Your signature, left on talk pages, is usually the first thing seen by users who meet you for the first time. As a result, many users choose to customise their signature, or 'sig', in order to stand out more. These changes can vary from providing a link to your talk page to completely redesigning the entire signature. This page will attempt to provide some helpful tips and advice for producing a unique signature.
Note that changing your signature will not change signatures which have already been produced, only ones that are created after save has been clicked.
UserBob currently has a very simple signature:
- UserBob 22:04, 11 February 2006 (UTC).
As a result, he would like to produce a more complicated signature.
The easiest way to customise your signature is to change the 'Nickname' section of My Preferences. This changes the name shown to other users to the new nickname.
For example, if UserBob typed "Bob" into the 'Nickname' section of his preferences page and clicked 'save' (making sure the box marked "Raw signature" is not selected), his signature would change to
- Bob 22:04, 11 February 2006 (UTC).
Note that it still links to User:UserBob, but says "Bob". This is useful if you no longer like your name, but don't want it changed altogether. However, it is good practice to have your nickname related in an obvious way to your real username; if UserBob chose the nickname "Jenkinson", this would be confusing, since other users would have no idea who "Jenkinson" was, even if UserBob's real name is Jenkinson.
UserBob would like to link his signature to his talk page. To do this, he needs to produce a 'Raw Signature'.
To create a link to your talk page, click on My Preferences. In the Signature heading, there is a checkbox labeled Treat the above as wiki markup. Check this box, and then type into the "Signature" field:
- [[User:(your name)|(your name)]] [[User talk:(your name)|talk]]
and click "Save".
For example, if UserBob types
- [[User:UserBob|UserBob]] [[User talk:UserBob|talk]]
then his signature would become
These can be changed to use any other text. For example, [[User:UserBob|Bob]] [[User talk:UserBob|Chat]], which would make
Some users "hide" their talk page link; it is there, but it is not labelled.
This looks like the plain UserBob, but clicking on "Bob" leads to his talk page, as the code for it shows:[[User:UserBob|User]][[User talk:UserBob|Bob]].
UserBob doesn't much like the colour blue, and decides to produce a more colourful signature.
In order to produce a signature with colours other than blue (or red), you'll need to use a bit of HTML, specifically the <font color> tag.
If I put at the start of some text <font color="gold">, all the text I write turns gold. Note that the text will not turn back into black until I type "</font>" .
Bob wants a green and maroon signature, so he types [[User:UserBob|<font color="green">UserBob</font>]] [[User talk:UserBob|<font color="maroon">talk</font>]], producing
He can even use different colours in the same part. For example, [[User:UserBob|<font color="gold">User</font><font color="green">Bob</font>]] [[User talk:UserBob|<font color="maroon">talk</font>]] produces
Note that "User" and "Bob" are now different colours.
Any colour can be chosen, although it is wise not to use very pale colours on the white background, for obvious reasons. If the colour you want is not available, consider finding the web colour code for the colour.
UserBob is reasonably happy with his signature. However, there are still many other ways to alter a signature. The most commonly used are: adding <sup></sup>, <sub></sub>, '''bold''', ''italics'' and <small></small> for special effects, and using special unicode symbols, such as ☯, ☺ and ★.
Some users may have other links in their signature. For example, Esperanza members had a green “e”, which linked straight to Wikipedia:Esperanza. So, if UserBob had joined Esperanza, his signature might have changed like so:
- [[User:UserBob|<font color=gold>Us</font>]][[WP:EA|<font color=green>'''''e'''''</font>]][[User:UserBob|<font color=gold>r<font color=green>Bob</font>]] [[User talk:UserBob|<font color=maroon>talk</font>]]
Tempting as it may be, there are some things that should not be done, as they annoy editors or increase server load. These include:
Using pictures in your signature
Signatures which include line breaks
And signatures which include all of the above!