Wikipedia talk:Customizing watchlists

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikipedia Help Project (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This page is within the scope of the Wikipedia Help Project, a collaborative effort to improve Wikipedia's help documentation for readers and contributors. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. To browse help related resources see the Help Menu or Help Directory. Or ask for help on your talk page and a volunteer will visit you there.
Start-Class article Start  This page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This page has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.

Script note[edit]

I updated the RemoveMarkAll script so that it completely disables the new features, including watchlist bolding, in case it ever gets reinstated, without any CSS coding required. The CSS portion of the disable section here could therefore be removed. Equazcion (talk) 11:47, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Possibly - but JS can be heavier (which might matter for anyone on a slow connection), and user interface changes via JS can also be clunkily slow (you see it happening during page load), whereas CSS just does it. So I'd leave the CSS option, at least for now. Rd232 talk 12:17, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Connection wouldn't matter, CSS and JS are both compiled on the client side. The source code is all that's downloaded. But true about execution speed. Equazcion (talk) 12:38, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
The CSS parts are loaded always first (before the JS) and thus the connection matters! Moreover the styling is easier to display than complex calculations by JS! mabdul 07:55, 16 May 2012 (UTC)


Very useful page. Still, it's a bit ridiculous to have to write things such as «If the sitewide CSS has been changed [...]». It's very bad that default styles have been changed so rapidly and without proper consideration. Nemo 13:04, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Agreed, a useful page and to be frank the way appearance changes should be managed, give a load of options including keeping the status quo and let people choose for themsleves. perhaps though more pictorial examples of what the changes for each bit of code look like would assist in letting users decide which option they would like to use. I also agree with Nemo that «If the sitewide CSS has been changed [...]» isn't exactly NPOV. NtheP (talk) 14:26, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

How do we tell which is the sitewide default[edit]

I'm a bit confused here, this article says that there is a sitewide default.  People seem to be saying that the bolding is currently the default.  But I had to create the vector.css page to get the bolding to work.  If bolding is only the default for people for whom it is the default, there is not much point in calling it a default.  Unscintillating (talk) 16:06, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Same here. Apparently the sitewide default is not constant :-) - DVdm (talk) 16:31, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
The default is whatever MediaWiki:Common.css is currently set to? NtheP (talk) 16:34, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
Indeed. See this - DVdm (talk) 16:49, 12 May 2012 (UTC)
The default configuration on English Wikipedia is the bolding, which is part of how the site is configured by the developers. The bolding is actually the default setting for all MediaWiki installations (i.e. all Wikipedias), it's just that English chose not to use it for a long time. However, default styling can be overridden here by any admin using the Common.css and Common.js MediaWiki namespace pages, and that's what Elen of the Roads did. That's why you had to add the bolding back in your personal CSS Unscintillating. Steven Walling • talk 01:50, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes - MediaWiki default is bolding, English Wikipedia default is (currently) no bolding. Rd232 talk 06:31, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm just in the process of creating a feedback page - currently at User:Elen of the Roads/Watchlist survey. What I'd like to do is move this when finished to the RfC area and put a watchlist notice to direct people to it. I'd also like to get something in Signpost, and have contemplated getting one of the message bots to put a note on all talkpages...but I think that might be overkill. Any comments, suggestions, alternative ideas etc? We need to do something by way of communications. I'm trying to keep that discussion at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Next_steps. Suggested modifications to the survey page can be made put on it's talkpage. Elen of the Roads (talk) 12:03, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
    • I like the idea. What I'm missing on the actual page is the possibility to opt-out the central notices. There are likely more CC-hacks and JS tools. As pointed out at the bottom of this talk page, we should mention the possibility of hiding (or highlighting) log entries. mabdul 13:09, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I think more can be added to the page here. And making people aware that all this is available. Watchlists seem to be very customisable things - I bet most people never knew that. Elen of the Roads (talk) 17:41, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Final version with images now done at User:Elen of the Roads/Watchlist survey. I'll leave it 24hrs for comments (I notice people have started to fill it in), then move it out of userspace and ask for a watchlist notice, unless anyone objects. --Elen of the Roads (talk) 00:30, 14 May 2012 (UTC)


Is there any way to hide the log changes on the watchlist? Armbrust, B.Ed. WrestleMania XXVIII The Undertaker 20–0 18:27, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, similar to the rollback CSS-hack hide you can remove or modify the appearance e.g.: with .page-Special_Watchlist .mw-log-delete {display:none;} (hopefully that should be work, other log entries can be hidden in a similar way. mabdul 01:19, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
For some reason It doesn't work. Armbrust, B.Ed. WrestleMania XXVIII The Undertaker 20–0 21:45, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
D'oh. Sorry I checked the source code: as it seems you can hide defacto everything you want, but log entries are trickier.
.page-Special_Watchlist .mw-made-collapsible {display:none;}
This code works at least for all multiple log entries. (so a minimum of 2 log entries of the same stuff: e.g. 2 deletion or two user creation logs, etc.) I will investigate more time to find a (CSS, otherwise this has to be done by JS) possible solution. mabdul 22:56, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
Yeah! Finally I learned a bit CSS: simply add/replace -del with the part of the logs you don't want to get displayed. I will update the WP page. mabdul 00:41, 14 May 2012 (UTC)
.page-Special_Watchlist table[class*="mw-changeslist-log-del"] {display:none;}

Why use javascript to import CSS?[edit]

Why is javascript being used to import CSS instead of using CSS code such as @import url('User:Equazcion/RemoveRecentUpdateMarkers.css');? – Allen4names 15:20, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

No particular reason, though I guess because it's a simpler line. If there's a benefit to doing it this way it can be changed, I'm just not aware of any. Equazcion (talk) 03:13, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
I think a CSS only option should be offered. For example I have a common.css page but not a common.js page. I will go ahead and make the edit soon. – Allen4names 03:56, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Watchlist wishlist[edit]

  • I would like options. (Is there a better place to express these wishes?) I'd like the ability to pick among multiple namespaces, as with the advanced search function. An option to select for pages that have changed since my last visit might be nice. Is WikiMedia now recording details of my visit to every page? Who has access to this database? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:43, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Smart Watchlist script offers some nice options. The database does record your visits. It has the same access as those who would be able to view your watchlist items. See here where those privacy concerns are being discussed. Equazcion (talk) 03:17, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Another Wish: A watchlist that covers multiple WikiMedia projects. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:34, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Script for dynamically choosing a style[edit]

WatchStyle script screenshot.png

Requires a modern browser with HTML5 support (any recent version of FF, Chrome, IE should do).

Your option is saved locally, so when you revisit your watchlist the last option you were using is chosen. There's about a 400ms delay when switching options that I'm working on getting rid of. Equazcion (talk) 23:59, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Changes needed[edit]

To prevent the override for the watchlist bolding from also overriding the usual bolding on Special:RecentChanges, I had to change the override in MediaWiki:Common.css to more specifically target the watchlist only. If your override for the override has broken, you will probably be able to fix it by changing your CSS selector from a to .mw-special-Watchlist a. Anomie 02:15, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I realised it needed doing a couple of days ago, but I've hardly had two minutes to edit (trying to get a new job has taken something of a priority). Some of the custom code will need updating . --Elen of the Roads (talk) 22:08, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Time to update the page?[edit]

The section in WP:Customizing watchlists#Enable styling still shows the original recommendation for bolding the watchlist, prior to Anomie's change of Common.css on May 17. I assume the following change is needed: a {
    font-weight: bold;


.mw-special-Watchlist a {
   font-weight: bold;

Entries in the following section on WP:Customizing watchlists#Alternative styling (adding the green stars etc.) may also need updating. Thanks, EdJohnston (talk) 16:54, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

 Done (sorry I didn't do it last night, I was short of time to figure out all the examples here). The other entries shouldn't need updating, as they don't try to re-bold. Anomie 19:17, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Mark all pages visited[edit]

I have styling enabled, but the mark all pages visited button just disappeared. Does anyone know happened? Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:00, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

It has been re-enabled. Edokter (talk) — 18:10, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
Who's in charge of keep changing the watchlist style? I support progress, of course, but at the moment it seems to be changing back and forth and fifth and sixth every couple of minutes. Victor Yus (talk) 18:14, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
Which is ridiculous because there is a discussion going on about it. Ryan Vesey Review me! 18:42, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
I wish people would have just left things alone pending discussion in the first place, like they did with the similarly-unpopular diff color change. Now we're stuck supporting this poorly-thought-through "reverting". Anomie 01:08, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Bold styling[edit]

I end up using the bold styling because I find it useful primarily in deciding what pages I should take off of my watchlist. Is there any way to modify it so it doesn't bold pages where the last editor was myself? I have no experience in css, but I would assume there would be some type of if function that could take care of it. Ryan Vesey Review me! 17:18, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Well, it does not bold the pages which you have seen in the last version, and if you edited them you obviously seen them (the last version) as well, so that I do not quite understand the problem. Such pages are never bolded.--Ymblanter (talk) 17:20, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
Maybe it happens if you edit through the API? I haven't tried it. Anomie 19:52, 19 May 2012 (UTC)
I realized that if I open my watchlist it bolds my last edits. Then if I refresh the page, it removes the bolding. Ryan Vesey Review me! 01:04, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Useful little userscript[edit]

Someone mentioned that they wished there would be a way on the watchlist page itself to choose from all these styles. I decided to take up the challenge. To try it, remove any overrides you may have to restore the indicators (e.g. if you added green stars, remove the css for that), and then add this to your common.js:

importScript('User:Anomie/watchlist-change-style-selector.js'); // Linkback: [[User:Anomie/watchlist-change-style-selector.js]]
importStylesheet('User:Anomie/watchlist-change-style-selector.css'); // Linkback: [[User:Anomie/watchlist-change-style-selector.css]]

Then look near where the "Mark all pages visited" button was, and let me know what you think. Tested in Firefox and Chromium on Monobook and Vector, both with and without the "enhanced recent changes" option. Anomie 05:41, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Changeslist-line-watched color and font weight[edit]

Don't know if this is the right place to ask, but it looks like the color and font parameters of changeslist-line-watched don't work anymore. I use to have this in place in my common.css:

span.updatedmarker {
   background-color: PeachPuff;
   color: #000000;
} a {
   font-weight: normal;
   color: #000000;
   background-color: PeachPuff;

Since a few days this stopped working and I had to modify to this:

.mw-special-Watchlist .mw-changeslist-line-watched .mw-title {
   font-weight: normal;
   color: #000000;
   background-color: PeachPuff;

This solved the watchlist problem, but it looks like the color-parameter doesn't do its job anymore: the background color is set, but the font color is blue where it should be black. The parameter still works in the updatedmarker section, but not in the changeslist-line section. I also experimented with the font weight and it doesn't work either. Did I miss something? TIA - DVdm (talk) 10:50, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

A link doesn't normally inherit the foreground color of its parent element. You'd need to use a selector like .mw-special-Watchlist .mw-changeslist-line-watched .mw-title a instead to target the link directly. Anomie 12:56, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
Works for me, thanks--Ymblanter (talk) 13:11, 17 July 2012 (UTC)
And for me:
.mw-special-Watchlist .mw-changeslist-line-watched .mw-title a {
   font-weight: normal;
   color: #000000;
   background-color: PeachPuff;
Thanks indeed! - DVdm (talk) 13:56, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

Green stars are broken[edit]

This help request has been answered. If you need more help, you can ask another question on your talk page, contact the responding user(s) directly on their user talk page, or consider visiting the Teahouse.

I currently have the green stars enabled on my watchlist. Whenever a new edit comes in, any changes that had been marked as read pop back up as unread. This is the only watchlist marker script I have enabled. Thanks in advance, Nathan2055talk - contribs 16:36, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't see anything that has changed in MediaWiki that could have broken it, so what skin/browser/OS are you currently using? (Feel free to re-enable the helpme template when you answer.) Thanks, LegoKontribsTalkM 21:42, 30 September 2012 (UTC)
Vector, Firefox, and Windows XP. It worked fine before, I wonder what the trouble is. --Nathan2055talk - contribs 18:35, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't know, I'm going to try and replicate the problem now on my own machine. I'll post again in a few minutes. LegoKontribsTalkM 21:14, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I've tested it, and it works for me. Can you view the source code of your watchlist and tell me if you see mw-changeslist-line-watched next to a few pages in your watchlist? It should be in something that looks like:
<li class="mw-line-odd mw-changeslist-line-watched watchlist-2-Jimbo_Wales">
And I'm watching this page now, so you don't need to use the helpme. LegoKontribsTalkM 21:20, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Also, do you have the "Expand watchlist to show all changes, not just the most recent" option selected in your preferences (in the Watchlist tab) and/or the "Group changes by page in recent changes and watchlist (requires JavaScript)" option selected in your preferences (in the Recent Changes tab)? Anomie 23:07, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
I disabled both of those settings. Let's see if it works now. --Nathan2055talk - contribs 19:10, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Looks like it's working again. Thanks! --Nathan2055talk - contribs 18:18, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Enhanced display mode[edit]

A particular problem[edit]

I can't find something named in the My preferences section of the Wikipedia: Customizing watchlists page, which says that enhanced display mode is an option on the Recent changes tab of the user's Preferences page. However, the nearest I can find on that tab is the check-box under Advanced options called Group changes by page in recent changes and watchlist (requires JavaScript). I assume these are the same thing, and that the current text reflects an older label for the option.

Even more confusingly, another user refers (on this talk page) to the enhanced recent changes option. While I can guess at their meaning, I could easily guess wrong; so, for what it's worth , I'm guessing that that user wasn't very concerned with being precise in naming the option.


  1. Unless told otherwise, I intend to change the text enhanced display mode to Group changes by page in recent changes and watchlist. (I judge that there's no need to mention the note (requires JavaScript).)
  2. I'd like to plead with all editors to be precise when naming objects on Wikipedia. While that won't help us uncover objects with a history of changing names, it will certainly help others by not creating new, avoidable confusions.

However, such a plea must remain a singular event, and more formal means may be necessary for longer-term effect. This leads me to:

A more general problem[edit]

Inconsistencies in naming entities, as shown above, can cause endless confusion to users, especially to new or casual editors. Another obvious example of such inconsistent naming is that this page is labelled Discussion on the tab, but described as Editing Wikipedia talk ... (my emphasis) on the Window title bar.

Consistency, it is said, is the hobgoblin of little minds. Let me respond that confusion is the state of even great minds that disregard hobgoblins.


  1. I want to propose a change to Wikipedia practices, which would require two parts:
    1. A guideline to take particular care to be consistent when naming objects on Wikipedia. (One may already exist; however, I'm not aware of any.)
    2. A tool (script, bot, whatever) to help us to uncover and correct naming inconsistencies. (They might be pretty hard to spot by mechanical rule, but I think it's worth trying.)
  2. Please help me:
    1. locate any relevant current guidelines and tools,
    2. identify places (Village Pump, perhaps?) and people who can help with this issue, and
    3. identify structures and tools (project, script ...?) to use.

Thanks for reading! yoyo (talk) 14:11, 2 March 2013 (UTC)


The two classes .wikibase-edit and .wb-entity-link are being used if you have "Show Wikidata" enabled. I've thrown my test notes at Help talk:Watching pages#Wikidata - tweaking the watchlist display colors, in case that helps anyone. (Please correct me if I made any mistakes there). Thanks :) –Quiddity (talk) 00:09, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

View diffs in an RSS feed[edit]

I recently figured out how to create an RSS feed out of my watchlist but I was wondering if there's a way to have the links provided in that RSS feed by links to the page history or diff instead of just a link to the page. I checked around on this page and Help:Watching pages but couldn't find anything. WCS100 (talk) 22:02, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

I really wish I knew how to implement something like this. This would allow me to contribute a much larger amount of time to editing and reverting vandalism and I'm just one person. Instead of grabbing my phone to kill time, I could much more easily grab it to check edits being made to the pages I watchlist. That would free up the other time I give to Wikipedia to add content instead of using part of that time to check diffs. If I could somehow make this happen, I think it would hands-down be the most important thing I've ever contributed to Wikipedia.
Does anyone know if this is even possible? This is not my area of expertise but if someone saw a way to make it work, I'd do whatever I could to make it happen. WCS100 (talk) 21:38, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

Watchlist categories?[edit]

Is there a way to customize your watchlist so as each article of a different category falls under a different title? I'm thinking along the lines of:

Film & TV
  • (diff | hist) . . b Metropolis; 21:20
  • (diff | hist) . . House M.D.; 20:45
  • (diff | hist) . . m Taboo (miniseries); 19:55
  • (diff | hist) . . b Linkin Park; 21:20
  • (diff | hist) . . That's The Spirit; 20:45
  • (diff | hist) . . m Muse; 19:55

Just think that this would benefit somehow. SilentDan (talk) 22:31, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

No. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:46, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

phrase inside ()[edit]

(which may have been an automated bot edit, or marked as minor, i.e., something less significant than, for example, the edit just before it – or, depending on other preference settings, may usually be hidden)

I hereby declare this essentially incomprehensible and in immediate need of a rewrite. CapnZapp (talk) 10:16, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

WP:CUSTOMWATCH#Highlight specific pages working for anyone?[edit]

I've played around with in my common.css, and tried multiple browsers, but it just doesn't seem to do anything.   ~ Tom.Reding (talkdgaf)  17:59, 25 January 2018 (UTC)