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Wikipedia:Categorizing redirects

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A symbol for redirect categories (rcats)

This is a Wikipedia guideline for placing redirect pages into categories. It is intended to document current practice and suggest best practice in other areas, and indicate where categorization of redirects can be misleading.

When to categorize a redirect

Normal ("hard") redirects should be placed in one of several maintenance categories specifically for redirects. This should be done using categorization templates (rcats) such as {{R with Wikidata item}}.

Soft redirects usually should not be categorized by rcats. Use of {{Soft redirect with Wikidata item}} and {{R category with possibilities}} to tag soft-redirected categories are presently the only exceptions.

Redirects are not usually sorted to article categories; exceptions are described below.

Categories just for redirects

One series of templates and categories is used only for redirects. The templates place redirects into the categories. The templates also explain why the redirect exists, for example {{R from merge}} means it was created by a merge or {{R from alternative name}} means that the redirect is an alternative name for the main title.

These categories contain only redirects. They are helpful in keeping track of redirects and further subcategorizing them as needed. They include redirects within the main namespace and in other namespaces. They are often applied using templates, though such categories can also be created and populated directly. This categorization is intended for Wikipedia editors, not readers.

For tables of redirect category templates, grouped both alphanumerically and by function, see Wikipedia:Template index/Redirect pages. For the categorical list of such templates, see ‹The template Cat is being considered for merging.› Category:Redirect templates. Every redirect category is a subcategory of ‹The template Cat is being considered for merging.› Category:Wikipedia redirects, which is not meant to contain any redirects directly and is purposely kept empty except for subcategories.

Article categories

In some situations, placing a redirect in an article category is acceptable and can help users browsing through categories. The following are examples of some of these situations:

Redirects having a target that is incompatible with the category

Alternative names should not look out of place on a category page. This is often a way to satisfy disagreements over renaming an article when more than one name seems equally valid. The alternative name(s) becomes a redirect and gets categorized the same way as its target. Another example is when a single article covers things known by multiple names, such as a person who is known in multiple fields of endeavour under different names, a merged article about three different newspapers, or a sketch comedy television show whose name exists on Wikipedia as a redirect to the comedy troupe that created it. In such a case, consideration needs to be given to which title should be reflected in an individual category.

Placing such a category on the target article, with the alternative title in pipetext, does not accomplish the desired purpose, because pipetext in a category link only affects how a title is ordered alphabetically, not how it actually appears.

Alternative names for articles

The primary function of the category system is to allow readers to browse through articles. The category system is often used like an alphabetical index. It is sometimes helpful for redirects from common alternative names to appear in the index list. Editors should consider whether alternative names should be mixed in with other names, or not. Sometimes an entirely new category is more appropriate (see Categorization of multiple taxonomies below).

Subtopic categorization

Some subtopics of articles have well-known names and, over time, may expand to become separate articles. Many articles cover several topics that have been combined. This can happen following a merge of several related articles. Often there are redirects pointing to these subtopics. These redirects can be categorized. In some cases, the categories for the redirects that point to the subtopics will be different than the categories for the entire article.

Categorization of multiple taxonomies

Some articles can be organized by more than one taxonomy. An example of this is the organization of animal and plant articles by common names and binomial name taxonomy. This is possible by categorizing the article one way and categorizing the redirect a different way. In this case, the alternative categorization of the redirect will not appear in the article unless it is manually added.

Categorization of list entries

Some well-organized lists have redirects pointing at their subsections. In such cases, categorization of the redirects can be an alternative way of browsing entries in a long list. It can also provide an alphabetical listing for lists that are not organised alphabetically, such as lists organised in a chronological order. Redirects to sections of minor character lists should generally only be categorized within that fictional setting, and not in the wider fictional categories.

How to categorize a redirect

A redirect may be categorized in the same way as for any other page. When it is possible, use redirect category templates (rcats). For clarity, all category links should be added at the end of the page on their own lines, after the redirect target link and rcat(s). Use of a blank line between the redirect target link and all rcats and category links promotes readability of the code.

#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz]]

{{Redirect category shell|
{{R from move}}
{{R printworthy}}


The #REDIRECT [[Article title]] must come first, on the top line, and must start from the left margin. [[Category:...]]-type links may be placed on their own lines after the redirect target link. Redirect category (rcat) templates, {{R from...}}, {{R to ...}}, etc., the {{Redirect category shell}} (Rcat shell) template may be placed anywhere after the redirect on another line or lines, preferably the third line for readability. Those are usually placed before (above) content categories and empty lines are left between the types for readability.

The {{DEFAULTSORT:}} magic word can also be placed on redirects, for example, to ensure that a redirect title that begins with a person's given name will be sorted to their surname: {{DEFAULTSORT:Sprat, Jack}}

The {{Redirect category shell}} (Rcat shell) template may be used to group redirect categories. That template automatically senses protection levels and promotes a faster learning curve for new editors. See its documentation page and the comparison page for more information.

The redirect will appear in the specified categories in a style format that is different than non-redirects (by default, redirects appear in italics type, while non-redirects do not – see Technical note below).

Note that in the case of a Module redirect the Rcats should be added to the documentation page like regular categories per WP:CAT#T since adding templates directly to a module without breaking the redirect is impossible.[a] See this edit for an example. If the doc page is itself a redirect, then instead of deleting the redirect, you can add the rcats to the target doc page so they only appear on the redirect. This can be accomplished by using {{#ifeq:{{FULLPAGENAME}}|<Redirect name>|<rcats>}} as in this example (permalink).

Further examples
Example 1
– a redirect that targets page Xxy Yzz, which uses the {{R from former name}} and {{R printworthy}} rcats, and which is also sorted to article content categories Aaa and Bbb, may appear as follows:
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz]]

{{Rcat shell|
{{R from former name}}
{{R printworthy}}

When the title being redirected is a person's proper name, consensus is to modify the sort key from its default action, (usually sorted by {{PAGENAME}}, the redirect title in this case), to instead sort it by surname. The {{DEFAULTSORT:}} behaviour switch is used for this; for example, on the edit page of the George Walker Bush redirect, use {{DEFAULTSORT:Bush, George Walker}}, so that the page will appear alphabetized in the B's and not the G's of the various categories. Similarly, for titles beginning with a definite or indefinite article, such as "the" or "a" – for example in redirect The President of the United States, use {{DEFAULTSORT:President of the United States, The}}, so that the page will appear alphabetically in the P's (see Wikipedia:Categorization of people#Ordering names in a category for more information). As with non-redirect pages, it should be positioned immediately before the article content categories:
For the Bruce Jenner redirect:
#REDIRECT [[Caitlyn Jenner]]

{{Rcat shell|
{{R from birth name}}
{{R printworthy}}

{{DEFAULTSORT:Jenner, Bruce}}
[[Category:Athletes (track and field) at the 1975 Pan American Games]]
[[Category:Athletes (track and field) at the 1976 Summer Olympics]]
Category:Redirects from birth names is a subcategory of Category:Redirects from former names. Normally, the most specific subcategory is used on redirects rather than their parent categories.
Example 2
– a redirect to an article subsection titled "Header":
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Header]]

{{Redirect category shell|
{{R to section}}
{{R printworthy}}
also, when the above shell template is used, all its contents can be entered on one line as follows:
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Header]]

{{Redirect category shell|{{R to section}}{{R printworthy}}}}
There are often very good reasons to choose to use Rcat shell rather than using rcats by themselves; these reasons are detailed on its documentation and comparison pages.
Example 3
– a redirect to an article that has an anchor titled "Anchor this" (see templates {{Anchor}}, {{Visible anchor}}, and {{subst:Anchor comment}}):
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Anchor this]]

{{Redirect category shell|
{{R to anchor}}
{{R unprintworthy}}
Example 4
– one common redirect need to a geology page titled Xxy Yzz, which uses the R to section rcat to point to the article and section where the common term is defined, and which should be in categories Aaa, Bbb, Ccc and Ddd (the parent article may be sorted to a few more, such as Eee, Fff, etc.), all of which are categories usually found in the parent article. Here is how this example would appear:
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Section header]]

{{Rcat shell|
{{R to section}}
{{R to related topic}}
{{R printworthy}}

[[Category:Aaa|{{PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz}}]]
[[Category:Bbb|{{PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz}}]]
[[Category:Ccc|{{PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz}}]]
[[Category:Ddd|{{PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz}}]]
  1. Crucial note: If the Redirect category shell (Rcat shell) template is placed on the first line, the same line as the redirect target, there are usually unexpected and peculiar results. HTML Tidy may interfere with the templates and cause them to appear in abnormal and unexpected ways when saved. Just be careful to put these templates on the third line beginning at the far left margin of the edit screen.
  2. {{PAGENAME}} is one of several "magic words" (magic words are different from templates) in wikimarkup language. It fills in the pagename (without the namespace) of the redirect unless the pagename of the target page (without namespace) is entered as its first parameter. The first category parameter represented by |{{PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz}} (note that the colon ( : ) is used to pass parameters in magic words rather than the pipe ( | ) symbol that is used in templates) above is in fact the sort key used to group pages together in a category list.
  3. When the Redirect category shell (Rcat shell) template is used, each rcat can pass its own parameters, whether named or numbered, in the normal manner, and without concern for what position the rcat holds within the shell template.
  4. As shown above, printworthiness is an important type of sort. We are told in the style guide, "The ultimate goal of the guide is to have every redirect categorised in a standard format, as well as to have every main-namespace redirect categorised as either printworthy or unprintworthy." It is important to note that this only applies to main article namespace redirects and not to redirects in any other namespace.
  5. For more detailed information about how to categorize redirects please see the documentation for individual rcats, and the Redirect category shell template.
 General information note
ALL the {{R from...}}, {{R to...}}, etc., templates have as their main purpose to populate a redirect subcategory (see ‹The template Cat is being considered for merging.› Category:Wikipedia redirects) to aid in maintenance. A second goal is to help editors with concise explanations for such sortings. Generally speaking, one such template categorizes redirect pages to the subcategory, though that template may be "aliased" by use of several alternative phrasings, themselves redirects to the template. Common alias choices are: other vs. alternative, capitalization vs. capitalisation and other such spelling/phrasing variants like "R to singular" vs. "R from plural" and "R from singular" vs. "R to plural".

Technical note

The appearance of a redirect link on category pages and in search results is determined by the CSS class "redirect-in-category" and the specification for that class in MediaWiki:Common.css. By default, this class is set to "italics", although this may be changed by the user. In the past, no distinction was made for users, which fueled the controversies over how to categorize redirects. By displaying them in italics, redirects are easy to pick out. Perfectly good (and in many cases better known) terminology implemented as redirects for technical reasons can now be categorized for the readers to browse, and for editors to know and use as needed.

See also


  1. ^ require('Module:Module wikitext')._addText([[{{Rcat shell|{{R from move}}}}]]); won't work since placing it above the return disables the redirect. Invoking the module still works but opening its page no longer redirects to the target. Placing it below the return causes an error.