Help icon  Contents → Preferences

The "preferences" dialog allows you to personalize some aspects of MediaWiki. They will apply only when you are logged in.

User profile

  • Your e-mail: You may optionally register your e-mail address (it will not be shown publicly on the site). This will enable you to reset your password by clicking the "Mail me a new password" box on the log in screen, if you forget it. Additionally, it will enable other registered users to send e-mail to you from the "E-mail this user" link on your user page unless you've checked the disable box (see below).
  • Your nickname: You may optionally specify a nickname that is different from your username when you enter your signature with ~~~ or ~~~~.

Change password

To change your password, enter your old password, the new password, and the new password a second time. (If you're merely changing the other preferences, you do not need to enter your password.) If you'd like your password remembered across sessions, then check the "Remember across sections" box. Note that cookies must be enabled for this feature to work.

  • Remember password across sessions. Enabling this feature will place a HTTP cookie in your browser's cache, which will allow MediaWiki to recognize you each time you visit the page. You will not have to log in each time you visit. (This function will be nullified when you log out.)


You may optionally choose to enter your e-mail address. If you do so, a validation e-mail will be sent to the address provided. After your e-mail address has been validated, you will see a message such as "Your e-mail address was authenticated on 19:01, June 5, 2006" at the top of the e-mail options section. Once the e-mail address has been validated, you can choose to 1. be e-mailed when pages change, 2. be e-mailed when your user talk page is modified, 3. be e-mailed when minor page changes occur as well, and 4. enable e-mail to be sent to you from other users via the "E-mail this user" link on your user page. Note that if you enable the fourth option, your e-mail address remains hidden from other user; the MediaWiki software forwards the message to your stored address.


A "skin" is a style of page display in MediaWiki. The changes are mainly cosmetic and alter only the appearance, not the functionality. However, some skins may override certain other settings in your preferences (such as the quickbar) – some users consider this a bug rather than a feature. Note that the only fully-supported skin on the Law & Order Wiki is the MonoBook (default) skin.


You can limit the size of images on image description pages in this section, as well as set the size for thumbnail images in article pages. Note that the thumbnail size you set may be overridden by image options set on the article page itself.

Date and time

You can select the format in which dates and times are displayed in this section as well as set your local time zone offset from server time. Note that server times are always specified in UTC.

  • Date format:
  • Offset. This is the number of hours to be added or subtracted from Coordinated Universal Time to find your time zone. This time zone is used when calculating displayed page update timestamps, and may become temporarily incorrect from time to time if you observe daylight saving time – don't forget to update it to match your local time, because MediaWiki doesn't know where you are or precisely when you celebrate DST. (Also, the server's clock may be slightly offset from reality, much as the articles may be.) A scattering of typical time diff values are below. If yours isn't listed, try this list of time zones and abbreviations or add and subtract a few hours as needed.
    • -8 (DST -7) Pacific Time (North America)
    • -5 (DST -4) Eastern Time (North America)
    • -4 (DST -3) Atlantic Time (Canada's Martime provinces)
    • 0 (DST +1) Greenwich Mean Time (Western Europe)
    • +1 (DST +2) Central European Time
    • +3 Eastern European Time
    • +9 Japan
    • +10 (DST +11) Australian Eastern Time
    • +12 Pago Pago (American Samoa)
    • -9 (DST -8) Alaska Time
    • -10 (DST -9) Hawaii-Aleutian Time

The time is displayed in local time, according to the set preferences, in:

  • Recent changes
  • Related changes
  • Page history, Image history
  • User contributions
  • New pages
  • "This page was last modified" at the bottom of pages
  • Special:Imagelist

The UTC time is applicable:

  • In the signing of Talk pages
  • In the Upload log
  • In referring to non-localized events, including things that happen on the Law & Order Wiki.

Keep this in mind when copying an excerpt from Recent changes, a revision history listing, etc. to a talk page. Convert manually to UTC or temporarily set the preferences to a zero offset before producing the revision history etc. to be copied.


  • Rows: _____ Columns: _____. Here you can set up your preferred dimensions for the textbox used for editing page text.
  • Enable section editing via [edit] links. When this setting is enabled, an "edit" link will appear to the right of each section header. This feature makes the editing of long articles easier.
  • Enable section editing by right clicking on section titles (JavaScript)
  • Edit pages on double click (JavaScript). If this box is checked, you can double-click on a page to edit it. This option requires Javascript to be enabled in your browser.
  • Edit box has full width. If this box is checked, the edit box (when you click "edit this page") will be the width of the browser window, minus the quickbar width.
  • Show edit toolbar (JavaScript)
  • Show preview on first edit
  • Show preview before edit box. If you select this option, the preview will be displayed above the exit box when you click the "Show preview" button while editing a page.
  • Add pages I create to my watchlist: When this is checked, any pages that you create are automatically added to your watchlist.
  • Add pages I edit to my watchlist: When this is checked, any pages that you edit are automatically added to your watchlist.
  • Mark all edits minor by default. This option automatically selects the "This is a minor edit" checkbox when you edit pages. (Not recommended for new contributors.)
  • Use external editor by default
  • Use external diff by default
  • Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary

Recent changes

  • Titles in recent changes: Sets the default number of page names to be displayed when the Recent changes page is viewed.
  • Hide minor edits in recent changes. Registered users may choose to mark edits as being minor (meaning fixes too trivial for trusting users to check up on). It applies to Recent changes, but not to my watchlist.
  • Enhanced recent changes (JavaScript) (not for all browsers). Groups recent changes per day by article, displays the titles of the changed articles in order from new to old latest change, or in the case of hiding minor edits, latest major change.


  • Number of days to show in watchlist: This sets the default number of days of edits to be examined for watched changes when the my watchlist link is clicked.
  • Hide my edits from the watchlist: This prevents any edits that you make from being displayed in your watchlist.
  • Hide bot edits from the watchlist: This prevents any edits made by a bot from being displayed in your watchlist.
  • Expand watchlist to show all applicable changes:
  • Number of edits to show in expanded watchlist:


  • Hits per page: You may choose the number of results returned on each page of search results.
  • Lines per hit is somewhat cryptic; specifying a number n means: "do not show any context if the search term occurs beyond line n in the page"; here a paragraph, as well as the blank line between two paragraphs, each count as one "line"; line breaks in the source, even when not affecting the layout of the page (and even when not directly visible in the edit box of the article), affect the line count. Setting the parameter to 5,000 or more gives context for every occurrence.
  • Context per line: the number of characters of context per occurrence; however, the context is always restricted to the "line" (see above) it occurs in. To get the whole line, enter a large number like 5,000.
  • Search in these namespaces by default: This displays a list of all namespaces, allowing you to select which ones are searched by default; see also Namespaces searched.

Miscellaneous options

These options cover various other settings that control how MediaWiki renders article pages and presents editing functions.

  • Threshold for stub display: Links to articles with fewer characters than the amount you may specify here (e.g. 500, 1,000, etc.) will be displayed in a different color. Helpful for identifying stubs.
  • Underline links: Normally, link text will be underlined. Optionally, you may request that links not be underlined, although your browser may not respect this setting. Normally links that are not underlined can still be recognized by color. However, one can then not distinguish between two consecutive words being a single link or two links, without pointing at the words with the cursor.
  • Format broken links like this: This option is enabled by default. Normally, links to articles which do not yet exist (like the weather in London) will appear underlined and in red. You may optionally make these appear as a trailing question mark link (something like this?). This makes them stand out less, but it's rather confusing to some people (it may be interpreted as indicating that the information is uncertain).
  • Justify paragraphs: You may choose to have paragraphs displayed with full justification. If set, article paragraphs will be formatted to avoid jagged line endings. If unset, the paragraphs will be formatted as-is.
  • Auto-number headings: This adds hierarchical outline-style numbering to headers in articles.
  • Show table of contents (for articles with more than 3 headings): This enables the display of the "Contents" box at the top of an article. Note that only articles with four or more headings will display the table of contents, regardless of this setting.
  • Disable page caching: This turns off page caching. This is useful if you're experiencing problems of seeing outdated versions of pages, but this comes at a cost of longer loading times.
  • Enable "jump-to" accessibility links: Provides or hides the two links "Jump to: navigation, search" at the top of each page, to the navigation bar and the search box.


You cannot indicate personal information (such as your real name) here, but you may do so on a page named after your username in the User: namespace. (That's available as a link on the line which says "You are logged in as user WhatsYourName" above the preferences panel. Feel free to start your own page with anything you want to say about yourself on it.)

Browser preferences

Browsers usually also allow you to specify preferences, e.g. font size and font type. The standard skin is compatible with your browser setting of font size and font type. The Cologne Blue skin has most text in a fixed font size, ignoring your browser setting. Some browsers, e.g. Internet Explorer, allow you to specify that font size specified in the web page is ignored. In that case the font size in Cologne Blue is as specified in the browser, but with the line height not adjusted accordingly. Therefore a large font gives a messy result.

The font size in the edit box is independent of the font size of the other text, and it does not seem to be adjustable at all, except by choosing the screen resolution.

Specifying that the colors specified in the web page are ignored is not recommended, because they are useful in the diff feature.


You can locate your preferences menu easily by clicking your avatar.

Logged-in Fandom users are able to set some personal preferences which tailor the way they read, write, and edit on Fandom to their particular style. These preferences are applicable across all Fandom communities, so the same preferences are applied on every community you visit. To access your preferences, move your mouse over your avatar at the top right of a page. When you click, a drop down menu will appear, and from here select "My preferences". This will navigate to the Special:Preferences page.

What are the different tabs for?

This help page will walk you through the current preference options Fandom users have and explaining the effects of changing these options, addressing these in order from tab-to-tab.

Tabs are organized to clump together related preferences so that it is easier to find the relevant field to change. By default, there are five tabs on the Special:Preferences page.

Special preferences

Special:Preferences, showing the first tab.

Note that none of the changes you make to your preferences will be stored unless you press the "Save" button. You can also reset your preferences to the default settings you had when you registered for Fandom. This can not be undone, so choose wisely if you wish to reset.

My info

Basic information
  • My username: Simply prints your username. You cannot change your username through the preferences screen. If you wish to change your username, please see this page on username changes.
  • My user groups: Lists the user groups you belong to on the current community.
  • My gender: Not a required preference. By default, users are unspecified, though one can choose male or female.
    • The purpose of this preference is for international languages in which proper nouns need a gender form.
    • Your gender on your user profile is not set by this preference.
  • My password: Clicking in the link in this field takes you to Special:ChangePassword.
  • Existing Signature: Renders your signature on this community, including all wikitext.
  • Custom Signature: Where your signature can be changed.
    • Wikitext you use will be converted when the signature is used unless you uncheck the "I want to use wikitext in my signature" box.
  • Language: A dropdown menu where you can choose the language you wish to view the community in.
    • Note: This applies to the interface on all communities, so while the content of a DE community still will be in German, if you have "EN - english" as your user language, you will see most of the messages and tools on the community in the English language.
  • Date: Allows for users to change how they wish to see timestamps.
  • Time zone: Allows for users to override the server time (which is in UTC) with the time zone of their own choice. Users can either select their geographical region to determine time zone from a dropdown list or can enter the offset manually using the next input box.
    • This will not affect the timestamp in user signatures.
  • Landing Page: Users can either choose between going to the Main Page of a community, to WikiActivity, Recent Changes, or Community Feeds when going directly to the community's URL from the address bar. Clicking on the wiki's wordmark will also take you to the landing page of your choice.
  • Ads: Registered users on Fandom can hide most of the ads that our anonymous users see, which can be considered a perk of membership. Some admins prefer to see all the ads on a community so they can understand the user experience for their anonymous readers.


The email tab allows users to change their email address on record with Fandom and then control the type and volume of emails they receive from Fandom.

  • My email address: The field in which you see what current address you have on file. If you type in a new email address and save the page, you will be prompted to confirm your new email address.
  • Email Confirmation: If you need to confirm your email address, you will see text informing you that your email is not confirmed and then offer a link to resend your confirmation email if it has been misplaced. If you are already email confirmed, you will be told you are confirmed and given a timestamp of when it was done.
Followed pages
To learn what followed pages are, please consult this help page on followed pages.
These preferences will determine if your account will automatically watch the page when you make one of four major changes to a page:
  • When you edit a page.
  • When you create a page.
  • When you move a page.
  • When you delete a page.
Email me when...
Now that you have managed your subscriptions to a page through the followed page feature, you can also choose how much communication you receive about those pages. These are fairly self-explanatory. Some quick notes:
  • "Minorly changed" - means a user making a change to the page has checked the "minor edit" box.
  • For communities with Message Walls or Forums enabled, you will see another section entitled "Message Wall and Forum" and a dropdown field to choose how you should be mailed.
    • Communities with the old user talk page system rely upon the previous box of "my user talk page is changed" for those followed pages emails.
Advanced options
  • Mark all pages from my Weekly Digest as visited - This option is only available if you're an admin of the community you're currently on. If you do not visit pages outlined in a Weekly Digest, you may be presented with the same list on your next Weekly Digest.
Disable all emails
Email communication is a critical tool that allows you to stay attuned on what is happening on your favorite communities as well as on Fandom as a whole.
The Email tab provides plenty of options to suit the types and volume of emails you receive from Fandom. If you have concerns about email, we would suggest you review your general email preferences first.
That said, Fandom does respect your right to not be emailed from our network if you do not wish to be contacted by us. As such, if you check this box, you will not receive any emails from Fandom until the checkbox is unchecked.
Wiki Options (only appears if you are an administrator)
If either of these check boxes are selected, you'll be sent a notification in your email for such:
  • ...someone joins
  • ...someone edits
  • ...a daily summary of total views is ready
  • ...a Daily Digest of joins, edits, and views is ready


Editing experience
  • Preferred editor - see Help:Editing.
  • Widen the Source mode edit box to fill the entire screen - collapses the modules normally displayed to the right of the editor such as the button to add a photo or gallery and also moves the edit summary to the top of the editing bar.
  • Mark all edits as "minor" by default.
  • Prompt me if I leave a blank edit summary.
  • Do not show syntax highlighting in Source mode.
  • Do not show link suggest in Source Mode - If you start typing an internal link ([[) followed by a few characters, a pop-up will appear that will let you autocomplete the page name you are trying to link to. Checking this box will disable that feature.
Advanced editing options
This option allows you to choose which font style you'll see when you edit.
Starting an edit
  • Show section edit links - Enables/disabled a clickable "edit" button for appearing next to any H2 or H3 headline.
  • Edit sections by right clicking on section titles - Again applies to H2 or H3 headlines.
  • Edit pages on double click - A JavaScript shortcut that allows you to simply double click on the body of a page to open the editing window.
  • Disable Category module - Only applies if visual mode editing is disabled.
  • Use a blank page as default for creating a new page.
  • Disable "Create a new article" flow - Not recommended.
  • Disable Category module - Only applies if visual mode editing is disabled.

Under the Hood

This tab combines a number of highly technical, specialized preferences. If you are new to wikis and editing, you may want to leave this tab alone until you understand how most of these tools perform normally.

Recent Changes, Histories, and Logs
  • Days to show in recent changes: - Default: 7 days.
  • Number of edits to show by default: - Default: 50 edits.
  • Use advanced recent changes - Must have JavaScript enabled.
  • Hide minor edits in recent changes - suppresses all edits on the feed marked with "m".
Followed pages feed
This section controls followed pages behavior.
Advanced display options
  • Hide page content below diffs - By default, when viewing a history diff, the newer of the two versions will have its full page text and rendering displayed as well.
  • Hide diff after performing a rollback - Removes an auto-redirect for users with the rollback right.
  • Enable personal JavaScript - In order to use personal JavaScript, this option must is enabled.
  • Enable Go-Search - If your search term matches an existing page, it'll take you straight there.
  • Search all namespaces by default.
  • Show hidden categories.
  • Hide my followed pages list from everybody - Makes your Special:Following list private.
  • Enable View source on threads.

Login via Facebook or Google

Fb connect preferences tab

The Connected Accounts preferences tab where you can link your Fandom with your Facebook or Google account

The social login options have their own tab on your preferences. It is a tool that can help log in you to Fandom with the click of a button.

If you have not yet connected your Fandom account to Facebook or Google, one of the ways you can do so is going to this tab in Preferences and follow the link to start the connection process.

This is also the tab where you can choose to disconnect your account from Facebook or Google.

Non-default tabs and sections

In addition to the default tabs & sections listed above, some extensions add extra preferences to your Preferences page. Please view the help pages linked to learn about these special preferences.

  • Gadgets - The Gadgets extension will add a completely new tab to your Special:Preferences page.
  • Patrolled editing - Adds a few options to your "Under the Hood" tab.

See also

Further help and feedback

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.