Help:Preferences

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
MediaWiki Handbook: Contents, Readers, Editors, Moderators, System admins +/-

The preferences page, linked from the top of every page, and also at Special:Preferences, allows each user to personalize some elements of a Wikimedia wiki to suit.

Changes to your preferences will apply only when you are logged in.

User profile[edit]

The User profile tab contains information and basic settings relating to your user account.

Username
The name of your user account. You cannot change this name yourself; see Changing username below.
User ID
Your internal account ID number on the wiki. A small number indicates that you were one of the first to create an account on that wiki.
Member of group(s)
The names of the user group or groups you belong to. These provide you with certain "rights" (powers to carry out certain actions). See User groups for more info.
Connected apps
On Wikimedia wikis, this link allows you to manage external applications that are permitted to access your account. See OAuth help on MediaWiki.org for more information.
Number of edits
The total number of edits you have made on the wiki; see Help:User contributions#Number of edits.
Registration time
The date and time when you created your account.
Global account status
On Wikimedia wikis, this section provides a summary of the status of your global account. The phrase "All in order!" appears when your global account is fully connected and working properly. See Help:Unified login for more information.
Password
Click the "Change password" link to go to a simple page where you can change your wiki password.
Always use a secure connection when logged in
When this option is turned on (it is on by default), you will automatically be provided with a secure (HTTPS) connection to the wiki. This prevents third parties from eavesdropping on your connection. For some users, HTTPS connections are slower than standard HTTP connections, and in certain countries governments block access to HTTPS for certain sites; these users will need to turn off this option. See HTTPS for more information.

Internationalisation[edit]

Language
Allows you to specify the language in which the site interface will be displayed to you. See Help:System messages. There are some limitations:
  • If the wiki's sidebar contains hard-coded custom labels, these are in effect for all interface languages, and will not change according to this setting.
  • The interface language does not affect namespace names; they are determined by the site's main language. However, in links and in page names entered in the address bar of the browser, English namespace names, being the generic namespace names, are automatically converted to the local names.
How do you prefer to be described?
This option allows you to select the gender by which you prefer to be addressed ("he", "his"... or "she", "her"...), or leave it unspecified. This option is designed for languages where the grammar of user interface text can change depending on your gender: even in English, this is useful for selecting the correct pronoun from he/she, his/her etc. The gender you select is public, anybody can apply the GENDER function to find it.

Signature[edit]

Existing signature
This shows how your current signature will appear whenever you sign with ~~~~ on a wiki page.
New signature
Text that defines your signature, when you enter ~~~ or ~~~~.
If the following "raw signature" checkbox is not checked, then your nickname is applied as a label for a link to your user page, so your signature will be [[User:username|nickname]], although the exact expression depends on the system message MediaWiki:Signature. If you leave nickname field empty, your username will be used instead.
Neither wiki-code nor HTML code is interpreted in non-raw signature: the server passes the wiki-code on unchanged, while it converts the HTML in such a way that the browser effectively does not interpret it; for example, "<" is replaced by "&lt;" rendered as "<".
Treat signature as wikitext (without an automatic link)
This option tells the wiki to interpret your nickname as wiki-code for your signature, instead of just a nickname. See the Raw signatures section below.

E-mail options[edit]

Many wikis (including Wikimedia wikis) provide e-mail functionality, whereby forgotten passwords can be returned, and users can contact other users by e-mail without anyone having to reveal their address. Entering your e-mail address is entirely optional.

See Help:E-mail confirmation for more information about confirming your e-mail address.

E-mail
Your e-mail address. This is completely optional. Whenever you enter a new address, you will be required to confirm the change by responding to a message that is sent to that e-mail address.
E-mail confirmation
The status of your e-mail address: not specified, need to confirm (in which case you need the click the link in the confirmation e-mail message you were sent), or authenticated.
Enable e-mail from other users
This allows other registered users to send you an e-mail using "E-mail this user" link on the sidebar of your user page. E-mails are sent using a web interface, and your e-mail address is not revealed to a sender (that is, unless you decide to reply by e-mail).
Send me copies of e-mails I send to other users
This option is helpful for keeping track of messages you have sent using "E-mail this user".
E-mail me when a page or file on my watchlist is changed
E-mail me when my user talk page is changed
E-mail me also for minor edits of pages
Some of these three options are disabled on some wikis. Check your wiki to see if they are available.

Appearance[edit]

Skin[edit]

A skin is a style of page display. There are differences in the HTML code the system produces (but probably not in the page body), and also different style sheets are used.

  • Cologne Blue: Cologne Blue has a fixed font size unless one specifies in the browser "ignore font sizes specified in the webpage"; even then the line height is fixed; therefore this skin is not suitable for a large font.
  • Modern
  • Monobook: The "classic" look that was seen on most wikis from 2005 to 2010. In Monobook, the width of the panel on the left is dependent on the font size. Therefore, with a large font or a small screen size, the width of the main part of the page is smaller than with other skins.
  • Vector (default): A skin based on Monobook; as well as a new look, it adds a few new features to the wiki interface, particularly in the editing process.

Links at the edges of the page are in different positions. Some links are not present in every skin.

Use the "Preview" links to try out the skin. The "Custom CSS" and "Custom JavaScript" links for each skin allow you to add custom CSS or JavaScript code that will be applied alongside that skin.

As of April 2013, the Chick, Classic, MySkin, Nostalgia, and Simple skins are no longer available (see Turning off outdated skins).

Date format/Time offset[edit]

These two options are used to display your local date and time on all special pages, i.e. the pages that are generated automatically and cannot be directly edited:

On the other hand, the default time zone of the wiki (normally UTC) is always shown in signatures on Talk pages, nand also used in referring to non-localized events, including things that happen on the wiki. Keep this in mind when copying an excerpt from any special page 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. Many experienced users prefer to keep the offset set to 0 all the time.

Date format
This setting affects the appearance of timestamps on all special pages (see list above). They appear just like shown here, except in Recent Changes and your watchlist, where date and time are shown in different places. Note that the last option, although rather arcane, provides the only way to see seconds.
Time offset
"Offset" is the number of hours to be added or subtracted from UTC to find your time zone. It 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 the wiki doesn't know where you are or precisely when you observe DST. Try this link if you are not sure what your time zone is.

Files[edit]

Image size limit (for file description pages)
One can specify a limit on the size of images on file description pages. With a slow connection it is not practical to have to load a large image just to read image info. On the other hand, it may be practical if a large image at first is made to fit on the screen. The default is normally 800×600px, although this can vary from wiki to wiki.
Thumbnail size
The width of thumbnails shown in articles and pages on the wiki. This will be used unless a specific image provides its own thumbnail size. The default is normally 220px, although this can vary from wiki to wiki.

Diffs[edit]

See Help:Diff for general information on diffs (what a diff is, etc).

Do not show page content below diffs
Normally, when viewing a diff, the page content as of the second revision is presented. You can turn off this display using this option, to allow for faster loading of diff pages.
Omit diff after performing a rollback
When rolling back edits (available on some wikis to some users only), a confirmation page containing a diff will be shown. This option will prevent the display of that page.

Advanced options[edit]

Underline links
Here, you can choose whether links will be underlined. The "Skin or browser default" option means the site will honor your browser's setting.
Having underlining on means you can differentiate between two links side-by-side, like p q and p q. However, underlining means underscores (_) may get lost in the underline, which can pose a problem, particularly with URL links.
Threshold for stub link formatting (bytes)
See Stub feature.
Show hidden categories
Shows categories which are normally hidden, at the bottom of the page.
Justify paragraphs
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.
Don't show the Article feedback widget on pages
Use this option to hide the Article Feedback display ("Rate this page", "Did you find what you were looking for?", etc) that appears at the bottom of some pages on certain wikis.
Enable font embedding (Web fonts)
On some wikis, "downloadable fonts" are used to provide a better appearance for text in the project language. If you don't want this, you can turn off this setting.

Math[edit]

Some wikis provide the functionality to include mathematical (TeX) formulas in wiki pages. These options let you control how you see those formulas.

Always render PNG
Always display formulas as an image.
Leave it as TeX
Don't convert the formula, just show the mathematical TeX code. This is primarily for text-based browsers like Lynx.
MathJaX
Display formulas using MathJaX, a JavaScript-based math framework providing good appearance and flexibility. It may not work on old browsers, and it may be too slow on some systems.

Editing[edit]

The options on the Editing tab can fine-tune the process of editing.

General[edit]

Enable section editing by right-clicking on section titles
In compatible browsers, if this option is checked, a right-click on the section title will bring up the edit box for that section only, just as if you had clicked the small [edit] link beside the heading.
Edit pages on double click
In compatible browsers, if this option is checked, a double click anywhere on the page will bring up the edit box for the entire contents of the page, just like what happens when you click on the "edit" tab at the top of the page.

Additional preferences may appear here, depending on the configuration of your wiki. For example, the FlaggedRevs and ProofreadPage extensions add some extra options.

Editor[edit]

Edit area font style
You can change the font family of text in the edit area. The browser will determine exactly which font to use, depending on which fonts are available on your computer. "Browser default" will normally provide a monospaced font.
Columns/Rows
Here you can set up your preferred dimensions for the textbox used for editing page text. "Rows" refers to lines of text (height), and "Columns" means the number of characters that will fit across the box (width). The exact size will vary depending on your browser's font size, screen resolution, and other factors. The default is 80 cols x 25 rows.
Note that, by default, the "columns" setting is ignored, and the edit box will scale to fill the whole available width. If you want your setting to be honored, use the Cologne Blue skin.
Mark all edits minor by default
This option automatically selects the "This is a minor edit" checkbox when you edit pages. This option is not available on certain wikis, including the English Wikipedia [1].
Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary
If selected, the editor will display a warning message when no edit summary is provided. This can help you remember to provide edit summaries, as they are of great use to other editors.
Warn me when I leave an edit page with unsaved changes
This option will give you the chance to go back and save your work if you accidentally close or leave an editing page.
Show edit toolbar
In compatible browsers, a toolbar with editing buttons can be displayed. The exact contents of this toolbar will vary, depending on the wiki. See Help:Edit toolbar for detailed help.
Enable enhanced editing toolbar
In compatible browsers, the enhanced toolbar developed as part of the Usability Initiative will be displayed.
Enable wizards for inserting links, tables as well as the search and replace function
When inserting some types of content, a dialog box will allow you to customize the content before it is inserted. This option also enables a find-and-replace tool in the Advanced options section of the enhanced editing toolbar.

Preview[edit]

Show preview on first edit
When pressing the edit button or otherwise following a link to an edit page, a preview will appear, just like after pressing "Show preview".
Show preview before edit box
Edit previews are normally displayed above the edit box. If you turn off this option, the edit preview will be displayed below the edit box when you click the "Show preview" button while editing a page.
Use live preview
When you manually reload the edit page, you get the "live" version in the "preview" area. Show Changes/Preview work as before but now those actions preserve pages forward in the browser history. Saves network bandwidth per MW:Live preview.

Translation options[edit]

On wikis with the Translate extension installed, you can change these options to allow you to translate more efficiently.

Recent changes[edit]

On the Recent changes tab, you can choose what appears on your Recent Changes page (linked in the sidebar, and available at Special:RecentChanges). Some of these options also affect Related Changes, at Special:RecentChangesLinked.

Display options[edit]

Days to show in recent changes
The number of days' worth of changes to show in the Recent Changes list. The default is 7 days; the maximum is 30 days. On busy wikis (like English Wikipedia), you will usually only see changes from the last few hours or minutes, regardless of this setting.
Number of edits to show by default
You may select the number of changes which will be shown by default on the Recent Changes page, all page "history" tabs, and on some log pages at Special:Log. Links are provided for other options on those pages. The default is 50.

Advanced options[edit]

Group changes by page in recent changes and watchlist
Group together each recent change to a single article per day, and display 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. This feature applies also to Related Changes, and, in the case that "Expand watchlist to show all applicable changes" has been selected, to the watchlist. It requires a browser with JavaScript enabled.
Hide minor edits in recent changes
Hide patrolled edits in recent changes
Use these options to filter out unwanted changes from the recent changes and related changes pages.
Hide patrolled pages from new page list
This option affects Special:NewPages on some wikis. When it is set, all patrolled pages are hidden by default. You can easily show or hide patrolled pages (highlighted in yellow) from the New Pages page.
Show Wikidata edits in recent changes
On selected Wikimedia projects where data from Wikidata is available, this option allows you to see changes to the Wikidata items connected to pages on your wiki, as well as changes to the wiki pages themselves. This can help catch vandalism on Wikidata that could be seen on your wiki.

Watchlist[edit]

The options on the Watchlist tab control what appears on your watchlist (accessible by visiting the page Special:Watchlist, or clicking "my watchlist" in the top-right of the page).

Note: to enable the "enhanced watchlist", select "Expand watchlist..." on this tab, and then turn on "Group changes by page" on the Recent Changes tab.

Display options[edit]

Days to show in watchlist
The number of days' worth of changes to show in your watchlist. Default is 3; maximum 30 days (depending on the wiki).
Maximum number of changes to show in expanded watchlist
This controls how many recent changes to show for each watched article when "Expand watchlist" is switched on under "Advanced options". Default is 250; maximum 1000 changes.

Advanced options[edit]

Expand watchlist to show all changes, not just the most recent
This option will expand the watchlist to include all changes made to an article within the time-frame of your watchlist, up to a maximum number (as set in "Display options"). Normally, only the most recent modification is shown.
Hide minor edits from the watchlist
Hide bot edits from the watchlist
Hide my edits from the watchlist
Hide edits by anonymous users from the watchlist
Hide edits by logged in users from the watchlist
Use these options to filter out unwanted revisions from the watchlist.
Hide patrolled edits from the watchlist
Use this option to filter out patrolled edits (edits made by administrators and so forth). This is particularly useful when monitoring vandalism, as patrolled edits can only be made by trusted users.
Add pages and files I edit to my watchlist
Add pages and files I move to my watchlist
Add pages I create and files I upload to my watchlist
Add pages and files I delete to my watchlist
Automatically select the check box to "Watch this page" when performing any of these actions. You can de-select the check box on a page if you do not wish to watch that particular page. The final option is only available to users that have the ability to delete pages, such as administrators.
Show Wikidata edits in your watchlist
On selected Wikimedia projects where data from Wikidata is available, this option allows you to see changes to the Wikidata items connected to pages on your wiki, as well as changes to the wiki pages themselves. This can help catch vandalism on Wikidata that could be seen on your wiki.

Token[edit]

Watchlist token
This token is used to generate a RSS feed from your watchlist. Anyone who knows this token can use it to access your watchlist. If the token is discovered by someone else, you can use the "Click here if you need to reset it" link to create a new token. Once you have done this, you will need to edit the URL of your feed subscription in your feed reader to account for the new token.

Search[edit]

The options on the Search tab let you control how searches are conducted, and how search results appear. The default values of these options may differ on some wikis.

Advanced options[edit]

Search in all namespaces
Otherwise search in these namespaces
Shows a list of all namespaces (not the same in all projects), allowing one to select which ones are searched by default; see also Namespaces searched.

Misc[edit]

This tab contains other options that don't belong anywhere else.

These options will vary from wiki to wiki, depending on the extensions that are present.

Gadgets[edit]

The Gadgets tab allows you to enable small add-in features written by users on a particular wiki, which enhance your wiki browsing experience in some way. (This tab requires that the "Gadgets" extension be installed, which is the case on Wikimedia wikis. For technical information about the Gadgets extension, see mw:Extension:Gadgets.)

Each wiki has its own selection of gadgets, and there will often be a page on each wiki containing information about the range of gadgets available.

Threaded discussion[edit]

The Threaded discussion tab appears only on wikis with the LiquidThreads discussion system installed.

Maximum reply depth to show
Documentation needed
Maximum number of replies to show
Documentation needed

Uploads[edit]

The uploads tab relates to the UploadWizard. Documentation needed

Beta features[edit]

On Wikimedia wikis, the Beta features tab allows you to enable experimental features before they are made available to everyone. If you choose to turn on any of these features, you should be prepared to encounter bugs and problems, and you may see sudden changes in the way the feature looks or works as development continues.

Each feature has a "discussion" link next to it, so you can offer your suggestions or report any problems.

See mw:About Beta Features for more information.

Automatically enable all new beta features
If you turn on this option, new beta features will become active for you as soon as they are added to the Beta Features system.

Pending changes/Edit review[edit]

This tab goes by several different names, like Pending changes and Edit review. It appears only on wikis with the Flagged Revisions or similar system enabled.

Basic interface[edit]

Use detailed boxes to show review status of pages
This option displays the review status of pages (accepted, pending, etc.) in a wide banner across the top of the page. Unmissable, but distracting.
Use small icons and minimal text to show review status of pages
This option displays the review status of pages in a small box in the top-right of the page content area. More information can be seen by moving the mouse over the box. This is the default.

When to show the stable version of content pages by default[edit]

Use the default settings for each page
Always show the stable version (if there is one)
Always show the latest version
You can choose which revision to see upon visiting a page with Flagged Revisions/Pending Changes turned on.
Show the pending changes diff when viewing the latest pending revision
Documentation needed. Appears on some wikis only.

Notifications[edit]

The Threaded discussion tab relates to the Echo notifications system.

E-mail options[edit]

Send me
Documentation needed
Send to
The e-mail address shown here is simply your regular wiki e-mail address.
E-mail format
Documentation needed

Notify me about these events[edit]

Documentation needed

New message indicator[edit]

Show talk page message indicator in my toolbar
Documentation needed

Notes[edit]

If you want to change your username, it is recommended that you do this retroactively in the sense that your previous user contributions are recorded under the new name. Users and sysops cannot do this, but one can ask a bureaucrat to do so. Signatures are not changed and therefore will no longer match page histories of the talk pages concerned. However, you can edit signatures manually. Also other occurrences of your name on talk pages are not retroactively changed. The deletion log and the upload log are not altered.

Account deletion is not possible.

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.)

Raw signatures[edit]

If "Raw signature" is checked, then:

  • Nothing is added to the text that you specify. What you specify is what is used between the two dashes and the timestamp.
  • Wiki markup and HTML markup (as far as allowed in general in wikitext) can be used: the wiki-code is processed, and the HTML is passed on, allowing the browser to interpret it. However, templates and parser functions are not expanded, and images are not allowed. The maximum length is 255 characters.

In the case of a common signature on several projects, as in Wikia, note that links may lead to a different page, depending on the project in which you put the signature, even if you use interwiki link style. For example, India:User talk:John leads to the page User talk:John on India, except from the India project, where it leads to India:User talk:John in the India namespace. Therefore you may want to make a redirect such that the final target of the link is always the same.

Invalid raw signatures[edit]

You may find the following message displayed in your user preferences:

Invalid raw signature; check HTML tags.

This means you are using invalid HTML markup on your signature. Some possible causes with their corresponding solutions:

Unclosed tags 
If you are opening a tag without the corresponding closing tag (for instance: [[User:Example|<font color="white">Example]]), you should close the tag (for instance: [[User:Example|<font color="white">Example</font>]]). It's also a good idea to put the tags outside the link if possible (for instance: <font color="white">[[User:Example|Example]]</font>).
Mismatched or incorrectly nested tags 
If the tags are mismatched (for instance: ;<s><u>hi</s></u>), fix them (for instance: <s><u>hi</u></s>).
Unquoted attributes 
It's also recommended to use quotes on all attributes (for instance, use <font color="white"></font> instead of <font color=white></font>).
Unclosed entities 
If you have a HTML entity which is lacking the final ;, you need to add it; if you have a bare &, it must be replaced by &amp; (a bare & is always a mistake in either HTML or wikicode).
Unescaped special characters 
If you are using one of &, <, or >, and want it shown as text, it must be escaped as &amp;, &lt;, or &gt;, respectively.

Former use of images and templates in signatures[edit]

In the past images and templates were allowed. Thus they can still be present. Changes in them are retroactive, which on one hand may be confusing, but on the other hand, to rectify annoying signatures, may be convenient.

Signature content[edit]

Check the rules of your project (for example, for the English Wikipedia see w:Wikipedia:Signatures) and note that:

  • using another nickname than your username is confusing (the page history shows your username, not your nickname)
  • if you show your username as an image, or with letters replaced by special characters, even if the name is still readable, searching a talk page for your username with the search feature of the browser will fail
  • excessive signatures may clutter talk pages and their wikitext
  • drawing excessive attention to yourself may create the impression that you find yourself more important than other people

A wiki can designate a CSS class like "excess-sig" for non-essential parts of the signatures and request users to specify this class in their signatures where applicable, and/or each user can use a user-specific class, such as "excesssigAbc" for user Abc. Thus the signature is e.g. <span class="excesssig excesssigAbc">[[Image:...]]</span>[[User:Abc|Abc]]. This allows a user to hide for themself non-essential parts of the signatures of all or specific users, and/or to highlight for oneself one's own signature.

Providing your own CSS[edit]

Cascading Style Sheets are used to configure MediaWiki's visual appearance. You can specify your own CSS definitions and overwrite the default settings. See Help:User style.

See also[edit]


Links to other help pages[edit]

Help contents
Meta · Wikinews · Wikipedia · Wikiquote · Wiktionary · Commons: · Wikidata · MediaWiki · Wikibooks · Wikisource · MediaWiki: Manual · Google
Versions of this help page (for other languages see further)
What links here on Meta or from Meta · Wikipedia · MediaWiki
Reading
Go · Search · Stop words · Namespace · Page name · Section · Backlinks · Redirect · Category · Image page · Special pages · Printable version
Tracking changes
Recent changes (enhanced) | Related changes · Watching pages · Diff · Page history · Edit summary · User contributions · Minor edit · Patrolled edit
Logging in and preferences
Logging in · Preferences · User style
Editing
Starting a new page · Advanced editing · Editing FAQ · Edit toolbar · Export · Import · Shortcuts · Edit conflict · Page size
Referencing
Links · URL · Piped links · Interwiki linking · Footnotes
Style and formatting
Wikitext examples · CSS · Reference card · HTML in wikitext · Formula · List · Table · Sorting · Colors · Images and file uploads
Fixing mistakes
Show preview · Testing · Reverting edits
Advanced functioning
Expansion · Template · Advanced templates · Parser function · Parameter default · Variable · System message · Substitution · Array · Calculation · Embed page
Others
Special characters · Renaming (moving) a page · Preparing a page for translation · Talk page · Signatures · Sandbox · Legal issues for editors
Languages: English  · العربية · български · čeština · dansk · Deutsch · français · italiano · 日本語 · Nederlands · русский · svenska · 中文