How To Wiki

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]]

instead of

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 Raw signatures.

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: <s><u>hi</u></s>).
Unquoted attributes
It's also recommended to use quotes on all attributes (for instance, use <font color="white"></font> instead of <font color=white></font>).
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 &amp; (a bare & is always a mistake in either HTML or wikicode).
Unescaped special characters
If you are using one of &, <, or >, and want it shown as text, it must be escaped as &amp;, &lt;, or &gt;, respectively.


Adapted from