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 what 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 page's right-top corner, as well as any content transcluded from other pages. 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.
[[Special:PermanentLink/oldid]] or the shortcut
[[Special:Permalink/oldid]] can be used to make a wikilink when this is preferred over a URL.
oldid is the revision number in the URL of a permanent link like
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Help_desk&oldid=402359171, which is thus equivalent to
The normal rules for wikilinks apply, e.g. regarding section names, interwiki prefixes and pipes. Wikilinks work in edit summaries, unlike URLs. A wikilink only works in Wikipedia, and some other wikis if it has the right interwiki prefix. Here are some examples showing how to wikilink from a Wikipedia page, to a specific version of a page. Note the
oldid part of the permanent link, and write your own Wikicode:
|Link to||How to create||Result|
|any page in Wikipedia (an article, talk, user, project page, etc.)||
||a version of Wikipedia:Help_desk page|
|a section of any page at Wikipedia
Note: the section title is appended to the Revision id.
||a particular section at a version of WP:HD|
|any page in a sister project:
Note the use of prefix codes
||wiktionary:scribble in July 2014|
|a section on a sister project page:
Note the use of prefix codes
||Feb 2017 rev of Little Prince quotes|
|any page in any foreign Wikipedia:
Note the use of interlanguage prefixes to link to foreign-language Wikiprojects.
oldest copy of Agra at French Wikipedia
|the most current version of a page (not a permanent link; this is just a plain wikilink)||
- 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.
- Template:Oldid2, link to an old version of a page
- Template:Cross-wiki oldid, link to an old version of a page in MediaWiki, Meta-Wiki, Wikibooks, Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Incubator, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikiversity, or Wiktionary
- Template:Cross-wiki language oldid, link to an old version of a page in Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikiversity, or Wiktionary in any language
- 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.