Wikipedia talk:User preferences help

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

What is the email function for? Do we get an automatic subscription to wikipedia-L if we enter it? Dreamyshade

It would be nice if this help page or the prefs page reminded us what TZ the server was in, to help us set the offsets. (Of course, it would be best if the server was set to UTC) -- Gareth Owen

It might be even nicer if you could choose a time zone, rather than a number of hours of offset. The server would have to use some database of time zones, which is (admittedly) some work for the programmers. But it's all about the users. :-) -- Rootbeer

*I* want my 'display minor edits' function back! There's no reason to see all the minor edits. That's why they're minor. Those who want to keep closer track are welcome to! --MichaelTinkler

Wherever it went, it seems to be back now. -- Rootbeer

I'd like to use Wikipedia sans frames. I unchecked the box on User Preferences, and I still get frames. Also, how do you set up the 'My watchlist' feature? -- BenBaker

There no longer seems to be an option for frames. As for the watchlist, you simply need to choose "Watch this article for me" on any you want to watch. Of course, you have to periodically look at your watchlist page to see what's happened to your favorite articles. -- Rootbeer

Comments/feature requests moved from article: Enchanter

Note: Some of these items may have questions or omissions marked with a triple sharp sign ("###") to indicate that a Wikipedia Guru should step in to elucidate or make a correction in the software.
This is the list of links to the various special pages. You may optionally have it appear at the right or left side of each page. There's no option yet to have it appear at the top or bottom of the page. ### Currently, the QuickBar must be enabled to allow you to move (rename) a page or to vote on any article.

  • Hide minor edits. Registered users may choose to mark edits as being minor (meaning fixes too trivial for trusting users to check up on). It applies to Recent Changes and Enhanced Recent Changes , but not to the Watchlist. ### It also affects Related changes, but currently in an undesirable way: if the last edit of a page linking to the current page was minor, than neither that nor the last major change is shown.
  • Auto-number headings. This adds hierarchical outline-style numbering to headers in articles. But why is it called auto-numbering? Is there anything auto about it? Maybe this setting should be called "Numbering headings". ###

You cannot change your username. If for some reason you feel unbearably compelled to change it, create a new username and mark the old one for deletion. (If this is not the best/only way to do this, can someone please provide instructions?) ###

What is the threshold for stub display option for? Stephen C. Carlson

You set a value - say 500 - then all links to any article that is less than 500 bytes has a different colored link to it. I have mine set on 1000. --mav
Thanks. I tried to explain this on the help page. SCCarlson

I added a section explaining the math markup prefs, but I kind of guessed on some of them (shame on me). If anyone knows better, please change it. -- Merphant 22:53 5 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I also added some more explanations for the misc, prefs pane, but there are still a few left unexplained. Merphant 23:19 5 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Do we really need screenshots here? Can't the reader just look at the page themselves? CGS 07:42 6 Jun 2003 (UTC).

Sure, but it's nice to have a quick reference. It's more convenient than clicking back and forth. -- Merphant

Let me just say that this page is linked to from way too few places. I'll try and fix it, but let me rant first :-) I have been here for 2 and a half months, and yet, even as I was actively searching for help. I never stumbled on this page. It must be my stupidity, but that is no excuse. A page like this should be easy to find even for dummies like me. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 19:30 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Let me amend that. This place is linked to from nowhere at all. And that means, that I won't even try to help fixing it. EARS FUMING -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 19:37 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Ahem, let me amend my amendation. I (the dummy that I am) checked to see what linked to this talk page, not what linked to the real preferences help page. I'll just go and silently sit in the corner now. Thanks. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 19:52 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

(pat, pat) That's okay, it happens to the best of us sometimes. (Well, I'm just saying that to make you feel better. But it could be true, couldn't it? :) --Brion 19:57 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia:User preferences help

(List of links)

The following pages link to here:

But the preferences page itself does not, and that is where one would expect to find a link to the help page. Nafnaf

Fixed. --Brion 20:26 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Thanks! Nafnaf

Thanks for this. This was exactly what I was looking for. RickK 21:49 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

External Links and Internal Links[edit]

I am just wondering is there any way to diplay external links differently than internal links. The list of links at Open content look so confusing. I guess there is none thought -- Taku 00:40 Jan 11, 2003 (UTC)

They do actually display in slightly different colours, I think. We could, of course, have an icon for them -- many wikis have a little "planet" icon that goes in front of external links. That's a question for the mailing list. -- Tarquin 00:43 Jan 11, 2003 (UTC)
Well, I don't think there should be mixed lists of internal and external links like that at all - the list in question should have "ghost" links to unwritten 'pedia articles (on Openlaw and so on), and the external links should be in the "External links" section. Then there's no problem. --Camembert 00:46 Jan 11, 2003 (UTC)
With Internet Explorer I get external links in blue, links to articles that do not yet exist in brown and internal links (visited and not visited) in the two colors I have specified in the IE options, so I made sure they are different. I understand that the first two are specified in and not the other two, they are left to the user to choose and are the same as for surfing elsewhere. - Patrick 14:25 Jan 11, 2003 (UTC)
I should mention that this is with Standard skin, with Cologne Blue I get external links in green, links to articles that do not yet exist in brown and internal links (visited and not visited) both in blue, all different from the two colors I have specified in the IE options; apparently you can not choose any colors with this skin. - Patrick 17:26 Jan 11, 2003 (UTC)

I agree with Camembert. And what do you mean by a question for mailing list Tarquin?

If you meant a fancy icon -- implementing that would be a question for wikipedia-L -- Tarquin


The colour I get for external links is soothing green. The purple I see when I web my tracks makes me feel vast. The blue I see to another article fills me with trepidation. But the red I see when there is no article, fills me with fire. Hope you're seeing in technicolur soon. Two16 16:31 Jan 11, 2003 (UTC)

Oh, I see. Because I am using a laptop, I can't recognize the slight difference in color at all. -- Taku 18:03 Jan 11, 2003 (UTC)

"web my tracks" = make web log? - Patrick 18:28 Jan 11, 2003 (UTC)

When I am reading and editing the encyclopedia I surf down differnt paths leaving my tracks as I read and write, which show up as a beautiful purple when people are bold in other articles that I visit. Not knowing wiki words for the phenomenon I made my own: "web my tracks". I was trying to convey the experiance of colour wikipedia to a plasma screen wikipedian. I explained all the different high lights. The red really does fire me up. Soon I will know enough to strip red from the wikipedia like bits of red from my atlas. Two16

Ah, then blue are internal links not yet visited, and it fills you with fear of not yet knowing the precious knowledge behind them. I don't get what stripping bits of red from your atlas means. - Patrick 23:03 Jan 11, 2003 (UTC)

hey mav maybe the nile blue you see is the nile green i see ;-} I'm using a Mac with os9 and microsoft and netscape 4.7

The bits of red represent the map colour of the worldaround British Empire. As each new country gained independance, the red was slowly diminished and was offset by the new colours of worldaround British Commonwealth of Nations.


Um, huh? --Brion

I think the paragraph tags in the cologne blue theme are way to tight, surely, a simple touch of the css should fix this.. anyone agree? --spiff

I don't seem to be able to stay logged in all the time. I have checked "Remember password across sessions" but most of the times I go to this site I'm not logged in. Sometimes I am, and I can't see why I sometimes am and sometimes I'm not. I don't have trouble with cookies on any other sites. I thought it had to do with me going to the NL wikipedia now and then but they're different cookies, so that shouldn't matter. Any help is appreciated!

Update - I have found more info about it (and I've learned how to sign my name Ü), it seems this problem IS related to using two wikipedias. I haven't found a solution yet though, if someone can point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it. --poco poco 09:40 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Moving this page to meta soon[edit]

We need one place to develop MediaWiki documentation so I'm starting a project-neutral MediaWiki User's Guide in meta and think it would be a good idea to cross wiki redirect this page to meta:MediaWiki User's Guide: Setting preferences as soon as I'm done with the conversion. --mav

The MediaWiki user's guide is a good idea, but I am very unhappy with the idea of using cross wiki redirects from pages such as this. Help pages are there primarily for new users, and should be as helpful and user friendly as possible. For new users to find themselves automatically redirected to another would make things confusing for them - why should they expect to end up in another website just because they asked for help?.
Granted, not using an inter-wiki redirect will make it harder to keep this page and similar help pages on other wikis updated in line with the best and most accurate version. But our priority should be to make the help pages helpful, not to make life easier for ourselves as contributors. Enchanter 12:58, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I'm not happy about this going to meta either. It just adds confusion. You don't want new users feeling they have to read a whole MediaWiki user guide before they even begin. Meta could say something generic about preferences, but language specific help pages should stay on each Wikipedia. Why would you move this help page off en:, but leave the German one, for example, at de:Wikipedia:Handbuch - Einstellungen? Angela 13:07, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

You also have to create an extra account for MEtawiki, and that is something that I think is really annoying for most of the users. Meta is only for Really involved Wikipedians. The avarage Wikipedian should not need to go to Meta. He should be able to find everything that he needs for everyday work on Wikipedia in his language (IMHO). Keep Meta as small as possible. E.g. Mailinglist things can go there, I would say. Fantasy 14:11, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

But the whole problem is that this material is about the software specifically and that having the same text in several different places is forking the content. MediaWiki is not the sole property of Wikipedia and in fact is its own Wikimedia project. Wikibooks, Wiktionary, Wikiquote and dozens of other websites all use it too. It is therefore best to have the manual in one neutral place and direct all edits to that version. Granted meta needs to be moved to the domain, needs a Wikimedia logo, and the user account login problem has to be fixed, but those are technical issues that have technical fixes.

My idea for this page was to leave a short help pages here that has all the bare basics (an executive summary) and then have the larger description (which I recently updated) on meta. Same thing for editing help and most of the others. The reason why this is more important for English at the moment, is that there are already 4 different Wikimedia projects in English and so far none in other languages. When that changes, there will be increasing pressure to centralize their documentation as well. And all links to meta will be clearly marked as such. --mav 20:17, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Fair point. I hadn't considered the duplication at Wikibooks et al. It does need to be made clear to newbies visiting the page that meta is a different site though. Angela 20:30, 31 Aug 2003 (UTC)

User name[edit]

How do I change my User name without losing continuity of my homepage etc? I am beginning to think that constantly citing myself as "Dr Adam Carr" looks rather formal and pretentious. Could someone who knows how to do this change me to just "Adam Carr"? Thanx. 08:36, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC) Oops that should be Dr Adam Carr 08:41, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC) (I am STILL getting logged out when I press "Save Page" and I know I am not alone in this problem).

If you want to change your actual user name, a developer needs to do it. Normally Tim does them but he is away until 5 October. If you leave the request here another developer may deal with it but there's no guarantee. You could also try Brion's to-do list on Meta. The alternative is just to change the name you sign with. You can set this in your preferences. This means that when you sign, whatever name you choose will show up, but Dr Adam Carr will still show up in the history of the page etc. Angela 08:43, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Angela thankyou, that is a good solution, I didn't realise I could do that.
Could you direct the bugs committee or whoever to the "getting logged out when pressing 'Save Page'" problem? Others have told me they have the same problem. Adam 08:55, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC)
The bugs committee may be found at Sourceforge. Bug reports has instructions. Angela 08:58, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Do you check the box "Remember my password across sessions" when you log in? If not, you should. It solved my problem with that feature. BL 17:00, 28 Sep 2003 (UTC)

This page is out of sync with the user prefs page:


  • Auto-number headings
  • Edit pages on double click (JavaScript)
  • Enable section editing via [edit] links
  • ...
  • Remember password across sessions.
  • Edit box has full width.
  • Add pages you edit to your watchlist


  • Auto-number headings
  • Remember password across sessions.
  • Edit box has full width.
  • Edit pages on double click.
  • ...
  • Watch new and modified articles.

Of course I could just fix the page...but there are images to fix too, and I haven't done that yet...