Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser

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This is the discussion page for the AWB project. It is also the place to discuss using the AWB program itself (if you need help, or have a question about AWB, etc.). Where to make specific types of reports or requests is explained in the Before you post section below. Before asking questions, please read the Frequently asked questions below.

Before you post[edit]

Do you want to ... Please use
Report a bug or request a feature in AWB? Check reported tasks before filing a new task. You do not need to create another account there; just log in with your normal Wikimedia account. See this MediaWiki wiki page on how to report bugs and request features on Phabricator.
Report a bug details

Try to report bugs in the current version of the software. Update to the most recent version and check to make sure your bug has not been reported already on this page. See "How to Report Bugs Effectively" for advice on how to write bug reports.

Before posting anything related to non-Wikimedia Foundation wikis, verify that the site is running a recent version of MediaWiki with enabled Bot API. Older versions of MediaWiki or without the Bot API are not supported. Be sure to mention the exact URL of your wiki.

Request a feature details

Please use the feature request button to add new feature requests. This format allows the developers to keep track of feature requests. Take some time to search the archives, both on-wiki and on Phabricator to check whether a similar request was previously discussed.

Report an incorrectly fixed typo? Wikipedia talk:AutoWikiBrowser/Typos
Request approval to use AWB? Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/AutoWikiBrowser
Ask a question about AWB or ask for help? This page

Frequently asked questions[edit]

Frequently asked questions
  • When I start it up I get one of the following errors:
    "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application.", or
    "To run this application, you must first install one of the following versions of the .NET Framework..."
    This error means your computer does not have the .NET framework version 2 installed properly. You can choose from various versions for download here, or you can run Windows Update and select version 2 of the .Net framework from the "Optional Updates" section, if you want the choice made for you.
  • Does AWB run on Linux or Mac?
  • Does AWB work on other projects and languages?
    Many Wikimedia projects and languages are supported, see the "User and project preferences" option in the general menu. Other languages will be added on request, though at the moment the interface is always in English. You are also able to use AWB with third-party wikis: Options > Preferences > Site, you can change the wiki there. The wiki must support the Bot API required by AWB. This means that it should have latest HEAD version of MediaWiki or something close to that. The wmf-deployment branch is also recommended, as this is what is currently live on WMF sites.
  • Under Windows Vista (and newer), AWB is using wrong font size, which results in clipped text and lost buttons and options, (see example here). How to fix it?
    • Solution #1: Go to "Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display" and switch resizing of the fonts to 100%.
    • Solution #2: Right click on AutoWikiBrowser.exe --> Properties -> Compatibility (tab) --> enable the "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" option or for Windows 10, if available, select System (Enhanced).
  • AWB puts stubs after categories, though categories are always rendered the last by MediaWiki?
    According to WP:STUB#Categorizing stubs, by convention they are placed at the end of the article, after the External links section, any navigation templates, and the category tags, so that the stub category will appear last. If your wiki uses another order, please let us know here.
  • I don't like or use Internet Explorer; please use Firefox instead.
    AWB does not use Internet Explorer per se. It does, however, use the same web browser control (MSHTML) as Internet Explorer; the equivalent Firefox component does not provide the needed functionality.
  • How do I open the page in another browser if I can't use the one in AWB?
    Right click on the edit box in the bottom right side of your screen. Select "Open page in browser".
  • How do I edit a page that doesn't exist?
    Uncheck "Ignore non existing pages" in the "Skip articles" box.
  • How do I skip certain articles?
    Use the "Skip if contains" and "Skip if doesn't contain" on the "Skip" tab
  • Can't you leave up a "stable" version, so I don't have to download new versions?
    It is important to keep people up to date with the latest versions, because their use of the software doesn't just affect them, but the whole of Wikipedia. As any bugs that remain will be trivial, hopefully releases won't be too frequent.
  • How can I stop AWB clicking when it changes pages?
    This is a Windows sound theme setting. This page explains how to turn off the clicking sound.
    Alternatively, delete the following key from the Windows registry:
  • AWB randomly crashes upon page load on my system, and I always use a browser other than Internet Explorer when using Wikipedia.
    You may have installed custom scripts incompatible with IE. Wrap the contents of your monobook.js into conditional:
               //Detect IE5.5+
               if (navigator.appVersion.indexOf("MSIE")==-1)
                   // Previous contents go here
  • I get Just In Time Debugger Messages when loading AWB/loading pages.
    In Internet Explorer, go to Tools → Options → Advanced. Make sure 'Disable Script Debugging (Internet Explorer)' and 'Disable Script Debugging (Other)' Are both checked. Press apply and close.
  • Why does AWB run very, very slowly if I try to make changes in the edit window on larger pages, especially pages with long lists or tables?
    If running on Windows, exit the Speech Recognition software that is built into some versions of Windows; don't just turn it 'Off', you must 'Exit' the software if you have started up Speech Recognition.
  • When I do a clean install of AutoWikiBrowser the application seems to find old setting data somewhere. I'd like to do a really clean install. Any ideas?
    Clean up your registry and remove the folder "C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Local Settings\Application Data\AutoWikiBrowser" (Windows XP) or "C:\Users\user name\AppData\Local\AutoWikiBrowser\" (Windows 7). Note that the application data folder may be hidden.
  • AWB prompts that there is a newer version but won't update
    Check the version number of your AWBUpdater.exe. The current version is If you have an older version, you have to download the latest AWB version and make a clean install.
  • Which .NET Framework version do I have?
    You can find your .NET Framework version in Help → About box.
  • Where are the default settings stored?
    • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Local Settings\Application Data\AutoWikiBrowser
    • Windows Vista onwards: C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\AutoWikiBrowser\Default.xml
  • I cannot copy text from the diff window using the Control+C keyboard shortcut.
    You must have Microsoft.mshtml.dll available for AWB to use for this functionality to work. You can try downloading the file (there are a number of third-party websites offering DLL file downloads) and putting it in the same folder as AutoWikiBrowser.exe. This is reported not to work for all users, presumably due to .NET Framework problems.
  • Is there any way to set AWB to not use https? (GFW blocks 443 port)
    In preferences, set project to "custom". Set the left box to http. In the webpage box, type (English Wikipedia) or (Chinese Wikipedia). Note that leaving off the /w/ will result in a "root element missing" error.
  • How do I login to AWB with accounts enabled with two-factor authentication?
    You should use a bot password. Despite the name, they aren't just for bots. See Wikipedia:Using AWB with 2FA.


Usage of AWB on non-Wikimedia wikis[edit]

Hi, is it possible to use AWB on non-Wikimedia wikis? Are the default configuration settings tailored towards Wikimedia projects or is it just impossible without the extensive modification of the source code? A diehard editor (talk | edits) 15:09, 21 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Did you try Options -> Preferences -> Site -> Project -> Custom? –Novem Linguae (talk) 15:46, 21 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I haven't installed AWB yet, I just wanted to ask this question before I installed the software. I'll be sure to check that out. Thanks! A diehard editor (talk | edits) 05:12, 22 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

AWB icon pulsating when it needs action[edit]

Hello! Is there a setting I can activate that could make the icon of the minimized form of AWB pulsate when it needs action from me like, for example, saving a specific edit?

Scenario: I'm doing a regex find and replace for +1k pages. Many of them may be fine like they are and be auto-skipped. Some of them will need me to confirm the change. I don't want to stare at the screen while +1k pages get auto-skipped, I want to do other work meanwhile and minimize AWB. I would enjoy getting notified by a pulsating icon if my attention is needed. - Klein Muçi (talk) 12:10, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Klein Muçi: I don't think there is such a setting. But have you tried "pre-parse mode"? If you turn that on - it's in the main "Options" menu - the program will work through your list, removing those that can be auto-skipped, and leaving behind the smaller list of pages that you need to look at. That way, you can leave the program running unattended and go and do something else. -- John of Reading (talk) 12:42, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
John of Reading, no, I haven't. That looks interesting. I'll use that now. To your understanding, would it make sense to make such a request as a feature though? Considering that it doesn't exist... — Klein Muçi (talk) 15:25, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Head to the options drop down menu then Preferences, Editing and Saving, then look for "When ready to save" Flash or Beep. Dawnseeker2000 15:32, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dawnseeker2000, hah, neat! Thank you! — Klein Muçi (talk) 16:03, 29 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi Klein. Sorry for a delayed response. Pre-parser mode is the best option for your scenario. In simple words, first it goes through the entire list, and removes the pages that dont need edits, or fulfil your "skip criteria". It is automated, and you can minimise AWB. So in the end only the pages that need to be edited are kept in the list. Then you have to turn off the pre parser mode to make the edit/save the page. —usernamekiran (talk) 15:46, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

AWB won't remove pages from list after editing them[edit]

I tried to do simple find-and-replace edits with AWB for a list of pages. Ran into an unusual problem though, AWB wouldn't remove the page from the list after editing it (with auto-save on), it simply edited and saved the same page over and over again and wouldn't move on to the next one. I had to manually stop the bot because it wouldn't skip the page.

Then I tried again, but this time I made it so AWB would skip the page if it contained the new text that I was adding to the pages. This time, AWB still wouldn't move on to the next page after editing one, but after 1 edit, I would get an error saying "AWB failed to automatically remove the page from the list while skipping the page. Please remove it manually."

So now I'm stumped. I've never had this happen before. Any ideas? V G5001 (talk) 14:28, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What page, what bot? More info is probably needed to suss this out. Primefac (talk) 14:48, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
AWB, autowikibrowser, as I said. Page doesn’t matter, it happens on every page I attempt to edit. V G5001 (talk) 15:04, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What sort of device are you using, what OS, OS version, AWB version, list source setting? Also which Wiki are you attempting to edit? Neils51 (talk) 15:16, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
^ This exactly. We need more information. If we know what pages you're editing and what other settings are involved, it will help us identify the issue. Primefac (talk) 15:17, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Win 11, AWB, Soure text file,
Thing is, I've never had a problem like this before with simple find-and-replace edits, I even did some earlier this week and they worked just fine. I didn't even change any settings in AWB from the last time I did those edits, but this time it just isn't working properly for some reason. V G5001 (talk) 15:58, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Device? Does your device have a hard-drive or SSD? How long since you did a cold-boot? I have to go. Primefac may be around. Neils51 (talk) 16:24, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does your device have a hard-drive or SSD that's not going to make one lick of difference, and seems actively unhelpful. I can't think of anything that would cause AWB to edit the page, but then not mark it as edited and remove it from the list. Primefac (talk) 16:34, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What difference does any of this make? I have a problem in AWB, my PC is just fine. If you read my comment again, I said that it worked normally just a few days ago. So it’s more likely that something happened within the AWB app.
The issue isn’t on my device. If you could, bring your attention to the AWB app instead. In case you have any ideas on what I can do within the AWB app itself, do tell me. Let’s worry about my device specs later. V G5001 (talk) 20:27, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My guess is some form of corruption in your textfile, settings file. However could be as perverse as write errors or DB corruption. Sorry, I can’t work with someone who has already decided where or where not the problem is (correct or otherwise). Good luck. Neils51 (talk) 22:34, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There you go, that’s more helpful. Thanks. V G5001 (talk) 22:38, 4 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Corruption sounds like an idea worth exploring. The best way to fix corruption is to factory reset stuff. Can probably reset your settings file with File -> "Reset to original default settings". Can reset your textfile by regenerating it. Hope that helps. –Novem Linguae (talk) 01:37, 6 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Undoing lots of AWB edits.[edit]

I apparently jumped on removing an unused parameter from an infobox without full agreement on the infobox talk page. Is there a method to undo that many edits?Naraht (talk) 18:07, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could we have some diffs and a little more background please. Dawnseeker2000 18:14, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Currently waiting to see whether concensus could be reached at Template talk:Infobox Organization. Almost all edits are of the parameter motto (with a few motto-latin and motto-english) with its value from infobox organization as well as the standard cleanup done by AWB. Typical change (and most recent) is . Note, I'm not ready to do the large (800? edits) undo *yet*. Still waiting to see whether agreement could be reached.Naraht (talk) 19:05, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Naraht: Assuming the AWB edit is likely to be your only consecutive edit to the articles, mass rollback with an edit summary would probably be the easiest way to accomplish this. If you're not aware how to carry this out, let me know how to identify the set of edits and the edit summary you'd like me to use, and I can carry this out. –xenotalk 22:50, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
xeno I will do this if that is the decision on Template talk:Infobox Organization. Most have the same edit summary. Thanx.Naraht (talk) 01:00, 13 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Any interest in the ability to ignore whitespace in regex patterns?[edit]

I use some very complex patterns, and I'd love to be able to use whitespace to make them more readable. The .NET regex flavor used by AWB has a flag to do this, it would just need to be enabled in AWB like some other flags are. I made a Phab ticket back in December, but it hasn't seen any action. Seems like it would be a pretty simple patch, for a coder -- is anyone here up for it? —swpbT • go beyond • bad idea 19:11, 12 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sections and anchors[edit]

Hello. Although I agree with adding whitespace between sections I think it is unintended when the preceding line is a {{anchor}}. Example These are more understandable when they are as close together as possible. Invasive Spices (talk) 13 September 2022 (UTC)

@Invasive Spices: Hi there! If you're asking for the AWB developers to make a code change, please review the instructions at the #Before you post section above. If would also be helpful to provide a link to the diff instead of the oldid. Thanks, and happy editing! GoingBatty (talk) 03:37, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That helps. I don't know why I didn't see the Page notice. Invasive Spices (talk) 16 September 2022 (UTC)

Error 503[edit]

I've been getting "error 503" when using AWB. AWB then restarts, and when it does, it gets stuck in "loading," and I have to push "stop" and then "start" to get it started again. I dream of horses (Contribs) (Talk) 05:02, 14 September 2022 (UTC) (fixed error number at 05:05, 14 September 2022 (UTC))Reply[reply]

@I dream of horses: Sorry you're having problems with AWB. Are you using AWB with the English Wikipedia or another site? Does it have this problem with every article you try, or only specific articles? GoingBatty (talk) 03:33, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@GoingBatty I'm using it on the English Wikipedia. It doesn't happen on every article, just happens at random. Now it's skipping pre-parsed articles when I actually restart. I dream of horses (Contribs) (Talk) 18:51, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@I dream of horses: Some of the Wiki servers seem to have had problems yesterday, however day before seemed ok. This may be an external issue, have you checked your system logs (eventvwr if Windows)? Neils51 (talk) 23:33, 15 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Neils51 Sorry for taking so long to reply. I checked event viewer; it has 13k events but they're not showing up on the part of the program where it would make sense to show up. I'll try AWB again shortly. I dream of horses (Contribs) (Talk) 14:59, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
AWB seems to work now. Odd. I dream of horses (Contribs) (Talk) 16:13, 18 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Think there were a few days of instability with software updates and perhaps serve issues. Seem to have been a number of error reports and I had a few issues as well. All good! Neils51 (talk) 10:20, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tool conflict[edit]

There is a conflict between AWB's general fixer and one of the bots. Until the tool conflict is resolved, if you see that AWB is about to wrap an "Expand language" template inside {{Multiple issues}}, you may prefer to undo that part of the edit before saving it, so that your change doesn't trigger another edit by the bot. There's a discussion at Template talk:Multiple issues#Expand by language templates. -- John of Reading (talk) 11:11, 26 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to populate categories with templates?[edit]

There is a category with several subcats. I want to write templates into them, but each category has a different argument. For example {{templ|this}}, {{templ|that}}. I can generate the pairs either in text file or on a wikipage, that's no problem. How would you solve this task? Bináris (talk) 17:44, 1 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could you give an example diff of what you are trying to accomplish? Primefac (talk) 18:03, 1 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not really, because by this time I have created new categories or did multiple changes in one edit. But something like this – watch the 3rd line. Here {{csonksablon|csonk-Feröer}} had to be added. This is the task, to add such templates. But the other changes can be done together with this. Bináris (talk) 18:53, 1 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think I will return to Pywikibot. :-) Bináris (talk) 08:06, 4 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]