Help:Links

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Links help users of the wiki to move between pages. There are two main types of links - internal and external.

Internal links

Any link to another page in the wiki is referred to as an internal link. At its simplest, you specify the link by placing the name of the target page in double square brackets:

[[page_name]]

If the page exists, this link will take users straight to the page. If the page does not exist, the link will be coloured red and will take the user to the edit page (provided they are logged in). For example, [[Linda]] gives Linda, [[Non-existent page]] gives Non-existent page.

You can link to a page in any namespace simply by including the namespace in the page name, e.g. [[Help:Contents]]. If no namespace is given, the link will be to a page in the main namespace.

Note that case is significant in both the namespace and the page title. The only exceptions are the first character of the namespace and the first character of the title. These are both forced to upper case, so [[locomotives]] links to the Locomotives page but displays as locomotives. Note also that spaces and underscores (_) are interchangeable in both the namespace and the page title.

You can change the label on the link to be something other than the name of the page like this:

[[Linda|Garraway's engine]]

which gives Garraway's engine.

Special features

If you do not specify the label for a link, the page title will be used as the label. However, there are a couple of tricks you can use to change what is displayed:

  • You can place some text immediately following the closing square brackets. This text will be combined with the label (or page name if there is no label) to give the label. For example, [[FRM]]agazine gives FRMagazine and [[FRM|FR M]]agazine gives FR Magazine. Note that only alphabetic text will be added.
  • You can put a pipe after the page title without giving any label, like this [[Help:contents|]]. This abbreviates the page title, giving (in this case) contents. This is known as the "pipe trick". It does this by:
    • Removing any namespace
    • Removing everything after the first comma
    • Removing any text in parentheses at the end of the title
  • You can give a label without specifying the page like this [[|Help:contents]] (the "inverse pipe trick"). This gives a new page title based on the current title, so:
    • If the current title is "a (b)", [[|c]] is equivalent to [[c (b)|c]]
    • If the current title is "a, b", [[|c]] is equivalent to [[c , b|c]]

If you try to link a page to itself, the label is displayed in bold but no link is created. However, linking to an anchor on the page produces the expected link. This feature should NOT be used as a way of displaying bold text. Its main use is for templates containing lists of links which may include links to pages which use the template.

Links to the Image and Category namespace normally behave differently from other links - see the help pages on images and categories for details. You can suppress the special behaviour and get a normal link by putting a colon before the namespace name, e.g. [[:Category:Locomotives]].

Section linking

You can link to a section or anchor on the current page using [[#section_name|label]]. You can link to a section on another page using [[page_name#section_name|label]]. The label is not compulsory but is strongly recommended for both cases. More details can be found on Sections and Table of Contents, including information about placing an anchor without starting a new section.

Subpages

Subpages are available in all talk namespaces plus the Wiki and User namespaces. A subpage name looks like Main_page/Subpage. If you are on Main_page, you can link to Subpage by typing [[/Subpage]]. If you are on Main_page/Subpage you can link to Main_page by typing [[../]] and you can link to Main_page/Another_sub by typing [[../Another_sub]].

Note that the first letter of the subpage name is case sensitive, so /Subpage and /subpage are different pages.

When you look at a subpage, a link to its parent page will be displayed under the page title. This is automatic - there is no need to put anything special in the wiki text.

This wiki only supports a single level of subpages, so Main_page/Subpage/Subpage is not a valid page name.

External links

You can use external links to link to any web page. Such links should be used with caution - the target may disappear at any time without warning. The "broken links" report does not detect broken external links.

External links can take one of three forms:

As you can see, a special icon appears after the link to indicate that it is external. You can use the external link syntax to specify links within the wiki but this is strongly discouraged.

ISBN links

Specifying the ISBN of a book will automatically generates a link to Special:Booksources which, in turn, gives links to various sources of the book specified, e.g. ISBN 085361-365-6 gives ISBN 085361-365-6.

RFC links

It is not so obvious how this is useful in a railway wiki(!) but specifying an RFC number automatically generates a link to the appropriate RFC, e.g. RFC 843 gives RFC 843.

PMID links

Similarly to RFC numbers, specifying a PMID number automatically generates a link to the appropriate PMID, e.g. PMID 1043 gives PMID 1043. Again, as PMID numbers relate to medicine, this feature is unlikely to be of use in this wiki.