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.
Also note that the basics to changing the background of signatures is included on the Wikipedia:Signatures page (though more in-depth instructions are soon to follow)
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:
- See WP:Colour contrast for advice on choosing colour combinations that are accessible to people with colour blindness or other conditions.
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 <span> tag.
If I put at the start of some text
<span style="color: green">, all the text I write turns green. Note that the text will not turn back into black until I type
Bob wants a green and maroon signature, so he types
[[User:UserBob|<span style="color: green">UserBob</span>]] [[User talk:UserBob|<span style="color: maroon">talk</span>]], producing
He can even use different colours in the same part. For example,
[[User:UserBob|<span style="color: red">User</span><span style="color: green">Bob</span>]] [[User talk:UserBob|<span style="color: maroon">talk</span>]] 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.
Also, some users don't use a white background; many users prefer light colored text on a dark background and may have enabled the Gadget "Use a black background with green text on the Monobook skin". So if you specify foreground colors, you should consider specifying background colors as well.
If you want to manually edit colors, as so;
<span style="background-color: blue; color: white"> everything typed becomes highlighted blue, and is in white text.
But, since we know UserBob doesn't much like the color blue, so he chooses the colors green (for the text), and maroon (for the background). Therefore,
[[User:UserBob|<span style="background-color: maroon; color: green">UserBob</span>]] [[User talk:UserBob|talk]] produces:
But wait, the talk is displayed in blue with no highlight! The reason is simple, the text to be entered into preferences must include the
<span> tag before the
[[User:UserBob|UserBob]] linking. Also, due to the fact that UserBob is displayed as a link, the color change must be included in the area of the link.
That would look something like this:
<span style="background-color: maroon">[[User:UserBob|<span style="color: green">UserBob</span>]] [[User talk:UserBob|<span style="color: green">talk</span>]]</span> in order to produce:
- NOTE: The
</span>tag is not required in the signature except at the end. However, if the
</span>tag is not put at the end of the example above, then all following text will be highlighted too!
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|<span style="color: purple">Us</span>]][[WP:EA|<span style="color: green">'''''e'''''</span>]][[User:UserBob|<span style="color: purple">r</span><span style="color: green">Bob</span>]] [[User talk:UserBob|<span style="color: maroon">talk</span>]]
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
Blinking signatures (most modern browers will not display blinking text anyway)
Signatures which include line breaks
Or any mix of the above!
Here are some actual signatures contributed by actual editors. Edit this section to see the code for each. Feel free to share your own creation! (Do not add someone else's signature, no matter how interesting it is.)
<font>...</font> tags were deprecated in HTML 4.0. If your signature uses these tags, we ask that you remove them before adding your signature here. See existing examples below for how to achieve the same effect using
<span>...</span> and CSS properties. For more information, see this talk page discussion.
01:31, 26 July 2014 (UTC) - (I found this 3D effect to be annoying when several were on-screen at the same time-Mandruss)
― 08:09, 1 April 2015 (UTC)