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Initial text adapted from w:en:Wikipedia:User preferences help. page history. --Maveric149 03:53, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Signature code is user-unfriendly[edit]

I don't think the change in signature code implementation was carefully thought out. It has become very user-unfriendly to edit. For example, it is impossible to make this signature:
-- Mkn (Talk)

Note specifically that the brackets are outside of the link. The closest rendition would result in a stray "]]" at the end.

Editing signature for more links[edit]

I wanted to have a sig where there is both a link to my user page and my talk page. I wondered how to do this, and I found no documentation on the english wikip.

Now, I think I found the trick. I filled in the Signature field with:

Sverdrup]] [[User talk:Sverdrup|(talk)

This seems to work for me. Maybe not a great hint, but I wondered. -- Sverdrup (talk) 23:55, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Looks like a hack (therefore this "feature" may disappear at any moment). But I think such an official feature would be a good feature request. --~~

Could stand to be updated with the date format fields. I don't really get that yet; could someone else catch this one? -- John Owens 08:22, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Color vision problems with stubs[edit]

I've been experimenting with the stub threshold parameter, and find that the stub color is not perceivable to me - I have some color vision problems. Is there any way to either change the stub color, or restore underlining? The stub color is indistinguishable from the standard text color to me. Thanks. Catbar 01:45, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Catbar -- I don't think there's currently any way to do that. It sounds like a very reasonable request; you might want to leave a note on the Wikimedia bugzilla. (I'll leave the same note on your user talk page) -- Creidieki 17:07, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Watch list preferences[edit]

Where is the preference for setting the time period of the watchlist? Mine defaults to 3 days and I don't seem to be able to change it. There are preferences for ignoring minor edits and an alternate format for displaying changes. JoelWest 23:06, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

There isn't one yet. Dori | Talk 03:32, 24 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Will I receive a mail upon edit if a page is on my watchlist, if I have provided an email? It isn't detailed. If not, then I'd like this feature.

Recommended for modern browsers[edit]

"Recommended for modern browsers. If you use a web browser that was released in the past year or so, use this option."

So what does this mean? What does it give me? Is this about MathML, or something else? MrJones 19:13, 8 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Same question. --Daniel 03:52, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Same question here, too. Anyone care to answer? Also, given that people have been asking this question for a year and a half, shouldn't this read something like "If you use a web browser that was released in the past three years or so?"--Steuard 18:58, 31 August 2005 (UTC)Reply
Same question. 00:19, 6 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

How to make a two-part signature?[edit]

I've seen more and more of these around recently...the user sigs that link in one part to the User page and one part to the User Talk page. I know how to edit how my name is displayed in my sig via preferences, but whatever I put in that field is piped into a link of the form [[User:Ed Cormany|mysigtext]]. Therefore, when I try to put a link in the sigtext, it starts breaking things. What am I doing wrong? —Ed Cormany 14:52, 19 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

It takes two links, like [[User:Ed Cormany|sigtext]] [[User talk:Ed Cormany|talkpagetext]]. I had to fool around with mine for some time in my sandbox before it came out the way I liked. - Hephaestos|§ 14:59, 19 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
User:Pcb21/Sig hacking
In the preferences i set my nickname to Chris 73]] | [[User talk:Chris 73|Talk, and got the following results: -- Chris 73 | Talk 15:37, 19 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Brilliant workaround, although this means of course that I can't put the link to my talk page first, as I had hoped. Oh well, thanks anyhow! — Ed Cormany 02:45, 20 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

Never mind, i actually came up with it on my own! This takes it even one step further: start your sig with any whitespace followed by ]]. Now you have effectively closed off the link to your user page, but it is invisible because it is only whitespace! Now you can put whatever you please after that in your signature...you can even include plaintext, if you reverse the trick and tack it on the end ([[whitespace). OK, now go nuts! — Ed Cormany 02:45, 20 May 2004 (UTC)Reply
The only problem with doing it that way is that it makes the wikitext a lot longer, so diffs and edit boxes are not as readable. It appears as [[User:Ed Cormany| ]][[User talk:Ed Cormany|—]] [[User:Ed Cormany|Ed Cormany]]. Angela
I'm aware of this. I'll keep tinkering. --Ed Cormany <--manual signature! ;-D
I had this signature for a while: Chris 73 | (New) Talk, but the code was just too long: [[User:Chris 73|Chris 73]] | ('''[http://www.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=User_talk:Chris_73&action=edit&section=new New]''') [[User talk:Chris 73|Talk]], so i switched it back to this -- Chris 73 | Talk 02:55, 21 May 2004 (UTC)Reply

How hard would it be to teach MediaWiki to support this? I'd much rather have the software do this than hack it manually. Okay, taking a look... damn, there's no Debian package ;-) --Jae 06:32, May 21, 2004 (UTC)

Naming of preferences sections[edit]

Textbox dimensions seems a bit of a misleading name, considering that it only has two preferences directly relating to the editing textbox. Editing preferences seems a more fitting name for this section. Perhaps some of the miscellaneous preferences to do with editing could also be moved here? -- 13:38, 1 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Underlining Links[edit]

Okay, so why is it that in my meta and fr accounts, I have to click "underline links" to get links not to be underlined, and in my en account, the links are underlined no matter whether I check the box or not? John Kenney 05:58, 5 Jun 2004 (UTC)


This page is a joke. It looks like it was written for a completely different preferences page to the one I came from. 07:18, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Per item the text was fairly up-to-date, except for the screen shots, but the rearrangement of the items had not yet been updated on the help page. I have done that now. I have replaced the screenshots with preformatted text.--Patrick 07:50, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It is out of date now;-) 23:00, 8 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

Interface Language[edit]

How do you change this on a per user basis?

Is it possible to have a button to change interface language, but still refer to the same article?

Missing explanation for "Show preview on first edit"[edit]

There is no explanation for "Show preview on first edit" under "Editing".

Thanks, I added that.--Patrick 00:04, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Reload instructions[edit]

Note: After saving, you have to bypass your browser's cache to see the changes. Mozilla/Safari/Konqueror: hold down Shift while clicking Reload (or press Ctrl-Shift-R), IE: press Ctrl-F5, Opera: press F5.

These instructions are wrong, at least for Mozilla where reload is just Ctrl-R (Ctrl+Shift+R is more likely to be a window manager hot key).

Creating a page in the Spanish Wikipedia[edit]

I also know Spanish and want to add an article in the Spanish Wikipedia. For some reason, I don't know how to do this. (Fact is, I don't know how in the English Wiki either.)

Remember password across sessions[edit]

Copied from w:Wikipedia:Village pump (technical):

Pioneer-12 asks:

Why would I NOT want it to remember my password across network sessions? Why does this check box even exist? Why doesn't it just remember the IP address like every other website?

The kind of session isn't a network session strictly speaking, it's an HTTP session, managed by PHP's session handling functions. This kind of session works by setting a cookie, just like the "remember password" feature. The difference is that the session cookie has the "discard" attribute set, which means that it is discarded when you close your browser. This is done to prevent others from using your account after you have left the computer.

The other difference is that PHP sessions store the user ID and other such information on the server side. Only a "session key" is sent to the user. The remember password feature stores all required authentication information in the cookie itself. On our servers, the session information is stored in the notoriously unreliable memcached system. Session information may occasionally be lost or go missing temporarily, causing users to be logged out. The simplest workaround for this is to use the remember password feature, as long as you are not worried about other people using the same computer.

Websites cannot and do not use IP addresses as a session key, since many users may share the same IP address, and one user may have many IP addresses. Some sites use IP addresses in addition to cookies, for extra security, but this requires the server to have an exhaustive list of load-balancing proxy groups, or at least a list of organisational subnets. -- Tim Starling 05:13, May 4, 2005 (UTC)

Revealing e-mail addresses[edit]

I also use the mediawiki software version 1.3.10 on my personal website. I then discovered that e-mailing someone actually reveals the users e-mail address to the recipient. This is contrary to the sentence on the user preference page. Is there something I have to do to prevent the users e-mail address to be included in the e-mail that users send to each other? - Poespas webmaster -- 07:55, 12 May 2005 (UTC)--~~Reply

Chick skin[edit]

There seems to be a new skin option called "Chick" in Special:Preferences. I haven't tried it since I don't know what it does and there's no documentation for it. Is this an official skin or vandalism (or something in between)? - dcljr 01:28, 22 July 2005 (UTC)Reply

Date format[edit]

Who's in charge of the date format programming? When the date is set to be all numerical, like "2005-09-10", years less than 1000 are displayed with leading zeros, like "0609-11-27". Isn't this a bug? -- 16:57, 12 September 2005 (UTC)Reply

Misc: Auto-number headings[edit]

Can i switch ths option off for singe pages? (Maybe something like __NOTOC?) --Habakuk 11:38, 7 October 2005 (UTC)Reply

Disable page caching[edit]

"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."

There are two caches, the cache used at the server and the cache in the web browser, which can be controlled by the server. Caches in between them cannot be controlled by the server.

Which cache(s) does this option disable? Brian Jason Drake 03:29, 6 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Jump to[edit]

What does the "Enable 'jump to' accessibility links" option do? - dcljr 08:11, 2 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

I added that.--Patrick 13:49, 2 January 2006 (UTC)Reply
I still don't understand what this does. I don't see those links even though I have the option checked. Does it only work with certain skins or non-graphical browsers? - dcljr 00:01, 21 January 2006 (UTC)Reply
I think the standard CSS specifies "display=none" for this, so you have to override that. You can check the HTML source of a page to see whether the links are there.--Patrick 11:20, 21 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

Well, then what the heck is the point? If the default is not to show them, why give "ordinary" users the option in the first place? Anyway, here's an example from the HTML code of a randomly chosen page (whitespace reformatted):

<h1 class="firstHeading">Hitcounter table</h1>
  <div id="bodyContent">
    <h3 id="siteSub">From Meta</h3>
    <div id="contentSub"></div>
      <div id="jump-to-nav">Jump to: <a href="#column-one">navigation</a>,
      <a href="#searchInput">search</a></div>  <!-- start content -->

- dcljr 10:37, 22 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

It's funny indeed. On en.wikipedia.org, when toogled off, the HTML cited above isn't created, when toggled on, it is - however it doesn't show as monobook/main.css?7 has set "#jump-to-nav" to "display: none". So what's the point indeed? --Tickle me 00:57, 11 April 2006 (UTC)Reply

Page Title Search[edit]

Apparently, full text search does not include the page title. If I have a page titled, "A Quick Brown Fox", and search for "Fox", zero results are returned if the word "Fox" does not appear in any page bodies. Is there a setting somewhere for that? (this comment left by anon user at

Do you have an example we can use to verify/test? - dcljr 00:03, 21 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

HTML entities suddenly invalid raw signatures[edit]

The "&mdash;" in my raw signature is suddenly (within the last hour) invalid HTML. I suppose I should be posting on wikitech-l or something. But I'd rather just complain here and go back to prepending "--" like everyone else. 09:46, 13 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

Cleanup request[edit]

I'd like to suggest a merge of the tiny bits of scattered (some outdated) information at Help:Preferences#Skin and Help:Preferences#Providing your own CSS and Help:User style and en:Wikipedia:Customisation to a single location. thanks :) -- 00:50, 8 March 2006 (UTC)Reply

Math rendering options[edit]

Also, Could an explanation be provided in the Help:Preferences#Rendering_math section for the phrase "Recommended for modern browsers."? What is this option actually doing? thanks. -- 03:39, 19 March 2006 (UTC)Reply


What are the defaults for every option in Preferences (besides the skin option)? I'm curious as I don't want to find out using a sockpuppet... --w:User:Geopgeop 12:24, 26 March 2006 (UTC)Reply
P.S. I don't feel like creating another user account just to talk here...

Where are the default settings stored? Can they be changed easily for new users?

Date preference not working[edit]

I've built a mediawiki 1.7.1 system. Eventhough I have my datetime preference set to 09:12 MMM DD, YYYY, the date is displayed as whatever I typed it as (for both dates in text and in references).Rlevse 11:55, 11 August 2006 (UTC)Reply

Help with Math Rendering Option[edit]

I've been reading about help relating to "Math" option in mediawiki. And the option, as described in the help section, seems to be available under "preference". But I can't see it in my version, which is 1.6.7. Am I missing something or is the option located somewhere else? If so, how do I enable this from somewhere else?

Here's an screen of my preference: http://vnengineer.com/temp/mywiki_no_math.gif

changing the default for "lines per hit"[edit]

Does any one know how the site administrator can change the default setting for "lines per hit" under Search preferences for all the users all at once? much appreciated.

Don't show page content below diffs[edit]

I see a new setting under Misc in my preferences:

[ ] Don't show page content below diffs.

However, Help:Preferences#Misc settings has no entry for this new setting. Can someone with more knowledge of it, document it? I don't know what version of MediaWiki this appeared in, or whether it is a site-specific customization. Thanks. --Teratornis 20:08, 9 February 2007 (UTC)Reply

Thanks, I added it. I suppose it is a change in MediaWiki in general, available in the next release. It was not yet in MediaWiki: 1.9.0rc2.--Patrick 01:17, 10 February 2007 (UTC)Reply


it's a pity you can't set the watch list so it doesn't show changes made by unregistered users, which is graffiti most of the time 23:46, 16 February 2007 (UTC)Reply

nested exponent rendering bug?[edit]

Which browsers exactly render abc as abc? I suspect this information should be removed as obsolete.

Yecril71pl 21:50, 1 July 2007 (UTC)Reply
Earlier IE had this problem, but it seems to work now.--Patrick 22:15, 1 July 2007 (UTC)Reply

Out of date[edit]

This document is out-of-date: some preferences have been changed, added, deleted or moved. Can someone familiar with preferences update? Thanks, Libcub 03:06, 26 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

Hidden categories[edit]

A change today added "Show hidden categories" to the Editing section of preferences, but I'm not seeing it in my preferences. Has the new preference truly been added yet? Libcub 06:30, 27 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

Okay, it is showing up in preferences now, but in teh Misc section, not the Editing section. Libcub 16:04, 3 March 2008 (UTC)Reply

Admin help: letter preferences[edit]

Hey, I'm the admin on the Anglo-Saxon wiki, and we're looking to edit the user interface so that the user can select to see ƿ/ȝ in place of w/ġ in his own user interface. This would be the easiest solution to our wiki's font preferences amongst the number of users we have. Would anyone be able to help me in this? Would this be changing the user font, or can we do a simple replace? --JJohnson1701 23:30, 3 January 2009 (UTC)Reply


I have no idea the correct place to ask this question or get the problem fixed. I'm hoping someone here at least knows and can redirect it properly.

When I set my preferences to use Esperanto as the interaction language, both "undo" and "rollback" are translated identically in history lists, as "malfari". The first problem is that it's an infinitive; it should be the imperative "malfaru". The second problem is that's useless to have the two distinct commands translated with the same word. How do we get this to the people responsible for the Esperanto skin on wiki* projects? Tb 18:24, 4 April 2009 (UTC)Reply

bypassing cache[edit]

Note: After saving, you have to bypass your browser's cache to see the changes. Mozilla/Safari/Konqueror: hold down Shift while clicking Reload (or press Ctrl-Shift-R), IE: press Ctrl-F5, Opera: press F5.

How do you do it in Chrome? Heshy613 22:43, 2 June 2009 (UTC)Reply

Can there be separate "Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary" checkboxes for articles vs. talk pages?[edit]

I always want to add an edit summary when I edit an article, and often forget, so the "prompt me" option is very useful. However, on talk pages I rarely want an edit summary (after all people can just read my signed comment), so the prompt is just annoying. Is there any way to separate the two? 06:59, 1 September 2009 (UTC)Reply

Mark all edits minor by default: Removed from Wikipedia?[edit]

Has the preference "Mark all edits minor by default" (under editing) been removed? If so, please update this help page, indicating the version number in which the feature was removed. Thanks! --Jcarroll 14:26, 7 December 2011 (UTC)Reply

Yes; done.--Patrick (talk) 15:21, 7 December 2011 (UTC)Reply


I have removed the incorrect statement that this is not meaningful for English users. Though English is less inflected than many languages, there are still the pronouns he/him/his she/her/her, and the {{gender}} template avoids the need to use clumsy constructions like "he/she", "xe" or singular "they". JohnCD (talk) 21:29, 24 July 2013 (UTC)Reply

Notification frequency[edit]

Is the notification frequency a functional preference option? I have mine set to "daily summary of notifications" yet I still receive over a dozen notifications each day. KADC "Be unreasonable." (talk) 12:26, 21 February 2014 (UTC)Reply

What is a "web" notification[edit]

On the page Help:Preferences#Notifications, the table of "Notify me about these events" has one column of settings labeled "Web" and the other "Email". I understand what email is, but I do not understand what "Web" means. What are "Web" notifications? --Mrpicasso2 (talk) 21:07, 31 January 2016 (UTC)Reply

@Mrpicasso2: please see en:Wikipedia:Notifications#Notification messages. Matiia (talk) 21:10, 31 January 2016 (UTC)Reply

Global prefs[edit]

This help page mentions global accounts but not global preferences, which have been available for a while now. - dcljr (talk) 02:46, 28 October 2019 (UTC)Reply

Use Translate Extension[edit]

Is it OK to use translate extension on this page? I mean at present in every language other than English this page looks quite different, and I am worry about if "migrate translation" function will work in such situation. Stang 14:18, 11 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

Standardize width of main body in Skins[edit]

A recent bug with Vector skin caused me to notice that the main body width differs with some of the skins, which means format will change between skins, especially in articles with full width pictures. Is there any way to standardize the main body within different skins? Raquel Baranow (talk) 17:30, 25 June 2022 (UTC)Reply

I'm just lost: how do I go back to how Wikipedia looked to me last year?[edit]

Any help much appreciated.

For the first few tune I opened the main page of Wikipedia, I was given the opportunity to revert to the appearance I've seen and used for the last 17 years (clunky though some of it was). But now it no longer appears, and fiddling with the five choices under "Appearance" (inscrutable to non-techies) hasn't proven successful.

What do I do? You can copy any answer that you could kindly offer to my Wikipedia User Page Talk: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Shakescene#Reverting_to_old_appearance.

Shakescene (talk) 19:27, 18 January 2023 (UTC)Reply