Wikipedia:Please don't shout
This is an essay.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
Article talk and user talk pages are places to interact with other users. As in real conversation, there is etiquette that should be observed, to make the dialogue more friendly.
Typing in all caps ("TYPING IN ALL CAPS") on Wikipedia, in line with most Internet resources, is perceived as "shouting" and can come across as aggressive. Please do not do it, even in edit summaries. More than occasional use of bold, italics and underline is also very 'shouty' behaviour.
Techniques to avoid shouting
To switch between caps and lower case
Some newcomers ("newbies") genuinely don't know how to switch between CAPS and lower case.
There are two techniques you can use:
- The 'Caps Lock' key, usually situated on the left of your keyboard, will switch your default typing to/from CAPS.
- Using either of the 'Shift' keys (sometimes indicated by an upward arrow), usually situated toward the bottom of your keyboard, will temporarily switch between the two.
Indents, counting and bulletpoints
Breaking up your points can help to give the emphasis you might be looking for.
- : at the start of a line indents text
- :: (and more :s) to further indent
- # at the start of a line to create a counted list
- #:to skip a line...
- ...without losing count, use #:
- * at the start of a line gives a bulletpoint
- ** (and more *s) to sub-bullet
Bold, italics and underlining
A selective use of bold, italics, or underlining may be considered when wishing to emphasise your opinion.
However, please bear in mind that excessive use can be detrimental to your objective as the emphasis is lost in a sea of similar looking text.
- Italics are rendered by adding '' before and after the desired text.
- Bold is applied using '''.
- Underlining is applied using <u> at the beginning of the desired text and </u> at the end.
Many incidents of shouting are provoked by wikistress. Some helpful tips and guidance for avoiding this can be found at User:Dweller/Suggestions for wikistressed editors.
- Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines#Good practices – official guideline
- Wikipedia:Shouting things loudly does not make them true – An essay: "Insisting your opinion is correct without providing an intelligent explanation is the Wikipedia equivalent of shouting your opinion loudly until it is accepted as being true"
- WP:ALLCAPS – Our Manual of Style guide to editing in articles ("mainspace")