Recent changes on the version of the MediaWiki software running Wikipedia altered the way signatures work. If your signature is not working now (but was working previously), you will need to make some changes to your "my preferences" page.
You are not using "raw signatures"
MediaWiki makes the creation of simple, straightforward signatures relatively easy. For example, if User:Example wants a signature that displays as Example, he would simply have to enter
Example in the Nickname field in my preferences. The software automatically places
[[User:Example| in front of and
]] behind the entry, to form
[[User:Example|Example]]; this escapes as Example.
With recent changes to the software, more complex signatures cannot be set this way. Wiki markup and HTML markup do not function in the Nickname field any longer, unless the
Raw signatures option is checked in preferences.
For example, placing the following in the default Nickname field
Example]] | [[User talk:Example|
will result in a signature that looks like
- Example | [[User_talk:Example|Talk]]
- Example | Talk
This is because Wiki markup (and HTML markup) are now escaped as HTML entities when placed in the default Nickname field, e.g.
[ instead of
[. If you would like a signature that requires markup within the Nickname field, please check the
Raw signatures option and enter the full signature string into the field. For instance, to produce the signature
- Example | Talk
[[User:Example|Example]] | [[User talk:Example|Talk]]
within the Nickname field and check
You are using "raw signatures"
If you have been using "raw signatures" all along but find that your signature is now not working, you may find the following message displayed in your preferences:
- Invalid raw signature; check HTML tags.
This means you are using invalid markup on your signature. Some possible causes with their corresponding solutions:
- Unclosed tags
- If you are opening a tag without the corresponding closing tag (for instance:
[[User:Example|<font color="white">Example]]), you should close the tag (for instance:
[[User:Example|<font color="white">Example</font>]]). It's also a good idea to put the tags outside the link if possible (for instance:
<span style="font-family: serif">[[User:Example|Example]]</span>).
- Mismatched or incorrectly nested tags
- If the tags are mismatched (for instance:
<s><u>hi</s></u>), fix them (for instance:
- Unquoted attributes
- It's also recommended to use quotes on all attributes (for instance, use
<font color="white"></font>instead of
- Unclosed entities
- If you have a HTML entity which is lacking the final
;, you need to add it; if you have a bare
&, it must be replaced by
&is always a mistake in either HTML or wikicode).
- Unescaped special characters
- If you are using one of
>, and want it shown as text, it must be escaped as