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When viewing any page on All The Tropes Wiki, you’ll find three main navigation elements:

  1. The sidebar gives you access to important pages in the wiki such as Recent changes or Upload file. MediaWiki requires you to log in before seeing all of the sidebar options.
  2. Links (often called tabs) which relate to the page currently displayed: its associated discussion page, the version history, and – most notably – the edit link.
  3. User links; as an anonymous user, you’ll see a link to create an account or log in. As a logged-in user you have a collection of personal links, including ones to your user page and preferences.

This page mainly documents the MonoBook skin. Appearances may be different when using a skin other than MonoBook.

Sidebar

Vector Sidebar

Example sidebar, shown on the left of the page

The sidebar is displayed on the left edge of the page below the site logo (if using the MonoBook skin or the default Vector skin since MediaWiki 1.16). This sidebar gives you access to important pages in the wiki such as Recent Changes or Upload File.

Navigation

Clicking on the logo brings you back to the main page of the wiki. The links in the navigation section just below will take you to important pages of the wiki. These links can be configured by site administrators.

Toolbox

The toolbox contains a selection of links which change depending on what type of page you are viewing.

On all pages (except special pages)
  • “What links here” takes you to a special page that lists the pages on this wiki which contain a link to the current page. This is helpful when you are looking for pages of related information. The “what links here” information can also be useful when you are refactoring wiki pages and need to check whether links to this page are still relevant after changes in the current page.
  • The “related changes” tool lists all recent changes in the pages linked to from the current page. Recent changes to all relevant template pages are included in the resulting page list. The "Hide minor edits" option that can be set in the user preferences applies, among other things, to “related changes”.
On all pages (including special pages)
  • “Upload photo” displays a special page that allows logged-in users to upload images and other files to the wiki. Uploaded files can be linked from or embedded in wiki pages. Uploading files, viewing files on the server, including them in wiki pages and managing the uploaded files is discussed in the managing files section of this manual. This is not displayed if file uploading is not enabled.
  • The “special pages” tool lists the MediaWiki special pages. In MediaWiki terminology, a special page is one that presents information about the Wiki and/or allows access to administration activities for the wiki. For example, a list of users registered with the wiki, statistics about the wiki such as the number of pages and number of page edits, system logs, a list of orphaned pages, and so on. These special pages are commonly generated when the special page is loaded rather than being stored in the wiki database.
    The function and use of the default special pages can be found in the special pages section of this manual.

Page Tabs

Vector page tabs

Default page tabs at the top of the page

The page tabs are displayed at the top of the page to the right of the site logo (if using the MonoBook skin or the default Vector skin since MediaWiki 1.16). These tabs allow you to perform actions or view pages that are related to the current page. The available default actions include: viewing, editing, and discussing the current page. The specific tabs displayed on your pages depend on whether or not you are logged into the wiki and whether you have sysop (administrator) privileges on the wiki. On special pages only the namespace tab is displayed.

Default for all users
  • namespace” (page, help, special page, template, user page etc.)
  • “discussion”
  • “edit” (may read “view source” if anonymous editing is disabled, the page is in the MediaWiki: namespace, or the page is protected)
  • “history”
Extra tabs for logged-in users
  • “rename”
  • “follow”
Extra tabs for sysops
  • “protect”
  • “delete”

Administrators can add or remove tabs by using JavaScript or installing extensions, so the tabs you see may be different depending on which wiki you are using.

User Links

Vector user links

Default user links at the top right of the page

The user links are displayed at the top far right of the page (if using the default Vector skin). These tabs allow the logged-in user to view and edit their user page and wiki preferences. Additionally, the user links allow the user to quickly access their contributions to the wiki and logout.

For anonymous users the user links is replaced by a link to the wiki login page or, if enabled, a link to your IP address and your IP address's talk page.

“<username>”
This links to your user page which is where you can put information about yourself, store bits of information you want to remember or whatever else you fancy.
“my talk”
This links to your discussion page, where people can leave messages for you.
“my preferences”
Allows you to change your personal site preferences.
“my watchlist”
A list of all pages that you are watching. Pages can be added to this list by clicking “follow” at the top of the page.
“my contributions”
A list of all contributions you have made to the wiki.
“log out”
Click this link to log out of the wiki.

A wiki's local navigation is the menu that can be found in the page header at the top of all pages. It provides useful links to the most important and interesting pages on your wiki. A well-crafted navigation menu will help readers find key content that they are looking for.

When deciding how to organize your local navigation bar and what content to include, you'll need to put yourself into your visitor's shoes, think about what they are most likely to be looking for, and provide a straight path to as much relevant wiki content as possible.

Keep in mind that almost all visitors to your wiki come to read articles, not to create them. Editors only make up 0.05 percent of Fandom's visitors, and while wikis couldn't even exist without their hard work, the local navigation bar should first and foremost serve your readers. Editors create awesome content, and the navigation bar helps readers find it, while other site elements, such as the bottom tool bar help editors access the tools they need.

Default navigation bar elements

MCU local nav

The navigation menu can be found in the page header at the top of every wiki page. It has the option to add up to four customizable menu options, in addition to the "Explore" menu and "Discuss" button.

  • The "Explore" tab is always present in the navigation and provides important wiki links, including WikiActivity, Random page, Community (if enabled), Videos, and Images. This menu is not customizable and no additional links may be added.
  • "Discuss" links to your wiki's Discussions.
    • Note: if Discussions and Forum are both enabled, "Discuss" will lead to Discussions while Forum will appear in the "Explore" menu. If Forum is enabled but not Discussions, you will see a "Forum" button instead that leads to the Forum. If neither feature is enabled, "Discuss" will not appear. When you are already on Discussions, the "Discuss" link will also not appear in the navigation.
  • On the right, it indicates a cosmetic header image that can be uploaded from Theme Designer.
  • On the top right corner of the page header, there is a page count along with a few buttons that access to various tools (For more info, see Help:Header shortcuts). All users will see the "Add New Page" button, registered users will see the Wiki Activity button next to it along with the more shortcuts button next to the Wiki Activity button and administrators will also see a button to the Admin Dashboard.
  • On the left, there is a graphical wordmark, along with the community name, where both can be customized via Theme Designer.

Customizing your navigation

Editing navigation items

If you are an administrator, you can edit the navigation menu at MediaWiki:Wiki-navigation. You can also access this in your Admin Dashboard by clicking Top Navigation.

Each item in the navigation bar is represented by a line in MediaWiki:Wiki-navigation page. Level 1 items are prefixed with one asterisk (*), level 2 items are prefixed with two asterisks, and level 3 items are prefixed with 3 asterisks. Like so:

Wiki nav editing

After the asterisk, type the name of the page you are linking to. If you want the name to display differently than the page's actual name, set a pipe between the name of the page and the text you want to display. For example, if you are linking to a page called Lion but you want to display it as Kitten, use Lion|Kitten after the asterisk.

If you don't want a navigation item to link to anything, add #| in front of it. For example, a navigation bar set to

* #|Movies
** Prequel trilogy
** Sequel trilogy
* #|Videogames
** First videogame
** Second videogame
** #|In Development
*** Untitled Third Videogame|Third game
*** Spin-off (Game)|Recently announced spin-off title

will contain:

  • Two Level 1 navigation items, Movies and Videogames, that aren't linking to any pages.
  • Four Level 2 navigation items, two being under Movies and linking to Prequel trilogy and Sequel trilogy pages on your wiki, and two being under Videogames and linking to First videogame and Second videogame, with In Development not linking to anything.
  • Two Level 3 navigation items under In Development, first linking to the Untitled Third Videogame page on your wiki and displaying the text Third game, and a second one linking to Spin-off (Game) and displaying the text Recently announced spin-off title.

After you make your changes, you will need to Preview the changes before you can Publish them. The Preview button is located beneath the Edit Summary box. The Preview button will show your new navigation and check for errors in the wiki text. For example, it will report an error if you try to use a Magic Word in a Level 1 or Level 3 menu item. It will also run a width validator tool which will inform you if your menu items are too wide to display at the minimum width of the site.

Width validator

If there are any problems, you will need to return back to the editor to adjust your navigation. When your preview contains no errors, the Publish button will appear in the preview window. Click it and your new navigation will be live.

Wiki nav menu levels

How many links can it contain?

The Navigation menu offers a maximum of 312 links, although it is not necessary to use all of them. The links are grouped as:

  • 4 Level 1 links which combine for a total width of 550px. These are the links that are always visible above the colored menu bar.
  • 7 Level 2 links with a maximum total width of 729px. These are the links that appear on the colored bar when hovering over any of the level 1 links.
  • 10 Level 3 links with a dynamic width and a minimum width of 150px. These appear as dropdown style menus under each of the level 2 links.

It is best to showcase as much relevant content as possible in a clearly organized fashion, without overstuffing your navigation. Include links to those categories and pages that are most important for readers, while leaving out any links that are only useful for editors or that are already built into Fandom's interface. For example, links to contact Fandom staff, create a new page, or access RecentChanges can already be found elsewhere on every page, and links to special pages or editing guidelines are only relevant to editors and shouldn't take up a navigation bar slot.

No additional links or menu levels may be added with custom CSS or JavaScript.

Auto-populating the menu

You can use magic words to automatically fill in menu items. Note that these are heavily affected by caching, and it may still be better to list out specific pages instead.

Supported magic words:

  • #categoryX# — lists the top pages from the Xth-biggest category on a wiki (replace "X" with a number greater than 0)
  • #category-Y# — lists the top pages from Category:Y (replace "Y" with the name of your category)

Since magic words generate lists of pages, they may only be used as Level 2 menu items; the list they generate will appear as the Level 3 menu items. All of the magic words list a maximum of 7 pages.

Notes:

  • Don't forget to include the # symbols around the magic words you choose to use.
  • Since magic words list at most 7 pages, up to 3 additional level 3 menu items may be added and will appear after the auto-generated list.

Next pages

Further help and feedback

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