Help:Page name

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Restrictions

Special characters

The following characters are not allowed in page titles:

" # $ * + < > = @ [ ] \ ^ ` { } | ~

The reasons include:

  • + is used in web addresses to represent a space (e.g. when you type more than one word into a search engine). Using it in article names would potentially make parts of the system see their name wrong. Each + will be substituted by ' ' (space) respectively '_' (underscore) in the related page URL, see below.
  • @ also has a special meaning in URLs, as a way of adding a username and password, and would have even more drastic consequences.
  • [, ], {, }, |, and probably some of the others have special meaning within Wikipedia's syntax, which are processed before the pagename is determined. (e.g. [[{{CURRENTYEAR}}]] points at 2014, not a page called {{CURRENTYEAR}}.
  • $, \, ", ` (and some others) have special meaning in other bits of the software, and allowing them would create potential security flaws which would take a lot of effort to insure against.

There are some pages not satisfying the restrictions, e.g. $. They may give complications.

Some very special characters can only be represented using Unicode, whereas the English Mediawiki just uses ISO 8859-1 or similar.

Namespace prefixes

A namespace is a special Mediawiki convention, such as "Help:Article name" or "Talk:Article name".

So the first part of a page name may not coincide with a project-independent namespace prefix that is automatically converted to another one, e.g. the name Project: A-Kon on Cacheopedia is not possible.

The first part of a page name can coincide with a namespace prefix that is not converted. For example, there might be articles in the English Cacheopedia about books called Cacheopedia: The Big Adventure and Talk: Secrets are Bad (but only without the space after the colon). However, in that case the pages are in the wrong namespace. This may be inconvenient in searching or displaying a list of pages. Also, in the second case there is no link to a Talk page about the book.

Prefixes referring to other projects or pseudo-namespaces

A page name can not start with a prefix that is in use to refer to another project or one of the pseudo-namespaces "Media:" and "Special".

Spaces vs. underscores

In page names, a blank space is equivalent with an underscore. A blank space is displayed in the large font title at the top of the page, the URLs show an underscore. See also below.

Case-sensitivity

Article names are case-sensitive (except for the first letter of the article name), so keep this in mind. Geocaching on a budget is NOT the same as Geocaching on a Budget. There is a high risk of ambiguity on this site, so you can help by creating any redirects using any cases you believe are likely to be linked to either while you create the article, or when you notice this happening with existing articles.

Case-sensitivity of the first character

The first character of the page name may or may not be case-sensitive, depending on the project. [[Help:page name]] gives on this project: Help:page name. If the first character of the page name is case-sensitive this is a link (to a different page), otherwise it is bold (a self link to this page).

Case where the first character is case-insensitive

The canonical form is with a capital. A link like [[template]] works like a piped link [[Template|template]]: template; unlike a redirect, the conversion shows up already on the referring page when pointing at it: in the pop-up and in the status bar (if applicable for the browser).

Note that in the case of a prefix that is not a namespace for the software, the case-insensitivity applies to the first character of the whole name, e.g. MediaWiki User's Guide: Using tables and MediaWiki User's Guide: using tables are distinguished.

Case-sensitivity of the file name extension of an image

Note that even the file name extension of an image is case-sensitive: compare image:Stop_sign_us.jpg and image:Stop_sign_us.JPG

Ignored spaces/underscores

Spaces/underscores which are ignored:

  • those at the start and end of a full page name
  • those at the end of a namespace prefix, before the colon
  • those after the colon of the namespace prefix
  • duplicate consecutive spaces

Some show up in the link label, e.g. [[___help__ :_ _template_ _]] becomes ___help__ :_ _template_ _, linking to Help:Template.

However, a space before or after a "normal" colon makes a difference, e.g. MediaWiki User's Guide: Editing overview and MediaWiki User's Guide : Editing overview, and MediaWiki User's Guide:Editing overview are all distinguished, because "MediaWiki User's Guide:" is a pseudo-namespace, not a real one.

Coding of characters

A page name can not contain e.g. %41, because that is automatically converted to the character A, for which %41 is the code. [[%41]] is rendered as A. Similarly %C3%80 is automatically converted to the character À. [[%C3%80]] is rendered as À. The URL of the page is http://meta.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%80. One can argue what is the real name of the page, %C3%80 or À (a user will say the latter), but anyway there can not be distinct pages with these names.

Alphabetical order

Alphabetical order, e.g. in Special:Allpages, is (at least for that range) according to ASCII. Note that this means that "a" comes after "Z", see e.g. [1].

Variables {{PAGENAME}} and {{PAGENAMEE}}

Variable {{PAGENAME}} gives for this page Page name, Variable {{PAGENAMEE}} gives Page_name.

Thus in the first case a space is used, in the second case an underscore, like in URLs. Similarly À becomes the escape code %C3%80 (see above), etc.

{{NAMESPACE}}:{{PAGENAME}} and {{NAMESPACE}}:{{PAGENAMEE}} give for this page Help:Page name and Help:Page_name, respectively. For a page in the main namespace the page name is prefixed with a colon.

Example:

http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Whatlinkshere&target={{NAMESPACE}}:{{PAGENAMEE}}

gives

http://meta.wikimedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Whatlinkshere&target=Help:Page_name

{{PAGENAME}} would not work.

With a Google search there is the problem that for Google the space and the underscore are different, see w:Template talk:Google.

See also

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