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Customisation allows users to tailor Dirtopia to suit their own preferred style. It mostly allows for changes in the way pages are displayed, but there are also many functional tweaks that some editors find useful when editing articles.

The preferences link, available on the menu of a logged-in user, allows you to change most of the options that you will require.

User name and signatures[edit]

Your username is displayed in the edit histories of all the articles you contribute to and is linked to your user and talk pages. You choose your name when you first register on Dirtopia and it is usual to stay with the same name throughout your time on the project.

Signatures are customized using the preferences under "User profile" where they are referred to as your "Nickname". You should always sign your posts on talk pages and many users choose to customize the way their signature appears.

You can use any wikitext as your nickname. If "Raw signatures (without automatic link)" is unchecked, the software enters "[[User:Name|" in front of, and "]]" after your nickname wikitext.

Adding a link to your talk page[edit]

Perhaps the most common signature choice is to add a link to your talk page. To do so, add "[[User:Name|Name]] | [[User talk:Name|Talk]]" as your signature. Be sure to check "Raw signature", as this is necessary for the software to recognize the markup. The result will look like this: Name | Talk.

The separator is optional, but some way of visually distinguishing your nickname from any additional links is advisable.

Note: If you post your signature to your own talk page, the word "Talk" in the above example will be black rather than an active link; that's to avoid a link on a page that points to its own page.

More complicated options[edit]

When you check the 'raw signatures' box, you specify that full wikitext is to be used between the two dashes and the timestamp. This gives more versatility, and in cases like above the code is less cryptic.

You can also include font tags, images, and templates. Note that changes in the images and templates are retroactive, which on one hand may be confusing, but on the other hand, to rectify annoying signatures, may be convenient. To avoid retroactivity, use a new image or template name. Do not create a signature template in the article or template namespace: instead use a subpage of your own userpage such as sig, and link it with "{{User:Name/sig}}". Using a template like this, however, is strongly discouraged, as it increases the transclusion overhead for talk pages.

Instead of transcluding a signature directly from your user space, you can use the subst: prefix, which defines template substitution. For example, you can replace "{{User:Name/sig}}" with "{{subst:User:Name/sig}}" and reduce server strain.