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There are five types of hypertext links in MediaWiki:

  1. Internal links to other pages in the same wiki (commonly called "wikilinks")
  2. External links to pages at other websites
  3. External links to internal pages in the same wiki
  4. Interwiki links to other websites using special prefixes registered in advance

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Internal links

To create a so-called internal link to a page on the same wiki (a "wikilink"), use double square brackets wiki markup, [[like this]]. When you preview or save your changes, you will see a link that can be followed to the target page. If the page exists the link is displayed in blue (like the word "create" in the first sentence of this paragraph); if the page does not exist, the link appears red (so the [[like this]] link is actually rendered like this). Note that the colors could be different if the color scheme of the wiki has been changed from the default. Following such a "redlink" to a missing page (whether or not it is actually red) will usually enable the user to create the page.

To markup any arbitrary string of text (not necessarily a page title) as a link, use a "vertical bar" or "pipe" character, like this: [[Help:Categories|category links]] results in the link category links.

The first letter of the link target is usually case-insensitive (unless the wiki is configured otherwise), meaning links can be capitalized or not (so How to contribute and how to contribute are equivalent). However, the case of every subsequent letter must match the target page exactly (so How to contribute and How To Contribute are not equivalent). Spaces in the page title may be represented as underscores (so How to contribute and How_to_contribute are again equivalent), but using underscores in links is typically frowned upon since they will be visible in the page text (but this can be prevented by using a "pipe").

If the page title you are linking to is that of the page you are editing, the result is not a hyperlink at all but simply bold text (for example, on this page the markup [[Help:Links]] gives the result Help:Links). If you're trying to create a wikilink to the current page, you probably want to link to a specific section or to an anchor within the page; see the examples below.

MediaWiki uses the pagelinks database table to keep track of internal wikilinks.

Description You type You get
Internal link
[[Main Page]]


[[w:Extension:DynamicPageList (Wikimedia)|Extension:DynamicPageList (Wikimedia)]]

Main Page


Extension:DynamicPageList (Wikimedia)

Piped link
[[Help:Editing pages|editing help]]

[[Help:Editing pages#Preview|previewing]]
See also meta:Help:Piped link.

The second example links to a section (or anchor) within the target page.

editing help


Pipe trick

[[User:John Doe|]]

[[w:Extension:DynamicPageList (Wikimedia)|Extension:DynamicPageList (Wikimedia)]]

[[w:Extension:DynamicPageList (third-party)|Extension:DynamicPageList (third-party)]]
The pipe trick involves less typing for editors, but is potentially confusing to readers, as seen in these DynamicPageList examples.


John Doe



Word-ending links










Avoiding word-ending links
[[Help]]<nowiki />ful advice

[[wikipedia:GNU General Public License|GPL]]<nowiki />v3

Helpful advice


#REDIRECT [[Main Page]]
Should be the first and only line on the page.

See Help:Redirects.

Redirect arrow without text (cropped).svg Main Page
Link to an anchor on the same page
[[#See also]]
Anchors are provided automatically on section headings and to the top of the page.
#See also
Piped link to an anchor on the same page
[[#See also|different text]]
different text
Setting an anchor for incoming links
<div id="Unique anchor name 1">optional text</div>

<span id="Unique anchor name 2">optional text</span>

Rendered block-level and inline, respectively. Doing this would allow for [[#Unique anchor name 1]] on the same page or [[Help:Links#Unique anchor name 1]] on a different page. Omit the "optional text" for an invisible anchor.

optional text

optional text

Setting an anchor in a section heading
==<span id="Alternate Section Title"></span>Section heading==

Note the placement. This must be a "span" tag, not a "div". (Such anchors allow sections to be retitled without breaking incoming links.)

Section heading
Link to an anchor at another page
[[Help:Images#Supported media types for images]]
Help:Images#Supported media types for images
Link to the current page's talk page
See also [[<tvar|page-names>Special:MyLanguage/Help:Magic_words#Page_names</>|Help:Magic words#Page names]]
Link to a subpage
Shortcut for [[Help:Links/example|/example]].

See also Help:Subpages.

Link to a subpage without the leading slash

Shortcut for [[Help:Links/example|example]].

Visible link to a category page
Without the leading colon the link would not be visible and the page would instead be placed into the category; this is a very common mistake.

See also Help:Categories.

Visible link to an image or media file

[[:File:example.jpg|this example]]


Without the leading colon on the "File:" examples, the images would actually be displayed. See also Help:Images. Note that using the "media:" prefix links directly to the uploaded file.


this example


Link to a page specific to each reader (user page, etc.)






Internal link to a specific revision

Revision numbers can be found in each page's edit history. (It is very common to see links to specific revisions implemented as external links because it's easy to cut-and-paste an entire URL to form an external link.)

Internal link to a "diff"


The default (in the first example above) is to show the changes from the previous revision. See also the comments in the previous item.



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External links

To create an external link, usually to a page at a different website, enclose the URL followed by space and the link text in single square brackets (see examples below). When you save or preview the page, you will see a link rendered slightly differently than an internal wikilink. It may be a different color and/or be followed by an arrow icon to show that it may lead to another site.

Description You type You get
External link with specified link text
[ MediaWiki]
Numbered external link

This is what happens if you omit the link text. Multiple links of this type on the same page are numbered sequentially.

Bare external link

URLs beginning with "http://" and "https://" are automatically linked, even when no brackets are used.
Avoiding auto-linked URLs

Protocol-relative external link

[// Wikipedia]

[// //]

The link will be HTTP or HTTPS depending on the protocol of the page currently being viewed (which could be different for different users). This is only supported inside of square brackets [ ]. Using "//" by itself does not result in a link.



External link to the current server
External link to other host passing the pagename{{PAGENAMEE}}
See also: [[<tvar|encoded>Special:MyLanguage/Help:Magic_words#URL_encoded_page_names</>|URL encoded page names]], [[<tvar|PAGENAMEE>Special:MyLanguage/Manual:PAGENAMEE encoding</>|PAGENAMEE encoding]]
Mailto link
[ email me]
email me
Mailto named with subject line and body
[ info]
Custom URI
[skype:echo123 call me]
Any URI you wish to add needs to be first declared through <tvar|UrlProtocols>$wgUrlProtocols.
(This example is not enabled on
[skype:echo123 call me]
External links with file-type icons
[ video]

[ sound]

[ document]
See [[<tvar|external3>#External link icons</>|External link icons]] for currently supported icons and extensions. Note that this wiki is not set up to use such icons.




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External links to internal pages

To add a link to a page on the same wiki using URL query parameters, you may need to use external link syntax.

Description You type You get
External link to the current page's edit page
[ Edit this page]

[{{fullurl:{{FULLPAGENAME}}|action=edit}} Edit this page]
See also [[<tvar|url-data>Special:MyLanguage/Help:Magic_words#URL_data</>|Help:Magic_words#URL_data]] and [[<tvar|external>#External links</>|External links]] above.

Edit this page

Edit this page

External link to the current page's edit page, and styled to look like an internal link
<span class="plainlinks">[ Edit this page]</span>
The  plainlinks class can be used in cases where you want an external link to look like an internal one, by suppressing the icon that normally appears after it. 
Edit this page

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External link icons

Some MediaWiki installations are set up to use special icons to denote external links to specific file types or using specific protocols. None of these special icons are enabled here on, but we present them here for the sake of completeness.

Test link Icon Trigger
[2] Icon External Link.png http://, gopher://, [//]
[3] Lock icon blue.gif https://
[4] Icon External Link E-Mail.png mailto:
[5] Icon External Link Newsgroups.png news://
[6] Icon External Link FTP.png ftp://
[7] Icon External Link IRC.png irc://
[8] Icon External Link MP3.png .ogg, .mid, .midi, .mp3, .wav, .wma
[9] Icon External Link Video.png .ogm, .avi, .mpeg, .mpg
[10] Icons-mini-file acrobat.gif .pdf, .pdf#, .pdf?

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Interwiki links

Interwiki links are internal-style links to other websites (which do not have to be wikis, despite the name). For example, you can link to the article by typing [[w:wikipedia:Sunflower|wikipedia:Sunflower]] or, on this wiki, the shorter [[w:Sunflower]]. Both will result in a link wikipedia:Sunflower. This works because by default MediaWiki configures wikipedia: as an "interwiki prefix" that turns into when used inside [[ ]]. (It may not work if the admin of your wiki has changed the setting.) Unlike internal links, interwiki links do not use page existence detection, so an interwiki link will appear blue even if the page does not exist on the remote wiki.

Similar to internal page links, you can create piped links, with alternate link label, e.g. [[w:wikipedia:Sunflower|big yellow flower]] is the link big yellow flower and [[w:wikipedia:Sunflower|]] is the link Sunflower.

Basically, interwiki links are abbreviations for commonly-used longer external links. A very similar link could be created as [ big yellow flower].

More details are at Manual:Interwiki and m:Help:Interwiki linking. Your wiki may have a Special:Interwiki page listing the interwiki prefixes it supports; Template:Git file. You can edit the Manual:Interwiki table on your site.

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See also