Help:Pipe trick

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The pipe trick uses the pipe character ("|") to save typing the label of a piped link for several kinds of wiki links. This can avoid potentially making an error while typing the label.

When the last character of a link is the pipe character, the pipe trick will automatically generate the text that displays for that link. It removes the parenthesized part of the link title, but it also processes commas in the title, and namespace prefixes. The described processing happens at the point of saving the page data, and the generated text is saved with the rest of the page's wiki markup – thus, it is merely an aid to editing.

The pipe trick doesn't work in edit summaries, within <ref> tags, or links to sections – see below.

Examples[edit]

Article titles

  • [[Pipe (computing)|]] results in Pipe
  • [[Phoenix, Arizona|]] results in Phoenix

Pages in other namespaces

The next few examples demonstrate additional features and show the expanded wiki markup text that this pipe-trick process generates, which in turn generates the results in the page display.

Since Wikipedia is case-insensitive in regard to the first character of the target title, it is possible to use the pipe trick for upper- or lowercase words regardless of the target page's case.

  • [[Pipe (computing)|]] generates the wiki markup [[Pipe (computing)|Pipe]] rendered as Pipe
  • [[pipe (computing)|]] generates the wiki markup [[pipe (computing)|pipe]] rendered as pipe

As with all links, it is possible to blend an affix when using the pipe trick as well:

  • [[pipe (computing)|]]s generates the wiki markup [[pipe (computing)|pipe]]s rendered as pipes
  • [[pipe (computing)|]]mill generates the wiki markup [[pipe (computing)|pipe]]mill rendered as pipemill

Combinations[edit]

The basic rule when the pipe trick is used is that an (initial) namespace prefix, a final part beginning with a comma, or a final parenthesis (usually intended for disambiguation) is suppressed in the rendering of the link. The rendered text is case neutral and so should be entered precisely as the user wishes it to appear in the article. In case of combinations of suppressible parts, the following rules apply:

Commas beat parentheses[edit]

If the link name involves both one or more commas and a final parenthesis, only the parenthesis is suppressed:

[[Yours, Mine and Ours (1968 film)|]]

is shown on the page as:

Yours, Mine and Ours

Only one prefix suppressed[edit]

If there are several prefixes, which can occur, for example, for an interlanguage link, only the first is suppressed:

[[:es:Wikipedia:Políticas|]]

is rendered as:

Wikipedia:Políticas

Only the first comma[edit]

If there are several commas, only the part up to the first comma is shown:

[[Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo|]]

results in:

Il Buono

Other combinations[edit]

For the rest, if there is both an initial part and a final part that can be omitted, both are suppressed:

[[Wikipedia:Manual of Style (Persian)|]]

produces:

Manual of Style

Where it doesn't work[edit]

Where the pipe trick doesn't work, the link must be written out in full manually.

<ref> footnotes and <gallery> tags[edit]

The trick does not work when enclosing between "ref" tags or gallery tags.

<ref>[[Roger Taylor (author)|]]</ref>[1]

renders in the references list (generated by the <references/> tag) as:

  1. ^ [[Roger Taylor (author)|]]

Edit summaries[edit]

The trick does not work in edit summaries.

/* Edit summaries and the pipe trick */ as tested in [[WP:SAND|]]

renders in the edit history as:

(Edit summaries and the pipe trick: as tested in WP:SAND)

Section links[edit]

The pipe trick does not work on section links, and in general it does not work for links to anchors (links that use a # sign). For example,

[[Wikipedia:Verifiability#Sources|]]

does not give you any wikilink. See Bugzilla:845, "[[#foo|]], [[/bar|]] should be equivalent to [[#foo|foo]], [[/bar|bar]]".


Related tricks[edit]

Slash trick[edit]

You can achieve a similar effect for subpages by adding a slash.

[[/Subpage/]]

generates:

Subpage

Unlike the pipe trick, though, the slash trick is not expanded in the saved wiki markup.

This trick only works in namespaces where subpages are enabled.

Reverse pipe trick[edit]

If the title of the article you are editing includes a parenthesized term or a comma, placing a pipe at the start of a link will append that parenthesized text to the link target, but not display it.

For example, if the link

[[|Agonizer]]

were placed in Agonist (disambiguation), the link would be expanded to

[[Agonizer (disambiguation)|Agonizer]]

Placing a pipe at the start of a link to an article that has no parentheses or comma in its title will have no effect.

Alternatives[edit]

Some templates are available as alternatives to using the trick for linking.

See also[edit]