Help:Article categories

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A category is a grouping of related articles.
By creating and using categories, pages become easily related because they are grouped. Categorizing makes navigation more intuitive.

How to create a category

A category is automatically created as soon as an article is added to it. To create a category, add an article to it.

Before creating a new category, verify that it does not exist and that the existing categories are not adequate.

How to display the index of the existing categories

You can find the list of all Categories by clicking on "Special pages", then on "Categories", or, by linking to Special:Categories.
[[Category:Categories]], the top level category, does not work in this version. It returns null.

Viewing a list of the articles in a category

Creating a category automatically compiles a "Contents" page of all linking pages, which makes it easy to browse related articles. To see a list of all the documents in a given category, use:

The above sentence creates a hyperlink that will take the reader to to the list of articles in the "Category_name" category.
Example: [[:Category:Admin Website]] creates the link Category:Admin Website that takes you to all the articles related to :Admin Website".
Adding the vertical bar character "|" after the category name i.e. [[:Category:Admin Website|]] results in "Admin Website". The "Category:" prefix is not displayed.

How to add a page to a Category

To add a content page to the Category's listing, specify a category in the body of the page using:

[[Category:Category name]]

You should categorize articles by characteristics of the topic, not characteristics of the article.
Use keywords that accurately represent the topic. Use the pointers in the Classification worksheet help in your choice of keywords.
For ease of editing, place the tag at the very bottom or top of the page.
Adding this tag creates a link that takes you to the list of all pages in that category. The section on viewing a listing of a category's contents shows you how to display that list.

How to add a page to multiple categories

On one day, you will look for a computer magazine like "Wired" under "Computer Magazines", the next day, you feel of Wired more as a "Lifestyle Magazine". If it's listed under both, and if the two topics are close to each other, you will find it whatever your current mood is.
A single document can belong to multiple categories simultaneously. To add a page to more than one category, specify all the categories the article belongs to by listing them all, separated by spaces.

Choosing the order in which a page is positioned in the category's listing

You can alphabetically SORT where the page will appear in the list:

[[Category:Category name|SORTorder]]

To add this page to the 'Help' category to be located in the list at 'C' you would use:


Another way to sort an article in the correct letter group without using the Namespace is:


This is helpful when using templates which include a category tag.


Contrary to some expectations, text after a pipe ("|") in a category declaration is not used in place of the category text. Instead, this text is used as the sort key on the category page itself. However, again contrary to expectations, that sort text is not displayed. One common application is to ignore "The" in article names, so [[Category:Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees|Beatles, The]] will make "The Beatles" list under B rather than T on the category page—however, it will still display as The Beatles.
This feature is very useful for categories in which:

  • the entries are people, in which case sorting by last name is preferable (example: [[:Category:Presidents of the United States]]).
  • variations in the naming of entries causes inconsistent sorting (example: [[List of counties in Colorado]], [[List of counties in Connecticut]], but [[List of counties in Delaware|Counties in Delaware]] in [[:Category:Lists of U.S. counties by state]]).
  • the logical sort order is not alphabetical (example: individual month articles in year categories such as [[:Category:2004]], using e.g. the sort key "*2004-04" for April).
  • the entries contain foreign characters (for example, using "Lodz" as the sort key for [[Łódź]] causes it to be sorted under "L", rather than in a separate section for "Ł" at the end of the alphabet).

Using this method to sort category entries is sometimes informally referred to as the pipe trick. However, this use of the pipe character is very different from the original MediaWiki pipe trick which allows one to easily hide parenthetical disambiguation in links.

Priority sort keys

It is possible to force an article or subcategory to the top of the list by using a non-alphanumeric character as the first after the pipe. For example, using [[Category:Ford| Ford Motor Company]] (note the space) or [[Category:Ford|*Ford Motor Company]] would force that article to be displayed before all the others. Many editors feel that the space character produces the best aesthetic appearance when the category is displayed. Using a space or asterisk after the pipe is the customary way to categorize an article in a category with the same name, indicating that the article is the main topic article for that specific category. For an example, see [[:Category:Suspension bridges]]. The template {{tl|Catmore}} can also be used for this purpose. To list an item at the end of a category (after "z"), the sort key ~ can be used: [[Category:Polyhedra|~Polyhedra templates]].

How to add a non listing page to a Category

To link to a category without causing the page to be listed in the category, add a colon (:) before the word "Categopry":

[[:Category:Category name|SORTorder]]

Categorizing Categories

Categories can be categorized the same way content pages and uploaded files (like images) are.
After saving an article, follow the category links at the end of the page to see if they are already in place, and if not, categorize them until you connect with the existing ones. This will establish all the connections and hierarchies necessary for navigation.