Open main menu

Wikipedia Help Menu

Navigating Wikipedia
Searching and browsing the encyclopedia

Policies and guidelines
Community standards

Joining Wikipedia
How to get involved

Asking questions
Volunteers will attempt to answer

Editing Wikipedia
General help for editors

The Wikipedia community
Submit or debate a proposal

Links and references
Help for creating links or dealing with references

Resources and lists
Resources for editors

Images and media
Using images, videos and sound files

Account settings
Tips and tools for registered users

Keeping track of changes
Track the evolution of a page or follow a user

Technical information
Tools for advanced users and troubleshooting information

Site map (all of these on a single page)  •  Help Directory  •  Main Help

Tip of the day

Why have lists when there are categories?

Lists on Wikipedia have three main purposes:

Information:

Lists are a valuable presentation format, especially the structured list. Examples include lists organized chronologically, grouped by theme, glossarized, or annotated.

Navigation:

If a user is browsing without a specific research goal in mind, they would likely use the See also lists embedded in articles. If the user has some general idea of what they are looking for but does not know the specific terminology, the general topics lists (outlines and indices) would be most useful.

Development:

Outlines and indices give an indication of the state of the 'pedia, the articles that have been written, and the articles that have yet to be written (shown by red links).

Like categories, lists are great for keeping track of changes to subject areas, using the Related Changes feature. Unlike categories, lists are centralized, providing direct control over the contents. Lists also allow detection of deletion of pages from them (the list item will "red link"). Another advantage of a list is that changes can be tracked in the page's history, while changes to categories cannot.