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

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

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:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\Explorer\Navigating\.Current
  • 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 2.4.0.0. 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 en.wikipedia.org/w/ (English Wikipedia) or zh.wikipedia.org/w/ (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.

Discussion

Genfixes removing spaces before comments

I rcently discussed AWB General Fixes (Genfixes) removing spaces before HTML (i.e. invisible) comments with Neils51 on his talk page. We agreed to disagree. If I understand Neils51 (an expert on AWB) right, he seems to believe that Genfixes in this case does a valid edit, while I (a lesser editor) believe it does wrong. He nevertheless suggested I should discuss it here to obtain consensus.

Genfixes seems to automatically remove all spaces placed immediately before HTML comments. It seems to assume that spaces before such comments result in unwanted white-space. Indeed MOS:COMMENT advises to check for unwanted whitespace when adding HTML comments. This may happen under some circumstances but not always.

Help:Whitespace (I thank User:1TWO3Writer, who pointed me to this page) recommends to avoid all whitespace (in particular spaces) before an HTML comment. It looks as if Genspaces implements that recommendation, but as a HELP is not MOS, this is compulsory.

In Antoine Hamilton I added HTML comments on some of the Help:List-defined references. For example, I started a definition of a citation from Corp's article on Antoine Hamilton in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in a line reading:

<ref name=Corp2004a766lc38> <!-- Anthony Hamilton, ODNB -->

Running Genfixes changed this to:

<ref name=Corp2004a766lc38><!-- Anthony Hamilton, ODNB -->

removing the space. I find that this edit makes the code less readable. The space does not create an unwanted whitespace in the text.

WP:AWBRULES prescribes "You are expected to review every edit, just as if you were making an edit using Wikipedia's edit form when editing by hand." Edits made with Genfixes are not excepted nor are edits that do not impact on the text ("cosmetic" or "inconsequential" edits). I believe that according to the AWB rules this edit should not be made. Best would be when Genfixes would make such fixes only if they introduce unwanted whitespace. Second best is that the AWB-operator undoes such fixes. Besides, Genfixes also has a bug "Genfixes removes comma from quoted date", which was logged on Phabricator as T236729 by Tom.Reading on 28 October 2019. It also results in edits that should be reverted by the AWB operator. With thanks and best regards, Johannes Schade (talk) 17:28, 22 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Based on a quick experiment, I think removing the space is not necessarily harmless. If the HTML comment is not immediately followed by a space but some plain text, this genfix will remove a, often syntactically important, space. David Brooks (talk) 19:27, 22 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Any option Bot menu in AWB tool

any other approval for to activate the bot menu with time or this option was removed. IJohnKennady (talk) 14:08, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

@IJohnKennady: Hi. I'm not sure if you are asking that: only the accounts with a bot flag (which are listed in "enabledbots" section of the Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/CheckPageJSON) get the bot menu/options. —usernamekiran (talk) 21:18, 25 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]
@IJohnKennady: In order to run bots (AWB or otherwise) on the English Wikipedia, you have to request approval at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval. GoingBatty (talk) 02:08, 26 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

How does "Wiki search" differ from the search bar on Wikipedia?

The manual seems to suggest that the "Wiki search" is similar to searching on Wikipedia. I think I am overlooking something though because I get very different results. For example, I can search for insource:"((refbegin|3))((legend" here and get 96 pages to fix: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?search=insource%3A%22%7B%7Brefbegin%7C3%7D%7D%7B%7Blegend%22&title=Special%3ASearch&ns0=1

If I run the same input through AWB, it gives me well over a thousand results. I can see that I'm typing something wrong, but I don't know what? Rjjiii(talk) 07:20, 12 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Personal opinion. I never use AWB search, because it can return weird results. For example, I get more than once some results for particular search in all namespaces, and much more results if constraining the same search for the articles only. IKhitron (talk) 19:58, 13 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]
A quick trace suggests that AWB is submitting two different search queries, with the vertical bar inappropriately treated as a separator (which also results in unbalanced quote marks). The second therefore searches for 3))((legend" and returns every page with both the number 3 and the word legend, the braces being treated as grayspace. I don't know why the first part returns no hits. I suspect insource:/\{\{refbegin\|3))\{\{legend/ would work, although you seem to have fixed the 96 by now. David Brooks (talk) 02:44, 16 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Many thanks to both of you. I discovered that JWB took the search query at face value and was able to resolve my issue that way. Rjjiii(talk) 03:04, 16 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]
BTW, even if this is fixed, note that grayspace handling in wiki search means that your search string could just as well been insource:"#refbegin#3#legend". Use the (slow) RE version for precision. David Brooks (talk) 18:58, 17 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]

False positives.txt not appearing

Hello, I was unsure about reporting this as a bug because that felt a little presumptuous. I just tried clicking on the "False" button, but the False positives.txt file was never created (yes, I'm checking it in the same directory where AutoWikiBrowser.exe is located). I even tried creating it "manually" so see if AWB would update it, to no avail. Victor Lopes Fala!C 20:06, 14 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]

@Victor Lopes: I've tried this and then asked Windows to search for the file. It's at C:\Users\<myname>\AppData\Local\AutoWikiBrowser\False positives.txt -- John of Reading (talk) 20:37, 14 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed! It was there all along. I wonder why. Thanks a lot! Victor Lopes Fala!C 00:47, 15 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Using the tool

Hello,

I recently found out I no longer use AutoWikiBrowser when 2FA is active by receiving an error, "Failed". When I turned it off, there was no problem. But, to use AWB, must I deactivate the 2FA? Or there is something I am missing. --Victor Trevor (talk) 12:17, 18 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]

@Victor Trevor: The instructions you need are at Wikipedia:Using AWB with 2FA. -- John of Reading (talk) 13:27, 18 September 2023 (UTC)[reply]