Help:Reverting

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What are reverting, undoing, and rolling back?[edit]

To revert one or more edits is to reverse the effect of those edits, restoring the content from before the edits were made. There are four main ways to revert edits:

  • Rolling back. A (rollback) button is available to administrators and rollbackers to revert all of the most recent edits by a given editor to a given page. Such edits must be consecutive, and they must be the latest edits in the page's history. Rolling edits back requires only a single click.
  • Undoing. An (undo) link is available to all editors; the link opens an edit-page with the edits undone, allowing the editor to modify the entry text or edit summary before saving. The edits to be reverted must be consecutive, but do not need to be by the same editor, and do not necessarily need to be the latest edits to the page, provided they are the latest edits to the relevant part of the page.
  • Restoring. Any editor can visit a page, choose history, select a previous version of a page, click edit, and re-save the old page-text.
  • Editing. In complicated cases, where good edits have been made overlying the bad edits, an editor can simply edit the page, making whatever changes are needed to reverse the effect of the bad edits.

When to[edit]

An edit should be reverted if it is clearly and irredeemably nonconstructive; vandalism, for example, should always be reverted, as should copyright violations and edits that clearly do not conform to our criteria for inclusion. In other cases, it may be better to clean the entry up rather than revert the edits in question (see alternatives below).

It is impossible to roll back under the following circumstances:

  1. When the edit to be rolled back is not the most recent edit
  2. When an entry only has one contributor, since the rollback function rolls back to the last version by an editor other than the one being rolled back

It is impossible to undo under the following circumstances:

  1. When the edit to be undone has itself been edited

It is always possible to revert to a previous version in the pages history. Other things to consider:

  1. In circumstances where it is appropriate to leave a message in the edit summary why the edit is being reverted, the rollback function does not allow this
  2. It is better to revert to a previous version in a page's history than to click undo multiple times, as this takes multiple edits to achieve what can be achieved in just one edit.

Alternatives[edit]

If the content added to the page seems like it may be appropriate, or is appropriate but poorly formatted, it is better to clean the entry up as opposed to simply reverting.

You can also add a request template to the entry. On Wiktionary there are several major requests you can make. {{attention|en}} adds entries to Category:English terms needing attention (where en is used to mean English, see Wiktionary:Index to templates/languages for a full list of codes) {{rfv}} asks for verification of fact, {{rfc}} asks for correcting layout, and {{rfd}} is used to propose that an entry be deleted. To nominate a single sense for deletion, use {{rfd-sense}}.

Issues[edit]

Users who come here from Wikipedia and other similar places should note that we do not have a "Three-revert rule". This is for many reasons, but predominantly because we have found it unnecessary. If you find yourself revert warring with another contributor, it is your responsibility to try and find a middle ground that is acceptable to you both; a message on their talk page, or the entry's discussion page, can help to start this process. If things are getting very ugly, ask one of the Administrators to step in by leaving a message on their talk page.