Help:Wikisig

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This explains how to sign your name and leave a timestamp when editing talk pages - and how to make really fancy versions of your signature.

Basic[edit]

Whenever you edit a talk page, you should enter four tildes (~~~~) in line after your comment. This will create a signature that is your user name, linked to your user page, a link to your talk page, and time and date stamp your comment.

If you want to change what is displayed as your name, go to your preferences, type something in the box labelled Signature and click save.

One step fancier[edit]

If you want to leave more than just your user name and link to your user page and talk page, you do this:

  • Check the box that says Sign my name exactly as shown.
  • In the box labelled Signature type in your preferred signature format.

Let's say your user name is RWuser, but you want the signature to read "RatWikian", and you want a link to your talk page that says "Talk to me". If you can fill in the blanks, use this:

[[User:RWuser|RatWikian]][[User_Talk:RWuser|<sup>Talk to me</sup>]]

The tags that say <sup> and </sup> are used to raise that part of the text. No one knows why, but lots of people do it. You can also try <sub> and </sub> to lower the text.

  • Click save at the lower left and you are done. It's a good idea to test your new signature on your own talk page or user page to make sure that it works and looks like what you want. Note: on those pages, the link to that page itself will be "dead", due to the way the software works. For a full test, try it on someone else's talk page or the sandbox.

Please keep in mind that your username is case sensitive.

Sig subpage[edit]

If you want to be able to edit your signature as any other wiki page, you can put it on a subpage of your user page. Usually people call it "sig". To create one of your own, just click here, it will ask you if you want to create it (The answer is "yes").

In that subpage, put all the junk that makes up your current signature.

Then enter this into your preferences under "Signature": {{SUBST:User:Yourname/sig}}. Don't forget to change Yourname to your actual username, and to check the Sign my name exactly as shown checkbox.

When you sign pages, the result will be the same as when you had a bunch of wikicode in the signature box.

Please note that people will be annoyed if your signature contains a lot of code, so try to keep it short.

How the random thing works[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Help:Random choice

The basic syntax is this:

{{<includeonly>safesubst:</includeonly>#choose:
10=stuff
|1=and
|1=nonsense
}}

This will return "stuff" ten times as often as either "and" or "nonsense". Note that there is no pipe (|) before the very first option.

Pretty colors[edit]

Some people also have "issues" with color. They may have a favorite one or two, or one they want to use to make other people miserable. Or twelve. You may be one of those people who wants to code your signature in eyewatering colours.

Colors can be manipulated with the "span" tag, like these examples:

  • <span style="color:red">RED TEXT</span>
  • <span style="color:#FF0000">RED TEXT</span>

If you can speak hexadecimal: Internet colors are described by a six digit "hexadecimal", or base-16 (0,1,2,3 ... 9,a,b,c,d,e,f) number. This yields that 16 million color figure you've always heard about (166). The first two are for how much red is in the color, the third and fourth denote how much green, and the fifth and sixth denote how much blue there is (memnonic: RGB). Also, the color is additive - that is to say that 'ffffff' (full red, full green, full blue) is white, while '000000' is black. Any color where each of the three pairs of numbers is equal will be a shade of grey.

If you can't: a load of colour names are supported (red, blue, green, black, yellow, etc.) and you might find one or more that makes you happy.

Please keep in mind that a certain degree of readability goes a long way to making friends.

So, this: <span style="color:#ffee66">This text is nigh-unreadable and really hard on the eyes.</span>

produces this: This text is nigh-unreadable and really hard on the eyes.

And might not be a desirable color choice.

Here is an example of how to add colors to your signature:

[[User:Anon|<span style="color:#0022ff">'''anon'''</span>]][[User_talk:Anon|<span style="color#ff5500"><sup>''who?''</sup></span>]]

Yields: anonwho?

This is a breakdown of each section in the above example:

Actual username Desired color (rrggbb) Display signature Close tags Actual talk page Desired color (rrggbb) up Talk link text Close tags Result
[[User:Anon| <span style="color:#0022ff"> anon </span>]] [[User_talk:Anon| <span style="color:#ff5500"> <sup> who? </sup></span>]] anonwho?

Here are the first sixteen colors you can use by "name" rather than by "number":

Color Hexadecimal Color Hexadecimal Color Hexadecimal Color Hexadecimal
Background Text Background Text Background Text Background Text
aqua #00FFFF Sample text black #000000 Sample text blue #0000FF Sample text fuchsia #FF00FF Sample text
gray #808080 Sample text green #008000 Sample text lime #00FF00 Sample text maroon #800000 Sample text
navy #000080 Sample text olive #808000 Sample text purple #800080 Sample text red #FF0000 Sample text
silver #C0C0C0 Sample text teal #008080 Sample text white #FFFFFF Sample text yellow #FFFF00 Sample text

And here is how to use them: [[User:Anon|<span style="color:red">'''anon'''</span>]][[User_talk:Anon|<span style="color:blue"><sup>''who?''</sup></span>]]

yields: anonwho?

See here, here and here for more about colours.

You can also go above and beyond with color by using {{colorchoose}}, which produces a random color. When used with <span style="color:{{<includeonly>safesubst:</includeonly>colorchoose}}"></span>, you can have your sig color randomised every time it occurs.

A note about fonts[edit]

If you are using an unusual font, it is very important to remember that people will only see your signature the way you want it if they have the same font installed on their own computer. If they do not, they will see your signature in Arial (the same font that this text is written in), which is the default font for MediaWiki software.

For example, look at the following signature, created using the form <font color=navy face="Hurry Up">My Signature</font>

My Signature

If you have the font "Hurry Up" installed on your system (e.g. on most copies of Windows Vista), you will see the signature above looking like this:

SigSampleHurryUp.jpg

However, if you don't have the "Hurry Up" font, you will see the signature in Arial, like this:

My Signature

There are some fonts (listed here) which are common to virtually all operating systems, such as Comic Sans MS, Lucida Console, and Times New Roman. So you could choose one of these, although it does confine you to a narrow and slightly boring range.

Alternatively, go with whatever font you like, but accept that many other people on the site will not be able to see your signature the way it looks to you. If you do choose an unusual font, please take a look at your signature without the font as well, so that you know what other people are seeing. Do this by temporarily taking out the "font face" part of your signature code, while leaving in anything else like changes to the size or color, and previewing the results.

This issue becomes more problematic if you are using a font which has significantly smaller text than Arial. For example, the following signature (created using the form <font color=purple face="Blackadder ITC">My Signature</font>) uses an unusual font called "Blackadder ITC":

SigSampleBlackadder1.jpg

An image is used here to show what the text looks like in Blackadder ITC. It's tiny and almost unreadable, so you might be tempted to enlarge it like this:

SigSampleBlackadder4.jpg

This was done using the code <font color=purple size=4 face="Blackadder ITC">My Signature</font>

However, anybody who does not have "Blackadder ITC" installed, will now see the signature in Arial at size 4, like this:

My Signature

It looks big and shouty, and other people may find it irritating on talk pages. It gets worse if your signature contains a long line of text like this:

SigSampleBlackadderText.jpg

Other people will be seeing this:

My SignatureLong piece of random text linking to my talk page


This is very obtrusive on talk pages and debates. So please don't enlarge the text in your signature, at least not more than once. Try to find a font with text size equivalent to Arial, so that you will not need to enlarge it. Similarly, avoid writing all in capitals in your signature. This may look good in some fonts, but can be quite ugly in Arial, which is what many people will see, especially if you have a long user name or signature.

Lastly, if anybody does object to your signature being too large or excessive, please take them seriously, discuss it, and see what you can do to resolve the problem.

Imagelinks[edit]

Using images for signatures is not recommended; see Wikipedia's reasons for not allowing images in signatures.

Imagelinks, as the name suggests, allow you to link to pages in the wiki from an image. It is useful if you want to use an obscure font in your sig. To use it,

  1. Concoct the sig that you want, using the methods above. For example, "''<small><font color="#007500" face="Zapfino">Phantom Hoover</font></small>''", which produces "PHsig.jpg" on a computer with Zapfino installed, but otherwise "Phantom Hoover".
  2. Take a screenshot of your sig, the method for which varies depending on which OS you're using; to find out how, use Google. For example, Phantom Hoover sig.jpg
  3. Crop your sig so that it doesn't have any whitespace. For example: PHsig.jpg
  4. Upload the image as [Your name]sig.[format, probably png is best]
  5. Use the link parameter to link the image to your user page or talk page instead of the image description page. e.g. [[Image:PHsig.jpg|link=User:Phantom Hoover]]. This is important
  6. Add alt text so that people with images disabled will see something: [[Image:PHsig.jpg|link=User:Phantom Hoover|Phantom Hoover]]. This is also important
  7. If the image is not aligned with the text, add text-bottom or baseline, like this: [[Image:PHsig.jpg|link=User:Phantom Hoover|Phantom Hoover|text-bottom]]. You can also try other options: sub, super, top, text-top, middle, bottom. See this page for more info.

Note that you will have to do each link in your sig separately, so you will need to upload different images for your userpage link, your talk page link, and any other embarrassing links you want to add.

See also[edit]