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Originally written
September 25, 2012
July 3, 2020

Sometimes, you might need to display the original content for specific posts and not the whole post type they belong to. This creates the exact same content in different languages and keeps them synchronized with the original language content.

Duplicating Content from the Editor

Please note that post duplication is only available for post types whose translation option is set to Translatable – only show translated items.

When you edit any content (a post, page or custom post), you will see a set of checkboxes in the Language box. Select the languages you want to duplicate and click on the Duplicate button that appears.

Duplicate content of specific posts

Please note that if the post type translation is set to Translatable – use translation if available or fallback to default language, the Duplicate option is not available when editing a post of that post type. In this case, you can still use Translation Dashboard page to duplicate multiple pages as explained in the next section.

Batch-Duplicating Using the Translation Dashboard

Alternatively, you can duplicate multiple posts and pages from the WPML -> Translation Management Dashboard page.

Convert between “Translation” and “Duplicate”

It doesn’t matter if you’re selecting content from the Translation Dashboard or from edit pages. You can later edit that content and make it independent or turn existing translations into duplicates.

If you want to convert a translation to a duplicate, go to the editor, in the section Language, click the button Overwrite with [original language] content.

Convert a translation to a duplicate.
Convert a translation to a duplicate.

If you want to convert a duplicate to a translation, go to the editor, in the section Language, click the button Translate independently.

Convert a duplicate to a translation.
Convert a duplicate to a translation.

Some Notes about this Feature

It does not duplicate taxonomy terms

By default it works like the following because the option  Copy taxonomy to translations is selected on the WPML -> Settings page:

  • If the taxonomy term translations exist, WPML adds these terms to duplicates.
  • Else, do nothing

Differentiate 2 buttons “Copy content from…” and “Overwrite with… “

When creating or editing a translation, there are 2 buttons:

  • Copy content from [original language]: Copy the title, excerpt and content from the original post only; it does not copy custom fields.
  • Overwrite with [original language] content: Copy everything, or convert the current translation to a duplicate.

Differentiate between “Translation” and “Duplicate”

The difference between “Translation” and “Duplicate” is how their content and their original content are updated.

  • When updating original posts and their translations, they don’t affect each other.
  • When updating original posts, their duplicates are copied exactly.
  • You can update duplicates, which does not affect their originals. However, we don’t recommend this because  these changes will be erased after updating their originals. In this case, you should convert between “Duplicate” and “Translation”.