Help:MediaWiki Navigation Tools

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This help page explains the navigation elements that are provided with Mediawiki software. For more help on how to navigate the site, see Help:Tips for Browsing Fanlore.

On every Fanlore page, you can see these four main navigation elements:

  1. The sidebar on the left gives you access to important pages in the wiki such as Recent changes or Upload file.
  2. At the top of the page are links (often called tabs) that relate to the page currently displayed. The most important of these is EDIT (visible only to logged-in users). Clicking this will let you edit the page.
  3. In the top right corner you'll find user links. As an anonymous user, you'll see a link to create an account or log in (located on the same page). As a logged-in user you have a collection of personal links, including ones to your user page and preferences.
  4. Clicking on the site logo 200 px logo.png brings you back to the main page of the wiki.

A fifth very important navigational aid is the categories, which are added to individual pages by editors. Scroll to the bottom of a page to see the categories; click on one to see pages on the same topic. See Help:Tips for Browsing Fanlore for more information.


collapsed view of the sidebar in the default skin. Look to the left of this, and you will see the actual sidebar!

The sidebar is displayed on the left edge of the page below the site logo (if using the default Vector skin). This sidebar gives you access to important pages in the wiki such as Recent changes, Upload file, or our main category pages.

The sidebar is divided into sections — "Fanlore", "Browse Categories", "Help", and "Shortcuts for Editors" — that can be edited by site administrators. "Toolbox" is generated by the wiki software and cannot be modified.

Note that in the default skin, each section is collapsible; click the arrow next to the section header to expand to see the navigation links.

Tools.svg Tip for wiki admins: You can customize the navigation links by editing MediaWiki:Sidebar. Some entries call for separate MediaWiki: pages, e.g. to change the automatic link to the Main Page you would change MediaWiki:Mainpage (target page) and MediaWiki:Mainpage-text (displayed text). You can find a list of such pages via Special:Allmessages. For more information see Manual:Interface/Sidebar.


The toolbox contains a selection of links that change depending on what type of page you are viewing.

On all pages (except special pages):

  • What links here takes you to a special page that lists the pages on this wiki that contain a link to the current page. This is helpful when you are looking for pages of related information. The What links here information can also be useful when you are refactoring wiki pages and need to check whether links are still relevant after the current page has been changed.
  • The Related changes tool lists all recent changes in the pages linked to from the current page. Recent changes to all relevant template pages are included in the resulting page list. The "Hide minor edits" option in user preferences applies, among other things, to Related Changes.

On all pages (including special pages):

  • Upload file displays a special page that allows logged-in users to upload images and other files to the wiki. Uploaded files can be linked from or embedded in wiki pages. Uploading files, viewing files on the server, including them in wiki pages and managing the uploaded files is discussed in the managing files section of this manual. This is not displayed if file uploading has been disabled or not enabled in the first place.
Tools.svg Tip for wiki admins: To enable file uploading, someone with access to the MediaWiki installation files needs to edit the LocalSettings.php file and uncomment or add the option $wgEnableUploads = true;. Uploaded files will be stored in the images folder specified by the $wgUploadPath variable in the LocalSettings.php. This directory must be writable if file uploads is enabled. The upload location and image uploads settings are described in more detail on the MetaWiki LocalSettings.php page.
  • The Special pages tool lists the MediaWiki special pages. In MediaWiki terminology, a special page is one that presents information about the Wiki and/or allows access to administration activities for the wiki. Special pages include a list of users registered with the wiki, statistics about the wiki such as the number of pages and number of page edits, system logs, a list of orphaned pages, and so on. These special pages are commonly generated when the special page is loaded rather than being stored in the wiki database.
The function and use of the default special pages can be found in the special pages section of this manual.

Page Tabs

Default page tabs at the top of the page, logged-out view

The page tabs are displayed at the top of the article to the right of the site logo (if using the default Vector skin). These tabs allow you to perform actions or view pages that are related to the current article. The available default actions include: viewing, editing, and discussing the current article. The specific tabs displayed on your pages depend on whether or not you are logged into the wiki and whether you have sysop (administrator) privileges on the wiki. On special pages only the namespace tab is displayed. Note that in the Vector skin, some logged-in actions are stored in a hidden dropdown.

Hidden gardener options; mouseover the arrow to see the dropdown
  • Default for all logged-out users:
    Namespace page (e.g. Page, Help page, User page, etc.)
    View history
    View source
  • Default for logged-in users:
    [Namespace] page
    View history
    Edit (this tab may read View source if the page is protected)
  • Extra tabs for gardeners:

Sysops can add or remove tabs by using JavaScript or installing extensions.

User Links

Default user links at the top right of the page

The user links are displayed at the top far right of the article (if using the default Vector skin). These tabs allow the logged-in user to view and edit their user page and wiki preferences. Additionally, the user links allow the user to quickly access their contributions to the wiki or logout.

For anonymous users the user links is replaced by a link to the wiki login page.

  • <username> links to your user page which is where you can put information about yourself, store bits of information you want to remember or whatever else you fancy.
  • Talk links to your discussion page, where people can leave messages for you.
  • Preferences allows you to change your personal site preferences.
  • Watchlist displays a list of all pages that you are watching. Pages can be added to this list by clicking watch at the top of the page.
  • Contributions displays a list of all contributions you have made to the wiki.
  • Log out logs you out of the wiki.

For any other questions, you can use the Talk page or contact the Fanlore Committee