Please do not edit this page. Comments should go on my talk page. Thanks.

Characters interpreted as markupEdit

The characters below have special meanings as wiki (or HTML) markup anywhere they occur in the course of regular text. To make the symbols themselves appear in the text of a page, you can use the corresponding character entities (e.g., "&amp;") or numeric codes ("&#38;"). For most, you can also use the special markup "<nowiki>", which is preferred in Wikipedia articles since future editors can then see the target character in the page source. (The use of character entities and numeric codes should probably be restricted to Talk pages and User pages, where your text will generally not be edited by others.)

Character Name Meaning as markup Markup only when Non-markup options
& ampersand begin character entity or numeric code subsequent text defines valid character reference &#38; or &amp;
' apostrophe begin italics, bold, or bold-italics at least 2 in a row &#39; or <nowiki>'</nowiki> ¹
< less-than sign begin HTML or HTML-like tag subsequent text defines legal HTML/wiki tag &#60; or &lt;
[ left square bracket begin link subsequent text defines legal link &#91; or <nowiki>[</nowiki>
{ left curly brace begin template reference or variable interpolation ² at least 2 in a row &#123; or <nowiki>{</nowiki>
~ tilde begin signature at least 3 in a row &#126; or <nowiki>~</nowiki>

¹ Use of the entity "&apos;" is not recommended.

² For another use of the left curly brace character, see the next section.

Thanks to Patrick for pointing out a mistake in my original table.

Markup at the beginning of a lineEdit

The following characters have special meanings as wiki markup only when positioned as the first character on a line. Again, to get the character itself to appear, use the numeric reference, character entity or "<nowiki>".

Character Name Meaning as markup Non-markup options
  space pre-formatted line &#20; or <nowiki> </nowiki> ¹
# number sign numbered list item &#35; or <nowiki>#</nowiki>
* asterisk bulleted list item &#42; or <nowiki>*</nowiki>
- hyphen begin horizontal rule (4 in a row) &#45; or <nowiki>-</nowiki>
: colon indented line ² &#58; or <nowiki>:</nowiki>
; semicolon definition list item &#59; or <nowiki>;</nowiki>
= equals sign begin section heading &#61; or <nowiki>=</nowiki>
{ left curly brace begin table (if followed by | ) ³ &#123; or <nowiki>{</nowiki>

¹ The use of a space as the first character on a line is discouraged, but if you must have it you should probably use "&#160;" or "&nbsp;" to get a non-breaking space (more browsers understand the numeric form).

² Within definition lists, a colon has a different meaning as markup; see definition lists below.

³ For other uses of left curly braces, see the previous section.

Note also that in table markup, other characters (and sequences of characters) have special meanings. See tables.