Wikipedia:Typo Team

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The Wikipedia Typo Team is dedicated to improving the quality of Wikipedia by correcting typos and misspellings. If you see any typos (even minor ones), please correct them. This kind of editing is a never-ending job, so we could use your help! Please consider joining our team. All you need to do is start correcting typos. We have a userbox; simply add {{User Typo Team}} to your userpage to proudly display your association. Also, consider adding to our pledges page to announce your new enlistment. Our project was created on November 22, 2003, and the first corrections were fixes of "and and". What will your contributions be? Add some of them at the works completed page so we know what our members are doing!

Typo Team News

British vs American English, etc.[edit]

Map of countries with English as majority or national language.
Map of countries with English as majority or national language.

Except for articles with strong national ties, the English Wikipedia has no preference for American, British, or other forms of English as long as usage is consistent throughout the article. In most cases, articles should stay in the dialect that currently predominates and should not be converted just for the sake of conversion. Any inter-dialect conversion therefore requires glancing at the whole article to be able to determine if, for instance, flavor, color, meter, or defense (or flavour, colour, metre, or defence) should be converted. Another approach is to try to avoid dialects by using words that are English universals.

Caution is needed when changing dialects and it takes some experience to avoid pitfalls. It is easy to make over- or under-generalizations. For instance, the endings "-ize" and "-ization" are acceptable in both British and American English. So although the suffix "-ise" is more common in Commonwealth usage than "-ize", both spellings are correct. Regardless, the use of "-ize"/"-ise" should remain consistent throughout a page.

More information about dialects can be found in the following links:

Use edit summaries[edit]

Typo team members make many edits. It is always a good idea to give an edit summary after each of your edits, describing the change you made (see Help:Edit summary). If you made many fixes, you might say "spelling fixes" or "spelling cleanup". If the number of edits was small, you might list the exact words you fixed, such as "spelling Mississippi". You can also specify the exact change you made as with "spelling: lense → lens". Spelling fixes are generally marked as minor edits.

Additionally, you could simultaneously promote our project in the edit summary with a small reference like "typo corrections [[Wikipedia:Typo Team]]" or "spelling Monday [[WP:TYPO]]". The shortcut WP:TYPO links to this project page.

Edit summaries are important and other editors value them when scanning the article history. Edit summary histories are also sometimes considered during user requests for Wikipedia adminship; so, making valuable edit summaries is a good habit to form.

Some typos do not need to be corrected[edit]

Not all typos on Wikipedia need to be (or should be) corrected:

  • Spelling errors on talk pages generally should not be fixed. It is a guideline that comments, especially of others, should not be edited. Roughly this is because it can be disruptive to the communicative process, as others may have already quoted the material. Also, talk pages are not considered part of the encyclopedia proper so there is no need to bring them up to a publishable standard. On the other hand, if you were the last to post to a talk page and made a spelling or grammatical error, there's no reason not to fix it.
  • In quotes, the material being quoted may contain a typo or have archaic spelling. For typos, MOS:PLC says: "insignificant spelling and typographic errors should simply be silently corrected (for example, correct basicly to basically)." Archaic spelling, however, should be retained: "In direct quotations, retain dialectal and archaic spellings, including capitalization" (this is quoted from the MOS page linked above). To indicate to other editors and bots that something that appears to be an error is faithfully copied from the original, after verifying the original, put the word or phrase in either {{sic}} or {{Not a typo}}. Examples:
    • "{{sic|truple}} threat" renders as "truple [sic] threat" and indicates to the reader that editors have verified the error is in the original, not Wikipedia.
    • "{{not a typo|ye old bakke shoppe}}" renders as "ye old bakke shoppe" and it is assumed the reader will know the spelling is archaic. Bots will not try to spell-check this text.
  • Proper names might contain apparently misspelt words that are actually correct when used as a name. For example, "Johnny Hazzard" is a correctly spelt proper name, even though it looks similar to the word "hazard", and Australia's "Mackerel Beach", named after the type of fish, is sometimes referred to as "Mackeral Beach" in official documents.
  • Some foreign words look like misspellings of English words, but are correctly spelt for that language. For example, the Dutch word for "foundation" is "stichting", not "stitching". But non-English words should be wrapped in {{lang}} or {{transl}}.
  • Constructions may be considered valid in some dictionaries and style guides (without being labelled colloquial, obsolete, local, or otherwise substandard), yet be deprecated in other such publications. Unless Wikipedia's own WP:Manual of Style (or one of its sub-guidelines) addresses the matter specifically, such cases are covered by the principles at MOS:ENGVAR: If challenged, discuss a desired change on the talk page, and if consensus cannot be reached, default to the usage of the first major contributor. Especially, do not continue to make the same correction to other articles, if such a challenge has not been resolved, as this is liable to be deemed disruptive.

Typos can indicate larger problems[edit]

  • Be alert to passages where the typos suggest that the text has been processed by an optical character recognition (OCR) program. For instance, these programs sometimes substitute numbers for letters, like "1" for "l", an error that a human would be unlikely to make. OCRed text is likely to be a copyright violation and may need to be deleted rather than fixed. See Wikipedia:Text copyright violations 101.
  • Spelling mistakes in filenames in [[File:...]] and [[Image:...]] links must not be corrected, as this will break the link. You could request that the file be renamed and then correct any links to it once the rename has been performed.
  • News headlines imported from Wikinews, typically in "Wikinews" pages in "Portal" pages, cannot be corrected, as the importer bot will simply re-import the bad spelling. Instead, go to the talk page of the Wikinews story and request a rename using {{edit protected}}.
  • Lists generated directly from Wikidata, for example at Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in Red#By occupation from Wikidata, cannot be corrected, as the importer bot will simply re-import the bad spelling. Instead, go to Wikidata and edit the description there.
  • It is a truism of Wikipedia that vandals often spell things incorrectly. If the sentence in which you find a typo is unsourced or implausible, it is worth checking the article history. Often there will be a recent edit that can simply be reverted.

Methods for searching and correcting typos[edit]

From a list of articles with detected typos[edit]

From a list of common typos[edit]

In a specific article[edit]

Browser spell checking[edit]

Recent versions of all major web browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Konqueror have built-in spell-checking. If you have a mouse with multiple buttons, usually a right-click over a misspelled word will offer suggested corrections. Remember that suggestions and the flagging of words as misspelled are not always accurate, and you'll need to read the context carefully.

For Firefox, additional spell-check dictionaries, such as British, American, Canadian, and Australian English, are easily installed via "Add Ons" or via a right-click "Languages" in an HTML form.

You can also search the page (including the edit window) for specific text, usually with Ctrl+f (⌘+f on Mac) or from the Edit menu.

Browser usage and grammar checking[edit]

Several browser extensions are available to check usage and grammar. Be aware that these extensions typically send the text you are editing to an external web site, which has privacy implications, especially if you use the same browser for sites other than Wikipedia. Some of these also have web demos you can copy-and-paste text into, if you don't want to install a browser extension.


External text editor[edit]

It is possible to select text in the edit box (up to a whole article), then copy and paste it into a local program, edit it, and copy and paste back again. For example, this may simplify alphabetical sorting of list items. However, this depends upon the character set being supported; for example, copying into a standard installation of LibreOffice Writer is likely to be successful, but Windows Notepad is likely to corrupt characters, particularly non-English ones. This will not cause trouble so long as you preview and/or compare the pasted-back text with the original before saving. A quick once-and-for-all check that an editing program is suitable is to copy a page with, say, Chinese characters to the local application, maybe change one letter, save locally and re-open, copy back to the WP edit page, and check changes.

More spelling tools[edit]

The following online tools can be used if you are unsure of how a word is spelled.

Members of the Typo Team[edit]


There is a userbox to show that you are a member of the Typo Team:

This user is a member of the
Wikipedia Typo Team.

Add {{User Typo Team}} to show the project userbox on your user page. Note the bold "Wikipedia Typo Team" in the userbox above will be a link to this project page when used on your user page. The original userbox was designed by Galaxiaad and may still be used using the old {{User:Galaxiaad/typo}}.

There are also userboxes for those who have adopted a typo, which can be found here.


If you want, you can make a typo correction pledge on the pledges page.

Work completed[edit]

You can show your support by discussing your work completed at the works completed page.


If you feel like someone has done exceptional work, you can reward them with one of these.

Image What to type
{{subst:Typo Team Barnstar|message ~~~~}}.
{{subst:Typo Team Medal|message ~~~~}}.


There are also some "ad"-style banner images to promote the Typo Team located at Wikipedia:Typo Team/ads.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]