Help:Categories

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Categories are pages that group together pages which share similar purposes, subjects or other qualities. They are a feature of the MediaWiki software this wiki uses. You can categorize pages and files by adding one or more Category tags to the content text. These tags create links at the bottom of the page that take you to the list of all pages in that category, which makes it easy to browse related articles.

Summary

Each of the pages in the Category namespace represents a so-called category, a grouping of related pages, and contains an index for the pages of its category. For example, this page belongs to "Category:Help". If you open the category page, you will see a link to this page there.

When a page belongs to one or more categories, these categories appear at the bottom of the page.

The category pages themselves contain 2 parts:

  • at their beginning, an optional part may contain text that can be edited, like any other page,
  • at their end, an ever present, automatically generated, alphabetical list of all pages in that category, in the form of links. In fact, in the Unicode sort order.

To assign a category to a page, simply add the link "[[Category:Category name]]" to the page's wikitext. The usual place to add it is at the bottom of the page.

To link a category page within a page as a normal wiki link (without adding the page to the category), prefix the link name with a colon. For example: [[:Category:Shaders]] results in Category:Shaders.

New categories can be created before assigning any page to it, in the same way as any other regular page.

For a complete list of all categories which have at least one page, see Special:Categories.

For a complete list of all created/edited categories, including the ones that don't have any pages, see Special:Allpages/Category: (note the colon at the end).

Adding a page to a category

To add a page or uploaded file to a category, simply edit the page and add the following text (where Name is the name of the category you want to add it to).

[[Category:Name]]

Any number of Category tags may be added to the page and the page will be listed in all of them. Category tags are usually added at the very bottom of the page for the convenience of other editors.

On a categorized page, categories are displayed in the Categories: box strictly in the order they appear in the wikitext.

It may take some time for a page to appear or disappear from a category. Try adding ?action=purge at the end of the URL to nudge the server to do it faster. The wait time may be even longer if assigned through a template.

Sort keys

By default, a page is sorted within a category under the first letter of its name — without the namespace. Also, MediaWiki groups accented characters separately from their unaccented version, so pages starting by À, Á, Ä, will be listed under separate headings, instead of under heading A.

A sort key specifies under which letter heading, and where in the category list, the page will appear. You can add a sort key by placing it inside the tag after a pipe character. For example, the tag below will add the page under heading "S".

[[Category:Name|Sort]]

Sort keys on this wiki are not case sensitive. The order of the sections within a category follows the Unicode sort order. The sort key does not change the page title displayed in the category.

Spaces and other characters are perfectly valid. See Wikipedia:WP:SORTKEY for more information and uses.

Creating a category page

Categories exist even if their page has not been created, but these categories are isolated from others and serve little purpose for organization or navigation.

A category is created by creating a page in the Category: namespace. A category page can be created the same way as other wiki pages; just add "Category:" before the page title.

To avoid extra work, try searching within the wiki before creating a new category. The list of all categories can be found in "Special pages" in the "tools" box of the sidebar.

Managing the category hierarchy

Categories may belong to other categories in a hierarchy. Since category pages are much like any other page, a Category tag may be added to the bottom of a category page.

It is a good idea to organize all categories into a hierarchy with a single top level category. The category structure can take the form of a tree with separate branches, but more often will have a graph structure. Generally, there should be a contiguous chain of parent-child links between each category and the top level category.

Hidden categories

The categories that a page is in are normally listed at the bottom of the page. However, a category can be hidden from this list by adding the magic word "__HIDDENCAT__" to the category page.

Users can choose to see hidden categories in a separate hidden-categories list, by checking the Show hidden categories box in Special:Preferences.

Hidden categories are automatically added to Category:Hidden categories.

On this wiki, hidden categories are usually reserved for maintenance categories, such as Category:TODO. Content categories should not be hidden, as they are for reader navigation.

Linking to a category

To create a link to a category, use a leading colon before the category name (without this colon, the current page would be added to the category):

[[:Category:Help]]Category:Help

To change the link text, write the text inside the link tag after a pipe:

[[:Category:Help|Help category]]Help category

Redirect pages that redirect to categories must also use the colon, otherwise they will be added to the category instead of redirecting.

Redirecting a category

Like normal wiki pages, category pages can be redirected to other normal or category pages. However, this is not recommended, as pages categorized in redirected categories do not get categorized in the target category.

See Also