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Template:Contains special characters

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This template flags potential font/encoding issues for users when an article contains text which may not be rendered correctly on out-of-the-box installations of current operating systems.

Use this only in articles in which the presence of special characters is likely to confuse readers of affected articles; it is not needed on articles where special characters are ordinarily expected (mathematics articles, for instance).


Place at the top of affected articles, below any infobox. Each particular language should have a separate template that calls SpecialChars with the following parameters (as appropriate for that language).

Typical implementations, with generally useful values:
Code Renders as

{{Contains special characters
| special    = uncommon [[Unicode]] characters
| fix        = Help:Multilingual support
| error      = [[Specials (Unicode block)#Replacement character|question marks, boxes, or other symbols]]
| characters = the intended characters
| image      = Replacement character.svg
| link       = Specials (Unicode block)#Replacement character
| alt        = <?>
| compact    = 

{{Contains special characters
| special    = uncommon [[Unicode]] characters
| fix        = Help:Multilingual support
| image      = Replacement character.svg
| link       = Specials (Unicode block)#Replacement character
| alt        = <?>
| compact    = yes

Required. The languages or special content the page includes. This is the text immediately after "This page contains". Free-form, so you can specify as many as you like; for a page of numerous mixed languages, see {{Uncommon Unicode notice}}. Remember to link to the articles for the characters / languages.
The "rendering support" link to a page with the solution (installing fonts, etc.). This should just be the title of the fix page, unlinked. This should usually be Help:Multilingual support unless you have something more specific to point to for a particular language or use case (e.g. International Phonetic Alphabet#Technical note, used in the {{IPA notice}} derivative of this template).
(optiona; must be given a value or omitted entirely) The type of rendering error that will observed without the required support. Free-form wikicode, and will appear between "you may see" and "instead of". Defaults to: [[Specials (Unicode block)#Replacement character|question marks, boxes, or other symbols]], though ''[[mojibake]]'' may be good for East Asian languages.
The specific type of characters that might be missing (i.e. kanji, kana). This is the final wording of the template, after "instead of". Free-form, remember to use links, if not already linked in |special=. The entire "instead of" clause will not appear if this is blank (i.e., the template will end with the wording of |error= or its default value).
(optional) By default, this display "article" in an article and "page" on all other pages. You can manually specify a replacement for that word, usually |section=section, but other values might be list or table. Note: The "|section=y" syntax does not work; it will output the letter "y". Support for that option can be added if it is desired.
(optional) Just the title (no File: or Image: prefix) of an image of the characters, ideally legible at 65x50px and either square or slightly wider than tall. The template defaults to blank, but a reasonable suggestion for many circumstances is Replacement character.svg: Replacement character.svg, which can be given an | description. (This is the default replacement character on Windows systems.)
(optional) The alt text for the image, for visually-impaired readers. See WP:ALT. If the image is merely some text, the alt text should simply repeat that text.
(optional) Name of the article that the image should link to. This should just be the title of the page, unlinked, usually Specials (Unicode block)#Replacement character, but perhaps Mojibake for East Asian languages. By default, the image is considered to be purely decorative and does not link to any article. If this parameter is specified, the alt parameter should also be specified.
(unusually unused) The default width of the image is 22em. This can be made larger with this parameters, for a very small character, or considerably smaller for a short word.
(optional) If set to any value, it will display a shorter form of the standard text, to save space. I suppresses display of the values of |characters= and |error= (so having an image |link= that goes to the same page as |error= is particularly useful, in case someone later turns on the |compact=y feature.

See also

"Contains special characters" warning templates