A fork is a complete copy of a Pen that you can save to your own account and modify. Your forked copy of a Pen comes with everything the original author used to create the Pen, including all of the code and any dependencies.

How to fork a Pen

To fork a Pen, click the Fork button in the header of the Editor, Details, or Full view of the Pen.

You can create a fork before making changes, or you can start editing the Pen first, then fork it when you're ready to save your changes.

A link to the parent Pen is included in the "Forks" tab on Details View:

A link to your fork will also appear on the "Forks" tab on the Details view of the original Pen.

The original Pen's tags are also included on your fork. You can change or remove them in your Pen settings.

Where are my forks?

When you fork a Pen from someone else, it goes to the Forked section of your profile, unless you make the Pen private. All of your private Pens, including forks, are included in the Private section of your profile (Note: Privacy is a PRO feature). If you later decide to make a private fork public, it will move to the Forked section of your public Pens.

When you fork one of your own Pens, it is categorized in your profile like an original Pen of your own. Public forks of your own Pens will go into your Public Pens section. Private forks of your own Pens will go into your Private Pens.

Pro tip! If you're forking one of your Pen often to use as a template, consider making it a Template instead.

How to see any Pen's forks

You can see the children of any public Pen on the "Forks" tab of its Details page. If you hover over the to see a preview of what it looks like.

What happens when a fork is forked?

When a new fork is created from a Pen that is a fork, the new fork is considered a child of the original Pen. So for example, if you create Pen A, and another member forks your Pen to create Pen B, then a third member forks Pen B to create Pen C, Pen C is a child of your Pen A, and will appear on the list of forks from Pen A.

Other fork differences

"I can't find my Pen! It's gone!!!"

Most commonly, it's because the Pen is a fork and thus isn't appearing in that user's "Public" tab, where they find other Pens they have created.

So remember:

  • Forks from other members don't show up in your Public tab on your profile, they are in Forks
  • Forks don't show up in search unless someone explicitly includes forks in the search
  • Forks don't show up in Recent Pens
  • We try and prevent ourselves from picking forked Pens, unless they are significantly different from, and credit, the original