Wikipedia talk:Help Project

Active discussions
 Main page Discussion Scope Guidelines Templates Participants Newsletter 
Wikipedia Help Project (Rated NA-class)
This page is within the scope of the Wikipedia Help Project, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's help documentation for readers and contributors. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. To browse help related resources see the Help Menu or Help Directory. Or ask for help on your talk page and a volunteer will visit you there.
 NA  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
Please proofread the daily tip...

It's displayed below one day early.

Some tips are obsolete. So we need new tips too. Please share your best tips and tip ideas at the Tip of the day department.

edit Tomorrow's tip of the day...

Do not believe everything you read

As anyone can edit almost any article, it is of course possible for biased, out of date, or incorrect information to be posted to Wikipedia. Especially on April Fools' Day. However, because there are so many other people reading the articles and monitoring contributions using the Recent Changes page, incorrect information is usually corrected quickly. Thus, the overall accuracy of the encyclopedia is improving all the time as it attracts more and more contributors. You are encouraged to help by correcting articles, validating content, and providing useful references.

To add this auto-updating template to your user page, use {{totd-tomorrow}}

A renewed effort on the Help:Intro seriesEdit

Hello all,

I've done an overhaul of the Intro to MoS pages. I'm hoping to further update and improve the Help:Intro series and merge in some of the disparate help pages into the relevant Help:Intro pages (e.g. this and this). They already cover more up-to-date versions of all the info in WP:Tutorial. I'm hoping to eventually supercede the older tutorial, since I think it's off-putting and unhelpful to newcomers. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 22:24, 27 January 2018 (UTC)

Failure of coordination: Screenshot updates and Publish changes buttonEdit

Because nobody seemed willing or able to coordinate the updating of all the Help Pages across en.Wikipedia following WMF's name change of the "Save changes" button to "Publish changes" last year, I've taken this task upon myself. It's taken days of rooting around and cajoling, but I think the job is now completed with my replacement yesterday of old, out-of-date screenshots for all but the most obscure processes or protected templates. Maintenance list here

Will somebody now take responsibility for checking my work, please?

I would add that we have had months of new user confusion at the Help Desks because of this issue, and that really ought not to have occurred. There is now the additional matter of ensuring a clear distinction in the minds of new editors between "Publish changes" and "publish" to mainspace. I've added a note to the front of the VE guide to that effect. Where else should it go? Could it be improved? I have also copied this post to Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback Regards from the UK, Nick Moyes (talk) 11:40, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Proposal to overhaul WP:I and WP:TEdit

I've put up a proposal at the Village Pump to replace the old WP:I and WP:T with the superior Help:Intro. Any opinions welcomed there. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 02:41, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

There are some very interesting help related comments and suggestions in that discussion Lee∴V 21:36, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

Slight issueEdit

So, I prefer to use a black background with green text, as it's easier on my eyes. However, in the last couple of days it's messed up. The the Wikipedia background, not the article background has been black. The article background has been white, with green text. Just thought it should be reported to someone. (talk page stalker) CrashUnderride 14:10, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

@Crash Underride: Someone's asked the same question at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Bizarre display with green text/black screen gadget, so I suggest you watch for replies there. -- John of Reading (talk) 15:17, 10 April 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Crash Underride: This is not a place to ask for help, it is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Help Project. You will probably get advice at WP:VPT; and it would be best if you mention that you are using the blackskin gadget. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:19, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Removal of maintenance templates after an RFC concludesEdit

I invite input at Help talk:Maintenance template removal, for clarifying the text about whether disputed maintenance templates should be removed after an RFC on the issue has concluded. Alsee (talk) 00:06, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Growth team is looking for your feedback and ideasEdit


Have you heard about Growth team

The Growth Team's objective is to work on software changes that help retain new contributors in mid-size Wikimedia projects. We will be starting with Wikipedias, but we hope these changes will benefit every community.

We are contacting your project today, because you may be interested by what we work on.

8 ideas we consider: tell us what you think about them!

We are considering new features to build, that could retain new editors in mid-size Wikipedias. We will be testing new ideas in Czech and Korean Wikipedias, and then we'll talk to more communities (yours!) about adopting the ideas that work well.

We have posted the 8 ideas we are considering. We would really appreciate your thoughts and the thoughts from your community. Please share the ideas, and tell us what do you and your community think of those ideas before September 9.

Share your experiences with newcomers

We want to hear about what is working and what is not working for new contributors in your wiki. We also want to hear any reactions, questions, or opinions on our work. Please post on the team’s talk page, in any language!

Learn more about us

You can visit our team page to find out why our team was formed and how we are thinking about new editors, and our project page for detailed updates on the first project we'll work on.

Get updates on your project page

The Growth team's newsletter will provide updates regularly. You can subscribe to it.

On behalf of the Growth team, Trizek (WMF) (talk) 13:35, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Feedback for User:Citation bot/useEdit

I just gave this page a major revamp. It could look a fresh pair of eyes, especially from users that never used User:Citation bot before. Please give feedback at User talk:Citation bot/use. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:03, 26 August 2018 (UTC)

Feedback on the articleEdit

I just checked the wikilink Wikipedia:Annotated article and looked for advice on the sectioning of referencing /notes/bibliography. The article is a car crash, and technically wrong. It takes a 2007 article on a US railway topic and gives advice. Clicking links takes us to the 2018 version of that article, and that has multiple-issue warnings. Glancing at the list of useful advice; it takes us to a raft outdated (say pre- 2015) articles. If anyone is working in this area can I ask you to look at each one. --ClemRutter (talk) 13:13, 13 November 2018 (UTC)

proposal to remove IRC chat information from Wikipedia:QuestionsEdit

I have made a proposal to remove IRC chat information from Wikipedia:Questions. You can discuss it at Wikipedia talk:Questions#Proposal to remove IRC chat from this page and I will be removing the information shortly if no other people show up to discuss it. Thanks Seahawk01 (talk) 03:47, 13 December 2018 (UTC)

Edits to Help:ConvertEdit

Consulting Help:Convert#Quick start, I found much of it confusing or possibly inadequate. I've made a number of edits there. Please check them over and correct any goofs I may have made, and {{ping}} me when you do so. Thanks! --Thnidu (talk) 18:47, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

"Magic" DISPLAYTITLE template, please update informationEdit

Template:DISPLAYTITLE: Instructions for this template, and documentation templates including it i.e. Template:Correct title examples, still refer to a totally non-explanatory help page on meta. I would have rewritten it, but I am not totally sure what it does! I suspect it searches a page for a string of characters and substitutes each instance with another defined string, i.e. non-standard cApiTalS, but it doesn't quite say that. ~^\\\.rTG'{~ 11:31, 31 March 2019 (UTC)

@RTG: Is WP:DISPLAYTITLE easier to understand? I have added a link to the documentation of Template:DISPLAYTITLE.[1] PrimeHunter (talk) 11:47, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
@PrimeHunter: It seems to say the template affects the title above the lead section. If that is the case, I am suggesting that starting with the nutshell on DISPLAYTITLE and clicking the link fullpagename, along with those unfamiliar multicolour pastel highlights, and links to non-descriptive meta sections which link to unrevealing phabricator entries, is probably... Um, I'm going to edit them all so they say this template is used to display a different title than is in the address bar, and/or when you need to display a different title than is in the address bar, use this template unless I am again mistaken. Thanks PrimeHunter. ~^\\\.rTG'{~ 13:04, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
{{DISPLAYTITLE}} is not a template, it is a behaviour switch. As such, it shouldn't be documented as if it were a template, that is misleading and leads to confusion. Its entry here already has a link to WP:DISPLAYTITLE. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:52, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
Maybe, but it is a template at the moment, and it is documented in the template way, so I have edited it. It's just a copyedit basically. The coloured parts are now more obvious, the nutshell is a nutshell, and I believe the lead sentence is conveying what it was intended to, o7 ~^\\\.rTG'{~ 19:38, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
It is not a template. With templates, the first parameter is separated from the template name using a pipe; with behaviour switches, it's a colon. This uses a colon: {{DISPLAYTITLE:<span style="color:red;">Wikipedia</span> talk:''Help'' Project}} and its effects may be seen at the top. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:10, 31 March 2019 (UTC)
For me C++ is a foreign language, though I used to speak some Basic and HTML. In English, a template is a temporary overlay, or a preformed base. I consider this an overlay of sorts in the output, but really I just mean that it says, "Template:" at the top of the page.
However yes, you have stirred some understanding. My interest is piqued. In the template function there are often colon or pipe char after the function name, and thus determines the route of the code thereafter. It sinks. I joyfully bleed understanding. I look up expectantly, but C++ remains a mystery, tugging on my vision, a point somewhere near the top of the mountain. I wrench myself away and continue my journey marching toward Avalon, my eyes on the ground and the horizon, but my head in the sky, filled with anime visions. ~^\\\.rTG'{~ 13:54, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
It doesn't say "Template:" at the top of the page. The page where this behaviour switch is described is Help:Magic words. It is a Help page, in Help space. Not in template space. It's not a template. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:18, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
It's confusing to many users. In MediaWiki and therefore in Wikipedia discussions and documentation, a template is an editable wiki page in the template namespace. The page name starts with "Template:" in the English Wikipedia. Templates are created by editors of the wiki. Templates don't exist from the start when MediaWiki is installed on a server. Template:DISPLAYTITLE is a template which happens (on purpose) to have the same name as the magic word {{DISPLAYTITLE}}. The latter uses syntax similar to templates but is not a template. Magic words are part of the MediaWiki software at installation and cannot be deleted or edited by users. {{DISPLAYTITLE:title}} with a colon applies the magic word and doesn't know or care whether a template by the same name exists. {{DISPLAYTITLE|title}} with a pipe is no longer the magic word but a template call. The MediaWiki developers chose very similar syntax for templates and some of the magic words. {{DISPLAYTITLE}} with no parameter refers by MediaWiki definition to the magic word and not the template, but there is never reason to use {{DISPLAYTITLE}} without a parameter. If you want to call a template with the same name as a magic word without using a parameter then you can say {{Template:DISPLAYTITLE}}. PrimeHunter (talk) 21:22, 1 April 2019 (UTC)
Ah, I see! @PrimeHunter:, thanks for this informative comment. When you wrote that "The MediaWiki developers chose very similar syntax for templates and some of the magic words", you revealed the source of much confusion. Design choices are not about function alone, but also about usability. Had a different syntax been chosen for magic words, say using {[…]} delimiters (or {/…\}, or ««…»», or whatever would work without also breaking the parsing of existing syntax), we might have fewer problems understanding what we're looking at. Yes, that's right, humans also read syntax, not just machines! Should I take this up on MediaWiki, perhaps? But the magic words help page has other problems as well, which I'll address in a new section. yoyo (talk) 01:11, 23 October 2019 (UTC)

Submit your proposals for Community Growth at Wikimania before June 1!Edit


Wikimania 2019 is organized into 19 “spaces”, which are all accepting proposals for sessions. This email comes from the team organizing the Community Growth space.

We would like to invite you to submit a proposal to the Community Growth space because of the actions you’ve done around newcomers on wikis. The deadline for submission is June 1. See below for Community Growth submission topics and session formats. Topics and sessions have to be in English.

In the Community Growth space, we will come together for discussions, presentations, and workshops that address these questions:

  • What is and is not working around attracting and retaining newcomers?
  • How should Wikimedia activities evolve to help communities grow and flourish?
  • How should our technology and culture evolve to help new populations to come online, participate and become community members?

Recommended topics. While proposals related to all aspects of community growth and newcomer experience are welcome, the organizing team is particularly interested in proposals related to:

  • Research on recruitment, activation and retention.
  • Technological approaches
  • On- and off-wiki engagement strategies
  • Supporting diversity and cross-cultural newcomer experiences
  • Lessons learned from beyond Wikimedia, and
  • The future of newcomers and editing

If you are interested in seeing presentations around additional topics, but do not plan to submit a proposal, you can suggest additional topics here.

If your topic does not fit into our space, remember that there are 18 other spaces that could welcome you sharing your knowledge and perspective.

Types of session. We prefer sessions that are participatory, interactive, promote conversations, and give a voice to parts of our movement that are heard less often. We welcome the following session formats:

  • Roundtable discussion
  • Panel discussion
  • Lightning talk
  • Working session
  • Teaching session
  • Conference presentation

Poster submissions. Posters are also a good way to introduce a topic, or show some results of an action. Please consider submitting one!

More information about the Community Growth space, topics, and submission formats is available on the proposal page.

Please submit your proposal. The reviews will happen at the beginning of June.

If you have questions about Wikimania in general, please ask them on the Wikimania wiki.

Trizek (WMF) (talk) 13:05, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
On behalf of the Community Growth leadership team

Question about Help:Talk pagesEdit

Hello, Help Project participants. Please see my question at Help talk:Talk pages#An example of a talk page. —⁠andrybak (talk) 09:46, 26 June 2019 (UTC)

Very wide template "Inline talk templates"Edit

Greetings, Wondering if {{Inline talk templates}} can be changed to a narrower format? It is very wide and requires horizontal scrolling to follow a line across the display. Any improvement is way beyond me & requires expert help. Regards, JoeHebda (talk) 12:47, 1 July 2019 (UTC)

I followed the link you provided, it doesn't exhibit any width problem that I can see. It's just an ordinary dab page. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:04, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Fixed the link, it should have been the {{tl}} template but was mistakenly put as a link instead. I'm not sure what the best way to redesign that template would be, but agree that the current layout isn't optimal. the wub "?!" 23:03, 1 July 2019 (UTC)

Portal:Contents is really a portal?Edit

It has been proposed that Portal:Contents its subpages and Portal:Featured content be moved to Wikipedia space and in the discussion came the possibility of moving to Help space. We would like to hear this wikiproject. See Portal talk:Contents#Requested move 9 October 2019.Guilherme Burn (talk) 21:22, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Request for information on WP1.0 web toolEdit

Hello and greetings from the maintainers of the WP 1.0 Bot! As you may or may not know, we are currently involved in an overhaul of the bot, in order to make it more modern and maintainable. As part of this process, we will be rewriting the web tool that is part of the project. You might have noticed this tool if you click through the links on the project assessment summary tables.

We'd like to collect information on how the current tool is used! How do you yourself and the other maintainers of your project use the web tool? Which of its features do you need? How frequently do you use these features? And what features is the tool missing that would be useful to you? We have collected all of these questions at this Google form where you can leave your response. Walkerma (talk) 04:23, 27 October 2019 (UTC)


Hello! I have started an RFC which may interest the members of this project. Please see Wikipedia talk:Refactoring talk pages#Is_fixing_dead_links_a_appropriate_form_of_refactoring? TheAwesomeHwyh 00:50, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

Help category is up for deletionEdit

Hi. the first section on the main page for Wikipedia:WikiProject Help reads as follows. I would like to help the problem stated below.


As one option, I have created a new category, below. this is designed to help new editors to find, as stated below, an "oasis of order amidst the chaos," namely a central category that can enable and assist others in finding helpful pages more easily.

However, this category is in danger of being DELETED.

could you please go to this category, click the link for the deletion discussion, and then add your thoughts there? we greatly need a wider amount of input. We appreciate any input that you could please provide. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 17:23, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

Let's turn down the dramatization by a few notch here. There's a CFD going on. Just look at the CFD and evaluate the arguments. The world isn't about to end. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:59, 29 January 2020 (UTC)
ok, well said. I have revised the section heading. that's a good point. thanks. --Sm8900 (talk) 20:32, 29 January 2020 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Proposal to streamline the welcome templateEdit

 You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Proposal to streamline the welcome template. Sdkb (talk) 06:57, 23 February 2020 (UTC)

Wikipedia:About badly needs some attentionEdit

I just went over the intro section at WP:About and made some tweaks, including updating statistics that were half a decade old. That the top section of such an important page (it's linked from literally every other WP page via the sidebar, and receives 300,000 views a month) contained statistics that stale really doesn't seem good, and there are lots of other issues on that page beyond that. If anyone has the inclination, please head over there and make some improvements (just keep in mind that it's a page for readers, not editors, and shouldn't duplicate our help pages for editors). Sdkb (talk) 09:17, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

Efforts underway to revamp the Task CenterEdit

 You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Task Center#Refining the tasks listed here. Sdkb (talk) 01:04, 8 March 2020 (UTC) Sdkb (talk) 01:04, 8 March 2020 (UTC)

Comparing contributor introductory page viewsEdit

It's interesting to compare the pageviews at the various different pages we have for new contributors. They're in what I would consider almost the exact opposite of the preferable order. At the top is Help:Getting started, a list of other help pages that's basically a product of us not being able to agree what the actual best place to get started is. After that is the outdated Wikipedia:Introduction, with a subset of those users making their way to the equally outdated Wikipedia:Tutorial. And only at the bottom do we get to the more helpful Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia (our best single-page intro), Help:Introduction (our best tutorial intro), and WP:Adventure (our best intro for kids). Is there any tool that helps us see where people are coming to a page from? I suspect a lot of it is the welcome template, but still, it'd be helpful to know so we can try to redirect users toward our better resources. (Of course, some of this will be mute if we're able to get our act together and start merging and using redirects.) (A sidenote: all of these pages are absolutely dwarfed by views of the non-contributor intro pages WP:About and Help:Contents, perhaps in part since those are linked from the sidebar.) Sdkb (talk) 06:56, 10 March 2020 (UTC)

Help:Getting started gets the most views as its the landing page for new registered users. What we need to do is cuddle the old style module pages into one set. Despite multiple page modules being less valuable and an accessibility nightmare many old timers will be familiar with the old layout so we should keep one even if its overloaded with info with 67 pages. One Page Website vs Multi-Page Website.--Moxy 🍁 20:50, 10 March 2020 (UTC)

Proposals to redirect WP:Introduction/WP:Tutorial and the Welcoming Committee welcomeEdit

 You are invited to join the discussions at Wikipedia talk:Introduction#Proposal: Redirect this page and WP:Tutorial to Help:Introduction and Wikipedia talk:Welcoming committee#Let's get rid of Wikipedia:Welcoming committee/Welcome to Wikipedia. Sdkb (talk) 22:02, 12 March 2020 (UTC) Sdkb (talk) 22:02, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia talk:New user landing page#Where should the "start helping" button link?Edit

 You are invited to join the discussion at Wikipedia talk:New user landing page#Where should the "start helping" button link?. Sdkb (talk) 03:49, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

Return to the project page "Help Project".