHER ARTICLE}} at the top of the page. It should appear like this:

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with OTHER ARTICLE. (Discuss)

If you know which article should remain, use {{mergefrom|SOURCE ARTICLE}} on the article that should remain and {{mergeto|TARGET ARTICLE}} on the article that should be merged into it. Using these templates relieves the merging editor from having to decide which way to merge, and both discuss links go to the talk page of the target article, instead of each article linking to its own talk page. These templates will appear as

It has been suggested that SOURCE ARTICLE be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)


It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into TARGET ARTICLE. (Discuss)

Why merge a page?

There are several good reasons to merge a page:

  • There are two or more articles on exactly the same subject.
  • There are two or more articles on related subjects that have a large overlap. Wikipedia is not a dictionary; there doesn't need to be a separate entry for every concept in the universe. For example, "Flammable" and "Non-flammable" can both be explained in an article on Flammability.
  • If an article is very short and cannot or should not be expanded terribly much, it often makes sense to merge it with an article on a broader topic.
  • If a short article requires the background material or context from a broader article in order for readers to understand it.

Merging should always leave a redirect in place. Even if you think that's rather pointless or obscure, leave it in place anyway. Superfluous redirects don't harm anything, and are sometimes helpful. Other web sites may have made links to the old article title, so we'll want to redirect incoming visitors to the merged article. We don't want people accidentally creating a new article under the old title, not knowing that the merged article exists. Redirects also show up in search results, helping people who might be looking under the "wrong" title to find the article they are looking for.

You may find that some or all of the information to be merged is already in the target article. That's fine; you can feel free to delete the redundant information and only add the new stuff. If there's no information to be added to the target article, you can just note in your edit summary on the source article (as you are turning it into a redirect) that there was nothing to be merged (or that the source article was entirely redundant with the target).

How to merge a page

  1. Go to the source page (e.g. "Lionel Hutz")
  2. At the top of your screen, click the tab named "edit this page"
  3. Open the destination page (e.g. "Characters from The Simpsons") in a second window (or browser tab) and also edit this
  4. Select, cut and paste the entire content of the source page to the bottom of the destination page
  5. Select and copy the name of the destination page
  6. In the (now empty) source page, type "#redirect [[PAGENAME]]" (without the quotes, and pasting the name of the destination page instead of 'PAGENAME'
  7. In the edit summary, type something like merged with PAGENAME
  8. Save the source page (this is now a redirect, and it retains its edit history)
  9. Click 'show preview' on the destination page
  10. Edit the destination page until the layout is consistent
  11. In the edit summary, type something like merged from SOURCEPAGE
  12. Save the destination page. Note that it will not have the source page's edit history (but that still remains with the source page)
  13. Test the merge by typing the name of the original page. You should be redirected to the destination page which will contain the article including the newly merged text.

The short version

If the above seems verbose, it can be a lot easier once you get the hang of it...

  1. Open source and destination pages in two separate windows
  2. Cut/paste source page into destination page
  3. Put "#redirect [[PAGENAME]]" into the source page
  4. Preview and edit destination page until it looks good and consistent
  5. Save both, and note the merging (including the article names) in edit summaries

If that fails

If for some reason you cannot merge the pages, or you think the merging may be controversial, please go to Wikipedia:Duplicate articles and post it there.


Just dumping the text from one page onto another is progress, because it puts all the information on the same topic on the same page. But it seldom results in a smooth-flowing article. Fixing that may require a lot of time and re-writing. If you can do that, great! Future readers will greatly benefit from your contribution. If you don't have the time or expertise to do so, then just tag the article for attention (pick one from Wikipedia:Cleanup resources, or even just {{cleanup}} is fine) and move on.


Why create a redirect

The most obvious reason is common misspellings. For example, Charles Schultz redirects to Charles Schulz, because it is conceivable that people may make that misspelling. In general, if you're in doubt whether or not a redirect is useful, create one (or keep the existing one).

Another reason for creating a redirect is if you wanted to merge a short article into a larger one, but all information contained in the short article is already there. In that case, you can overwrite the short article with a redirect, as explained here.

How to create a redirect

  1. Go to the 'wrong' name of the page, which likely doesn't exist
  2. Click edit
  3. Type in "#redirect [[PAGENAME]]", where PAGENAME is the correct page
  4. Save

Renaming (moving)

Why rename a page

On Wikipedia, usually anyone can rename a page from its current name to a new one. This is also called "moving" because the effect is as if the page has been moved. A redirect is automatically created at its old name so that links still work. After a move to correct a spelling mistake, you may want to ask an administrator to delete the misspelled redirect that is left over, but this isn't necessary and - who knows - it may be useful if your misspelling is a common one.

The most common reason is when a page name is misspelled, or wrongly capitalized. Please fix any and all of those as you see them.

Sometimes you may feel that a page is wrongly named for another reason - for instance, "Napoleon" is more properly known as "Napoleon I of France". However, this is a place where a redirect would be appropriate. Most people would not search for Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné, but rather for Mme de Sevigne.

How to rename a page

  1. Go to the page you wish to rename.
  2. At the top of your screen, click the tab named "move"
  3. In the new screen, type the desired name, making sure you leave everything before the colon : intact
  4. Click OK
  5. There will be a redirect from the old page to the new page. Edit history is preserved at the location of the new page.

If that fails

Under no circumstances move or rename a page by copy/pasting its content. This destroys the edit history. The GFDL requires acknowledgement of the contributors, and by default editors continue to hold copyright on their contributions, so we will need to know who they are at least until the copyright expires.

If for some reason you cannot rename a page, or you think the renaming may be controversial, please go to WP:RM (Requested Moves) and post it there.

The most common reason for failure is that there is already an article at the place you're trying to move the article to. This is especially likely to happen if there is a history of moves from one name to another. This can be dealt with by an administrator after discussion on Requested Moves.

If the destination does exist but it only contains a redirect without any history, the move will still work--the designers of the Wiki recognised this as a special case in which no information will be lost if a move is performed.

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