Jump to content


Page semi-protected
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Wikipedia:USERBOX)

A userbox is a small rectangular box that looks like this. More examples below.
Userboxes can come in many different styles and colors.
Userboxes can have one or two sideboxes.

A userbox (commonly abbreviated as UBX) is a small colored box (see examples to the right) designed to appear only on a Wikipedian's user page as a communicative notice about the user, in order to directly or indirectly help Wikipedians collaborate more effectively on articles.

The first userboxes were introduced to support the Babel inter-language effort by indicating the skills of users in other languages.

Be mindful that like anything else you add to Wikipedia, userboxes you add will likely be public forever, even if you later have your user page deleted. (Like other Wikipedia pages, your user page will be regularly archived in the database dumps and may be archived by third parties such as the Internet Archive.)

Using existing userboxes

Userboxes belong on their users' pages. In some cases, it may be considered uncivil to place userboxes on other users' pages without their permission (especially in a mean-spirited way—such as accusing a user of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc.). However, userboxes may be placed on non-mainspace talk pages by anyone. (See also Wikipedia:Talk page.)

The {{clear}} template can be placed after the plain userbox if text is added on a new line immediately after it.

A gallery of existing userboxes can be found at Wikipedia:Userboxes/Galleries.


The standard syntax for adding a userbox to your user page (also known as transclusion) is: {{user name_of_box}}.

If you do not have any userboxes on your user page yet, you want to begin using them, and you want to add them down the right side of your user page starting at the top, then edit your user page and, at or near the top of the source for your user page, add {{Userboxtop |}}, add the transclusion(s) for the userbox(es) you wish to include, and add {{userboxbottom}} just after the last userbox transclusion. Please see the #Grouping_userboxes section for other ways of grouping and placing userboxes.

Optional substitution

You may decide to substitute the template code onto your user page using the syntax {{subst:user name_of_box}}. The use of "subst:" will ensure that the template is always displayed in its form when you add it to your user page (i.e. it will not reflect subsequent edits to the template). This method will lead to large amounts of code on your user page.

Creating a new userbox

If you wish to offer an idea for a userbox, do so on the ideas page.

If you have designed a userbox that you would like to make available to others, you may wish to first display it on the New Userboxes talk page for community comment.


The namespace you place your userbox in matters. Userboxes may only be created or displayed in the User, Project (Wikipedia), or Template namespaces.

So which prefix is best for your userbox: User:, Wikipedia:, or Template:?

Since content in User:space represents individual editors more than the community, they are traditionally given more leeway than in other namespaces. Thus, userboxes in User:space may not be as directly collaborative in nature as those in Template:or Wikipedia:namespaces, which are expected to adhere more tightly with certain policies and guidelines, especially Neutral point of view and What Wikipedia is not. This should also be considered before moving a userbox from userspace to any other namespace.

To host a userbox in the user namespace, create a subpage of your own user page or User:UBX.
Userboxes in the project namespace are generally for WikiProject or task force usage. Simply create it as a subpage of the WikiProject (e.g. Wikipedia:WikiProject Board and table games/Userbox).
In the template namespace, userbox names must begin with "User " (e.g. Template:User Brazil or Template:User en)

If you are uncertain if your userbox is in the correct namespace, consider presenting the userbox at the New Userboxes talk page for community comment.

Userboxes and category use

A userbox can be coded to autocategorise any user pages which transclude the userbox into one or more user categories. However, do not use autocategorisation without good reason.

  • Most userboxes refer to a single isolated characteristic of the user; unless the characteristic directly relates to the user's ability or willingness to collaborate on certain areas of or topics within Wikipedia, a user category should not exist for it and the userbox should not be used for categorisation.
  • Users of the userbox can be located using the Special:WhatLinksHere tool from the userbox template. Networking between editors with similar interests or views is best done using a projectspace essay with a signup section for editors interested in networking.
  • If there is a good reason for the user category, first create the category pages and include a description that explains its purpose and scope.
  • User categories must be sub-categories of Category:Wikipedians.
  • Names and descriptions of user categories are subject to the same rules and restrictions as userbox content.

Userbox content

Content restrictions

  • All userboxes are governed by the civility policy.
  • Wikipedia is not an appropriate place for:
    • Propaganda, advocacy, or recruitment of any kind (commercial, political, religious, or otherwise)
    • Opinion pieces, particularly on current affairs or politics
    • Self-promotion or advertising

Simply: If content is not appropriate on other parts of a user page, it is not appropriate within userboxes.

Caution about image use

Wikimedia Commons has a large range of icons for use within boxes. However, if you select an image from somewhere else, make certain the image has a free license. Templates (which includes userboxes and topicons) on user pages may not contain any copyrighted content not under free license; so, for example, "fair use" images are explicitly forbidden. This is interpreted strictly and without exception. See Wikipedia's fair use policy guidelines for more details.

Caution about colours

Please be mindful of the colour contrast guidelines at WP:COLOUR – low-contrast colours present accessibility barriers to people with colour-blindness or other visual disabilities.

Content examples

The following section is not to be considered all-inclusive. As such, other word combinations (both appropriate and inappropriate) are obviously possible.

Typical userbox content:

Typical verbs:

  • verbs of action: contributes (to), drives, eats, edits, plays, uses, watches
  • verbs of comprehension: reads, speaks, understands
  • verbs of preference: enjoys, likes, loves

Additional examples, using the linking verb is:

  • This user is <noun phrase>.
  • This user is a fan of <noun phrase>.
  • This user is a member of <noun phrase>.
  • This user is interested in <noun phrase>.

Another option is to allow changing the verb phrase using a template parameter. This is especially useful in location userboxes:

  • This user {{{1|lives in}}} <location>.

To avoid the awkward third-person phrasing ("This user"), you can use "{{#titleparts: {{PAGENAME}} | 1 | 1 }}" (without the quotes) to insert the name of the user that includes it on their page (e.g. "{{#titleparts: {{PAGENAME}} | 1 | 1 }} uses second-person phrasing" produces "Userboxes uses second-person phrasing").

Potentially divisive words

Avoid verbs (often followed by the word "that") which may be used to suggest negative comparison and would thus be potentially divisive, such as:

  • believes, considers, finds, knows, prefers, thinks, wishes

Avoid negative verb phrases which can be potentially divisive, such as:

  • dislikes, despises, hates, loathes

Also avoid compound sentences which are positive and negative, such as:

  • This user likes <noun phrase>, but does not like <another noun phrase>.

Essentially: Express what you do like, rather than what you don't like. Express what you comprehend, rather than what you don't comprehend. Express what you do, rather than what you don't. Express who you are, rather than who you aren't.

Design: How to construct the box

There are a number of box types to select from when deciding to make a userbox. The most commonly used design is the "Standard box". It has one square shaped area on the left ("id label") and a larger rectangular space on the right ("info area").

For ease of use, userboxes are typically made using maker-templates that have a number of parameters.

Parameter Applies to Syntax and Comments on Value Types
border-c Border color for the overall userbox. CSS color string as in #hex or a CSS named color. (E.g. #f00 or red or #ff0000).
border-s Border line thickness for the overall userbox. Unit-less numerical value for border size/width, equivalent to pixels,
but do not append 'px' to the number. E.g. border-s = 3 .
Background color for the id label area of the userbox.
CSS color string (hex or name)
id-s Text size for the id label area. Unit-less numerical value for font-size (do not append 'px')
id-fc Text color for the id label. CSS color string (hex or name)
id-p Space/padding Between the id content
and the userbox border.
This cell padding uses a CSS length value. Unlike the other unit-less values,
this must have a CSS length unit such as px or pt. (E.g. id-p = 8px ).
id-lh Vertical distance between id text lines (line-height). It is recommended to use unit-less numerical values for line-height.
Optionally, CSS length units can be used for this parameter.
Background color for the info area of the userbox.
CSS color string (hex or name)
info-s Text size for the info area. Unit-less numerical value for font-size (do not append 'px').
info-fc Text color for the info area. CSS color string (hex or name)
info-a Horizontal text alignment for info area only. A text string of, one of: left, right, or center.
Do not enclose the key word in quotes. (E.g. info-a = center ).
info-lh Vertical distance between info text lines (line-height). It is recommended to use unit-less numerical values for line-height. Optionally,
CSS length units can be used for this parameter.
id Specify content for the the id label. Free-form text (E.g. id = Co )
info Specify content for the info area. Free-form text (E.g. info = Cobalt is Very Blue )

The id label and info content area can include text, links, and/or images, using the usual Wikipedia syntax. Typically, the info box will contain a sentence with a link or two, while the id box will contain a few letters, a symbol, or a 43px image.

Userbox types
Userbox sampling templates

To make it easier to quote the generation code for a userbox in a uniform format, a template {{Userbox sample compact}} has been made available, which produces a picture of the userbox along with the code necessary to create it. To use it, just give it exactly the same parameters you would give the {{Userbox}} template. You must use subst:, or the template will not work properly. An example is shown below:

{{subst:Userbox sample compact|id=UBX|id-c=red|info=This is a '''[[WP:UBX|Userbox]]'''.}}


{{Userbox | border-c = #999 | border-s = 1 | id-c = red | id-s = 14 | id-fc = black | info-c = #EEE | info-s = 8 | info-fc = black | id = UBX | info = This is a '''[[WP:UBX|Userbox]]'''. | float = left }}
UBX This is a Userbox.

There are not yet any similar templates available for userboxes created by the templates Userbox-r, Userbox-2 and Userbox-m.

Grouping userboxes

Using the Userboxtop template

As with the Babel box, there is a box to group userboxes together. Just make a list of userboxes with {{Userboxtop|box-name}} at the top, followed by your list of userboxes, and {{Userboxbottom}} at the bottom. For example, the box to the right is created using the following list:

{{User WikiProject Userboxes}}

Using collapsible tables

If you wish to group your userboxes into expandable lists in the {{Userboxtop}} template, one way of doing this is by using collapsible tables with certain classes. Wikipedia's Mediawiki configuration attempts to make this happen through a combination of ECMAScript and CSS. This method is accessible to users with ECMAScript (jScript/JavaScript) disabled, and should work in most modern browsers (it is the method used by {{Navbox}}).

Using the codes in Help:Collapsing works much better and simpler using normal wiki table markup!
 {{Userboxtop|Example 2}}
 <table class="collapsible collapsed" style="width: 100%; background: transparent; color: inherit;">
   <tr><th style="background:lavender;">(Caption)</th></tr>
     (Place your userboxes here...)

Include 'collapsed' if you want the box to start closed, omit it if you want the box to start open. You can also use multiple tables to get separate collapsible parts like in the example to the right.

You can now use {{Userboxgroup}} to create this kind of box.

Using the Babel grouping system

The Babel grouping system can also be used, e.g. {{Babel|sv|no-4|in Rome}}, which generates:

However, it only works for user boxes with the "User" prefix, which must then be dropped for the arguments.

Also, boxes that need arguments of their own (such as {{User:UBX/Monty Python}} or {{User Translator}}) are difficult to use with the Babel system. They can be used by including parameters with magic word replacing the vertical bars and equals signs, e.g. {{Babel|fr-5|ja-2|Translator{{!}}fr{{!}}project{{=}}no}} (result below), but this behavior is not officially supported by the template, and may not work in all contexts and break at some point in the future.

Using tables

Another alternative would be to table your userboxes:

{| style="margin: 1em auto;"
|+ example 6
| {{User:AusTerrapin/Box:Jazz Fusion}} {{User_USAFo5}}
| {{User helper}} {{User:The Raven's Apprentice/Userboxes/User Warm}}

would produce the following:

example 6
This user enjoys jazz-rock fusion.
This user helps out newcomers.
This user prefers warm weather.

To center one userbox use this coding:

{| style="margin: 1em auto;"
|+ example 7
| {{User:Saoshyant/Userboxes/User oops}}

which produces:

example 7
This user tries to do the right thing. If they make a mistake, please let them know.

See also