Wikipedia talk:Writing better articles/Use colour sparingly

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Supporters of this rule include:

  1. StefanRybo
  2. drj (strongly)
  3. sjc
  4. GWO (strongly)
  5. tbc
  6. Damian Yerrick
  7. Josh Grosse
  8. AxelBoldt
  9. Enchanter
  10. 24 (strongly)
    color should be added by the user interface for other things, it should never be part of the text itself
  11. Rotem Dan
  12. Noldoaran (Talk)
  13. Angela
  14. Eequor
  15. Martin (strongly - but "sparingly" does not mean "never")

Opponents include:

  1. maveric149
    In general I agree; especially with regular old wikipedia articles. However, in many cases the use of color adds additional very useful information to a table or chart. See Periodic table, talk:isotope and Beryllium for examples. The colors have to be chosen carefully and some thought must go into their logical use. See discussion at talk:periodic table and talk:isotopes. Color should never be used just for the sake of using color.
  2. cprompt
    Shading on a table can make it stand out, and it adds some nice contrast to the rest of the article. We should be using color about as much as print encyclopedias do, which is to say, not much. For special features like photos and tables, I'd say that colors should be used. Nothing too loud though, and the color should not be visible on the Printable version (for readability when printing in black and white).

I'm actually pretty ambivalent about this one. Sure, there's nothing worse than obnoxious gee-whiz angry-fruit-salad mishmash of color without reason, but we shouldn't be afraid to use the medium when it's called for either. If an occasional use of color in a table or something makes it easier to read, I have no objection to it. -- Lee Daniel Crocker


I should note, BTW, that the colors on the tables over in Talk:Isotope are currently provisional and will be muted somewhat in the final product. I really should get back to work on that now that my exams are over... :) Anyway, I agree that color can be quite good and decent and useful, under the proper circumstances. Angry fruit salad, on the other hand, will be edited out by people with more taste. Bryan Derksen

Proposal to consolidate advice on writing better articles[edit]

At present there are many articles in the Wikipedia namespace that seek to give guidance on how to write better articles. I propose consolidating these into a much smaller number. On User:Jongarrettuk/Better writing guide I propose how these could be consolidated. The proposal is not to change advice, just to consolidate it. If I have inadvertently moved what you consider to be good advice that is currently in the Wikipedia namespace, please re-add it. I'm hope that the proposal to merge all these articles, in principle, will be welcomed. Of course, it may be preferred to have 2, 3 or 4 inter-connected articles than just one and would welcome advice on how this could be done. (In particular, perhaps all the guidance on layout should be spun off into one consolidated article on layout.) I'm also aware that putting lots of different bits of advice together may throw up anomalies or bits that people now disagree with (including bits that I myself disagree with:) ). I ask for support for the consolidation. Once the consolidation has happened, the advice can be changed in the normal way. Please feel free to improve on the current draft consolidation, but don't remove or add advice that is not currently on the Wikipedia namespace. If all goes well, I'll add a new Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles page on the 19th, though maybe some bits of the new article will need to be phased in over a longer period. I'll also take care to preserve all the archived discussion in one place. jguk 19:56, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

What about neutral colors?[edit]

Can shades of gray be used safely in articles, especially for table backgrounds? Denelson83 03:22, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)