Guild Wars Wiki:Formatting/Categories

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Formatting guideline

This page is an accepted formatting guideline on the Guild Wars Wiki.

It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all contributors should follow. Before editing this page, it is suggested to gather consensus on the talk page first.

A category is a software feature of MediaWiki. Categories are automatic indexes into similarly tagged articles, providing an mechanism for the structuring and organization of information in addition to normal links.

Assigning a category[edit]

All articles should belong to at least one category. Articles are usually easier to locate when there are categories. Consider using only the major theme or themes of the article for categorization.

To place an article into a category, simply add the following tag:

[[Category:The category you want to add to]]

By convention, always place categories at the bottom of an article, preferably one on each line for readability. Being at the bottom corresponds nicely to the fact that category links appear at the bottom of a page.

All categories will exist in the "Category" name space.

Linking to a category[edit]

When attempting to link to a category, the link needs to have a colon (':') prefixed. For example:

[[:Category:The category you want to link to]]

Without that additional colon at the front, it would assign a category the that page instead of linking it.

General considerations[edit]

Some general guidelines to consider when creating categories or organizing articles:

  1. Categories are mainly used to allow the browsing of similar articles. Always consider the structure of categories from the user's point of view.
  2. Some articles may feel in need of a large number of categories. Have restraint. An article with too many categories may not necessarily be more effective. Use the reasons that users may want to look at the page as a guidelines for what categories are important.
  3. An article should not be in both a category and its subcategory. Do look at the relationships that your target category has. If there is a more specific and appropriate category, use only the more specific one; although exceptions do exist.
  4. If you do not know where to put an article, examine similar articles and go from there. Or marked it with an appropriate {{stub}} tag. Avoid leaving an article uncategorized.
  5. Always check if a similarly-named category already exists before proceeding to create one. Perhaps a category that was worded differently is already in use.

Category page[edit]

New categories will show up as a missing page because the category page needs to be manually created. Always create the page and put in a brief note describing that category.


In general, adhere to the naming guidelines when considering names for categories. Category names should generally be plural to reflect the collection of articles they refer to.


Each category page contains automatically indexed links to subcategories (see below) and articles. Subcategories are displayed above articles, both groups sorted alphabetically. A maximum of 200 such links may exist on one page; additional links are bumped into additional pages (for example, Category:Skills).

Large categories warrant some consideration on whether it is possible to break it down into further subcategorie.

Sort keys[edit]

The sorting of a subcategory or article can be influenced using sort keys. A sort key can be specified as follows:

[[Category:The category you want to sort|The sort key]]

For example, both Category:Contains iron and Category:Contains wood will be sorted under the letter "C" in their parent category of Category:Contains common crafting material. A more logical sorting would be to sort the former under "I", and the latter under "W". As such, sort keys can be added:

[[Category:Contains common crafting material|Iron]]
[[Category:Contains common crafting material|Wood]]

To put it simply: the sort key is the text that is used instead of the actual category name when it comes to sorting it relative to other categories or articles. It will not cause a different name to show up (unlike a normal wiki-link), it is only used for sorting purposes.

When there are multiple categories that needs to be sorted with the same sort key, it may be simpler to just change the default sort key instead. Examples:



To make a category into a subcategory, add [[Category:parent category name]] to it, e.g. add "[[Category:Locations]]" to the page Category:Towns.


It is important to note that categories are not meant to form distinct and separate hierarchical category trees. The trees will overlap and intersect at multiple places as articles can belong to multiple categories. Categories are not meant to exclusively belong to one category tree.

See also[edit]