Help:Talk pages

Talk pages (also known as discussion pages) are administration pages where editors can discuss improvements to articles or other Wikipedia pages. The talk page associated with an article is named "Talk:Example", where "Example" is the name of the article. For example, the talk page for discussion of improvements to the article Australia is named Talk:Australia. The talk page associated with a page in another namespace is named by adding "talk" after the namespace label; for example, the talk page for Wikipedia:About is called Wikipedia talk:About.

When viewing an article (or any other non-talk page) on the desktop Wikipedia, a link to the corresponding talk page appears on the "Talk" tab at the top of the page. Click this tab to switch to the talk page. On the mobile Wikipedia, type "Talk:" and the article's name in the search bar. (There are to provide easier talk access on mobile.)

User pages also have associated talk pages (for example, User talk:Jimbo Wales for Jimbo Wales' userpage.). When other editors need to contact you, they will usually do this by leaving a message on your talk page. When someone has left you a message that way, you will either see an orange information notice the next time you log in or view a page on Wikipedia if you are editing as an IP address, or a red badge next to your username if you are logged in.

When viewing an article (or any other non-talk page), a link to the corresponding talk page appears on the "Talk" tab at the top of the page. (The mobile version has a button at the bottom for logged-in users, while apps may have no link.) Click this tab to switch to the talk page; you can then view the talk page and its history, and edit it if you want to add a question or comment.

If the "Talk" link is red, it means no talk page has been started yet. Click the red link to begin a talk page for that article and follow the instructions in Starting a new thread below. (It is also possible for a talk page to exist while the corresponding non-talk page is a red link; this often occurs in User space, when a user has received talk page messages but has not started a user page yet.)

To go back to the article page from its talk page, use the leftmost tab at the top of the page, labeled "article". For pages other than articles, this tab may say something different, like "user page" or "project page".

When you post a message on a talk page you should always sign and date your comment so other editors can follow the thread of the conversation. To do this easily, type four tildes (~~~~) at the end of your comment, or just click the signature button Signature icon april 2018.png on the row of buttons above the edit box. Once you publish the edit, this will be automatically converted into a user signature with a link to your user page, your user talk page, and the date and time that you save your edit. (You can change the form of your signature using your user preferences.)

If you choose to contribute without logging in, regardless of whether you have an account, you should still sign your posts. In this case your IP address will take the place of your username, and will link to your contributions history.

The "new section" tab on article talk pages (here, The weather in London) lets you start a new section.

To discuss a topic that’s not already covered on the article or user talk page, start a new topic.

Indentation is used to keep talk pages readable. Comments are indented using one or more initial colons (:), each colon representing one level of indentation. Each comment should be indented one more level than the comment it replies to, which may or may not be the preceding comment. For example:

Some pages (deletion discussions, for example) use asterisks (*) rather than colons for indentation. Generally colons and asterisks should not be mixed; if you see asterisks are being used in a page, use them as well. Complex discussions may mix them (and numbered lists, too); in such a case avoid mangled list formatting with this simple rule of thumb:

E.g., if you are replying to something in a complicated discussion that starts with #:::*, just copy-paste that and add a :, resulting in #:::*: in front of your reply (or use #:::** if you feel it is necessary for your reply to begin with a bullet point).

Use the same indentation and list formatting as what you are replying to, plus one level at the end of the indent/list code.

Avoid placing double line breaks between indented lines of text, since this can create problems for users of screen reader software (see ).

If you practice these techniques, be sure to practice on a talk page, such as User talk:your user name/sandbox. The Cascading Style Sheets for talk pages are different from articles, and the visual appearance of list-formatted text can be different. Also, : should not be used for visual indentation in articles, as it is actually markup specifically for description lists.

(See Wikipedia:Manual of Style § Indentation for how to indent single lines and blocks of text in articles; for block-quoting, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style § Block quotations.)
The message notification as it appears for registered users, in this image The Editor's Apprentice.

For users not editing with an account (unregistered users), the alert below is automatically displayed on all pages until you view your user talk page. If you click "new messages" it will direct you to the bottom of your talk page. If you click "last change" it will show you the last edit made to your talk page.

Sometimes particular topics generate a disproportionate amount of traffic on a talk page. It may be decided to remove discussion of those topics to a subpage of the talk page. To do this, create a page titled "Talk:Xxx/Yyy", where "Talk:Xxx" is the name of the main talk page, and "Yyy" indicates the topic of the subpage. Leave a note at the top of the main talk page linking to any subpages.

On talk pages that generate significant amounts of discussion, old discussions are often archived to keep the size of the talk page at a manageable level. This may be done either manually or with the help of a bot. An archive box with links to the discussion archives is normally placed at the top of the current talk page.

<div class="boilerplate metadata" id="attention" style="background-color:#FFFFFF; margin:0 2.5%; padding:0 10px; border:1px solid #aaa;">'''Put material here.'''</div>

<div class="boilerplate" style="background-color:#efe; margin:2em 0 0 0; padding:0 10px 0 10px; border:1px dotted #aaa;">'''Put copied and pasted quoted text from article here.'''</div>

You can use the Special:Search box below to locate Talk pages. See Help:Searching for more information.