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Community Tech/Template wizard

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This page documents a project the Wikimedia Foundation's Community Tech team has worked on or declined in the past. Technical work on this project is complete.

We invite you to join the discussion on the talk page. You may track this project's progress on T186653.

Tracked in Phabricator:
Task T186653

This is the project page for Template wizard, the #5 wish in the 2017 Community Wishlist Survey. You can follow this page and get updates as the Community Tech team works on this wish.



The purpose of this wish is to make it easier to use templates in article pages, without copy-pasting from other articles, which could lead to mistakes spreading across multiple pages. The requested solution is to have a search function available from the edit window which would allow users to search for and insert templates.

Try it out


TemplateWizard is now on testwikis. To try it out -

  1. If in the past you have used the gadget that was created for this project, please disable it from your testwiki common.js/global.js file.
  2. Go to this page and open it in edit source mode with the standard editor (not the 2017 Wikitext editor)
  3. Click on the puzzle piece icon in the toolbar to activate TemplateWizard
  4. Search for a template to use it. It works best with templates that have TemplateData so you can use the Cite web or TemplateWizardTest templates which already have TemplateData. For templates without TemplateData, it will attempt to guess the parameters but it might not always be correct.

If you want to try it out in another language, you can change the URL to append a uselang=langcode parameter to it. Example.

The TemplateWizard icon (puzzle-piece) will show up on the 2010 Wikitext Editor (also known as WikiEditor), like this:

How it looks

  • Only required fields are added by default
  • Popups for field information
  • Auto-complete for page names on the wiki
  • Auto-complete for files from Commons
  • Custom field inputs for dates, long-form text fields, numbers etc.



April 15, 2019


TemplateWizard has now graduated out of beta, as a default feature available to everyone using WikiEditor. We will continue to collect metrics for a period of time to ensure the feature is being used as intended. Thank you to everyone for their contributions to this project. :)

February 25, 2019


TemplateWizard has been available as a beta feature on all wikis for four months now. We have been logging usage for the feature since launch and would like to share some figures. Here are some numbers for how many users have opted-in for the beta feature on some major projects (as of writing this update):

  • English Wikipedia: 12,777 users
  • German Wikipedia: 1682 users
  • Spanish Wikipedia: 1328 users

While these adoption numbers are high, the actual usage numbers from our logs is not as high (as of writing this update):

  • Number of times the TemplateWizard dialog has been launched: 1902
  • Number of times a template has been inserted using the wizard: 1159 (60% of all launches)

Our theory behind the low numbers here is that the majority of people who are opted in to the beta feature have turned on the Auto-enable new beta features option and are not really looking at the new beta features. TemplateWizard is also not very easily discoverable, as the puzzle icon is easily lost among the other icons in the toolbar. Lastly, the usage for the wikitext editor has dwindled on a lot of wikis, compared to the VisualEditor.

Looking at all the numbers, we don't see any reason that this tool should not be moved out of beta features. We have not received much feedback on the feature itself and it's possible that keeping it in beta is keeping out users who actually need it, as they aren't experienced with templates. We haven't seen any abuse of the feature in our testing. With all this in mind, we feel optimistic about getting this feature out of beta soon.

October 22, 2018


TemplateWizard is now available as a beta feature on all projects. You can enable it by going to the Beta features tab in Special:Preferences.

September 5, 2018


TemplateWizard is now available for testing on testwikis. You can try it out here. Please disable TemplateWizard gadget which was launched as a prototype in the beginning of this project if it is enabled in your global.js before trying out the extension. The wizard can be activated like before by clicking on the puzzle piece icon in the standard editor. It works best with templates which have TemplateData. The TemplateWizardTest can be used for testing purposes as it has several fields with TemplateData. You can edit that template or other templates to play around with it more. Looking forward to getting feedback.

August 29, 2018


The extension has been approved by the security team and I have deployed to the beta cluster wikis to make sure nothing is broken. I will be putting the extension out on testwiki next Tuesday. If you want to take a look at it before then, you may create an account on beta wiki and check it out. You can check it with the "Cite web", "Cite book" templates easily because those templates have TemplateData. I will make another status update when the extension is ready for your feedback on testwiki.

August 3, 2018


The work on the basic wizard has been completed and we are waiting for a security review by our security team (task T198666) before we can put this out on beta wikis. The plan is to launch this on beta wikis and testwiki as soon as we get the security clearance and get feedback from everyone.

June 11, 2018


The work on this project is a bit stalled for the moment, owing to other projects taking higher priority. We aim to resume work on the project later this month and to hopefully ship it by end of next month. In the meantime, your thoughts are more than welcome on the talk page or any of the related phabricator tickets.

April 23, 2018


With the help of design team at WMF, we're planning to overhaul the UI in order to address the things we heard during user feedback. You can follow along on the progress on that on task T190348. Below are a few design mockups for you to look at. All of the fields for a template now appear in the left panel by default. Users can click the `+` icon to add the fields they want to the right panel. All the fields in the right panel get inserted to the page when a user hits Insert. The required fields are automatically added to the right panel when the template is selected.
Note that further updates will happen to the extension (which will be deployed once the work is complete) and we won't be working on keeping the prototype gadget updated anymore. We're keen to hear your thoughts. Please leave feedback on the talk page.

  • TemplateWizard redesign mockup
  • TemplateWizard redesign mockup
  • TemplateWizard redesign mockup

March 12, 2018


We have a prototype! It's a user script currently and you can enable it by adding the following to your Special:MyPage/common.js - mw.loader.load( 'https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User:Samwilson/TemplateWizard.js&action=raw&ctype=text/javascript' );

We'd be thrilled to get feedback, if you have any. We're in the process of converting the gadget into an extension so we can localize it easily and deploy everywhere at the same time. We're also working on UI improvements.

  • Template autocomplete
  • TemplateWizard extension - template suggest
  • Info popup for every param
  • Date picker for date fields
  • Image picker for image file fields

February 21, 2018


After our investigation task, we have decided to build a proof-of-concept widget for the classic wikitext editor which will pull template parameters from TemplateData. It'll be bare bones and no frills, but should validate if we're on the correct path. We hope to have this built by the end of March. Here's a wireframe:

We also have a meeting with the mw:Editing team next week to discuss if there is anything we can abstract from the VisualEditor for this project.

Jan 2, 2018


First discussion with the team.

This feature already exists in Visual Editor and the new wikitext editor -- it's the "Insert Template" function. This opens a modal that includes a search box, with an autocompleting list of templates. Typing "infobox" in the search box brings up the infoboxes, but this can also be used for other templates. See the screenshots below.

Because this feature already exists, we're assuming that what people are asking for in this wish is to bring this functionality to the current wikitext editor. We need to verify this with the community.

For this to work outside of English Wikipedia, we need to assess how many wikis actively use the TemplateData extension? This allows people to use the template documentation page to store information about the template parameters, which are then used in the insert template feature to create the appropriate fields. It's suggested that Thiemo from Wikidata may help us to assess how widely used TemplateData is.

Investigation ticket: T184145

December 13, 2017


The team will start investigating this project early in 2018. If you've got suggestions or questions, please write your thoughts on the talk page!