Wikipedia:Shortcut

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A shortcut is a specialized type of redirect page that provides an abbreviated wikilink to a project page or one of its sections, usually from the Wikipedia namespace. They are commonly used on community pages and talk pages rather than in articles themselves. If there is a shortcut for a page or section, it is usually displayed in an information box labelled Shortcuts:, as can be seen at the top of this page.

Shortcuts are created for the convenience of editors. It is possible to create a shortcut for any page at all. The existence of a shortcut does not imply or prove that the linked page is a policy or guideline.

Quick reference

Lists of available shortcuts can be found at:

How to use a Wikipedia shortcut

A Wikipedia shortcut can be entered into the Wikipedia search box to quickly bring you to a project page. For example, you can type WP:R into the search box and then press the enter key (or click the magnifying glass icon), to get to the Wikipedia:Redirect page, instead of having to type in the complete phrase.

Alternatively, you can use a shortcut in the URL in your browser's address bar. For example, you are currently viewing the Wikipedia:Shortcut page. The URL for this page is //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Shortcut. You could then get from here to the Wikipedia:Redirect page by replacing Wikipedia:Shortcut with WP:R in the address bar, followed by pressing the enter key. (If your browser has relative URL entry, simply prefix the shortcut with ./ instead of having to edit the existing URL.)

Shortcuts are presented in all capital letters (ALL CAPS); however, the search box is case-insensitive. For example, in the search box, you can type wp:r, instead of WP:R. However, when using the URL method (or when making links) it is necessary to match the capitalization of the shortcut itself.

Readability

Shortcuts are often used on talk pages in their abbreviated form, without any piped links, decreasing readability for the general reader. For example, some editors are familiar with the bulk of the Wikipedia namespace shortcuts, even recognizing what they stand for on sight; however, others are faced with pages full of incomprehensible jargon, the meanings of which are not immediately decipherable, if the reader happens to be offline.

While shortcuts can help with linking, it is best, when referring to a project page, to be mindful of the general reader and not use the shortcuts as a title, without piping their links. For example, the piped link: [[WP:SHC|shortcuts]], gives readers an idea of the subject of the target page, while just using the abbreviation WP:SHC is unintelligible to those unfamiliar with the term. For this reason, many shortcuts are also created as common English words that are easily identifiable and memorable.

Shortcuts are sometimes (ab)used to make a WP:POINT and best described by WP:WOTTA.

Link boxes

Shortcuts:

Small link boxes, listing the names of the page's shortcuts, appear at the top of many pages, especially those on policies and guidelines. A shortcut link box can be added to a page, by placing the template {{shortcut|WP:<x>}} at the top of the page's text, while editing.

The point of these template boxes is not to list every single redirect for any given page (indeed, that's what Special:Whatlinkshere is for); instead, they generally should list only one or two common and easily remembered redirects.

Guideline pages with shortcuts pointing to them typically use {{guideline|WP:<x>}} or the {{subcat guideline}} template, such as on this page, instead of the shortcut template {{shortcut}}. Another frequently used template is: {{MoS-guideline|WP:<x>}}.

To learn more about the different shortcut box templates and their functions, see documentation at {{shortcut}}. Among other things, there are templates for making boxes flow to the left and now, anchors are automatically added, making it much simpler to link to a page section.

Shortcut names

Shortcut names are almost always in uppercase.

A shortcut is typically named using the following convention:

PREFIX:SUFFIX

In the above form, the prefix is typically one of the prefixes in the following section, and the suffix is an acronym or abbreviation of the redirect target. However quite a lot are simply WP:BAD.

If the target is a sub-page, the following conventions are common (where 'Y' is an additional sequence of uppercase characters or numerals):

PREFIX:SUFFIX/Y
For example, P:HVNY/DYK is a shortcut to Portal:Hudson Valley/Did you know, which is a subpage of Portal:Hudson Valley, which has a shortcut P:HVNY.
WP:ACC/P is a shortcut to Wikipedia:Request an account/Procedures, which is a subpage of Wikipedia:Request an account, which has a shortcut WP:ACC.
PREFIX:SUFFIXY
For example, WP:AFDLT is a shortcut to Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Log/Today, which is a subpage of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion, which has the shortcut WP:AFD.

Shortcuts that do not follow the above naming convention are discouraged, and are typically deleted.

The directory of shortcuts contains several conflicts for prefixes of subpages, often caused by a shortcut being re-targeted without changing the shortcut to subpages.

For example, WP:CJ was originally used for Wikipedia:Community Justice, and several shortcuts for subpages were created (WP:CJ/E & WP:CJ/M/1). After several years, 'WP:CJ' was updated to point to Wikipedia:Centijimbos, but the subpage shortcuts have not changed.

Before creating a shortcut, use Special:PrefixIndex to ensure that the same prefix is not being used for different purposes. e.g. WP:CJ has several existing uses. No additional confusion would be caused by creating a shortcut WP:CJQ, however creating a shortcut WP:CJ/Q would be adding to the existing mess. There is a long standing feature request to resolve shortcut subpages automatically.(bugzilla:12980)

Prefixes that shouldnt be used for other purposes include:

  • WP:NC - naming conventions
  • WP:AFD - articles for deletion

Other prefixes have become common for a set of pages include:

  • WP:N - naming conventions

List of prefixes

Namespace aliases

The following namespace aliases are automatically translated by the Wikipedia servers.

WP: Wikipedia:
WT: Wikipedia talk:
Project: Wikipedia:

They are case-insensitive (so wp: or wP: or Wp: have the same meaning as WP:). For example, both WP:TS and wp:TS link directly to Wikipedia:TS.

Pseudo-namespaces

When the shortcut does not use the above namespace aliases (WP or WT), it is a cross-namespace redirect and is case-sensitive.

However when a prefix is used by multiple shortcuts, and has board community support, it is referred to as pseudo-namespaces to distinguish them from other cross-namespace redirects.

The following prefixes may be used freely for the target listed.

Prefix Target
CAT: Category:
H: Help:
MOS: Wikipedia:Manual of Style
P: Portal:

Other prefixes do not enjoy the same level of community support. It is disputed whether they should be deemed to be pseudo-namespaces.

The following prefixes are used for limited or specific uses only.

T: Template:
MP: Main Page

The following prefixes do not enjoy broad community support.

C: Category:
INTRO: Help:
WikiProject:
Wikiproject:
Wikipedia:WikiProject
MoS:
Mos:
Wikipedia:Manual of Style

In addition to the above, WikiProjects have shortcuts using spaces in the title. The following naming conventions are common:

WikiProject
Wikiproject
Wikipedia:WikiProject

Portals also use spaces in shortcuts. The most common shortcut format is "X portal" to Portal:X, however "Portal X" is also sometimes used.

Note: The links in the table go to a page where the term prefix is not used in the meaning as it has in this section. Rather the term prefix there means, as it does for the search parameter, the beginning string of characters in a title, whether that string ends before, during or after the colon character in a page name.

Note: There are other instances of cross-namespace redirects which use similar naming conventions to the above that are not considered to be shortcuts for the purposes of this guideline, such as List of subjects in Gray's Anatomy:.

How to create a shortcut

Note: The following is an example. The shortcut WP:TS already exists.

Say you want to create the shortcut WP:TS to an existing page, Wikipedia:Template standardisation. Create a new page, Wikipedia:TS, and in it place the single line:

#REDIRECT [[Wikipedia:Template standardisation]] {{R from shortcut}}

The resulting shortcut will be WP:TS.

If you're creating a shortcut to a category, you need to insert an additional colon (":") at the beginning of the link, as in the following.

#REDIRECT [[:Category:Redirects from shortcuts]] {{R from shortcut}}

The template {{R from shortcut}} must always be included in a redirect. It records that the redirect is a shortcut, and auto-categorizes it into Category:Redirects from shortcuts. (See Wikipedia:Template messages/Redirect pages for more information on categories of redirects.)

Many shortcuts are acronyms; others are abbreviations; quite a lot are simply WP:BAD.

Changing shortcuts

Shortcut:

Technically that's easy. All it takes is to click on the shortcut wherever it is, on the page it leads to (a shortcut is a redirect) click on the "redirected from" link (forcing &redirect=no), edit the target #REDIRECT [[Wikipedia:Whatever]], then add {{R from shortcut}} if that expression doesn't already appear. But there are some potential traps and pitfalls:

  1. If the shortcut is already listed on Wikipedia:List of shortcuts or a similar list like Wikipedia:Shortcuts to talk pages, please update that entry showing the new target page.
  2. If the old target page mentions its shortcut, then that also should be updated, typically in {{Shortcut}} or similar Wikipedia header templates.
  3. If you wish to usurp an existing shortcut that's already in use, you should take into account how active its target page is. For example, if you just created a WikiProject, and want a specific shortcut for it, but the one you want is already in use by another WikiProject, it's generally recommended to post a message on that project's talk page asking the members if you may usurp their shortcut link, even if the project is tagged as {{inactive}}.
  4. Above all check the shortcut backlinks with "what links here"; changing a shortcut used elsewhere can be highly disruptive. If you do change a shortcut under these circumstances, you should be sure to change it in the pages that linked to it as well, so that they link to the old target. If they were used in any closed deletion discussions, it is not a good idea then to change the redirect because these discussion cannot be edited.
  5. If it has no backlink folks might still use it directly with search forms, if you're not 100% sure that the old target is unused; so ask about it on the shortcut's talk page.
  6. For controversial cases, go to Wikipedia:Requests for comment.

Limitations

Redirects (incl. shortcuts) to pages on other projects and special pages won't work—this former feature was abused and hence it has been disabled. The software will display the redirect page instead of redirecting the user to the target.

Some redirects to other projects and special pages use {{soft redirect}}, however shortcuts that are a soft redirect will appear in the pool of pages that are selected by Special:Random. Soft redirects are categorised into Category:Wikipedia soft redirects.

See also