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sasCommunity:Wiki links

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A wiki link allows one article on the wiki to refer to another article on the wiki simply by enclosing the title of the article being referred to in two sets of square brackets ([[ ]]). Also, there is some flexibility about creating a wiki link that allows the linked wiki words to accommodate variations due to grammar or plural usage.

Creating a wiki links avoids needing to know, or create, a URL for the target article, especially when the target article does not yet exist. Also, the wiki keeps track of wiki links and can identify source and target pages in various ways, including providing feedback to readers about whether a target article exists, or not, in a source article.

Having wiki links to articles means they can be found more readily. The more wiki links that link to an article, the more likely the article is going to be read.

Why have wiki links?

Wiki links provide a quick and easy way to refer to important or related concepts within an article, without needing to explain those concepts in detail within the article concerned. This means an article can be more concise and clear communicating the information it needs to communicate without being cluttered or confused by information the reader may already know or is not essential to immediately understanding the article. However, the wiki links in an article provide the reader with the ability to immediately access the additional information that they may want to know if they are not familiar with the concepts being discussed in the article or seek a deeper understanding of the information being communicated.

Wiki links in articles

Many wiki articles contain wiki links to other articles. These links show up as blue and red links.

Wiki links in articles should be relevant to that article and the target article as well.

To find pages that have links to a particular article use the What Links Here link in the Tools menu in the navigation area.

Blue links

Blue wiki links appear as blue coloured words in an article's text.

If you encounter a blue coloured wiki link in an article then clicking on that link will take you to an article about the concept that is described by the words highlighted in blue.

In some cases, a blue coloured wiki link will take you to an image, file, special page or even an article on another wiki.

Most web browsers have a feature that allows you to see where a wiki link will lead to if you hover over the wiki link in question.

Red links

Red wiki links appear as red coloured words in an article's text.

If you encounter a red coloured wiki link in an article then clicking on that link will take you to an edit form that will allow you to create an article about the concept that is described by the words highlighted in red. If you do not want to create an article you can simply click the browser's back button, or else use the search box at the top of the page or one of the other links on the top or side of the page to navigate away from the edit form.

Most web browsers have a feature that allows you to see where a wiki link will lead to if you hover over the wiki link in question. In the case of a red link it may also say (page does not exist).

Forming wiki links

To form a wiki link you can simply enclose the title of the target article you wish to link to within two sets of square brackets ([[ ]]).

While the above technique will work in most cases, sometimes the article you wish to refer to has a slightly different spelling or wording than the words you want to use as the wiki link in the article you are writing. If your target article has a title that only makes up the first part of the word you want to use then you can still form the wiki link by enclosing the part of the word in the square brackets and then add the rest of the word you want to write after the closing square brackets. Thus you can form wiki links having simple plurals or past tense endings from a single word wiki link in the present tense.

For example: You can have wiki link like [[delete]]d which appears as deleted but links to the Delete article. Note that the wiki automatically converts the first letter of any wiki link to upper case, because all wiki articles start with a capital letter, but also extends the link to include trailing letters up to the next space. These features mean that you can still use wiki links when English grammar requires you to use lower case rather than upper case or add letters to the end of a word to form a plural or change a word's tense.

While the above techniques will work in most wiki link situations, sometimes the words you want to use in a wiki link are rather different to the title of the target article you want to link to. In these situations you can use the pipe or vertical bar (|) symbol to separate your target title from the words you want to use inside the square brackets of the wiki link. Thus a wiki link like [[Delete|undeleted]] appears as undeleted but still links to the Delete article.

There is still more ways to form wiki links but most of those are used only in specific situations or merely save typing. The above techniques are sufficient for most contributors.

Interwiki links

For more information see Interwiki_map article on the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki site.

It is possible to create wiki links to articles on other wiki websites by using one of the prefixes shown in the interwiki map . Unfortunately the map is not complete and does not include every wiki, so this feature might not be as useful as using external links.

For more information about forming interwiki links see the Help:Interwiki_linking article on the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki site.

External links

External links need the complete URL including the link protocol to be properly formed and linked from a wiki page. See Special:LinkSearch for the recognised URL protocols. While naked URLs are formed and linked without further formatting, enclosing a URL in a set of single square brackets ([ ]) will mask the URL and replace it with a number if only the URL is enclosed or alternative descriptive text if the URL is followed by a space and descriptive text before the closing square bracket.

Wiki link reports

A range of reports about wiki links can be found among the Special Pages.

An article that does not have any wiki links is a dead-end page. There is a maintenance report for dead-end pages that identifies those pages that do not have any wiki links. This report is helpful in identifying those articles that need wiki links added to them. It will usually be possible to add at least one wiki link to a dead-end page.

An article that has no wiki links referring to it is a orphan page. There is a maintenance report for orphaned pages that identifies those pages that have no wiki links referring to them. This report is helpful in identifying those articles that need more wiki links to refer to them from other articles. Depending on the article title and the content of the article it may be difficult to link to the article from other articles.