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If you have standard texts you want to include on several pages, the MediaWiki template feature comes into play (like the tag above which is included in the pages of the Help namespace).

Creating a template

Template names are prefixed with Template:, you create them like any other wiki page.

Using a template

Templates are wiki pages which can be used in other pages in three ways:

{{Name}} includes the current content of the page "[[Template:Name]]".
{{subst:Name}} inserts the content of the page "[[Template:Name]]" when you save your text.
{{msgnw:Name}} includes the template in raw wiki syntax, like <nowiki> does

Using parameters in templates

Template with numbered parameters
'''A little thank you...'''<br>
<small>for {{{1}}}.<br>
hugs, {{{2}}}</small>
You type You get


with named parameters
'''A little thank you...'''<br>
<small>for {{{reason}}}.<br>
hugs, {{{signature}}}</small>
You type You get


You can define parameters in templates either numbered as {{{1}}} or named {{{param}}}.

Example: you want a little thank you note you can put other users on their talk page with a reason and your signature. In the Template:Thankyou you enter your text.

When using the template on a page, you fill in the parameter values, separated by a pipe char (|): {{Thankyou|all|Joe}}. For named parameters use "name=value" pairs separated by a pipe char: {{Thankyou|reason=all|signature=Joe}}. The advantage of using named parameters in your template is that they are flexible in order. It also makes the template easier to understand if you have many parameters. If you want to change the order of numbered parameters, you have to mention them explicitly: {{Thankyou|2=Joe|1=all}}.

Control template inclusion

You can control template inclusion by the use of <noinclude> and <includeonly> tags.

Anything between <noinclude> and </noinclude> will be processed and displayed only when the page is being viewed directly, not included.

Possible applications are:

  • Categorising templates
  • Interlanguage links to similar templates in other languages
  • Explanatory text about how to use the template

The converse is <includeonly>. Text between <includeonly> and </includeonly> will be processed and displayed only when the page is being included. The obvious application is to add all pages containing a given template to a category.

Note that the usual update problems apply -- if you change the categories inside a template, the categories of the referring pages won't be updated until those pages are edited.

Making templates useful

For templates to be effective users need to find them and be able to use them. Wiki are not user friendly when it comes to finding, using and working with templates. A simple technique is to have a usage on the template page. For example

Allows to establish a link to a subject:

The user can simply copy and paste the template to establish a new page that is similar to other pages. The example demonstrated is indeed trivial, however a working example that demonstrates how templates can be used in complex situations to save time, accuracy and help categories pages on specialty topics more easily. see working example here

Also creating a Category:Template on your wiki to put your templates together may also be useful for editors along with links to this page will greatly improve productivity. example wiki category page

See Also

Template uses

External links