Wiki pages can be exported in a special XML format to import into another MediaWiki installation or use it elsewise for instance for analysing the content. See also Syndication feeds for exporting other information but pages and Help:Import on importing pages.

How to export


There are at least four ways to export pages:

  • Paste the name of the articles in the box in Special:Export or use the URL //en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Special:Export/article's_name. You can get a list of all page names (in a specified namespace) at Special:Allpages.
  • The backup script dumpBackup.php dumps all the wiki pages into an XML file. dumpBackup.php only works on MediaWiki 1.5 or newer. You need to have direct access to the server to run this script. Dumps of mediawiki projects are (more or less) regularly made available at http://download.wikipedia.org.
  • There is a OAI-PMH-interface to regularly fetch pages that have been modified since a specific time. For wikimedia projects this interface is not publically available. OAI-PMH contains a wrapper format around the actual exported articles.
  • Use the Python Wikipedia Robot Framework. This won't be explained here.

By default only the current version of a page is included. Optionally you can get all versions with date, time, user name and edit summary.

Additionally you can copy the SQL database. This is how dumps of the database were made available before MediaWiki 1.5 and it won't be explained here further.

Exporting all pages of a namespace


To export all pages of a namespace using the first method mentioned above:

  • use Special:Allpages
  • copy the result to an editor
  • put all names on separate lines
  • in the case of another than the main namespace: insert the namespace prefix before all names
  • apply Special:Export

Export format


The format of the XML file you receive is the same in all ways. It is codified in XML Schema at http://www.mediawiki.org/xml/export-0.3.xsd This format is not intended for viewing in a web browser. Some browsers show you pretty-printed XML with "+" and "-" links to view or hide selected parts. Alternatively the XML-source can be viewed using the "view source" feature of the browser, or after saving the XML file locally, with a program of choice. It you directly read the XML source it won't be difficult to find the actual wikitext. If you don't use a special XML editor "<" and ">" appear as &lt; and &gt;, to avoid a conflict with XML tags; to avoid ambiguity, "&" is coded as "&amp;".

In the current version the export format does not contain an XML replacement of wiki markup (see Wikipedia DTD for an older proposal). You only get the wikitext as you get when editing the article.


  <mediawiki xml:lang="en">
      <title>Page title</title>
        <comment>I have just one thing to say!</comment>
        <text>A bunch of [[text]] here.</text>
        <minor />
        <text>An earlier [[revision]].</text>
      <title>Talk:Page title</title>
        <text>WHYD YOU LOCK PAGE??!!! i was editing that jerk</text>

Here is an unofficial, short Document Type Definition version of the format. If you don't know what a DTD is just ignore it.

<!ELEMENT mediawiki (siteinfo,page*)>
<!-- version contains the version number of the format (currently 0.3) -->
<!ATTLIST mediawiki
  version  CDATA  #REQUIRED 
  xmlns CDATA #FIXED "http://www.mediawiki.org/xml/export-0.3/"
  xmlns:xsi CDATA #FIXED "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
  xsi:schemaLocation CDATA #FIXED
    "http://www.mediawiki.org/xml/export-0.3/ http://www.mediawiki.org/xml/export-0.3.xsd"
<!ELEMENT siteinfo (sitename,base,generator,case,namespaces)>
<!ELEMENT sitename (#PCDATA)>      <!-- name of the wiki -->
<!ELEMENT base (#PCDATA)>          <!-- url of the main page -->
<!ELEMENT generator (#PCDATA)>     <!-- MediaWiki version string -->
<!ELEMENT case (#PCDATA)>          <!-- how cases in page names are handled -->
   <!-- possible values: 'first-letter' | 'case-sensitive'
                         'case-insensitive' option is reserved for future -->
<!ELEMENT namespaces (namespace+)> <!-- list of namespaces and prefixes -->
  <!ELEMENT namespace (#PCDATA)>     <!-- contains namespace prefix -->
  <!ATTLIST namespace key CDATA #REQUIRED> <!-- internal namespace number -->
<!ELEMENT page (title,id?,restrictions?,(revision|upload)*)>
  <!ELEMENT title (#PCDATA)>         <!-- Title with namespace prefix -->
  <!ELEMENT id (#PCDATA)> 
  <!ELEMENT restrictions (#PCDATA)>  <!-- optional page restrictions -->
<!ELEMENT revision (id?,timestamp,contributor,minor?,comment,text)>
  <!ELEMENT timestamp (#PCDATA)>     <!-- according to ISO8601 -->
  <!ELEMENT minor EMPTY>             <!-- minor flag -->
  <!ELEMENT comment (#PCDATA)> 
  <!ELEMENT text (#PCDATA)>          <!-- Wikisyntax -->
  <!ATTLIST text xml:space CDATA  #FIXED "preserve">
<!ELEMENT contributor ((username,id) | ip)>
  <!ELEMENT username (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT upload (timestamp,contributor,comment?,filename,src,size)>
  <!ELEMENT filename (#PCDATA)>
  <!ELEMENT src (#PCDATA)>
  <!ELEMENT size (#PCDATA)>

Processing XML export


There are undoubtedly many tools which can process the exported XML. If you process a large number of pages (for instance a whole dump) you probably won't be able to get the document in main memory so you will need a parser based on SAX or other event-driven methods.

You can also just use regular expressions to directly process parts of the XML code. This may be faster than other methods but not recommended because it's difficult to maintain.

Please list methods and tools for processing XML export here:

Details and practical advise

  • To determine the namespace of a page you have to match its title to the prefixed defined in


  • Possible restrictions are
    • sysop (protected pages)

Wikiquote-specific content

Help contents - all pages in the Help namespace: Meta b: c: n: w: q: wikisource wiktionary

Reading: Overview | Go | Search | URL | Namespace | Page name | Section | Link | Backlinks | Piped link | Interwiki link | Redirect | Variable | Category
Tracking changes: Recent | (enhanced) | Related | Watching pages | Page history | Diff | User contributions | Edit summary | Minor edit
Logging in and preferences: Logging in | Preferences | User style
Editing: Overview| New page | Images/files | Image description page | Special characters | Formula | Table | EasyTimeline | Template intro | Renaming (moving) a page | Automatic conversion of wikitext | Talk page | Testing | rlc
Projects: Meta (master page) | Wikibooks | Wikicommons | Wikinews | Wikipedia | Wikiquote | Wikisource | Wiktionary
For other languages see Meta.

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