This page, Help:Reftags, explains the use of the reftag element,<ref>...</ref> for defining reference footnotes, as displayed by using a <references /> tag or a {{Reflist}} template to list the footnotes. A reftag can also be defined by using wikitext function {{#tag:ref|...}} to generate the text <ref>...</ref> and allow direct use of subst'ing of templates to embed equivalent markup inside a footnote, or to nest a <ref>...</ref> inside a {{#tag:ref|...}}.

Defining a reftag element edit

The general format is <ref>text</ref> for a simple reftag footnote. However reftags can have a name="xx" to define a footnote to be reused on a page by named ref, <ref name="xx" />, as when citing the same webpage at several spots in the article text. There can be more than 3,000 reftag footnotes defined on a page, but usually there are less than a hundred.[fn 1]

Citing different pages in a single source edit

When citing different pages in a single source, a named ref[1] can be followed by a {{R}} template. Given a ref like "<ref name="author1990">book</ref>", the ref "author1990" can be reused, now using a different page number, say 53. This subsequent ref {{R|author1990|p=53}} will show the same superscript number, with a suffix of a colon and, in this case 53, the page number.[1]: 53  This format allows the reader to click to the reference section, and then click on other references from the same source.

Named groupings edit

Rather than define hundreds of footnotes in a single list, various reftags could split to some named groupings, such as using "<ref group="gg">...</ref>"" to collect those footnotes into group name "gg" as displayed by <references group="gg" />.[fn 2] For example, a common tactic is to define footnote group "fn" which shows each link as "[fn 9]" for the 9th footnote in the group="fn". A group name can be multiple words in straight double quotation marks (group="set xx yy"), but a single-word name with no punctuation or other special characters, just ASCII letters and numerals, can omit the quotation marks (as: group=fn). Hence, many group names are typically one-word labels, to avoid excessive quotation marks.[fn 3]

Defining a reftag function edit

Rather than using an element <ref>text</ref>, an alternate method is to use the wikitext function tag:ref, as {{#tag:ref|...text...}} to define the contents of a footnote.


  • Using {{#tag:ref|Example of tag:ref function}} will show a superscript number: [2] and list footnote "Example of tag:ref function" under the References.
  • Using named {{#tag:ref|Named reftag function xx1|name="xx1"}} will show a superscript number: [3] and list footnote "Named reftag function xx1" under the References below. The footnote name "xx1" then can be reused by putting <ref name="xx1" /> at various points in the text.[3]

Footnotes (fn) edit

  1. ^ A reftag formats extremely fast, but users can become overwhelmed with more than 500 footnotes on a page.
  2. ^ This is a sample footnote in group="fn".
  3. ^ This footnote uses double-quotes in name group="fn".

References edit

  1. ^ a b book details here
  2. ^ Example of tag:ref function
  3. ^ a b Named reftag function xx1

See also edit