Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Academy/Using infobox templates

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These are designed to provide a brief and organized summary of the article's topic, which is further expanded in the main body of the article. They are intended as a quick reference only and do not need to go into detail because there isn't a lot of room available in which to do so. For example in an article about an anti-aircraft gun you might show the effective slant range as well as the maximum ceiling that it can reach, even though there are several other relevant range figures, like effective range when used as an anti-tank gun, etc., that you could use. These should be elaborated in the main body, only the most important or relevant information should be in the infobox when you have several to choose from.

It is important to wikilink as much as you can in an infobox, a casual reader might want to know exactly what a barbette is when you're specifying how thickly armored it is without delving into the body of the article. It is also important to provide conversions between metric and English units of measurements via the {{convert}} template. This is the easiest method of doing this, but it's merely a recommendation. Look over its documentation page carefully, it is a very flexible tool that can display your conversions in almost any way that you might desire. It can convert multiple units, for example nautical miles to kilometers to ordinary miles; it can give a range of numbers separated by dashes or "to", to better suit a table, versus regular text; the units can be spelled out or abbreviated or even turned into their adjectival form (15 inch shell versus 15 inches shell), etc.

The various infobox templates can be found at WP:MILMOS#INFOBOX; each has a documentation section below the template itself that explains all the various entries. Sometimes it's hard to understand exactly what is meant, but examining the infoboxes of highly-rated articles can be very helpful. Not only can they serve to clarify understanding, they can be copied and used in your own article, after changing all the appropriate data. This is often the easiest way to find some obscure imagery like national or service flags, etc. If deciding to write a series of articles on a similar theme consider copying your infobox into Notepad or other similar text editor so you needn't refer back to your original article to copy it.

Most infoboxes have provisions for a photo to illustrate the subject of the article. These can be very helpful to orient readers and should be provided if at all possible. Your best source for these is Wikimedia Commons, but you may need to look through their help files and FAQ for suggestions and limitations of illustrations from other sources. Almost anything can be uploaded if you can legitimately claim fair use, but it is important to understand the restrictions and issues involved.

One additional issue is display of the infoboxes; they're designed to stack on the right side of the page, but too many of them, or combinations of infoboxes and right-justified illustrations, can cause problems with your edit links displaying in the wrong places. WP:BUNCH will show you workarounds to fix the problem.