Help talk:Cite messages

Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WikiProject iconWikipedia Help NA‑class High‑importance
WikiProject iconThis 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.
NAThis page does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.
HighThis page has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.

Multiple references to the same source[edit]

When a single source is cited multiple times in the same article, getting back from the references section to the right section of prose requires guesswork. This is (imo) a bad thing and I have prosed to change it.

For a detailed explanation see Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Multiple references to the same source. You are invited to participate in the discussion there. Thryduulf (talk) 00:34, 16 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

An arrow ↑ or a caret ^?[edit]

Please delete messages MediaWiki:Cite references link one and MediaWiki:Cite references link many to restore their default contents (as seen on MediaWiki:Cite references link one/en and MediaWiki:Cite references link many/en), featuring pretty up-arrows ↑ instead of ugly carets ^. (Alternatively: copy over the contents if you want to keep page history, but personally I see no need.)

The carets have replaced the arrows back in 2006 due to "display bugs" (done by Rspeer); in the meantime technology has moved on and I'm sure 99.9% of systems today can display the arrows just fine. Carets also have accessibility issues, being pronounced by screen readers as such – according to Graham87 at it sounds like "carrots", which is rather unexpected.

I think en.wp is the only Wikipedia to use this hack. (If you know of any others, do tell, I'll poke them about it as well.) Matma Rex talk 17:33, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As the one who just made the Cite extension a lot more accessible and played with it a lot I can only agree with Matma Rex here! Please kill these messages (I'm not bold enough to do that on my own, sorry) - Hoo man (talk) 17:36, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
+2, and thanks Matma for pushing this along. –Quiddity (talk) 17:44, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This should go to a public RFC, not this little watched talk page. The change to the caret was made in 2006 to match the caret used by {{ref}}/{{note}}, which was the prevalent method at the time. But, with T40141 resolved, is this an issue? --  Gadget850 talk 17:47, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Gadget850: Yes, it's still an issue, for the reasons I explained above – both for users of screen readers and regular guys who'd appreciate it if Wikipedia looked a little better (ref/note templates should be adjusted as well, good point). According to edit summary, the change was motivated by "display bugs", and nothing else. An RFC for such a little change seems excessive, I'm unanswering the {{editprotected}} for now – can we get a third opinion? :) Matma Rex talk 18:03, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit protected}} template. I see no link to a discussion where this was agreed. --Redrose64 (talk) 19:00, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Meh, forget it then. Matma Rex talk 19:08, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is silly, it doesn't need consensus. This is a clear usability issue (as pointed out by hoo), and it's quite clear the issue that existed in 2006 no longer does. I've gone ahead and boldly  Done this. Legoktm (talk) 21:34, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just to double check:

MediaWiki:Cite references link one
Default: <li id="$1"$4><span class="mw-cite-backlink">[[#$2|↑]]</span> $3</li>
Current: <li id="$1"><span class="mw-cite-backlink">'''[[#$2|^]]'''</span> $3</li>
MediaWiki:Cite references link many
Default: <li id="$1"$4><span class="mw-cite-backlink">↑ $2</span> $3</li>
Current: <li id="$1"><span class="mw-cite-backlink">^ $2</span> $3</li>

The custom 'Cite references link one' also bolds the backlink character. --  Gadget850 talk 19:13, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I assume it is bolded because of how insignificant and non-obvious the caret character is. The bolding is IMO not needed with an arrow. Matma Rex talk 19:37, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This looks like the original discussion from 2006. Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(footnotes)/Archive_3#Question_about_clarity_of_the_vertical_arrow --  Gadget850 talk 20:03, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(1) I looked at a few dozen other languages, and most used the up-arrow default; however these ones use the caret: sv:, ja:, vi:, zh:, am:. (I'm not sure if there's an easy way to search all languages for the existence/non-existence of a custom MediaWiki:Cite references link one?)
(2) Also, these 2 sections should be looked at/updated/fixed/discussed, based on whatever we conclude here: mw:Extension:Cite/Cite.php#references and mw:Extension:Cite/Cite.php#Set references to use ^ and letters like Wikipedia
I'd be willing to push forward an RfC (either here, or at WP:VPR), but some more testing (particularly on default windoze systems, at both default sizes, with/out bolding) or details would be nice. HTH. –Quiddity (talk) 20:47, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Change announced at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive_116#Reference list backlink. Anyone know what documentation and templates ({{dummy backlink}}) needs to be updated? I would normally bring this up in discussion before a change was made. --  Gadget850 talk 22:24, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Anyone know why the arrow appears pushed down? --  Gadget850 talk 22:30, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]



  1. ^ Reference
  2. ^ Reference
  3. ^ Reference

eraser Undone. The arrow is now very faint on Windows with ClearType enabled, and it is literally so narrow that it only occupies two pixels in width to click on. This is a change that clearly needs consensus; impact has not been researched, it only created a new accesability issue instead of clearing on. There are other symbols to choose from; they should also be researched. But for now, the carets will be restored and I invite anyone to organize an RFC on this to establish a more suitable long-term solution. Edokter (talk) — 22:35, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is false, I'm on Windows with ClearType and the arrow's clickable area is larger than the caret's. Matma Rex talk 22:42, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then you probably have non-default fonts set in your browser. In Arial, it is virtually unclickable. Edokter (talk) — 22:46, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Given that a number(?) of other languages use the non-default, and that the mediawiki documentation currently explains/endorses how to change it to carets (as I noted just above), it would probably be a Good Thing to do the legwork required to make this a well-researched universal-change. (Note: everything needs to be tested at both 100% size and 90% size per Template:Reflist (Do other languages all use 90%? (if not, they should!))). –Quiddity (talk) 22:53, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How is ▲ (or ▴) pronounced in Jaws? Edokter (talk) — 22:46, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When gerrit 79472 is implemented, the backlink will have the default pronunciation of "jump to". --  Gadget850 talk 23:07, 1 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The arrows are pronounced as question marks in JAWS, but that's not a major issue per the above-linked change. It's no less intuitive than "caret". Graham87 00:17, 2 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Testing and summary so far[edit]

Summary notes
  • Most Wikimedia sites use the MediaWiki default of an Arrow ↑ to backlink from citation-contents to the superscripted number/letter. (mw:MediaWiki:Cite references link one)
  • English Wikipedia changed the default in 2006 (to use the current caret ^), due to this thread about browser inconsistency, and rendering problems in some versions of default Windows XP.
  • Some other Wikimedia sites have changed their default since then, including sv:, ja:, vi:, zh:, am: Wikipedias, and a number of other sister projects. (Legoktm tried searching through ALL the WMF wikis for those which had made changes to that file, but his search kept crashing at nah.wikt for undetermined reasons. There were at least a dozen wikis.)
  • The documentation currently has a big section explaining how to change the default. (mw:Extension:Cite/Cite.php#Set references to use ^ and letters like Wikipedia)
  • Edokter mentions above, that Windows still has problems nowadays with the Arrow ↑ - on his system it is only giving the arrow a 2 pixel width of clickable area. This may or may not be related to Windows ClearType? Or just Arial?
Testing table

These are each displaying 100%, 90%, 90% bold, 100% bold. The "forced font-stack" is using the list from mw:Wikimedia Foundation Design/Typography.

Default (unspecified) fonts Forced font-stack
  1. ^ ^ ^ ^
  1. ^ ^ ^ ^
  1. ^ ^ ^ ^
  1. ^ ^ ^ ^

Remember that:

  1. ^ single-use ref
  2. ^ a b multi-use ref

A screenshot of what I see. (firefox 25, Ubuntu, custom fonts in browser set to "Ubuntu sans")


We (the editing community) would like to examine the problems with the Arrow, to see if they can be fixed, so that Enwiki (and hopefully the other wikis) can all benefit from using the default. (If anyone wants to change the mediawiki default itself, please start a separate topic).

We need help cross-platform/browser-testing and diagnosing the problem(s). I'll invite the design mailing list to look at this thread, as they probably have expertise to bring, and it's the kind of thing that needs to be tested for the Beta Features mw:Typography Update. Thoughts and ideas are welcome from anyone who can help diagnose the problems or suggest solutions. (Please fix/amend my summary, if I've made any mistakes, to keep everything concise and clear. Thanks!) –Quiddity (talk) 20:18, 12 November 2013 (UTC) 21:58, 12 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for doing this. For reference, here are screenshots from my Windows XP, with ClearType enabled: and disabled: ClearType off does look pretty bad and the arrow seems to partially disappear at 90% in normal text, but is for some reason visible when linkified. Matma Rex talk 20:30, 12 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Quiddity, who is "we"? --Nemo 20:53, 12 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Group Specific Formatting[edit]

Is it possible to have formatting for specific reference groups? For example, can there be a specific format for references with the group of lower-roman, for example? I want to know for my own wiki. (talk) 14:42, 31 October 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The same request was posted earlier today at Help talk:Cite link labels#Group Specific Formatting. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:23, 1 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Update this message[edit]

@Anomie: this message needs to be updated and parameter $4 needs to be added like this for this new feature to work. Can you please take care of it? hujiTALK 23:30, 5 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

 Done Although {{editprotected}} might have been more appropriate. Anomie 23:56, 5 June 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

creating custom labelled notes[edit]

I've looked everywhere but I cannot understand how the following is done or if it's even possible:

This is a crude mock-up with some text[i] getting custom[f] notes[a]


Note i ^ My Italian note
Note f ^ My French note
Note a ^ My American note

I hope you see my question: how to set the label yourself, instead of a) starting with 1, a, i etc and b) not automatically incrementing each note as it appears (2, b, ii etc). Cheers CapnZapp (talk) 09:48, 10 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are {{ref label}}/{{note label}}, see Wikipedia:Footnote3. But why would you want to do it that way when progressive numbering/lettering can be done very easily? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 07:54, 11 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because I don't want progressive (automatic) numbering? ;-) (In this case there is already such notes on the page, and I didn't want to settle for a second series) CapnZapp (talk) 09:45, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks very much though, Redrose64 - the documentation is really not easy to parse here. I managed to get nearly all the way. All I can't figure out to accomplish now is to have a many (refs) to one (note) relationship, and still have the text of the note "glow" (=popup on hover). I mean, as far as I understand, the only way to have the "glow" is by using the text parameter, but that would cause unsightly repetition down in the notes section. The references would behave as wanted in the main body of text, but at the cost of the notes section becoming a trainwreck. Maybe it's not possible to achieve that while controlling the labels manually? CapnZapp (talk) 09:45, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]