Help:Preferences

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The preferences dialog allows you to personalize some aspects of a MediaWiki wiki. They will apply only when you are logged in.

User data[edit]

User data
Your email*: ...
o Register email
Your nickname (for signatures): ...
o Raw signatures (without automatic link)
Interface language: English
Change password
Old password: ...
New password: ...
Retype new password: ...
o Remember password across sessions 
* Real name (optional): if you choose to provide it this will be used
for giving you attribution for your work.
* Email (optional): Enables people to contact you through the website
without you having to reveal your email address to them, and it can be
used to send you a new password if you forget it.
  • Your e-mail: You may optionally register your e-mail address (it will not be shown publicly on the site). This will enable you to reset your password by clicking the "Mail me a new password" box on the log in screen, if you forget it. Additionally, it will enable other registered users to send e-mail to you from the "E-mail this user" link on your user page unless you've checked the disable box (see below).
  • Disable e-mail from other users: If you check this, users will not be able to send you e-mail by way of the "E-mail this user" feature.

Your nickname[edit]

Although your username is not necessarily your real name and could therefore be called a nickname, the term "nickname" is used here for a name you may optionally specify, different from your username, for when you enter your signature with ~~~ or ~~~~.

(If you use the edit toolbar for signing, remember that it gives two dashes before the four tildes.)

Raw signatures[edit]

However, there is even more versatility. You can use any text as your nickname.

If "Raw signatures (without automatic link)" is unchecked, then

  • The software enters "[[User:Name|" in front of, and "]]" after your nickname text.
  • Any characters in your nickname that would otherwise constitute Wiki markup and HTML markup are escaped as HTML character entities. A nickname of "]] | [[User talk:Name|Talk" will thus produce a signature of "]] | [[User talk:Name|Talk", which is probably not what you want.

If "Raw signatures" 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 are not escaped, allowing you to include links, font tags, images, and templates in your signature.

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.

Using images and templates in signatures[edit]

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}}".

Password[edit]

To change your password, enter your old password, the new password, and the new password a second time. (If you're merely changing the other preferences, you do not need to enter your password.)

  • Remember password across sessions. Enabling this feature will place an HTTP cookie in your browser's cache, which will allow MediaWiki to recognize you each time you visit the page. You will not have to log in each time you visit.

If you want to use remember my password you have to change your password if it was generated by Mediawiki and emailed to you. This is a security feature but very often causes trouble for new users.

Files[edit]

Limit images on image description pages to:  320x240
                                             640x480
                                             800x600
                                            1024x768
                                           1280x1024
                                         10000x10000

(Prior to version 1.5, this is under "Recent changes and stub display".)

One can specify a limit on the size of images on image description pages.

The large limit 10000x10000 means that one gets the full image.

With a slow connection it is not practical to have to load a large image just to read image info. Also, it may be practical if a large image at first is made to fit on the screen, in the case that the browser does not do that itself. If the image has been reduced there is a link to the full image.

From MediaWiki 1.5 the default thumbnail width can be set in the preferences; this can be overridden by an image width specified in the image tag; the latter is typically not advisable, in order to respect the users' preferences.

Date format[edit]

The following is rendered depending on preferences:

 [[2001-01-15]] (or [[2001]]-[[01-15]])
 [[2001]] [[January 15]]
 [[January 15]], [[2001]]
 [[15 January]] [[2001]]
 [[January 15]]
 [[15 January]]

With your current preference setting on this project the seven are rendered as follows:

  1. 2001-01-15 (2001-01-15)
  2. 2001 January 15
  3. January 15, 2001
  4. 15 January 2001
  5. January 15
  6. 15 January

By default the rendering is as usual for links, except that in the first case the syntax for a single link gives two links. However, one can specify as preference that all full date formats are rendered the same, in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th way. (Note that format [[YYYY-MM-DD]] is the shortest of these five.) If the 1st or 2nd way is selected, the 5th and 6th line are not affected. If the 3rd or 4th way is selected, the 5th and 6th line are rendered accordingly, without the year.

For years in the range 1-1000, in the two cases on the first line the year has to be padded with zeros:

 [[0011-01-15]] ([[0011]]-[[01-15]])
 [[11]] [[January 15]]
 [[January 15]], [[11]]
 [[15 January]] [[11]]

gives:

  1. 0011-01-15 (0011-01-15)
  2. 11 January 15
  3. January 15, 11
  4. 15 January 11

For years B.C.:

 [[-0011-01-15]] ([[-0011]]-[[01-15]])
 [[12 BC]] [[January 15]]
 [[January 15]], [[12 BC]]
 [[15 January]] [[12 BC]]

gives:

  1. -0011-01-15 (-0011-01-15)
  2. 12 BC January 15
  3. January 15, 12 BC
  4. 15 January 12 BC

The setting also affects what wikitext the signature of the user produces. Since dates in signatures are not linked, this determines how the date is rendered for everybody, and this can not be changed retroactively, except by editing the pages with the signature.

Note that using this date formatting feature in section headers complicates section linking: a link to a section with a variable date format has to be set in a fixed date format, which works only for users for whom the formats match. Thus, if you want to be able to use links like w:November_2004#November_1.2C_2004, in the calendar at the upper right of the month pages on Dirtopia, or links elsewhere to the section about a particular day (if they also use the default format), you cannot use the date formatting feature.

For chronological table sorting the format [[YYYY-MM-DD]] is required. Another special property of this format is that it also gives seconds, in Recent Changes, User Contributions, etc.: "HH:mm:SS", or with the date: "YYYY-MM-DDTHH:mm:SS".

See also m:Dynamic dates and w:en:Dirtopia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Dates.

Screenshots[edit]

Time zone[edit]

Time zone
Server time is now: 06:34
Local time display: 08:34
Offset*: 
* Enter number of hours your local time differs from server time (UTC).
  • Time diff. This is the number of hours to be added or subtracted from UTC to find your time zone. This time zone is used when calculating displayed page update timestamps, and 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 celebrate DST. (Also, the server's clock may be slightly offset from reality, much as Dirtopia articles may be.)

Keep this in mind when copying an excerpt from Recent Changes, a revision history listing, etc. 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.

Editing[edit]

Editing
Rows:           Columns:  
o Enable section editing via [edit] links
o Enable section editing by right-clicking on section titles (JavaScript)
o Edit pages on double click (JavaScript)
o Edit box has full width
o Show edit toolbar
o Show preview on first edit
o Show preview before edit box
o Add pages I create to my watchlist
o Add pages you edit to your watchlist
o Mark all edits minor by default
o Use external editor by default
o Use external diff by default
o Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary
  • Rows, Columns. Here you can set up your preferred dimensions for the textbox used for editing page text.
  • Enable section editing via [edit] links. An edit link will appear to the right of each sub-heading to allow editing of that subsection only.
  • Enable section editing by right-clicking on section titles (JavaScript). 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.
  • Edit pages on double click (JavaScript). 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.
  • Edit box has full width. If this box is checked, the edit box (when you click "Edit this page") will be the width of the browser window, minus the quickbar width.
  • Show edit toolbar. In compatible browsers, a toolbar with editing buttons can be displayed.
  • Show preview on first edit - when pressing the edit button or otherwise following a link to an edit page, show not only the edit box but also the rendered page, just like after pressing "Show preview". This is especially useful when viewing a template, because even just viewing, not editing, typically requires both.
  • Show preview before edit box. If you select this option, the preview will be displayed above the edit box when you click the "Show preview" button while editing a page.
  • Add pages I create to my watchlist. If this option is selected, any page you create will automatically be added to your watchlist.
  • Add pages you edit to your watchlist. If this option is selected, any pages that you modify will be automatically added to your watchlist.
  • Mark all edits minor by default. This option automatically selects the "This is a minor edit" checkbox when you edit pages.
  • Use external editor by default. (New to 1.5) Changes editing from online version to external program. See Help:External editors.
  • Use external diff by default. (New to 1.5) Changes diffing from online version to external program. See Help:External editors.
  • Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary. If selected, the editor will display a warning message when no edit summary is added to the edit summary box, after the "Save page" button is pressed.

Recent changes and stub display[edit]

Number of titles in recent changes: 
o Hide minor edits in recent changes
o Enhanced recent changes (not for all browsers)
Threshold for stub display: 
  • Number of titles on recent changes: You may select the number of changes which will be shown by default on the Recent Changes and Watchlist page. Once on those pages, links are provided for other options.
  • Hide minor edits in recent changes. Registered users may choose to mark edits as being minor (meaning fixes too trivial for trusting users to check up on). It applies to Recent Changes and Enhanced Recent Changes, but not to the Watchlist. It also affects Related changes, but currently in an odd way: if the last edit of a page linking to the current page was minor, then neither that nor the last major change is shown.
  • Enhanced recent changes (not for all browsers). Group recent changes per day by article, 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, but not to the watchlist.
  • Threshold for stub display: see Stub feature.

Search result settings[edit]

Hits to show per page: 
Lines to show per hit: 
Characters of context per line: 
Search in these namespaces by default:(Main) Talk User User talk Meta
Meta talk Image Image talk MediaWiki MediaWiki talk Template Template
talk Help Help talk Category Category talk Hilfe Hilfe Diskussion Aide
Discussion Aide Hjælp Hjælp diskussion Helpo Helpa diskuto Hjälp Hjälp
diskussion Ayuda Ayuda Discusión Aiuto Discussioni aiuto ??? ???-???
NL Help Overleg help Pomoc Dyskusja pomocy Ajuda Aju
  • Hits to show per page: You may choose the number of results returned on each page of search results.
  • Lines to show per hit is somewhat cryptic; specifying a number n means: "do not show any context if the search term occurs beyond line n in the page"; here a paragraph, as well as the blank line between two paragraphs, each count as one "line"; line breaks in the source, even when not affecting the lay-out of the page (and even when not directly visible in the edit box of the article), affect the line count. Setting the parameter to 5000 or more gives context for every occurrence.
  • Characters of context per line: the number of characters of context per occurrence; however, the context is anyway restricted to the "line" (see above) it occurs in. To get the whole line, put a large number like 5000.
  • Search in these namespaces by default: shows a list of all namespaces (not the same in all projects; for older MediaWiki versions, which do not have Special:Version, this is also a useful indicator what version is used; for even older versions that do not have this item in the preferences, see the list after performing a search), allowing one to select which ones are searched by default; see also Namespaces searched.

Misc settings[edit]

Show hoverbox over wiki links
Underline links
Format broken links like this (alternative: like this?).
Justify paragraphs
Auto-number headings
Edit pages on double click (JavaScript)
Enable section editing via [edit] links
Enable section editing by right clicking
on section titles (JavaScript)
Show table of contents
(for pages with more than 3 headings)
Disable page caching
Enable "jump to" accessibility links
  • Show hoverbox over wiki links. This option determines whether a link title is put in the HTML code. The result depends on the browser: putting the mouse pointer over a link often displays this title in a hover box. However, some browsers show the URL anyway, so a link title may be superfluous. If enabled, the link title is the page name in the case of an internal link, the page name with prefix in the case of an interwiki link, and the URL in the case of an external link.
  • Underline links. Normally, link text will be underlined. Optionally, you may request that links not be underlined, although your browser may not respect this setting. Normally links that are not underlined can still be recognized by color. However, one can then not distinguish between two consecutive words being a single link or two links, without pointing at the words with the cursor. For an old discussion of changing the default here, see m:Link style vote. For further choices of style of links in general and/or types of links one can use CSS (site-wide for all skins, site-wide per skin, user-specific per skin, or web-wide, user-specific)
  • Format broken links like this. An internal link to a non-existing pages is automatically a link to the edit page. By default the link label of [[b]] and [[a|b]] is "b", just like for links to existing pages. Alternatively the link label is a question mark inserted after "b", like this: A red link?. The appearance of the link is further determined by the style specified for css selectors "a.new" and "a.new:hover" (the example on the preferences page wrongly uses class="internal" for the question mark). Internal links to pages which do not yet exist currently appear on your browser like this one. Normally, this is underlined and in red. With the trailing question mark link one can then not distinguish between a single word being linked or a phrase of more than one word, without pointing at the question mark with the cursor. Also, remember that the question mark does not mean that the information is uncertain.
  • 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.
  • Edit pages on double click. If this box is checked, you can double-click on a page to edit it. This option requires JavaScript to be enabled in your browser.
  • Enable section editing via [edit] links. Shows or hides the [Edit] links on section titles.
  • Enable section editing by right-clicking on section titles (JavaScript). Note that in the case of a header with a link (which may occur, although it is not recommended in some projects) this disables opening the link in a new window through right-clicking (an alternative way such as shift-clicking may work). Also other right-clicking functions, such as "Properties", are disabled.
  • Show table of contents (for articles with more than 3 headings)
  • 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.
  • Enable "jump to" accessibility links - Provides or hides the two links "Jump to: navigation, search" at the top of each page, to the navigation bar and the search box.

Browser preferences[edit]

Browsers usually also allow you to specify preferences, e.g. font size and font type. The standard skin is compatible with your browser setting of font size and font type. The Cologne Blue skin has most text in a fixed font size, ignoring your browser setting. Some browsers, e.g. IE, allow you to specify that font size specified in the web page is ignored. In that case the font size in Cologne Blue is as specified in the browser, but with the line height not adjusted accordingly. Therefore a large font gives a messy result.