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Community Central

A screenshot of a recent changes list

Recent Changes (or as it's sometimes referred to, RC) is a record of all recent edit activity on a wiki.

Recent Changes is a way of monitoring a wiki. It can also be really helpful as a way to look back and find something you edited, uploaded or removed. It's a quick short-cut to seeing what's happening on each wiki you visit. Whenever a change occurs, it is listed along with the user who made the change, the time, a link to the edit, a link to the user's message wall, a link to the user's contributions, what the user said in the 'edit summary' box, and what type of edit it was. Recent Changes can be found at Special:RecentChanges.

Recent Changes does not list activity on social features: Discussions, message walls and comments on articles and blogs. Those can be found on the Social Activity Feed.

How to interpret the log

An example change:

N 21:02 Main Page (diff | hist) . . (+33) . . Username (Message Wall | contribs) (test edit)

'diff' and 'hist' links.

  • diff - takes you to the page diff view, which shows you the difference 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 for images and files).

Timestamp

  • A timestamp places itself before the page name, and is shown in the time zone you have chosen in your preferences.

Colored numbers

  • 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.

Italic text 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 will have edit summaries.

Tags

  • Tags show additional information about the edit, such as which editor was used (ex: 2017 Source Editor, Visual Editor etc).

Recent changes tools

The look of Recent Changes can be changed. In the "Recent Changes" tab of Preferences, you can find the option Use non-JavaScript interface. If it is checked, read the section § With JavaScript interface off.

With JavaScript interface on

Tools, all are above Recent Changes list

Active filters are rules, which makes Recent Changes to contain only things, which contains that tags, filter changes and are in namespaces you defined. You can save it and then find them in Saved Filters above Active Filters box.

Under Active Filters, there are 2 buttons.

  • Live updates is a button, that if it is enabled, it will automatically refresh site if new edit will be done on wiki.
  • On right site, you can change with button how deep you want to go to history. With URL config, you can change it to maximally 1000 changes in 90 days or to minimally 50 edits in a hour.

With JavaScript interface off

Tools available in this type of interface

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/enhanced/grouped recent changes" is enabled. The preference is located in the "Recent Changes" tab of Special:Preferences, under "Advanced options".

It groups recent changes per day, where "day" is defined by the time in your preferences. For each day, it groups the changes for each article, and displays each group in order of the most recent edit.

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.

Standard Recent Changes

If you turn off advanced recent changes in your preferences, Recent Changes will show every edit listed in order. This can be useful for getting a clearer view of the overall activity on a wiki.

Transcluding Recent Changes

This special page 'Recent Changes' can be transcluded into other pages, with the first unnamed parameter specifying how many entries should be displayed.

{{Special:RecentChanges/50}}

Additional parameters may be used in a comma separated list such as:

{{Special:RecentChanges/days=5,limit=40,hidebots,hideminor}}

See the full parameters list on MediaWiki.

Next steps

Further help and feedback

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