Help:Talk pages

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There are two types of talk pages — standard talk pages, which are used to discuss an article, a template, a category, etc., and user talk pages, which are used to communicate with other users or leave them messages. Every page has an associated talk page, except pages in the Special: namespace. If there has never been any text on a talk page, the link to the talk page from the article, category, etc., will be red. You can still discuss the page — you will just be the first person to edit the respective talk page.

Article and category talk pages are provided for discussion of the article or category in question, while user talk pages can be used to contact an individual editor on Fanlore. For more information on how to use these, refer to What can I put on a talk page?

Accessing a talk page

To access a talk page, look for a tab or link labelled Talk. These tabs or links will be found either at the top of the page or on the left hand side, depending on the skin you are using.

The name of a standard talk page is Talk: plus the article's title. For example, the talk page of the article Harry Potter is Talk:Harry Potter. For a page name that has a prefix, "talk" is added to the prefix before the colon. For example, the talk page associated with the user page User:Hope is User talk:Hope. This page is in the Help: namespace, so the talk page for this page is Help_talk:Talk pages. The Main Page is in the main namespace (because it has no prefix), so its talk page is simply Talk:Main Page.

From a standard talk page you can go back to the main article by clicking on the tab labelled page or article next to the talk tab. For pages in other namespaces, there is a different label--for example, "user page" for the User: namespace, and "project page" for the Fanlore: namespace.

How to use talk pages

Talk pages can only be edited using the Source Editor. The Editing Cheatsheet and Help:Editing pages include more information about how to format a page's source using wiki markup.

You should sign and date your contributions on all talk pages by typing four tildes: (~~~~), which will yield something like: Username 19:36, 10 January 2021 (UTC). You can also click on the signature button that appears in the toolbar above the edit window when JavaScript is enabled.

On a talk page, "this page" usually refers to the main page (i.e. the page the talk page is associated with). If the talk page itself is referred to, write "this talk page".

When debating the name of the page or discussing merging it with another page, always mention the current page name. Otherwise after renaming (moving) a page, references to "the name of this page" become ambiguous.

The "Add Topic" feature (in the top right sidebar of the talk page) allows you to start a new section without needing to edit the whole page. The section header becomes the edit summary at the time you save the page, so there is no edit summary box displayed when you use this feature.

The practice of posting similar messages to more than a few users' talk pages, for example to solicit a certain action, is very strongly discouraged.

What can I put on a talk page?

On regular article talk pages:

  • Any questions or suggestions you might have about the page's content, its scope, or its name.
  • If you want to make a major change to a page's organization or content, we strongly recommend proposing it on the talk page first.

On category talk pages:

  • Any questions or suggestions you might have about the category name, its scope, or any subcategories.

On User talk pages:

  • Friendly greetings or questions for that particular user.
  • These questions can relate to the user's recent edits, but if your questions are about an article more generally, we recommend adding them to the talk page for the article itself.
  • Welcoming new users to Fanlore.

How to greet new editors on their user talk page

Both less experienced and more experienced editors should consider greeting new editors on their user talk page to make Fanlore a welcoming community! Some tips for your greetings:

  • Welcome new editors who have empty user talk pages, and give them a few friendly tips.
  • Thank new editors for their help when you see them making contributions to a page, no matter how big or small.
  • Let new editors know exactly which contributions you appreciate the most, and how they can make even better contributions.
  • Gardeners and members of Fanlore Policy & Admin can greet new editors to introduce themself, and to let the new editor know how to ask them for help.
  • Additionally, after welcoming or thanking a new editor, use the "thank" button under "View History" to publicly thank new editors for their contributions.


Because the wiki software platform provides for a wide range of formatting styles, consistent formatting is essential to maintaining readable talk pages.

Starting a new section

Start a new section to discuss a new topic. You can start a new section in one of two ways:

Edit this page

  • Click Edit to edit the page
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page
  • Add a heading on a separate line, like so:
== My Fabulous Topic ==
  • Type in your comment and save the page as usual

Add topic

  • Click "Add topic" in the top right sidebar to add a comment to the page
  • Enter text in the subject/headline field
  • Type in your comment and save the page as usual

Threaded comments

Indentation is used to create a threaded discussion. Indents can be created by adding one or more colons (:) in front of a paragraph of text. If you want to reply to a specific comment on the talk page, you should add your reply directly below the comment and preface it with a :. If the comment is already indented, you can copy and paste the colons from their comment and then add one.

Add comments concerning current discussions below the latest entry in the section where they are relevant, or below the specific comment to which they apply, paying attention to indentation.

This is easy to read


How's the soup? --[[John]]
:It's great!! --[[Jane]]
:Not too bad.. --[[George]]
::I made it myself! --[[John]]
I think the soup-discussion should be moved to [[Talk:Soup]].. --[[Jane]]
:I tend to disagree. --[[George]]

What is shown:

How's the soup? --John

It's great!! --Jane
Not too bad.. --George
I made it myself! --John

I think the soup-discussion should be moved to Talk:Soup.. --Jane

I tend to disagree. --George

This is not


How's the soup? --[[John]]
It's great!! --[[Jane]]
Not too bad.. --[[George]]
I made it myself! --[[John]]
I think the soup-discussion should be moved to [[Talk:Soup]].. --[[Jane]]
I tend to disagree. --[[George]]

What is shown:

How's the soup? --John It's great!! --Jane Not too bad.. --George I made it myself! --John I think the soup-discussion should be moved to Talk:Soup.. --Jane I tend to disagree. --George

Placing material from the article on a talk page

Sometimes it is necessary to display a sentence or paragraph from the article on its talk page so that other editors can easily understand what is being discussed. The best way to display these quotes is to use the Quotation and Quotation2 templates like so: {{Quotation|[quoted text goes here]}} or {{Quotation2|[quoted text goes here]}}. (Multiple quotes used consecutively are best differentiated by alternating the two templates (i.e., use Quotation for one quote, followed by Quotation2 for a second quote, followed by Quotation for a third quote). More information about these templates, including examples of how they appear when used on a page, can be found on the Editing Cheatsheet.

Archiving talk pages

If the talk page becomes too long, you can archive old discussions on a subpage. You can simply move the entire page or copy/paste a section to the new page. The archived talk page can be named something like Talk:Page/2013 Archive. Add Template:TalkArchive to the top of the archive page and Template:TalkArchiveIndex to the top of the main talk page.

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