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The MediaWiki software allows you to automatically substitute messages and templates in the article text. Templates have their own namespace inside the database, and therefore template pages typically start with the Template: prefix.

Include a message

The syntax for insertion of the page "Template:name" is

{{name}}

This reference in the wikitext causes insertion of the template content when the referring page is rendered.

If the page "Template:name" does not exist, then {{name}} works as [[Template:name]], a link to a non-existing page, leading to the edit page.

Self links do not give any complication: they are neatly displayed in bold type and not as links. However, templates should have the correct page names and not rely on redirecting, since the feature does not work in that case.

Parameters

You may also include a message as a template by applying parameters to the template.

Template parameters are either named or numbered. The syntax to add a message with parameters is

{{thing|param=value}}

with {{{param}}} tags in the template, or

{{thing|value1|value2}}

with {{{1}}}, {{{2}}}, etc. tags in the template. (Note that parameter tags in the template have three braces rather than two).

On rendering, surplus parameters are ignored. In the case of too few, the parameters will appear as links to nonexistent templates.

Parameter templates are used in the template {{imagelicensing}}, for example. The template contains references to "owner" and "source", so the template call

{{imagelicensing|license=copyright|owner=Owner's name|source=Source}}

will produce the following note:

This example shows that you can even use wiki links in template parameters. This is not necessary if you are adding a well-formed URL - those are presented as links automatically.

Substitutions

If you include the string "subst:" after the double opening curly-braces, MediaWiki will substitute the template text in the wikitext rather than include it. The net effect is that the current text of the template will be permanently saved, and will not be updated if and when the template is updated. Example:

{{subst:copyvio1}}

When subst is applied to a template, a variable in the template is copied as such in the wikitext.

You cannot substitute the same template more than five times per edit. (However, this only applies to any one edit; you can then go back and add the same template five more times. Why anyone might want to do this, though, is unclear.)

Usage

Templates are useful for any text for which one wants a copy in two or more pages, and there is no need for each copy to be edited independently, to adapt it to the page it is in. Since parameters can be used, versions may to that extent even be different, and parameter values can be edited independently for each.

See also


A template is a special type of page that is made so its content can be included in other pages. Since a given template can be included in many pages, it can help reduce duplication and promote a uniform style between pages.

Overview

Templates are useful for:

  • Creating content that should appear on many pages.
  • Formatting content or data (such as infoboxes) in a way that should be consistent across many pages.
  • Creating a shortcut to a frequently-visited page or for writing things that you repeat often when communicating with others.
  • Replacing long, complicated code so that a page is easier for other users to edit.
  • Protecting parts of a page from editing while leaving other sections open for edits.

Templates are located in the Template namespace. This includes any page with a name beginning with Template:, such as Template:Name. A list of used templates can be seen in Special:Templates and can be filtered by template types.

Template pages are created and modified using the source edit mode, but can be inserted into pages using any editor interface.

Templates cannot be edited by anonymous users as of Technical Update: November 30, 2015.

Adding pre-existing templates

Insert template in VisualEditor

Selecting a template from a list in VisualEditor

New Fandom communities come with pre-loaded default templates. You can view a complete list of templates available on your community by going to Special:AllPages and selecting "Template" from the namespace dropdown menu. Click "Go" and all available templates will appear in a list.

  • In the default VisualEditor, click on the top-left "Insert" and then click "Templates" from the dropdown list, or begin by typing {{, to bring up a list of templates, and then search for the name of the template you want.
  • In source edit mode, you can use the code {{Template name}} to add any template to your page.
  • In the classic editor, you can also select from the list of all templates available on your community by clicking "Add other templates".
  • Advanced users can edit the page MediaWiki:Editor-template-list to directly show up to four common templates in this section. The wikitext should be written like this, one per line:
    * Template:Templatename

Additionally, many templates can be found on the semi-official Templates Wiki (for basic templates) and the Fandom Developers Wiki (for more advanced templates), and can be used on your wiki or contributed to. See below for more.

How to create a basic template

Templates can be very powerful, but also sometimes very complicated. It often helps to start by creating the simplest possible kind of template, and then experimenting from there.

  • On your community, navigate to "Template:Example" using the address bar of your browser and click "Create" which can be found in the top right corner of the content section. This will open source editor to create the template.
  • You should see a popup asking you to Choose template type; check one of the options. If none match to what you're are looking for, check "Unknown".
  • Type a couple of words or a sentence in the editor.
  • Click "Publish". You have just created a template with some sample content.
  • On your community, create a new article called "Template test".
  • The next step to add the template to a page varies based on your chosen editor. See this section for more info.

You've successfully created and used a template! Now you can change the content of your template and add it to more pages to make it more useful for your community.

Advanced templates

Template parameters

Rachel VE template

Selecting parameters in VisualEditor's template tool

Templates can have parameters. These allow you to alter the way the template is displayed, such as including specific text or altering the design.

To take Template:Wikipedia as an example, adding just {{Wikipedia}} assumes that the page on Wikipedia is the same name as the page of the current page the template is used on. However, a parameter can be added to tell the template that the page on Wikipedia has a different name, for example Microsoft. In source edit mode, the code to add this parameter is {{Wikipedia|Microsoft}}, though in VisualEditor, the same is achieved by clicking on a template and editing the parameters.

It is possible to change the output of a template based on what the user inputs when editing the template in source editor. To learn more about how to do this, see Help:Template parameters and Help:Parser functions.

Substituting templates

A different way to use a template is to substitute its content into a page. This can only be done in source editor, and is done by inserting subst: immediately after the opening braces: {{subst:templatename}}. Once the page is saved, the link to the template is removed and the template output is substituted in its place and can be further edited. Any updates to the template will not affect the content that was substituted into the page.

To learn more, visit Help:Substituting templates.

Lua-based templates

There are alternatives to wikitext templates that provide particularly advanced templates, which may be more comfortable or performant for advanced users and software coders, in the form of Lua-based templates implemented in the Module namespace. While more complicated to code, these templates can perform faster and can be more readable. It is also possible to import existing Lua-based templates from the Fandom Developers Wiki' own Global Lua Modules list.

To learn more, visit Help:Lua.

Copying and updating templates

Updating and adding standard templates

The official Starter Wiki and semi-official Templates Wiki occasionally improve some of their documentation as well as adding new templates specifically designed for Fandom sites, and are therefore worth checking from time to time.

Copying templates from other wikis

Contributors throughout Fandom have made all different kinds of templates. It is often simpler to copy an existing template and modify it for your needs, rather than creating one from scratch. The Templates Wiki is a good place to start looking for a template that fits your needs, though an established wiki for a closely related subject to that of your wiki may already have the template you need.

In most cases, you are free to copy templates based on the shared CC-BY-SA license, but make sure the community you want to copy from does not have an alternative licensing scheme that may place restrictions on what you can copy. Giving credit to the community which you copied the template from is recommended and would likely be appreciated by that community.

Here are some basic steps to copy most templates:

  1. Find the template you want to copy (usually https://wikiname.fandom.com/wiki/Template:templatename).
  2. Click the Edit button, select all of the wikitext, and copy it.
  3. Create a new template page on your community (https://yourwiki.fandom.com/wiki/Template:templatename?action=edit).
  4. Paste the wikitext code you copied and press the Publish button.

Many templates have a separate subpage for documentation about the template, normally in <nowiki> tags. Fortunately, the location is often standardized, so it is easy to copy the documentation as well. If you notice the template page you copied above does not look like the original, it is likely the documentation is on a separate subpage:

  1. Find the template documentation you want to copy (usually https://wikiname.fandom.com/wiki/Template:templatename/doc).
  2. Click the "Edit" button, select all the wikitext and copy it.
  3. Create a new template documentation subpage page on your community (https://yourwiki.fandom.com/wiki/Template:templatename/doc?action=edit).
  4. Paste the wikitext code you copied and press the Publish button.

Previewing edited template

If using the source or classic edit modes, it is desirable to preview any template you have edited. Normally you can then click "Publish" from the preview screen. VisualEditor will show the template by default.

See also

Further help and feedback

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