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A short introduction to creating links to pages on the wiki or external websites.

Linking style[edit]

When referencing material on another wiki (or any website) please try to use permanent links or diffs. Links to the more volatile "live" versions are likely to become outdated soon after linking.

Websites in general[edit]

The useful style when linking to another website is to make a note of the date and time when it was "retrieved", that is, when you read it and copied the URL. That way if it is changed or deleted, it may still be possible to access the old version, or find where it was moved to.


Most "blogs" have links that say "trackback", or "permanent link", so that a section on their front page can still be readily accessed at any time in the future. On blogs that don't have links marked as such, a link to an entry's comments will frequently act as a permanent link; if the link ends with "#12345", or "#comments" or something similar, you may wish to remove everything from the "#" on.


When referencing other "Wiki" websites, which, like this one, allow continuous editing by participants, it is even more important to make a note of which "version" your link goes to. Luckily, the MediaWiki software used by many Wikis provides two convenient ways to do this.

One is the "permanent link". On the left side of every Wiki page you will see a link, usually in the "toolbox", that says "permanent link". If you click on that, the exact same page shows up, except the URL (the http:etc junk that is in your browser's location bar at the top) will say "&oldid=654321" at the end. This refers to the exact version you are reading. You can also simply right click on the "permanent link" link and "copy link location" to paste it in your work here.

The other is what is called a "diff", or "difference". These are mostly useful when you want to show what a given editor typed in an article at a specific time. One way to genereate these is from the article "history", which is one of the tabs at the top. Although I could struggle to explain how to do this in detail, it would make this style sheet far too wordy and needlessly complex. A Diff link is like a permanent link, except it has two extra numbers tacked onto the end of it, and when you follow it, it shows the changes that were made at one time, and the resulting version of the article.


It's always a good idea to test your link after saving it, to make sure it goes where you want it to, and if possible, test it again some time later to make sure it is still there.

Get help if needed[edit]

If you are in doubt as to how to do this, ask any other editor who seems to be proficient for help - it is much better to ask them, use their time, and learn a bit, than to discover later that your brilliant article's sources have all vanished into the ether. One way to find a relatively experienced editor is to go to the User List and pick an editor whose handle says "sysop" after it. Go to their "talk", or discussion, page, and create a new section explaining to them what you need to know, with as much useful information as you can give them right there (like links of some sort, a link to the article you're working on, etc.).

Internal links[edit]

To link to a RationalWiki page, use a wikilink with double square brackets:

[[User:Human]] produces User:Human.

If you want to give the link a different designation, use the pipe symbol:

[[User:Human|speakers]] which will show as speakers.

The 'pipe' symbol is on most keyboards at Shift + \. Note: wiki article names are case-sensitive, except for the first letter.

If you want to use a plural or otherwise extended form an article name for your link, just continue the name after the closing brackets.

[[Fundamentalist]]s produces Fundamentalists, likewise, [[evolution]]ary makes evolutionary.

Alternatively, you could use the plural or other variant, since, in many cases, there will be a redirect page linking this to the article. If it comes up as a red link, it will only take a moment to create the redirect page. See here for more help on creating redirect pages.

A link for which the target page doesn't exist will show as a red link.

Section links[edit]

You can link to a specific section by typing #Section name after the page name:

[[RationalWiki#History]] produces RationalWiki#History, which takes you to the History section of the RationalWiki article.

If you want to link to a section on the same page, omit the page name to prevent a reload:

[[#Links to external websites]] produces #Links to external websites, which takes you to the Links to external websites section of this page.

Categories and images[edit]

See Help:Images for more information.

Links to Categories and Images are different than normal links. A link to a category will be removed from the text and will cause the page to be placed into that category. A link to an image will place the image onto the page.

To create a normal link to these, add a colon (:) at the beginning:

[[:Category:Help]] produces Category:Help. [[:File:Stilton.jpg]] produces File:Stilton.jpg.


Just use {{tl}}.

Annotated Bible[edit]

{{Bible|John|16|3}} is a shortcut that produces a link to The RationalWiki Annotated Bible like this: John 16:3. {{Bible|John|16|3|6}} produces a link to a range in the annotated Bible like this: John 16:3-6.

Annotated Qur'an[edit]

{{Qur'an|2|29}} is a shortcut that produces a link to the RationalWiki Annotated Qur'an like this: Qur'an 2:29.

Interwiki links[edit]

Pages on Conservapedia, A Storehouse of Knowledge, and Wikipedia can be entered by including "cp:","ask:", or "wp:" (note the colon) before the page name. Pages referred in this manner will be subject to change by the site editors and may not be the page you intend.

[[wp:evolution]] produces wp:evolution. A link like this can also be piped to chosen text: [[wp:evolution|Conservapedia's nightmare]] produces Conservapedia's nightmare.

Note: permalinks and difflinks to wiki pages should be treated as external links (see below).

As a general practice, using direct wp: links in articles is frowned upon, because they are easy to confuse with internal links. Instead, use Template:Wpl ({{wpl|Wikipedia}} produces WikipediaWikipedia) or Template:Wpa (allows the text: "See the Wikipedia article on ..." to be included, usually as a footnote or an entry in the External links section).

Linking to the Russian Rationalwiki[edit]

[[:ru:|РациоВики]] will produce: РациоВики. Please note that this link will probably be unreadable to blind people as the English Rationalwiki tells screenreadersWikipedia to read everything in English by default. To fix this, use {{Lang}}. {{Lang|ru|[[:ru:|РациоВики]]}} will produce the link but it signals to the screenreader, to pronounce the link in Russian.

Links to external websites[edit]

Web pages in general, no matter where they are hosted, can be referred by simply including their full address in the text: produces:

Enclosing the web address in single square brackets will reduce it:

[] produces [1]. The number increments down the page.

To give a different designation, leave a space at the end of the address and insert the wording required:

[ UK secularist organisation] produces UK secularist organisation

Pipe trick[edit]

See the Wikipedia article on Help:Pipe trick.

Save time typing out links. Get rid of the cp without typing out the article name again. [[cp:Ugly]] results in: cp:Ugly. But we need a fast way to get rid of that ugly cp:. [[cp:Ugly|]] results in: Ugly.

This works with removing namespacesWikipedia from links fast too!

See also[edit]