Help:Navigation bar

This is a copy of the master help page at m:Help:Navigation bar. Do not edit this page. Edits will be lost in the next update from the master page. Either edit the master help page for all projects at Meta, or edit the project-specific text at Template:Ph:Navigation bar. You are welcome to copy the exact wikitext from the master page at Meta and paste it into this page at any time.

Editing overview

Starting a new page

  1. Page name


  1. Links
  2. Piped links
  3. Interwiki linking
  4. Variables
  5. URLs
  6. Anchors


  1. Formulas
  2. Lists
  3. Tables
  4. HTML in wikitext
  5. Image & File uploads
  6. Image page


  1. Sections
  2. Templates
  3. Categories
  4. Redirects
  5. Namespaces
  6. Renaming (moving) a page

Fixing mistakes and vandalism

  1. Reverting edits
  2. Testing

Saving effort

  1. Editing shortcuts
  2. Editing toolbar
  3. Magic words


  1. Edit summary
  2. Talk page
  3. Edit conflict
  4. Minor edit

Special characters

  1. Turkish characters
  2. Romanian characters


  1. WikiHiero syntax — warning: lots of images! (for Egyptian hieroglyphs)
  2. EasyTimeline syntax

Frequently Asked Questions

The MediaWiki sidebar

The navigation bar or side bar or sidebar is shown at the left hand side of each MediaWiki page by default. In versions 1.5 and newer, it can be modified using the MediaWiki:Sidebar page.

Format of the sidebar page edit

The sidebar page is laid out similar to the following:

 * navigation
 ** mainpage|mainpage
 ** mypage-url|My Page

 * tools
 ** Special:Allpages|All Pages

Headings edit

The items on the outer level

  • navigation
  • tools

are the headings used on the sidebar. In this manner, the bar can be split into sections.

Items edit

The second level items

  • mainpage|mainpage
  • mypage-url|My Page

are the actual items that appear on the sidebar; see below for instructions on setting these up.

Specifying items on the sidebar edit

All items on the sidebar take a format which is split by a pipe (|) character.

Link target edit

The left-hand portion of the pipe corresponds to the target of the link, and refers to:

  • a MediaWiki namespace page


  • a wiki page name

If a MediaWiki namespace page of the same name exists, then the contents of that page are used to determine where the link points. For instance, the default contents of MediaWiki:Mainpage are Main Page - this is the name of the page to be used.

To link to an external URL, simply create the namespace page containing the URL, e.g. the contents of Special:Mypage-url (from the example above) might be

  • With 1.5, you can create an external URL more simply: just insert the URL before the vertical bar, as in this example: |

(note the space after the URL)

Display text edit

The right-hand portion of the pipe corresponds to the display form of the link, and is either:

  • a MediaWiki namespace page name


  • plain text

If a MediaWiki namespace page of the same name exists, then the contents of that page are used to determine the text used for the link. For instance, the default contents of MediaWiki:Mainpage are Main Page - this is what is displayed.

You can also place the text here without using a namespace page; so if MediaWiki:My_Page doesn't exist, then the text My Page would be displayed, using the example about.

Other considerations edit

Allowing users to have individual sidebars edit

There is a discussion taking place surrounding a feature request which, if implemented, would provide a custom sidebar that users themselves can edit to their individual preferences. Discussion, and a current implementation using CSS and JavaScript can be found at Configurable Sidebar.

Allowing anyone to edit the sidebar edit

The MediaWiki namespace pages are protected, preventing ordinary users from editing the sidebar. To see a possible means to allow this, refer to discussion at the relevant FAQ page.

Wikiquote-specific content edit

Links to other help pages edit

Help contents - all pages in the Help namespace: Meta b: c: n: w: q: wikisource wiktionary

Reading: Overview | Go | Search | URL | Namespace | Page name | Section | Link | Backlinks | Piped link | Interwiki link | Redirect | Variable | Category
Tracking changes: Recent | (enhanced) | Related | Watching pages | Page history | Diff | User contributions | Edit summary | Minor edit
Logging in and preferences: Logging in | Preferences | User style
Editing: Overview| New page | Images/files | Image description page | Special characters | Formula | Table | EasyTimeline | Template intro | Renaming (moving) a page | Automatic conversion of wikitext | Talk page | Testing | rlc
Projects: Meta (master page) | Wikibooks | Wikicommons | Wikinews | Wikipedia | Wikiquote | Wikisource | Wiktionary
For other languages see Meta.

External Links edit

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: