Links are important in Wikipedia articles.
One of the things that makes Wikipedia useful (and addictive) is extensive cross-listing by internal links. These easily-created links allow users to access information related to the article they're reading.
When to link
The easiest way to learn when to link is to look at Wikipedia articles for examples. If you're trying to decide whether to make a link or not, ask yourself "If I were reading this article, would the link be useful to me?"
How to link
When you want to make a link to another Wikipedia page (called a wiki link) you have to put it in double square brackets, like this:
For example, if you want to make a link to, say, the Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia page, it would be:
- [[Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia]]
(The 'Wikipedia:' part signifies that the target page is in the Wikipedia namespace, rather than the Main namespace, where normal articles go.)
Also remember that in Wikipedia the links are created automatically,
so if you put double square brackets around a word, it becomes a link, and because of that you have to be careful about disambiguation.
If you want to use words other than the article title as the text of the link, you can do so by adding the pipe "|" divider (SHIFT + BACKSLASH on English-layout and other keyboards) followed by the alternative name.
For example, if you wanted to make a link to this page's sandbox, but wanted it to say "my text" you would write it as such:
- To view the article, [[Wikipedia:Tutorial (Wikipedia links)/sandbox|my text]]...
It would appear as:
- To view the article, my text...
but would link to the sandbox.
Linking dates may not seem useful; however, please link dates since it enables the use of a user preference in how dates are displayed. An unlinked date, like July 13, 2004, will always be displayed in that manner. If you link the date:
- [[July 13]], []
Wikipedia will display it in one of the following ways:
- July 13, 2004
- 13 July 2004
- 2004 July 13
-according to the preference set by the individual user. (This feature is only available to logged-in users. It only works if the date is linked.)
You can also put the article in a category with others in a related topic. Just type [[Category:]], and put the name of the category between the colon and the brackets.
To make a link to a Category page (for example, as a reference for further research), simply put a colon (:) at the beginning of the "Category" tag, like this:
The above code would produce the following:
It is very important to put in the correct categories so that other people can easily find your work. The best way to find which categories to put in is to look at pages on similar subjects, and check which categories they use. For example if you write an article about a type of tree, you may look at an article on another type of tree to see which categories could be appropriate.
For more information regarding categories and categorization, refer to the Categories page.
Test what you've learned in the sandbox