Wikipedia talk:Piped link

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Given that there are year-in-x articles, e.g. 2003 in film, I think that, e.g., all films released in 2003 and mentioned in an article (and in particular an article on such a film) should link to it.

This facilitates adding the film to the list if it is not there yet, and checking for consistency.

The link should not suggest that more info on the film can be found by following it. To avoid the piped link [[2003 in film|2003]], in Gerry (film) I used "Gerry is a 2003 film" with that redirecting to 2003 in film. Similarly we could have 2003 play, 2003 book, etc. - Patrick 21:17 9 Jul 2003 (UTC)

When editing an article and creating new links, how do you link a word which may not be exactly the same as the title of a relevant page to that relevant page (e.g. if you write the word 'Epicureans' and want to link it to a page called 'Epicureanism', how do you do it?) Sorry, that's very badly explained; I hope someone knows what I mean!Olivia Curtis

adslhadlhasjhdsakhdakjshdasjkjash click edit and see how this was done

You could write [[Epicureanism|Epicureans]], that will display what is after the | and link to wwhat is before the |. BTW, use 3 tildes (~) to sign, that will create a link to your user page -- Tarquin 22:00 Feb 2, 2003 (UTC)

Sorry? I'm afraid I'm more than a bit technologically backward. How do you get that vertical line symbol? I've found it on my keyboard, but there are two other symbols on that key and I only get one or the other of them when I try pressing shift and alt and things. And what's all that <nowiki business for? Thank you Olivia Curtis

you on mac or PC? on a PC it's to the left of Z. on my mac it's to the left of ENTER. The nowiki thing was a mistake, fixed, see above -- Tarquin 22:12 Feb 2, 2003 (UTC)

Aha! Or should I say Eureka (quite literally - you already know I'm a bit of a pretentious classicist). It was to the left of Z - I was looking at the wrong one. Thanks a lot (and sorry if you've just come rushing back to answer a query, only to find it's just a thank you note)|||||Olivia CurtisOlivia Curtis

that's cool. being a pretentious classicist is a Good Thing as far sa I'm concerned :-) -- Tarquin 22:23 Feb 2, 2003 (UTC)

at worse you can cut and paste the | ; is an html flag which allows one to write wikisoftcode which wont be processed such as <nowiki>==No headline== Vera Cruz

You could also do it another way, which is a bit more effort, but which would allow you to link directly to Epicurean in future, if you wanted to. You could create a redirect at Epicurean - i.e. a page which just contains the line "#REDIRECT [[Epicureanism]]". Then going to Epicurean will automatically redirect you to Epicureanism. Then you can just write "[[Epicurean]]s" in articles in future. (The "s" automatically gets put into the link.) Hope this helps! -- Oliver P. 22:17 Feb 2, 2003 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be nice to have piped wiki links displayed in a different color (e.g. a darker shade of blue)? Mkweise 05:21 Feb 14, 2003 (UTC)

Well, it would be confusing. With luck, that'll scare a few of the less savory types away. ;) --Brion 05:23 Feb 14, 2003 (UTC)

Pipe trick[edit]

I may be more gaga than I thought, but does the pipe trick no longer work? (See 1997 in literature.) <KF> 18:03, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

trick...seems to work, what's the problem? Dori | Talk 18:05, Apr 8, 2004 (UTC)
The question mark seems to break it: [[Foo? (novel)|]]. fabiform | talk 18:17, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes, that part breaks on many cases, but you can still do this: [[Foo? (novel)|Foo?]] Dori | Talk 18:19, Apr 8, 2004 (UTC)
Thanks, Dori and Fabiform. Glad to find out I'm not beyond hope of recovery. <KF> 00:08, 9 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Yes, it is my understanding that the pipe trick does not work if the desired article has a question mark, e.g. [[O Brother Where Art Thou? (soundtrack)|]]. This is an undeniably useful feature because it prevents silly noobs from using the pipe trick when the desired destination has a question mark in the title -- if I need to explain why that would be a Bad Thing, you are clearly whichever sexual orientation offends you the most. </sarcasm> Tuf-Kat 03:51, Apr 9, 2004 (UTC)~
No, you do need to explain, and I'm not a gerbil-stuffer, thank you very much. If you are referring to the fact that question marks are special in URLs: that's what encoding is for. What Would Brian Boitano Do? ends in a question mark. Is this a problem? No, unless your browser is whatever political organization offends you the most. I fail to see why [[O Brother, Where Art Thou? (soundtrack)|]] should not generate a link to,_Where_Art_Thou%3F_(soundtrack), which is a perfectly valid location for a Wikipedia article. Article titles are not URLs. You made this comment quite a while ago, are you perhaps referring to a bug that existed then? JRM 10:46, 2005 Jan 18 (UTC)

Pipe trick for additional 50,000 titles[edit]

  • Because we want to start at the Romanian Wikipedia somthing similar to Wikipedia:WikiProject Cities I was puzzeled why no feature request has been issued of allowing the "pipe trick" together with the more then 50,000 geographical titles at en: and other Wikipedias. See:
  1. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (city names), talk
  2. Wikipedia:WikiProject Cities talk

  • Would be happy to know your opinion about this. Thanks and best regards Gangleri | Th | T 15:49, 2005 Mar 9 (UTC)
  • I think this would be a very useful feature and had been vaguely wondering about requesting it myself. Warofdreams 16:45, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • I like the idea. Ground 21:42, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Enhanced pipe trick[edit]

In the interests of maximizing efficiency (or laziness, depending on your perspective), shouldn't the pipe trick get rid of all prepended words?

Or, better yet, multiple pipes should get rid of multiple words, like so:

[[Wikipedia:en:Wikipedia:test]] --> Wikipedia:en:Wikipedia:test

[[Wikipedia:en:Wikipedia:test|]] --> en:Wikipedia:test

[[Wikipedia:en:Wikipedia:test||]] --> Wikipedia:test

[[Wikipedia:en:Wikipedia:test|||]] --> test

Not sure where in this heirarchy parenthetical expressions should be removed...

- Omegatron 16:06, Apr 15, 2005 (UTC)

example did not exist[edit]

Funny that Albert Einstein wasn't listed under the Physicists category, despite that being used as an example. I went and fixed it. Those using examples might want to make sure they actually do exist, make them exist, or use something that already exists for your example. Otherwise you might confuse or frustrate your audience. In any case, I learned how categories work, so it's not all bad. --Paul 20:39, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Disagree with year-in-x no-piping suggestion[edit]

... and, vehemently so. See Lindsay Lohan for a good example of why piping is a good thing (a simple [[2003 in film]] in line would create clunky, hard-to-follow writing—better to use no links at all). RadioKirk talk to me 22:09, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Forget it. I just removed them. RadioKirk talk to me 05:16, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Let me add my own strong disagreement to this proposed policy. There are zillions of year links in Wikipedia that are essentially useless--adding a hidden "in music" or "in literature" to them makes them far more useful. The idea that all these articles should be re-written to allow for non-piped links to the relevant page is silly--there's no way that the vast majority of such references can be rewritten without extreme awkwardness.

I have to say this strikes me as a solution in search of a problem. Nareek 17:22, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

I wondered about this as well. Does the project page say not to pipe to "year-in-x" articles? Because it's not clear. And if that's what it means, I disagree with it on the same grounds as Nareek. If enough of us agree, can we change the project page?--Rockero 19:02, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
The Music project points back here as the justification for its style guideline. Meanwhile, this article points to the WP:MOS for its justification for not using "YEAR in x" links--but the MOS actually says that some editors think one should link to a "YEAR in x" page as being more specific. Nareek 20:41, 1 July 2006 (UTC)
Can the reader’s date preference and year-in-x coding be deconflicted? When a significant date in ‘X’ is being presented in an article, one certainly wants to capture the whole date, not merely the year. Unfortunately, if you try to do that, it works only until the bot finds it. There ought to be someway to enable both. Where can we go to see if it can be done? Askari Mark (Talk) 00:43, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

easter egg links[edit]

I agree with the easer egg link sections but isn't not rectifying the two in a situation like that an issue with how the print version is gonna be done as well as how the links are done, though the only way I could see to remove that issue would be to check every single wikilink which is infeasible to say the least. Pegasus1138Talk | Contribs | Email ---- 04:49, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I must say that I think that Easter Egg links could be useful. We had this problem recently when I wanted to hide a spoiler in a character's article, being the real identity of the character's performer. A spoiler warning isn't really enough. - Richardcavell 00:52, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Actually, even a spoiler warning is no more than a courtesy to our readers. Hiding the information ("please turn your monitor upside down to read the spoiler"?) is really going too far. See Wikipedia:Spoiler warning#Unacceptable alternatives. Generally, if you don't want to be spoiled, then don't look it up in Wikipedia. You can reasonably expect an encyclopedia to contain everything on the subject. JRM · Talk 10:53, 25 September 2006 (UTC)


I've added a section on piping in templates - can someone more knowledgeable about such things amend/extend it please? Cheers - Grutness...wha? 00:24, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

I think you're confused (though I'm happy to be corrected if it's me that's confused!). Piped links are completely different from templates with arguments. Just because they both happen to use a vertical bar, it doesn't mean that they are related. In my opinion, templates with arguments don't belong on this page. Stephen Turner (Talk) 08:52, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I readded a short paragraph to ensure that people who come here wanting to find out about template parameters are directed to the right place. EdC 12:12, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

3 Policy alternatives for ths use of anacronyms and piped links in Infoboxes[edit]

There is a precedent that i hear from PMA was first developed by Adam Carr that effects a policy whereby we should not pipe links with acronyms in articles. This especially relates to the naming of states within countries. For example, New South Wales should be used instead of NSW and Maine should be used instead of ME.

I have no qualms with this specific precedent. Indeed, I think that it is necessary to have the full name of the state or article linked to for the sake of clarity (especially if used in print version).

However, I think that there perhaps should be an exception made to this precedent-based rule in only the area of Infoboxes. Infoboxes are primarily there to

"provide summary information consistently between articles or improve navigation to closely related articles in that subject"

as Help:Infobox says. I argue that this "summary" requires a "fast and easily digestible" nature in order to "improve navigation". Therefore I think that the piping of links could well be legitimate and helpful when used in infoboxes.

Some editors that I have recently consulted have said that we should not pipe links by anacronym because Wikipedia is not American or Australian. Ultimately, I think this comes down to three policy possibilities. I will use the Louis A. Johnson page as a test-case. Should it say next to "birth_place" in his page's infobox (as a test case for all {people} infoboxes) [keep in mind that infoboxes, like the one on the Louis A. Johnson are only so wide]:

1. [[Roanoke, Virginia|Roanoke]], [[Virginia|VA]], [[USA]]: Roanoke, VA, USA?

2. [[Roanoke, Virginia|Roanoke]], [[Virginia]], [[USA]]:Roanoke, Virginia, USA?

3. [[Roanoke, Virginia|Roanoke]], [[Virginia]]: Roanoke, Virginia?

Which example do editors - by Consensus, of course! - think should be the standard used in userboxes across the board? I'm leaning towards 1. due to the large amount of information gathered concisely. But I'm unsure myself and think that this issue requires your wise counsel. Cheers and Happy editing! Jpe|ob 13:45, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I would agree with 1. in all cases for infoboxes if and only if the full name of the state is in the article somewhere, preferably the introduction. Ansell 01:01, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Proposal at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)[edit]

There is a note in the MoS section to mention here any proposed changes to it. I think my proposal is in accord with the policies on this page so I don't see any problems. It's about discouraging easter egg links of the form [[1992 in table tennis|1992]], in part. The proposal is at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers)#Suggested change to MoS. --Guinnog 04:22, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Piped links breaking date preferences[edit]

Few users strongly disagree with the current guideline that piped links to "years in something" shouldn't be used in full dates. There is an ongoing discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (dates and numbers). Jogers (talk) 19:52, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Using piping to make links longer than necessary[edit]

I would like to propose that this guideline discourage making links longer by using piping to add on to the article titles. A common manifestation of this practice occurs with US presidents, e.g., [[George W. Bush|President George W. Bush]]. Piping does not add anything here except making the link longer. I think that this would appear better as President [[George W. Bush]]. So I propose to add a section:

Don't make links longer than necessary[edit]

Keep links as short as possible given the article title:

e.g., President [[George W. Bush]], not [[George W. Bush|President George W. Bush]].

Comments? Ground Zero | t 14:23, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I see that nobody has responded to this after a long time, but I think a section like that is a good idea. Useight 15:19, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Done. Good idea. --Kubanczyk (talk) 13:10, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Changing existing links to piped links with capital first letter?[edit]

What do other editors think are the pros and cons of changing existing simple links of the form [[article title here]] to piped links of the form [[Article title here|article title here]]? A recent example is this edit. I think it makes the text more complicated to edit and harder to read, particularly for visually impaired editors. It doesn't seem like an improvement. However, I can't find any policy, guideline, or previous discussion that says whether or not it is appropriate to use piped links like that. I'd like to hear other editors' opinions. I think it would be useful to have clear guidance on this issue. I'd like to see if there is a consensus. Thanks, Neparis (talk) 01:40, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

They are redundant and should be removed. Links and search paths are followed by automatically capitalizing the first letter, as seen when you type "coma" into the search box or follow a link to coma: you end up at Coma, and there is no notice of redirection. (As a sidenote, this works the other way as well. On things like IPod and EMachines, as long as the second letter is capitalized the link is valid, but you would never intentionally capitalize the first anyways...) ALTON .ıl 23:49, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Done. Good idea. --Kubanczyk (talk) 13:11, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
When composing links initially, is there any benefit (resource-saving, ultimately $, I guess) from using the capitalization of the article title, say bridge rather than bridge? Is there any benefit from piping without a final space, bridge rather than bridge? (The code is more readable with the space. One robot deletes those spaces, but doesn't open articles only to delete such spaces, iiuc.) --P64 (talk) 02:06, 20 December 2011 (UTC)


Since I have recently added either {{DEFAULTSORT}} or {{lifetime}} to a few articles that lacked either but had identical pipes in each of the category tags, I think that the section on categories should indicate that the pipe in a category tag should only be used when the sort value for that category is different that the sort value for the page in general. In the example cited the article has {{DEFAULTSORT:Einstein, Albert}} so no other pipe with that value is needed. The only category tag that has a pipe is Category:Albert Einstein that is correctly piped with "Albert".

Does that make sense? JimCubb (talk) 01:13, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Piping for the sole purpose of introducing punctuation[edit]

I would like to propose that this guideline discourage the use of any unnecessary punctuation or formatting markup within the piped link. For example: [[Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town|"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town"]] vs. "[[Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town]]" I know, it's already there ("keep links as simple as possible" and "avoid making links longer than necessary"), but perhaps this example would be useful. -- Basilicofresco (msg) 00:09, 10 March 2010 (UTC)


The part about Intuitiveness is quite confusing. On the one hand the misuse of pipes for "easter eggs" is discouraged, but on the other hand i read "It will occasionally be useful to link to a fuller explanation of a phrase".I think it is quite ironic, that intuitivness is encouraged, in a not so intuitive way. -vec ps: if new remarks should be at the end of the discussion, someone please move it there, instead of deleting it or sth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 28 August 2010

We may all suppose that jokes are unwelcome, and the linked article on "easter eggs" focuses on jokes. That leaves me confused, and not alone in confusion (skim this page), about what linknames are unwelcome.
May I have a confident opinion about the first line at The Second Mrs. Giaconda#Summary —where the linkname display "the second wife of an unimportant Florentine merchant ..." is part of a quotation? My solution had been "the second wife of an unimportant Florentine merchant {Lisa del Giocondo} ..." —where the link doesn't need piping; her name is the biography title.[1]. (Edit history implies that may have been undone because I used curly brackets, not knowing how to display the editor's conventional square brackets inside a wikilink.) --P64 (talk) 02:18, 20 December 2011 (UTC)


You know, I've been editing for over three and a half years, well over 6,000 edits. I know its usage quite well but I have been actively searching for the the #$% keyboard shortcut for this symbol for years. Instead I have had to cut and paste the #$% thing over and over, I can't count how many thousands of times. I have even asked other editors and on public discussions about it. Nobody has had an answer. Finally I have found it, quite by accident. "Pipe"? Come on guys, we can name this better. We can post introductory information to beginning wikipedians in a much more user-friendly fashion so stuff like this is not kept a mystery. Trackinfo (talk) 02:25, 9 October 2010 (UTC)


Would you avoid piping a link if it looked like [[List of characters of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre#Nubbins Sawyer (The Hitchhiker)|a hitchhiker]] (appears a hitchhiker)? We've had someone remove all of our piped links to the List of characters pages saying they should be redirects and I'm not so sure that that is what "when to avoid piped links" is really stating.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:45, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

"It is generally not good practice to pipe links simply to avoid redirects"[edit]

I take issue with the general notion of "It is generally not good practice to pipe links simply to avoid redirects". Oh? Since when are redirects considered the default versus clean, direct linking to specific Wikipedia articles? Redirects exist as a result of internal link attrition (articles being moved, etc.). I don't care whether having redirects is "some sort of useful tool to gauge [this condition or that]", they exist primarily to deal with internal link attrition, as well as when a linked article's name doesn't fit cleanly into the style of wording of an article that the link originates from. Bumm13 (talk) 00:47, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

I also take issue with the corresponding Wikipedia:NOTBROKEN#Do_not_.22fix.22_links_to_redirects_that_are_not_broken (I'd use a pipe but apparently some people are against them, per this very page). Since when do other editors get to say one of my edits to an article is "invalid" simply because some random person thinks that edits only involving the making of piped links ("fixing redirects") is somehow detrimental to building an online encyclopedia? Bumm13 (talk) 00:56, 22 May 2013 (UTC)


I'm wondering if formating links to be different colors or use small or bold instructions should be here or on a "see also" page linked from here. There are legitimate reasons for modifying links as such for example if a background color on the page makes links invisible or in signatures or something... Technical 13 (talk) 15:36, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Ironic example[edit]

The last sentence of Intuitiveness section reads, "If the interpretation is purely that of the editor, it is original research and should be moved someplace else entirely."

While some may find it amusing, the last link may confuse the reader (at least myself, initially). A style guide should be concise and unambiguous, e.g. "it is original research and should not be included."

cmɢʟeeτaʟκ 12:00, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Ugh, cryptic. I've changed to "and should be removed", which preserves the original meaning and encourages fixing of this problem. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 14:24, 17 July 2014 (UTC)

Clear links policy[edit]

Wikipedia is ever more plagued by 'easter egg' links, as described in this article's section, 'Wikipedia:Piped_link#Intuitiveness'. This isn't a lack of intuitiveness even - it's a lack of clarity. Avoiding these should be a matter of policy. However, looking at Wikipedia:List of policies, it's not clear that there is even an appropriate section for a policy on the use of piping. If such a policy were introduced, a suitably clear title would be the 'clear links policy'. - Crosbie 15:50, 30 December 2014 (UTC)