Help:Dummy edit

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Using dummy edits[edit]

A dummy edit involves making a minor change to a page's wikitext that doesn't significantly affect how the page appears.


  1. Correcting Edit Summaries - If a previous edit summary was inaccurate—for instance, if an edit was mistakenly labeled as a "minor edit "—a dummy edit can be used to rectify this without altering the page's content. Hence, providing a helpful edit summary on the page Help:History .
  2. Communication - Dummy edits can also serve as a way to send a text message to unregistered users via their IP talk pages. But since an IP address can be shared among multiple users, leaving a message on an IP talk page might not reach the intended recipient.
  3. Directing to Discussions - Via text messages, dummy edits can also be used to guide problematic editors to relevant discussions on the talk page , where issues can be addressed more thoroughly. For example, if there's an ongoing debate about a particular section of an article on the talk page, you could make a minor edit to that section and include a note in the edit summary like "See talk page discussion regarding this section." This alerts the editor to the discussion and encourages them to participate in collaboratively resolving the issue.


  1. It's important to use dummy edits sparingly and avoid using them for lengthy discussions. Logged-in editors should mark dummy edits as "minor," unless the edit specifically corrects a previous edit mistakenly marked as "minor."
  2. Each edit summary has a text limit of 500 characters.

Dummy edit examples[edit]

Adding a newline without altering the content of the text.
A dummy edit involves simple formatting changes, like converting a space to a line break or vice versa and adding or deleting a single blank line after headers. However, introducing two consecutive newlines creates a new paragraph, invalidating the dummy edit. Also, adding newlines to the end of the article doesn't count as a dummy edit.
Modifying the number of spaces
Modifying the number of spaces, from one to two or more, or vice versa, does not affect the rendered page. Multiple spaces are always displayed as a single space, except when the line begins with a leading space. (See m:Help:Wikitext examples).

A null edit[edit]

A null edit refers to the act of saving a page without making any changes to its content. This action is typically done to refresh the page's cache. Unlike regular edits, a null edit does not show up in the page history or Recent Changes. Additionally, any edit summary provided during a null edit is discarded.

A null edit is particularly valuable for updating category pages when categories are included via templates. Unlike purging the cache, which may not always update category contents, a null edit ensures that any changes made to templates affecting category inclusions are accurately reflected on the page.

The most useful aspect of a null edit is its ability to update category pages, particularly when categories are transcluded via templates. When a category has been added to or removed from a template since its last transclusion on a page, simply purging the cache won't update the category contents.

However, executing a null edit on the page (not the category itself) accomplishes this.

This behavior is evident when categories are managed through templates. See How to add a category by utilizing a template .

Examples of a null edit[edit]

Opening the edit window and immediately saving without making any changes
Simply opening the edit window and immediately saving it, qualifies as a null edit. However, this can sometimes lead to accidental dummy edits with empty edit summaries.
Adding newlines solely to the end of the page
Merely adding newlines to the end of a page, which is ignored upon saving, qualifies as a null edit. This holds even when editing a specific section of a page.

See also[edit]