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Template:Wikipedia subcat guideline

"WP:REDIRECT" redirects here. For general info and coordination guidelines for all Wikimedia projects, on creating redirects see Help:Redirect.

How to make a redirect (redirect command)

To redirect a page A (the redirecting page) to a different page B (the target page), enter the following redirecting command at the top of the redirecting page.


For example, to redirect the Cambridge University page (redirecting page) to the University of Cambridge page (target page), edit the Cambridge University page and enter:

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge]]

You can also redirect to page sections within an article. See Meta:Help:Redirect#A redirect to an anchor:

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge#History]]

Redirects to anchors should be used sparingly as the user no longer sees the helpful "(redirected from... )" text at the top of the page. However, redirecting to a heading with the same name as the redirecting page seems rather safe, try for example "Argument from contingency". If the section name changes, the redirect will simply lead to the top of the target article. For redirects to a section heading, leave an editor’s note to remind others that the title is linked, so that if the title is altered, the redirect can be changed: for example:

 ==Evolutionary implications==<!-- This section is linked from [[Richard Dawkins]] and [[Daniel Dennett]] --> 

Undesirable redirects

Do not make double redirects (a redirect that points to another redirect); they do not work (to prevent endless looping, a redirect will not "pass thru" more than one entry; if someone is redirected to a redirect, the chain stops at the first redirect), they create slow, unpleasant experiences for the reader, and they make the navigational structure of the site confusing.

Double redirects are usually created after a move when old redirects are left unchanged and pointing toward an old name.

Another type of undesirable redirect is a self-redirect: an article that redirects to itself through a redirect.

Creating new redirects

You can create a new page in order to make a redirect.

Only the redirect line will be displayed when you save the page.

To go back and edit your redirect after it is working, add ?redirect=no to the end of the URL for your redirect:

If you wish to add a reason, select one of the tags from the Tag column below and add it one space after and on the same line as #REDIRECT [[Wherever]]. For example, on the redirect page University of cambridge,

#REDIRECT [[University of Cambridge]] {{R from other capitalisation}} 

That will also add the redirect to the category listed in the Category column below. Note that there must be a space between the end of the redirect code and the template code for this to work properly.

Redirects take effect immediately after saving a page. You may need to clear your cache in order to see these changes.

Categories for redirect pages

See Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects for situations where categorizing a redirect might be helpful.

Redirects should not normally contain categories that would fit on the target page because it can result in duplicate listings of the same page within a category. Relevant categories should be moved to the main page where the redirect is pointing. In some cases, however, adding categories to a redirect page allows legitimate alternative titles or names to be found in category lists. Redirect pages within categories will appear in italics.

What do we use redirects for?

Compare the more complete template list in the guideline sub-page: Wikipedia:Template_messages/Redirect_pages and the notations in the corresponding category.
Use of one of these redirects does not mean two or more can be added, if appropriate. Some redirects will have both alternative spellings, alternative capitalisations, and perhaps be a redirection to a list article entry or section. In the final analysis, all these templates do is establish a categorization of the redirect page, and like articles, more than one category can and frequently should apply.

Spellings, misspellings, tenses and capitalizations

Reason Usage notes, and text that will be shown on
Previewing the page when applied.
Tag /
Category to find articles so tagged
Abbreviations Template:R from abbreviation {{R from abbreviation}}

Category:Redirects from abbreviation

Too short for own article

List entry or Section
Category:Redirects to list entriesTemplate:R to list entry
When List is more sectionlike in organization, such as list of fictional characters in a fictional universe.

{{R to list entry}}

{{R to section}}
Misspellings Template:R from misspelling {{R from misspelling}}

Category:Redirects from misspellings

Other spellings, other punctuation Template:R from alternative spelling {{R from alternative spelling}}

Category:Redirects from alternative spellings

Plurals Template:R from plural

Note that [[greenhouse gas]]es shows up as greenhouse gases, so it is not usually necessary to redirect regular plurals. However third-party websites started adding automatic links to Wikipedia from their topics (see, e.g., [1]). Many of them follow the opposite naming convention, i.e., topics are named in plural, and the link to Wikipedia may land into an empty page, if there is no redirect.

{{R from plural}}

Category:Redirects from plurals

Related words Template:R from related word {{R from related word}}

Category:Redirects from related words

Sub-topics or closely related topics that should be explained within the text Template:R with possibilities {{R with possibilities}}
Category:Redirects with possibilities
People who are members of a group, organization, ensemble or team Template:R from member {{R from member}}
Category:Redirects from members
Other capitalisations, to ensure that "Go" to a mixed-capitalisation article title is case-insensitive Template:R from other capitalisation

Adding a redirect for mixed-capitalisation article titles (e.g., Isle of Wight) allows going to these articles to be case-insensitive. For example, without the redirect Isle of wight going to "Isle Of wight" or any capitalisation other than exactly 'Isle of Wight' would not find the article Isle of Wight.

Why: Articles whose titles contain mixed-capitalisation words (not all initial caps, or not all lower case except the first word) are found only via an exact case match. (Articles, including redirects, whose titles are either all initial caps or only first word capitalised are found via "Go" using a case-insensitive match.)

Note: Related redirects are needed only if the article title has two or more words and words following the first have different capitalisations. They are not needed, for example, for proper names which are all initial caps.


  • Natural Selection redirects to Natural selection
  • Redirect Vice chancellor of austria to Vice-Chancellor of Austria is needed because the Go search is case-sensitive for mixed-caps titles. Adding this redirect allows the article to be found when a user enters "vice chancellor of austria" or "vice chancellor of Austria" as a Go search.
  • No redirect to Francis Ford Coppola is needed because the "Go" command is case-insensitive for an article whose title is all initial caps. Any capitalisation (e.g. "francis fOrD CoPPola") entered as a "Go" will find the article.
{{R from other capitalisation}}

Category:Redirects from other capitalisations

Alternative names

Reason Usage notes, and text that will be shown on
Previewing the page when applied.
Tag /
Category to find articles so tagged
Other names, pseudonyms, nicknames, and synonyms  

This is a redirect from a title that is another name, a pseudonym, a nickname, or a synonym.

It leads to the title in accordance with the naming conventions for common names and can help writing. However, do not replace these redirected links with a piped link unless the page is updated for another reason.

For more information, see this reference page and the Category:Redirects from alternative names.

{{R from alternative name}}

Category:Redirects from alternative names

Other names with Historic significance, where subsumed into a modern entity or region.  

This is a redirect from a title that is another name, a pseudonym, a nickname, or a synonym that has a significant historic past as a region, state, principate's holding, city, city-state or such, but which region has been subsumed into a modern era municipality, district or state, or otherwise suffered from a name change over time.

It leads to the title in accordance with the naming conventions for common names and can help writing. However, do not replace these redirected links with a piped link unless the page is updated for another reason.

For more information, see this reference page and the Category:Redirects from historic names under Category: Redirects from alternative names.

Note that in some cases, the entity can have articles under several names, each discussing the period of the entity's history when it had a particular name; see for example Byzantium, Istanbul and Constantinople. Depending upon the age and historic detail known about a principality, many of these might also be tagged with {{[[Template: R with possibilities| R with possibilities]]}}

{{R from historic name}}


Scientific names Template:R from scientific name {{R from scientific name}}

Category:Redirects from scientific names

Scientific names Template:R to scientific name {{R to scientific name}}

Category:Redirects to scientific names

Other languages Template:R from alternative language {{R from alternative language}}

Category:Redirects from alternative languages

Non-ASCII Characters Template:R from ASCII {{R from ASCII}}

Category:Redirects from titles with ASCII

Diacritical marks Template:R from title without diacritics {{R from title without diacritics}}

Category:Redirects from title without diacritics

Miscellaneous and administrative redirects

Reason Usage notes, and text that will be shown on
Previewing the page when applied.
Tag /
Category to find articles so tagged
Facilitate disambiguation Template:R to disambiguation page {{R to disambiguation page}}

Category:Redirects to disambiguation pages

To track statements that date quickly Template:R for as of {{R for as of}}

Category:Redirects from "As of"

To redirect to decade article Template:R to decade {{R to decade}}

Category:Redirects to decade

To redirect from a shortcut Template:R from shortcut {{R from shortcut}}

Category:Redirects from shortcut

Oldstyle CamelCase links Template:R from CamelCase {{R from CamelCase}}

Category:Redirects with old history

links autogenerated from EXIF information Template:R from EXIF {{R from EXIF}}

Category:Redirects from EXIF information

From school microstub to merge location Template:R from school {{R from school}}

Category: Redirects from school articles

  • Avoiding broken links (see below)
  • Minor but notable topics

Sub-topic or supra-topic redirects (redirect with possibilities) are often temporary, eventually being replaced by fully fledged articles on the sub-topic in question. Be conservative when creating sub-topic redirects — they can sometimes be counter-productive, because they disguise the absence of a proper article from editors. Sub-topic redirects should only be used where the main article has a section or item on the sub-topic. For example, denial of service has a section on distributed denial of service. Sub-topics should be boldfaced on their first appearance in the section, to indicate that they are in fact alternate titles or sub-titles.

In accordance with wikipedia:naming conventions (precision) it is best to have an article at a well-defined, unambiguous term, with redirects from looser colloquial terms, rather than vice versa.

Some editors prefer to avoid redirects and link directly to the target article, as it is reported[1] that redirects lower search engine rankings.

See also: Wikipedia:Template messages/Redirect pages which contains a somewhat longer list of available redirect templates

Renamings and merges

We try to avoid broken links because they annoy visitors. Therefore, if we change the layout of some section of Wikipedia, or we merge two duplicate articles, we always leave redirects in the old location to point to the new location. Search engines and visitors will probably have linked to that page at that url. If the page is deleted, potential new visitors from search engines will be greeted with an edit window. The same is true for anyone who previously bookmarked that page, and so on.

On a small scale, this applies to cases where we had duplicate articles on some subject, or lots of twisty little stubs on different aspects of the same overall subject. On a larger scale, we've had a few fairly major reorganisations:

When should we delete a redirect?

To delete a redirect without replacing it with a new article, list it on redirects for discussion. See deletion policy for details on how to nominate pages for deletion.

Listing is not necessary if you just want to replace a redirect with an article, or change where it points: see How do I change a redirect? for instructions on how to do this. If you want to swap a redirect and an article, but are not able to move the article to the location of the redirect please use Wikipedia:Requested moves to request help from an admin in doing that.


What needs to be done on pages that are targets of redirects?

We follow the "principle of least astonishment" — after following a redirect, the reader's first question is likely to be: "hang on ... I wanted to read about this. Why has the link taken me to that?". Make it clear to the reader that they have arrived in the right place.

Normally, we try to make sure that all "inbound redirects" are mentioned in the first couple of paragraphs of the article. For example:

  • James Tiptree, Jr. (August 24, 1915 – May 19, 1987) was the pen name of American science fiction author Alice Bradley Sheldon ...
  • Water (H2O, HOH) is the most abundant molecule ...

If there is an ambiguity associated with a redirect, one of the redirect disambiguation templates may be useful.

Do not cause a secondary redirect. They do not work like a primary redirect; same with tertiary redirects.

Self-links, duplicate links

Avoid self-links, including self-links through redirects ("loop links"). Also, avoid having two links that go to the same place. These can confuse readers, and cause them to unnecessarily load the same page twice.

Do not change links to redirects that are not broken

Some editors are tempted, upon finding links using a legitimate redirect target, to edit the page to remove the redirect and point the link directly at the target page. While there are a limited number of cases where this is beneficial, it is, in general, an unhelpful exercise.

In many cases where it might seem appropriate to make this change, such as those involving unprintworthy redirects, the better option is to edit the visible text rather than change where the link is pointing. If the linked term is printworthy and presents no other problems to the prose, there is no reason not to just link the term as is. There should almost never be a reason to replace [[redirect]] with [[target|redirect]]. This kind of change is almost never an improvement, and it can actually be detrimental.

Reasons not to change redirects include:

  • Redirects can indicate possible future articles.
  • Introducing unnecessary invisible text makes the article more difficult to read in page source form.

Futhermore, not only are Wikipedia editors asked not to worry about performance, changing redirects to direct links does not significantly improve performance anyway. See also Wikipedia:Tools/Navigation popups/About fixing redirects.


  • It is preferable to change redirected links in series templates, such as those found at the bottom of many articles (e.g. {{USPresidents}} on George W. Bush). In this case, when the template is placed on an article, and contains a direct link to that article (not a redirect), the direct link will display in bold (and not as a link), making it easier to navigate through a series of articles using the template.
  • It may be appropriate to make this kind of change if the hint that appears when a user hovers over the link is misleading.

Redirecting non-articles

Template redirects

A template T2 can be redirected to another template T1. This creates an alias (T2 is an alias for T1). The alias name T2 can be used instead of the "real" template T1.

Aliases for templates can cause confusion and make migrations of template calls more complicated. For example, assume calls to T1 are to be changed ("migrated") to some new template TN1. To catch all calls, articles must be searched for {{T1}} and all aliases of T1 (T2 in this case).

Category redirects

Although it is possible to attempt to redirect categories by adding a line such as #REDIRECT [[:Category:Automotive technologies]] to a category, it is not generally recommended because of limitations in the mediawiki software. Categories "redirected" in this way do not prevent the addition of articles to the redirected category. Articles added to the "redirected" category do not show up as in the target category. Until these issues are addressed (in future versions of the software), #REDIRECT should not be added to category pages.

"Soft" redirects for categories can be created using {{Category redirect}}. A bot traverses categories redirected in this manner moving articles out of the redirected category into the target category, see Template talk:Category redirect.

See also

af:Wikipedia:Aanstuur ar:ويكيبيديا:تحويل cs:Wikipedie:Přesměrování da:Wikipedia:Hvordan omdirigerer jeg en side de:Hilfe:Weiterleitung el:Βικιπαίδεια:Ανακατεύθυνση eo:Vikipedio:Alidirektilo fy:Wikipedy:Synonym hr:Wikipedija:Preusmjeravanje ko:위키백과:넘겨주기 문서 id:Wikipedia:Pengalihan it:Aiuto:Redirect he:ויקיפדיה:דף הפניה nl:Wikipedia:Redirect sv:Wikipedia:Omdirigeringar th:วิกิพีเดีย:หน้าเปลี่ยนทาง