Wikipedia talk:FAQ/Categorization

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category article inside category[edit]

Please include the question "Should a page be put in a category of the same name?", e.g. should "Cat" go in Category:Cats, and maybe mention the use of |* for these cases. Kappa 05:24, 24 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I have looked for an answer in the existing documentation but found none. In my opinion the article with the same name as the category should not be put in the category but in the parent category. The article can be referenced form inside the category by catmore or a link in the description of the category. MathMartin 12:42, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

  • Well the point is how to get from the article to the category and its children, and to know that there *is* a category with that name. Kappa 16:57, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Ok, I did not realize this. MathMartin 20:41, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)

If anyone is still watching, a proposal related to this very topic is being considered at Wikipedia talk:Categorization. -- Samuel Wantman 02:27, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

The current norm is that a page should always be put in the category of the same name, and piped with a space so that it appears before all others. -- Samuel Wantman 08:22, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Category size[edit]

I think we should have a recommended size for categories (both upper and lower). Right now we have several extremes which are much to large, such as Category:Websites, and those which are much to small, where the category is so specific there's only one entry.

I suggest that we give a recommended upper limit of ~150 and a recommended lower limit of ~10. Exceptions to this would be "gateway" categories, which are used as sorting tools (XX by nationality etc.). Oberiko 16:42, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In finnish Wikipedia there is practise that even categories where is only 1 article are acceptable in most cases, even there is a rule that says "You should not create categories with only 1 or 2 articles". Some says that it's ok if you can expect that there is more coming in a next few years. I'd like to know what is the original rule about this, or is there any? -- 00:29, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
The original feature seems to have been debated at meta:Categorization requirements#High Priority Requirements (about the 22nd bulleted items). From the behavior of the categories it seems the setting of maximum number of members within a category was rejected. I personally like not setting maximums or minimums ( other than through guidelines based on good sense ) because it emphasizes the Wiki philosophy of freedom to edit. Pknkly (talk) 15:52, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Missing QA[edit]

I wanted to find info on whether the article can be categorized with a subcategory and a parent category (i.e. Category:Peace treaties and Category:Polish peace treaties). I thought it was against our guidelines/MoS, but I can't find any text on any category-related page to prove my point. Any help would be appreciated.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 04:21, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

That should be avoided. Articles should only be put in the most specific category applicable. Only very occasionally is it appropriate to also place the article in a (grand,grand,grand-)parent category. I have read this somewhere... *googles* Found it: An article should not be in both a category and its subcategory, for example Microsoft Office is in Category:Microsoft software, so should not also be in Category:Software. An article with the same name as a category should usually belong only to that category, for instance, Deism belongs only in Category:Deism. From Help:Category#When_to_use_categories. It's a guideline. pfctdayelise 04:45, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

In this case there probably should not be duplication. However, The issue is more complicated than this. There are cases where it makes sense to put an article in a category and its parent. For example, Robert Duvall is in Category:Film actors as well as its subcategory Category:Best Actor Oscar. A proposal related to this very topic is being considered at Wikipedia talk:Categorization. -- Samuel Wantman 02:33, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi! I concentrate on categories. I have met so many cases, when I was not sure: ...when I would like remove an article from a category, when the article is put to the subcategory as well. I mean the case of "Category:Peace treaties and Category:Polish peace treaties" as mentioned higher. I would apprepriate some more detailed guide on this, or to state some WP recommandition! --Franta Oashi (talk) 20:31, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Or in other words, see this case: Assume I mean the page Trpisty, which is in the Category:Buildings and structures in the Czech Republic. Now let's assume that the article is also in these two categories Category:Buildings and structures by country and Category:Czech Republic as well. Now my questions:
1) Are the two latter categories explicitly surplus, thus to be removed? (Either)
2) As Samuel Wantman said (see higher), some exceptions can happen, but then shall these be explicitly marked as {{Distinguished subcategory}}? (, or.)
As I understand it now, these two "rules" are mutually exclusive, and there could not appear any other case. Please, confirm. Thanks! --Franta Oashi (talk) 20:31, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

red link[edit]

"Category:Main page" has one... Uh, there is no "Category:Main page" . Should we remove this reference in the text?

Consistent Spelling[edit]

I have made an effort to change all instances of the word "categorisation" or the like to "categorization". I figure that since the name of the article spells it the American way, then it should be consistent throughout the entire article. I don't mind British English, but I prefer the spellings to be the same throughout the article, and I think that if it is inconsistent, it could possibly be distracting to readers. --Sbrools (talk . contribs) 17:10, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Tags & Tagging versus Categorization[edit]

One of the major confusions I see is people who attempt to use Wikipedia:Categories as tags/keywords. I propose that we need something in the FAQ to clearly set forth the distinction, with examples, and (probably) a link to a somewhat longer "help" page of some sort. --lquilter 18:15, 3 February 2007 (UTC)


This FAQ doesn't seem to explain how you create a new category. How do you do so? Thanks. AstroHurricane001(Talk+Contribs+Ubx) 19:55, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

  • You can find that information at Help:Category. If you take a look and want some additional assistance, please feel free to drop a note on my talk page. --After Midnight 0001 03:06, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Indexing of "Mac"s and "Mc"s[edit]

There has been a discussion on the Administrators' Noticeboard about the practice of indexing people with a surname beginning with "Mc". If they are indexed under "Mc" then, when alphabetically sorted, they appear in a different place to the people whose surname begins with "Mac". Real life lists invariably treat the two as the same and effectively read "Mc" as "Mac". I think something could be put in the Categorization FAQ to the effect that a surname beginning with "Mc" should be indexed under "Mac". Sam Blacketer 23:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Creating a category[edit]

The question "how do I delete a category" is there, but no instructions on how to create one. 2 things:

1. How do you make a category?
2. This info should be added to the FAQ in the same manner as deleting a category, ie "how do I add a category?" -Mike Payne 18:02, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Payne's request is still standing. I have some pages that I'd categorize if I knew how. -kdammers
The answer is located at Wikipedia:Categorization#How to create categories. --After Midnight 0001 20:30, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

this reference is extremely abstract and complex and of absolutely no use in beginning to create a category pageWran (talk) 03:25, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

The category template does not appear[edit]

I'm trying to fix Aladdin (video game), but the category template does not generate. How can this be fixed? 23:10, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I assume this is now ok? --BozMo talk 08:05, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Categories on redirects[edit]

Hello. Should categories be added to redirect pages, or should that be avoided? Oberiko 15:31, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

New entries in a category[edit]

Is it possible to "watch" a category, i.e., be notified when new articles have been added to a specific category. --KYN 19:21, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

  • You can monitor the category's "Related changes".... --After Midnight 0001 03:11, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, this is what I do, but for a large category "Recent changes" may present a full page of edits in the "old" articles and it is rather tedious to see which articles have been added recently to the category. --KYN 07:21, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

    • It's two years later and I have the same question, I'm wondering if there have been any system improvements to do such notifications? Clicking 'watch' on a Category adds it to my watchlist, but adding an article to the category doesn't cause anything to show up on my watchlist. It seems reasonable that this should work. --CliffC (talk) 19:18, 17 August 2009 (UTC)
Just noting my support for this enhancement. I wonder why this hasn't been done. Pknkly (talk) 16:47, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Joe Taddeo deletion exhibits categorical problem[edit]

Not sure this discussion belongs here but I didn't know where else to put it: One remarkable thing that is happening on Wikipedia is information that is notable that was collected nowhere else is being collected here. One example of that is Category:Recipients of US Distinguished Flying Cross. Unfortunately, the US government did not keep a cumulative record of DFC recipients, therefore no one knows how many have been awarded or to whom. [1] Due to its collaborative nature wikipedia is producing the first ever such list, which is a remarkable, important, and appropriate thing for an encyclopedia to do. As you know, items are not added directly to a category page but instead an article on the item must refer to the category and that produces the entry on the category page. This is a good design except sometimes the articles created for this purpose are inadequately sourced, or seem to fall short of wikipedia's notability guidelines. One solution would be to allow direct editing of category pages and then new entries would only have pages created if there was proper information to flesh out an article. Another solution would be to assume that if the article properly belongs on the category page then it must (categorically) pass the notability and sourcing tests. The administrators should figure that out. Suffice to say, until they do they were out of line deleting the article Joe Taddeo. The only way to put him on the Category:Recipients of US Distinguished Flying Cross page is to leave Joe Taddeo alone. The fact he won the medal is well sourced (I provided a copy of the citation) and the fact he won it is significant to anyone interested in the medal. Wongaboo —Preceding comment was added at 06:27, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Disabling Category listing[edit]

Is there any magic word or some other way that would disable category listing for a page? It would be useful in sandboxes or testcase pages, specifically where categories are transcluded by templates (but wouldn't be needed). Thanks. --Qyd (talk) 14:12, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Include Categories within an article[edit]

is it possible to add a template of a certain category to list all articles related to that category within an article, so that whenever a new article is added to that category, the list of articles is automatically updated in my article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:42, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Interesting "user" solution in place of a programmatic one. Has anyone attempted this? Pknkly (talk) 16:51, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the category tree extension more or less does this. It's described somewhere near the bottom of WP:CAT. (But changes to the category still won't show up on the watchlist.)--Kotniski (talk) 20:07, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Redirecting To A Category Page[edit]

I was just wondering, is there a way to have a non-category page redirect to a category page (using #REDIRECT [[Category:blahhh]]), and then not be listed in the actual category itself. (Or else it will just go in a big circle). It would be a big help if someone could help me out here. Thanks. :D

yes im not good please teach me —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:10, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Yes, just precede the word Category with a colon, like when you want to link directly to a category page.--Kotniski (talk) 20:16, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Are "List of ..." articles still needed?[edit]

"Lists are still useful for showing "missing" articles." I'm pretty sure Wikipedia:Requested articles has this problem covered in a much more organized way. So is there still validity to this point? Devourer09 (t·c) 00:50, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

What is a "Start-Class"[edit]

I came across a whole bunch of category pages called "Start-Class" Categories. There is no explanation as to what they are, and the discussion pages are all spam. Seems the FAQ should include a definition, and the category pages should include text describing what they are for. -- fpotter (talk) 15:57, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Category "History"/Snapshot of past contents[edit]

Due to the nature of the search terms involved with the topic, I found this almost impossible to see if this has been discussed before, perhaps at the village pump? (Search using terms like category, history, snapshots and you'll see what I mean.)

Histories are a great tool on wikipedia allowing us to read an old state of an article, find all sorts of fascinating tidbits, and allow us to be content in the knowledge that outside of the sometimes necessary surgical removal of unacceptable content (oversight/suppression) in extreme cases, all of the information is preserved at least in some form. (It comes in handy sometimes, like for relocating content deemed inappropriate to dedicated wikis.)

But for category pages, the history is just about useless. Since categories are formed automatically from the articles & pages, there doesn't appear to be a way to view its past contents. For example: Say Category:Guys named Ruprecht with white hair had 123,456 articles last week. But when I check today I find it has been massively purged down to 123 articles. How can I find out what was there before, either removed or added? As near as I can tell, there's no way, or if there is, it's extremely obscure and hard to find.

Is there any way to do this? Could there ever be? There are a few category pages I like to visit now and again and without memorizing the whole thing or saving a copy each time I visit, there's no way I can accurately tell what has or hasn't changed since my last visit. Am I the only way to be frustrated by this limitation? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:18, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

What is the purpose of categories?[edit]

I read the FAQ under the above title, and I still don't know what the purpose is. I have never used any Category and could not possibly see why I should. I can't figure out the pages or what they refer to. Yours in puzzlement, GeorgeLouis (talk) 04:06, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Edit semi-prot request[edit]

Section: What categories already exist?
Change [[:Category:Categories]] to [[:Category:Wikipedia categories]]
Reason: cleanup after CFD
Thanks. -- (talk) 13:49, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Done. Monty845 04:43, 2 May 2012 (UTC)


Currently, category-related discussions tend to be spread out over the talkpages of WP:CFD; WP:CAT, WP:NCCAT; WP:CLS; and elsewhere. Awhile back, it seemed to me that having a category-related noticeboard might be nice, so I cobbled one together. Recently, some helpful person added a notice on WP:CAT about it. So at this point, I welcome others' thoughts on this. What do you think about it, and if positive, how and where do you think we should notify others of its existence? - jc37 07:00, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

London example[edit]

Currently the article says " browsing downwards from a list parent category, e.g. Category:Cities, should only arrive at articles that are about cities, e.g. London, and not related articles e.g. History of London.", but History of London is in the Cities category. Is the example wrong, or which article/category is wrongly categorised ? DexDor (talk) 17:38, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

I've changed the page to remove the London example (which didn't match actual practice). DexDor (talk) 20:35, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Gender bias and other biases in categorizations[edit]

This is related to the issues raised in the New York Times op-ed "Wikipedia’s Sexism Toward Female Novelists", on perceived bias when female American novelists are moved to their own category "American women novelists", while male novelists remain in the main category, "American novelists". As I pointed out in the talk page for the "American novelists" category, this is a significant problem not just for the category "American Novelists", but any other categorization in Wikipedia that segregates out women or those in a minority demographic group from the main category, but keeps the non-minority men in it. There should be some guidance put in effect to correct all such cases. Suw7 (talk) 04:32, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

Need a subcategory in this main category: "Category:Submarines of the United States"[edit]

Hello editors! Analyzing this main category, "Category:Submarines of the United States", I saw that is missing an important subcategory: "Category:Interwar submarines of the United States". So is my tip for this new inclusion of a new subcategory. Good editions! Luz28Talk me 17:32, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Portrait painters / artists[edit]

There are two categories:

I found this out when I began to work on subcategories, by nationality, of the portrait painters category - and then started a conversation at Category talk:Portrait painters. Should the 2 categories be merged... meaning only have one main category: Portrait artist or Portrait painter, with subcategories by nationality under the main category? Thanks!--CaroleHenson (talk) 18:33, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

First discuss, or just go ahead?[edit]

I assume that Category:Judeo-Christian topics should become as a subcategory of Category:Abrahamic religions, while it's currently the other way around. On the talk page of the category there is a warning that hardly anyone reads talk pages of categories. Then what? Should I just go ahead and make the change without discussing with anyone? Or else, where can I discuss this? Marcocapelle (talk) 13:09, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Meanwhile I'm entirely sure that it's wrong because the current categorization has become circular: Category:Christianity is both above and under the categories mentioned in the paragraph before. Marcocapelle (talk) 13:24, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

A possibility to enter an alternate term in a category list from the title of the page?[edit]

Maybe I can just cite an example of a difficulty.

I wanted to enter Superman into the listing for Category:Fictional immigrants to the United States but wanted to let the name in the listing read Clark Kent. After all it is Clark Kent that presumably pays taxes, health insurance etc. Is there any way to do this? Gregkaye (talk) 12:31, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically[edit]

As someone who has been doing this manually for years, I hereby dutifully beg of anyone who is technically proficient and knows how to create and run a bot that will:

  1. Automatically sort all Categories on each article and category page alphabetically;
  2. Create a uniform system for where to place categories on each article and category page that commence with numbers, such as years of birth/death, centuries, and any category that starts with a number/numeral.

Please see the centralized discussion at Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 61#Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 09:00, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Discussion re-opened at VPP[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 114#Create a BOT to alphabetize and organize categories automatically. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 22:41, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

Tech help required to improve categories[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 114#CatVisor and User:Paradoctor/CatVisor#Planned features if you are willing and able to assist this innovative WP project move along it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 23:08, 12 August 2014 (UTC)

Category: Character sets.[edit]

I have a program that's asking me if I want to arrange data in which of these character sets: ANSEL, ASCI, or UTF-8. This category does not include these sets amongst those listed, though they are available as articles on Wikipedia: ANSEL, UTF-8, and ANSI (disambiguation) (though I don't know which of these ANSI topics is the character set the program speaks of). Perhaps they should be added to the category page? Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 15:55, 7 June 2015 (UTC)

This is missing the most important and most obvious[edit]

"How do I find categories to choose for the article?"

Here's a list of Categories (talk) 17:40, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Please help to add category/s to the article[edit]

Please help adding category/s to the article. Anu.kapoor (talk) 15:02, 16 April 2016 (UTC)

@Anu.kapoor: This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the FAQ/Categorization page. We do not know what "the article" might be; if you need help editing, try the help desk. --Redrose64 (talk) 20:40, 16 April 2016 (UTC)