A permanent link (or permalink) is a link to a specific version of a wiki page. Normal links always lead to the current version of a page, but the permalink leads to the text as it was at the time; the text does not include any edits made since. Unlike the name suggests, the permalink does not show exactly the same page, though, only the main text is guaranteed to be retained. The pictures included in the page are still shown at their most current versions, as are the templates, most notably the boxes with text and images placed in the pages' right-top corner. In other words, the permalink displays what the article would look like today if someone reverted to the revision in question.
A permalink can be made by clicking 'Permanent link' in the sidebar's toolbox or by accessing a prior version of a page from its page history tab. Both of these will display that version and the page's URL can be used as the target of the permalink.
|When to use||How to create||Result|
|Linking from anywhere in the Internet.
Linking from the printed publication that is citing Wikipedia.
|Copy the 'Permanent link' in the sidebar's Toolbox.||
|Linking from the inside of Wikipedia (such as from a talk page)||Note the
||a version of Wikipedia:Help_desk page|
|Not a permanent link - just a plain link to the most current version of page||
|This page is referenced in the Wikipedia Glossary.|
- Help:Page history#Linking to a specific version of a page for more details of browsing the history of Wikipedia.
- Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia for more details on how to cite Wikipedia, for which you may need a permalink.
- The most obvious differences are if images that existed at the time are subsequently deleted. They would be shown as red links, and inevitably the layout of the article would suffer.