Help:Templates

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If you have standard texts you want to include on several pages, the template feature comes into play.

Creation

Templates are standard wiki pages whose content is designed to be transcluded (embedded) inside other pages. Templates follow a convention that the name is prefixed with "Template:", assigning it to that namespace. Therefore you can create them like any other wiki page.

For a list of templates that are in use on the UBC Wiki, please see UBC Wiki:Templates.

Usage

Templates are wiki pages which can be used in other pages in three ways:

  • {{Name}} 'transcludes' (i.e. includes a copy of) the content of the template (stored in the page [[Template:Name]]) whenever the page containing the template transclusion is fetched and displayed; i.e. if the template is later changed, the displayed transcluding page will automatically change too
  • {{subst:Name}} replaces that string with the contents of the template, in the source of the transcluding page, when you save that page; the copy of the template contents can then be edited normally (and separately from the original in the template page). To Note: don't use this if you are looking to continually propagate changes from the source template to the page(s) that reference
  • {{msgnw:Name}} includes the template in a form that displays it as raw wiki syntax (the way <nowiki> does) when the page containing it is fetched.

In fact, an ordinary wiki page can also be used as a template, simply by specifying the namespace it resides in, so:

  • {{Template:Pagename}} includes [[Template:Pagename]]
  • {{Foo:Pagename}} includes [[Foo:Pagename]]
  • {{:Pagename}} includes [[Pagename]]
    • {{subst::Pagename}} replaces itself with the contents of [[Pagename]]

If no such namespace exists, the full title is assumed to be a template:

  • {{Foo:Bar}} includes [[Template:Foo:Bar]]

Parameters

You can define parameters in templates either numbered as {{{1}}} or named {{{param}}}. Please note that there are a set of three curly braces ({{{ and }}}) around each parameter. This is different from normal template name usage.

When using the template on a page, you fill in the parameter values, separated by a pipe char (|): {{Thankyou|all your hard work|Joe}}. For named parameters use "name=value" pairs separated by a pipe char: {{Thankyou|reason=all your hard work|signature=Joe}}. The advantage of using named parameters in your template is that they are flexible in order. It also makes the template easier to understand if you have many parameters. If you want to change the order of numbered parameters, you have to mention them explicitly: {{Thankyou|2=Joe|1=all your hard work}}.

You can also provide default values for parameters, i.e. values that are going to be used if no value is provided for a parameter. For example, {{{reason|all your hard work}}} would result in "all your hard work" if no value was provided for the parameter reason.

Control template inclusion

You can control content inclusion on the source page by the use of tags, where 'here' is the source page you're editing, and 'there' is where content is being imported to.

  • <noinclude> content only here </noinclude>, does not show there
  • <includeonly> content does not show here </includeonly>, only there
  • <onlyinclude> content will show here and there </onlyinclude> but anything outside of it, will only show here

The obvious application is to add all pages containing a given template to a category, without putting the template itself into that category.

Other possible applications are:

  • Categorising templates
  • Interlanguage links to similar templates in other languages
  • Explanatory text about how to use the template

Organizing templates

For templates to be effective, users need to find them, and find out how to use them.

To find them, users can:

  1. Click Special Pages > All Pages
  2. In the Namespace list, choose Template and click Go.

To give usage information, include an example like this one on the template page:

<noinclude>
== Usage ==
Establish a link to a subject:
{{NameOfTemplate|Term1+Term2+Term3}}
</noinclude>

Then, an editor can simply copy and paste the example to create a similar page.

See Also