Wikipedia:Hatnote

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Hatnotes are short notes placed at the top of an article or section of an article (hence the name "hat"). Hatnotes help readers locate a different article they might be seeking. Readers may have arrived at the article containing the hatnote because they were redirected, because the sought article uses a more specific, disambiguated title, or because the sought article and the article with the hatnote have similar names. Hatnotes provide links to the possibly sought article or to a disambiguation page.

For more information about methods of disambiguating articles, see Wikipedia:Disambiguation.

Placement[edit]

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Hatnotes are placed at the very top of the article, before any other items such as images, navigational templates and maintenance templates (like the "cleanup", "unreferenced", and "POV" templates). Text-only browsers and screen readers present the page sequentially. If a reader has reached the wrong page, they typically want to know that first.

Format[edit]

In most cases, hatnotes should be created using a standard hatnote template (as illustrated below). This permits the form and structure of hatnotes to be changed uniformly across the encyclopedia as needed, and for the templates to be excluded in print.

Current Wikipedia style is to italicize and indent each note, without a bullet before the item. A horizontal dividing line should not be placed under a note, nor after the final item in a list.

When determining the content of the hatnote, keep in mind that it forms part of the user interface rather than the article content. Two applicable user interface design principles are clarity and conciseness. The hatnote should not overload the user with extraneous information and the content should be imparted quickly and accurately. These design goals are conveyed succinctly in the artistic principle less is more.

Summarize or not?[edit]

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Some hatnote disambiguation templates include a brief summary of the present article's topic; others do not. For instance, in the article Honey, one might use the template {{about|the insect-produced fluid}} to produce:

This article is about the insect-produced fluid. For other uses of the term, see Honey (disambiguation).

Alternatively, one might use {{other uses}} to produce:

For other uses, see Honey (disambiguation).

Either of these two styles is acceptable. The choice of style in a given article is based on editors' preference, and what is likely to be clearer and easier for the reader. Where an article already has a hatnote in one of these styles, editors should not change it to the other style without good reason or broad consensus.

Examples of proper use[edit]

Two articles with similar titles[edit]

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This article is about the village in England. For H. P. Lovecraft's fictional town, see Dunwich (Lovecraft).

Dunwich (/ˈdʌnɪ/ DUN-ich) is a town in the county of Suffolk in England, the remnant of what was once a prosperous seaport and centre of the wool trade during the early middle ages, with a natural harbour formed by the mouths of the River Blyth...

When two articles share the same title, except that one is disambiguated and the other not, the undisambiguated article should include a hatnote with a link to the other article. It is not necessary to create a separate disambiguation page. {{about}} may be used for this. In this case the parameterization was {{about|the village in England|H. P. Lovecraft's fictional town|Dunwich (Lovecraft)}}.

Linking to a disambiguation page[edit]

For other uses, see Monolith (disambiguation).

A monolith is a monument or natural feature such as a mountain, consisting of a single massive stone or rock. Erosion usually exposes these formations...

When a term has a primary meaning and two or more additional meanings, the hatnote on the primary topic page should link to a disambiguation page. {{other uses}} may be used for this.

In many cases the hatnote also includes a brief description of the subject of the present article, for readers' convenience:

This article is about the maze-like labyrinth from Greek mythology. For other uses, see Labyrinth (disambiguation).

In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate maze-like structure constructed for King Minos of Crete and designed by the legendary artificer Daedalus to hold the Minotaur...

The template {{about}} may be used for this. In this case the parameterization was {{about|the mazelike labyrinth from Greek mythology}}.

Ambiguous term that redirects to an unambiguously named article[edit]

{{redirect}}, or a related template, can be used when an ambiguous title is redirected to an unambiguous title or a primary topic article:

Johann Sebastian Bach


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Bach)

"Bach" redirects here. For other uses, see Bach (disambiguation).

Johann Sebastian Bach (German pronunciation: [joˈhan/ˈjoːhan zeˈbastjan ˈbax]; March 21, 1685 O.S.July 28, 1750 N.S.) was a prolific German composer...

Examples of improper use[edit]

Trivial information, dictionary definitions, and slang[edit]

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When notes feature a trivial detail or use of a term, or links to overly specific and tendentious material, they are unwarranted.

During a siege, to invest a town or fortress means to surround it with a contravallation and a circumvallation.

Investment is a term with several closely related meanings in finance and economics. It refers to the accumulation of some kind of asset in hopes of getting a future return from it...

In this case, there is no direct disambiguation, and the note listed is bound to be uninteresting to most readers. The proper disambiguation simply links to a separate Invest (disambiguation) page.

Legitimate information about the topic[edit]

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A previous version of the Aisha article showed:

Ayesha is sometimes used as a woman's name. Once popular only among Muslims, it was briefly popular among English-speakers after it appeared in the book She by Rider Haggard.

Aisha or Ayesha (Arabic عائشه `ā'isha = "she who lives") was a wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad...

This is a typical and highly improper misuse of disambiguating hatnotes. Instead, the information belongs in the body of the article, or in the articles about the book, or in a separate article about names, or all three places. Hatnotes are meant to reduce confusion and direct readers to another article they might have been looking for, not for information about the subject of the article itself.

Linking to articles that are related to the topic[edit]

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Disambiguation hatnotes are intended to link to separate topics that could be referred to by the same title. They are not intended to link to topics that are simply related to each other, or to a specific aspect of a general topic:

This article is about the scientific study of extraterrestrial life; for treatment in popular culture, see Extraterrestrial life in popular culture.

Extraterrestrial life is life that may exist and originate outside the planet Earth. Its existence is currently hypothetical: there is as yet no evidence of extraterrestrial life that has been widely accepted by scientists...

Instead of using a disambiguation hatnote in such cases, it is better to summarize Extraterrestrial life in popular culture under a subsection of Extraterrestrial life in conjunction with the {{main}} template. Alternatively, it could be linked to in the See also section.

This guideline does not discourage the use of disambiguation hatnotes in a situation where separate topics are related, but could nonetheless be referred to by the same title and would thus qualify for disambiguation, such as a book and its film adaptation.

Disambiguating article names that are not ambiguous[edit]

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Tree (set theory)


For other uses, see Tree (disambiguation).

In set theory, a tree is a partially ordered set (poset) in which there is a single unique minimal element (called the root) and in which the set of elements less than a given element is well ordered...

Here the hatnote can be removed. A reader who is following links within Wikipedia is unlikely to end up at tree (set theory) if one were looking for other types of trees, since tree does not redirect there.

A hatnote may still be appropriate when even a more specific name is still ambiguous. For example, Matt Smith (comics) might still be confused with the comics illustrator Matt Smith (illustrator).

A hatnote may also be appropriate in an unambiguously named article when an ambiguous term redirects to it, as explained in the "Proper uses" section above.

Extraneous links[edit]

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Each additional link in the hatnote besides the ambiguous or confusable topic(s) makes it more difficult to find the desired target. For example:

WTIX (980 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a Sports radio format.

In this case, the link to New Orleans, Louisiana, in the hatnote leads to an article that is not ambiguous with the title. Linking only to the possible other destination (WIST (AM)) makes it easier to find the link.

External links[edit]

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A previous version of the Hurricane Katrina article contained:

If you are trying to locate someone missing in Hurricane Katrina, or register yourself as found, you can use the site www.disastersearch.org [1]

Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 29, 2005, was one of the most destructive and expensive tropical cyclones to hit the United States...

The use of external help links in Wikipedia, though noble, cannot reasonably be maintained. In special cases, a link to an "External links" section may be appropriate, but POV favoritism can be obstructive. In this case, the hatnote was removed entirely.

Non-existent articles[edit]

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Hatnotes should not contain red links to non-existent articles since hatnotes are intended to help users navigate to another article they may have intended to find. The exception is if one intends to create the linked article immediately. In that case, consider creating the new article first, before saving the addition of the hatnote.

Hatnote templates[edit]

For a summary page on how to use these templates, see the example page here. For the full editing guideline on hatnotes, see Wikipedia:Hatnote.

Generic[edit]

  • {{Hatnote|CUSTOM TEXT}}
{{Hatnote|For other senses of this term, see [[etc…]]}}

More pages on the same topic ("Further information ...")[edit]

"Main article: …"[edit]

{{Main}} is used to make summary style explicit, when used in a summary section for which there is also a separate article on the subject:

"For more details on …, see …"[edit]

{{Details}} can supplement {{Main}} in summary sections, or can indicate more details in nonsummary sections:

  • {{Details|PAGE1}}
  • {{Details|PAGE1|TOPIC}}

{{Details3}} allows changing the displayed name for links. Unlike {{Details}}, it requires bracketed link notation:

Alternatively, the {{!}} template can be used to change the displayed name for links:

"See also …"[edit]

Note: use only when OTHER TOPIC PAGE is related to current article and contains a self-explanatory parenthetical.

"Further information: …"[edit]

Other uses of the same title[edit]

"This page is about … For other uses …"[edit]

{{About}} is the main template for noting other uses.

Note. When used in main namespace, the word "page" in the following hatnotes is replaced by "article".

  • {{About|USE1}}
  • {{About|USE1||PAGE2}} (When the disambiguation page has a different name – Note the empty second parameter) →
  • {{About|USE1|USE2|PAGE2}} (When there is only one other use) →
  • {{About|USE1|USE2|PAGE2|and|PAGE3}} (Two pages for USE2) →
  • {{About|USE1|USE2|PAGE2#SUBSECTION{{!}}PAGE2TITLE}} (Using the {{!}} template to give the link a different title) →
  • {{About|USE1|USE2|PAGE2|USE3|PAGE3|USE4|PAGE4|USE5|PAGE5}} (When there are up to four other uses – You should generally create a disambiguation page at this point) →
  • {{About|USE1|USE2|PAGE2|USE3|PAGE3|other uses}} (When there are several standard other uses and also a disambiguation page with default name – Note that the last page name is not specified) →
  • {{About|USE1|USE2|PAGE2|USE3|PAGE3|other uses|PAGE4}} (When there are several standard other uses and also a disambiguation page with non-default name) →
  • {{About|USE1|USE2|PAGE2|USE3|PAGE3|other uses|PAGE4|and}}
  • {{About||USE2|PAGE2|USE3|PAGE3|other uses}} (When you don't need to state the focus of this article/page – Note the empty first parameter) →
  • {{About|||PAGE1|and|PAGE2}}
Note: {{for||PAGE1|PAGE2}} produces the same result.
Note: this hatnote says "section", instead of "article" or "page".

"For …, see …"[edit]

{{For}} can be used instead of {{About}} so as not to display: This page is about USE1. but still specify a specific other use. This effect can also be achieved by using an empty first parameter in {{About}} as in:

For example: {{for|OTHER TOPIC|PAGE1}} is the same as {{About||OTHER TOPIC|PAGE1}} (note the empty first parameter).

However, it is somewhat clearer when using the {{For}} template, since the word "about" does not appear in the statement.

Variations

As with {{Other uses}}, there is a whole family of "for" templates.[clarification needed]

  • {{For2|OTHER TOPIC|CUSTOM TEXT}}

"For other uses, see …"[edit]

When such a wordy hatnote as {{About}} is not needed, {{Other uses}} is often useful.

Variations

There are, historically, a whole family of "other uses" templates for specific cases. {{About}} is the standard hatnote for "other uses" and many of them can be specified using the {{About}} template. However, the individual templates may be easier to use in certain contexts.

Here are the variations and (when appropriate) the equivalents using the {{About}}, {{Other uses}} or {{For}} templates.

Note: adds "(disambiguation)" to whatever is input as the PAGE1.
Note: {{Other uses|PAGE1 (disambiguation)}} produces the same result.
Note: same as {{about}}, except it forces a second use to be noted if unspecified by parameters.

"For other uses of …, see …"[edit]

"… redirects here. For other uses, see …"[edit]

  • {{Redirect|REDIRECT}} (disambiguous) →
  • {{Redirect|REDIRECT||PAGE1}}
  • {{Redirect|REDIRECT|USE1|PAGE1}}
  • {{Redirect|REDIRECT|USE1|PAGE1|USE2|PAGE2}}
  • {{Redirect|REDIRECT|USE1|PAGE1|USE2|PAGE2|USE3|PAGE3}}
  • {{Redirect|REDIRECT|USE1|PAGE1|and|PAGE2}}
  • {{Redirect|REDIRECT|USE1|PAGE1|USE2|PAGE2|and|PAGE3}}
  • {{Redirect6|REDIRECT|USE1|PAGE1}} (disambiguous) →
  • {{Redirect6|REDIRECT|USE1|PAGE1||PAGE2}}
Variations
  • For two sources:
    • {{Redirect2|REDIRECT1|REDIRECT2}} (disambiguous) →
    • {{Redirect2|REDIRECT1|REDIRECT2|USE}}
    • {{Redirect2|REDIRECT1|REDIRECT2||PAGE1}}
    • {{Redirect2|REDIRECT1|REDIRECT2|USE|PAGE1}}
    • {{Redirect2|REDIRECT1|REDIRECT2|USE1|PAGE1|USE2|PAGE2}}
    • {{Redirect2|REDIRECT1|REDIRECT2|USE1|PAGE1|USE2|PAGE2|USE3|PAGE3}}
    • {{Redirect2|REDIRECT1|REDIRECT2|USE1|PAGE1|USE2|PAGE2|USE3|PAGE3|USE4|PAGE4}}
    • {{Redirect4|REDIRECT1|REDIRECT2}} (disambiguous) →
    • {{Redirect4|REDIRECT1|REDIRECT2|USE|TEXT}}
  • For three sources:
  • {{Redirect3|REDIRECT|TEXT}} or {{Redirect text|REDIRECT|TEXT}}
  • {{Redirect-synonym|TERM|OTHER TOPIC}}
... Not to be confused with ...

Similar proper names ("For other people named ...")[edit]

Other people[edit]

Note: same as {{About}} except uses "other people" instead of "other uses" if only 1 parameter is used
Note: defaults to "named" as in {{Other people}}, exists for options like "nicknamed", "known as", etc.

Other places[edit]

Other hurricanes[edit]

Other ships[edit]

For articles on ships:

Other popes named Stephen[edit]

Distinguish[edit]

"Not to be confused with …"[edit]

"… redirects here. It is not to be confused with …"[edit]

"For technical reasons, … redirects here. For … , see … ."[edit]

Wikipedia self-reference[edit]

Categories[edit]

Category-specific templates:

This is a template for linking categories horizontally. Horizontal linkage is often the right solution when vertical linkage (i.e., as sub-category and parent category) is not appropriate. In most cases, this template should be used on both categories to create reciprocal linkage between the two categories.

Family names[edit]

Lists[edit]

User pages[edit]

Notes[edit]

Do not use subst: with these templates, as that will prevent:

  1. propagating changes as the template is modified; and the
  2. What links here (WLH) listing.

These templates are used in thousands of articles; therefore, changing the syntax could break thousands of articles. If you wish to create or edit a disambiguation or redirection template, first ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is there already a template that will do this job? Since many disambiguation and redirection templates have already been created, first check: Category:Disambiguation and redirection templates.
  2. Do I really need a new template for this? Will it likely be used on any other articles or should I just use {{Hatnote}} instead? Before creating a new template, see the template namespace guideline.
  3. If I change the parameters around on an existing template, do I know what the result will be? Will it break existing uses of the template and if so, can I fix all of the errors? Before making any changes, see Template sandbox and test cases.

See also[edit]