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.

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:

Edit summary[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".

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.

The bottom line is that the 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.

Typos that need to be corrected[edit]

Common typos can be found and should be listed at Wikipedia:Lists of common misspellings. More complicated cases in need of correction can be listed there. If only one or two articles exist with an incorrect spelling, please feel free to correct them yourself instead of listing the word there.

Letters swapped during typing lead to common errors like "serivce" [sic] or "educaiton" [sic]. These errors tend to go unnoticed by readers, especially in the middle of words.

Sometimes, a misspelt word could be a misspelling of more than one word, and care must be taken to make the right correction. Judge from the context provided by the rest of the sentence.

Accidentally doubled words (e.g., "the the") are a common writing error and fixing them is a task well-suited to our project. You can search for specific doubled words using the Wikipedia search bar (or you can use your favorite search engine), or you can find a software tool that can search text for any doubled words.

Typos that do not need to be corrected[edit]

Not all typos on Wikipedia need 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. Do not "fix" this. Instead, insert a code comment saying that it is a "sic" in the original material so that future editors do not change it. (But MOS:QUOTE says: "trivial spelling and typographic errors should simply be corrected without comment, for example, correct basicly to basically and harasssment to harassment, unless the slip is textually important.")
    • The {{sic}} and {{Not a typo}} templates are often useful as well. They can also be used to protect against some bots that seek out words that appear to be misspelled, by inserting a "|" character in the word. For example, "his name is Hazzard" might be identified as an erroneous spelling of "hazard", but "his name is {{sic|Ha|zzard|hide=y}}" displays the same but will not be found (the "hide" parameter prevents "sic" from being displayed). The Wikipedia search engine introduced in 2015 finds words even if protected this way, unlike the earlier version.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.

Methods for searching and correcting typos[edit]

Many users have found that using Google to search for misspelled words yields better results than Wikipedia, such as this Google search (replace "occured" with desired typo to search). However, the results may be out of date; the results are reindexed in a week or two.

Also, you may want to consider using AutoWikiBrowser (AWB) to expedite the process. A TypoScan plugin is available, which uses a web page for centralised distribution of articles to check for typos. These are generated from database dumps. However, all changes must be thoroughly checked. Make sure you read the AWB page thoroughly before using the software and please report any problems that you may come across.

You can also use Lupin's Anti-vandal tool, which includes a live spell checker that checks for common typos in all newly updated articles.

User Symplectic Map's AutoSpell script is a very useful tool for automatically detecting common spelling errors listed in Commonly misspelled words.

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.

From database dump[edit]

For prepared lists of possible misspellings by word and by article, see Wikipedia:Typo Team/moss.

If you are an AWB user, you might also be interested in User:Uziel302/AWB cleanup.

Browser spell-checkers[edit]

  • The Grammarly spelling and grammar checking extension is available for all major browsers.
  • Mozilla Firefox has had a built-in spell-checker since version 2, documented here.
    • Additional 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. Switching back and forth between language variants is especially useful for editing Wikipedia. Bear in mind that the Firefox dictionaries are not gospel when it comes to defining a language so use common sense and remember that all the guidelines mentioned in the "British vs American English, etc." section above are still in effect.
    • By default, Firefox's spellchecker stops after 500 flagged words. This is insufficient for some articles. You can increase the maximum number of misspellings by changing the extensions.spellcheck.inline.max-misspellings preference. Enter about:config in the URL bar then in the filter bar enter spell. This will show options related to the spell checker and you should see the one you want. Change its value to something like 1000, 1500, or more.
      • If Firefox's default thin red wavy underline marking misspelled words is not easy to see, it can be changed. The hidden Integer pref ui.SpellCheckerUnderlineStyle sets 0:none, 1:dotted, 2: long dots, 3:line, 4:double line, 5:wavy line (default); the String pref ui.SpellCheckerUnderline sets the color (default is red #FF0000), and the Integer pref ui.SpellCheckerUnderlineRelativeSize sets the thickness (default is 1.0 * 100 -> 100).
    • After the Deadline was a spelling, grammar, and style check add-on for Firefox and Google Chrome. It submitted text to an Internet server to find misused but correctly spelled words (e.g., its/it's) in addition to spelling mistakes. Support was discontinued in 2013, although the add-on could still be downloaded and source code was made available.
    • Firefox, like most browsers, supports searching in the text area of a page.
    • Other plugins may also be of use in aiding your editing.
  • Users of Opera can find information on how to check spelling in Opera in the Advanced Preferences: Browsing section of Opera Help.
  • Konqueror highlights misspelled words in text boxes.
  • ieSpell is a spell-checker for Internet Explorer. Right-click in the edit box to check spelling.
  • Users of Safari on Mac OS X or Windows can spell-check an input box from the "Spelling" submenu in the context menu of the box (activated via Control-click or right-click). Spell-check-as-you-type can also be enabled there or alternatively in the application "Edit" menu.
  • Camino version 1.1a1 and later has automatic spell-checking in edit fields enabled by default.
  • OmniWeb has automatic spell-checking in all text input fields.
  • Google Chrome has spell-checking in all text input fields.[1]

Checking spelling[edit]

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

Free online spell checkers[edit]

Web browser extensions[edit]

Lists of common misspellings[edit]


Using online dictionaries[edit]

If a word does not exist, you often get this kind of result:

Did you mean exec rise?

Make sure to click the underlined word, then check if that word does exist, because the underlined word or words in the message do not always exist. Often, when you get this message, it gives the correct spelling or it gives the word from which what you're trying to look up is derived.

When you look up an entry, punctuation and capitalization do not make any difference. For example, looking up "etc", "etc.", "ETC", "et.c.", or "e-t-c" all yield the same results. Unfortunately, some entries that come up when using improper punctuation or capitalization suggest that the punctuation is right. When looking up "et.c.", for example, the top entry may punctuate it correctly with one full stop, but another entry may punctuate it incorrectly as "et.c." (i.e., the same punctuation you typed in the search box). With the American Heritage Dictionary, an entry is always properly punctuated and capitalized, but often some other entries are punctuated and capitalized just as you typed them.

Related projects[edit]


Because Wikipedia is an evolving resource, if you purge the Wikipedia of some typo today, it will slowly creep back in with time. The "adopt a typo" project is an effort to create a Wikipedia entirely devoid of the most common typos. To accomplish this, the Typo Team invites users to periodically check Wikipedia for their favorite (least favorite?) typos.

Tyop Contest[edit]

The Tyop Contest (currently not running) aimed to remove all of the typos on Wikipedia.

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. If you wish to transclude the userbox, you may alternatively use {{subst:User typo team}}. Note the bold "Wikipedia Typo Team" in the userbox above will be a link to this project page when used on your userpage. 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
Barnstar Typo Team.png
{{subst:Typo Team Barnstar|message ~~~~}}.
Barnstar Typo Team Ribbon.png
{{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]


  1. ^ Siber, Tina (September 25, 2013). "Best Ways To Spell-Check As You Go In Chrome". Retrieved March 15, 2017.

External links[edit]