This is a copy of the master help page at m:Help:Import. Do not edit this page. Edits will be lost in the next update from the master page. Either edit the master help page for all projects at Meta, or edit the project-specific text at Template:Ph:Import. You are welcome to copy the exact wikitext from the master page at Meta and paste it into this page at any time.
Depending on the project settings, sysops can import files: it is in the list of special pages, or Special:Import can be used. However, on Wikimedia it is currently disabled and gives "No transwiki import sources have been defined and direct history uploads are disabled." There are still some important things that need to be fixed, such as logging, before this is turned on.
How to export and the format of exported pages is described at Help:export.
Because of the simple readable file format the XML file can easily be edited between exporting and importing. This should be done with caution and integrity, one can make antedated edits and use false user names, and in combination with deletion, one can "change history". Applications of this editing include:
- adding a note to the edit summary about the importing
- changing user names and/or page names to avoid name conflicts (just between the title tags and between the username tags or also in links and signatures)
- changing namespace names into the generic or the applicable ones (ditto)
After importing, the metadata of edits can be seen in the page histories and the user contributions, but not in recent changes (neither positioned at the time of the original edit, nor at the time of importing).
If the import involves edits under a user name which in the importing project is used by somebody else than the occurrences of the user name in the XML file should first be replaced by another name to avoid ambiguity. If the user name was not used yet in the importing project then the user contributions are available anyway, although an account is not automatically created.
Just like when a page is referred to in a link, and/or put in a URL, generic namespace names are automatically converted, and if a prefix is not a namespace name the page will arrive in the main namespace. However, e.g. "Meta:" may be ignored (dropped) on a project that uses that prefix for interwiki linking. It may be desirable to change it in the XML file to "Project:" before importing.
If a page name exists already, importing revisions of a page with that name causes the page histories to be merged. Note that after inserting a revision between two existing revisions in the page history, the change made by the user who made the next edit seems different from what it actually has been: to see the actual change made by the user one has to take the diff between the two already existing revisions, not the diff with respect to the inserted one. Therefore this should not be done except to reconstruct the true page history.
An edit summary may refer to, and possibly link to, another page. This may be confusing when the page has been imported but the target page has not.
The edit summary does not automatically show that the page has been imported, but that can be added to the edit summaries in the XML file before importing. That can avoid some potential sources of ambiguity and/or confusion. When editing the XML file with find/replace, note that adding a text to the edit summaries requires distinguishing between edits which already have an edit summary, hence comment tags in the XML file, and those without these tags. If there are multiple pairs of comment tags, only the last one is effective.
For a large-scale transfer, somebody with sufficient system privileges can move data within the server, which is more practical than sending large XML files from the server to a user's local computer and then back to the server.
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