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Wikipedia:Hatnote
"WP:HAT" redirects here. For "hatting" of discussions, see Wikipedia:Hatting. For the essay on hat collecting, see Wikipedia:Hat collecting.
"Hatnote" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Headnote.
This page documents an English Wikipedia editing guideline.
It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
This page in a nutshell: Hatnotes provide links at the very top of an article or a section to help readers locate a different article if the one they are at is not the one they're looking for.
Hatnotes are short notes placed at the very top of an article or a section, like a hat is placed on the very top of a head. (See the note in italics immediately preceding the box above.) Their purpose is to help readers locate a different article if the one they are at is not the one they're looking for. Readers may have arrived at the article containing the hatnote because:
  • They were redirected.
  • They may be seeking an article that uses a more specific, disambiguated title.
  • They may be seeking an article with a similar name to or that otherwise might be confused with the article with the hatnote.
Hatnotes provide links to the possibly sought article or to a disambiguation page.
The five basic rules of hatnotes are:
  1. Link directly to other articles; do not pipe non-disambiguation links. Linking to redirects is typically not preferred, although of course exceptions can occur. Links to disambiguation pages should always end in "(disambiguation)", even when that version of the title is a redirect.
  2. Keep explanations to a minimum; explain vital information only, trusting instead in the article lead to clarify things for the reader.
  3. Mention other topics and articles only if there is a reasonable possibility of a reader arriving at the article either by mistake or with another topic in mind.
  4. However, if a notable topic X is commonly referred to as "Foo", but the article "Foo" is not about X, there must be a hatnote linking to the article on X or linking to a disambiguation page that contains a link to the article on X.
  5. Ideally, limit hatnotes to just one at the top of the page or section. Multiple hatnotes may be appropriate when they serve different purposes, such as disambiguating topics with similar names and explaining redirects.
For more information about methods of disambiguating articles, see Wikipedia:Disambiguation​.
Placement
See also: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section § Elements of the lead
Hatnotes are placed at the top of the article or section. When used at the top of an article, hatnotes go immediately below a short description template, but strictly above anything else including protection icons or maintenance tags.[1] Text-based web browsers and screen readers present the page sequentially. If a reader has reached the wrong page, they should find that out first.
In the Wikipedia iOS app, there is a known bug whereby hatnotes fail to appear anywhere on the page.
Format
In most cases, hatnotes should be created using a standard hatnote template as illustrated in § Hatnote templates below. This permits the form and structure of hatnotes to be changed uniformly across the encyclopedia as needed and the templates to be excluded in print.
Current style on the English Wikipedia is to italicize and to indent each note, without a bullet before the item. A horizontal dividing line should not be placed either under a note or after the final item in a list. Links to articles should follow the naming conventions for capitalization – typically sentence case, not all lower case.
When determining the content of the hatnote, keep in mind that it forms part of the user interface rather than the article content. Two applicable user interface design principles are clarity and conciseness. The hatnote should not overload the user with extraneous information, and the content should be imparted quickly and accurately. These design goals are conveyed succinctly in the principle less is more.
Length and number
As hatnotes separate the reader from the content they are looking for, hatnotes should generally be as concise as possible. Long explanations are generally discouraged; the article's lead text, not the hatnote, should explain what the article is about. In almost all cases, the hatnote is intended only to direct readers to other articles in case they were actually looking for something they will not find in the article containing the hatnote.
If a disambiguation page exists for a given term, then linking to it should be enough. For example, if the article is X then its hatnote will link to X (disambiguation); it should not have entries for other topics known as X, like X (novel) or X (charge), because they are already listed in the disambiguation page. However, such an article may be linked if it could be expected by a significant number of readers to be at the title in question: for instance, Turkey is about the country, but many readers expect to find the article on the bird at that title; therefore, the hatnote there correctly reads
{{about|the country|the bird|Turkey (bird)|other uses}}
which renders
This page is about the country. For the bird, see Turkey (bird). For other uses, see Turkey (disambiguation).
There should be as few hatnotes as possible. One single hatnote, which can accommodate several links, is greatly preferable to two or more. Multiple hatnotes may however be appropriate when each serves a different purpose, such as disambiguating the title or distinguishing similar terms.[2]
Summarize or not?
Some hatnote disambiguation templates include a brief summary of the present article's topic; others do not have a summary. For instance, in the article Honey, one might use the template {{about|the insect-produced fluid}} to produce:
This page is about the insect-produced fluid. For other uses, see Honey (disambiguation).
Alternatively, one might use {{other uses}} to produce:
For other uses, see Honey (disambiguation).
Either of these two styles is acceptable. The choice of style in a given article is based on editors' preferences and on what is likely to be clearer and easier for the reader. (In this particular instance, most English speakers will know what honey is, and the second, more concise hatnote is preferable.) Where an article already has a hatnote in one of these styles, editors should not change it to the other style without good reason.
Examples of proper use
Two articles with similar titles
This page is about the village in England. For H. P. Lovecraft's fictional town, see Dunwich (Lovecraft).
Dunwich (/
ˈdʌnɪtʃ
/) is a town in the county of Suffolk in England, the remnant of what was once a prosperous seaport and centre of the wool trade during the early middle ages, with a natural harbour formed by the mouths of the River Blyth. ...
When two articles share the same title, except that one is disambiguated and the other not, the undisambiguated article should include a hatnote with a link to the other article. It is not necessary to create a separate disambiguation page. {{about}} may be used for this. In this case the parameterization was
{{about|the village in England|H. P. Lovecraft's fictional town|Dunwich (Lovecraft)}}
.
Terms that can cause confusion with another topic
Not to be confused with Pearl.
Perl is a family of high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming languages. ...
{{Distinguish}} or a related template can be used when there can be confusion with a similar term. They are typically used when readers have misspelled their desired title, and the error would be apparent by simply displaying the alternative term without further explanation. These hatnotes should only be used when the ambiguity exists for a significant portion of the readership.
However, they are not suitable when the difference is not readily apparent without additional details. In those cases, use {{about}} or {{other uses}} instead, as the differences in the suggested article are explained upfront without requiring the reader to click through and differentiate the terms on their own.
Linking to a disambiguation page
For other uses, see Monolith (disambiguation).
A monolith is a monument or natural feature such as a mountain, consisting of a single massive stone or rock. Erosion usually exposes these formations. ...
When a term has a primary meaning and two or more additional meanings, the hatnote on the primary topic page should link to a disambiguation page. {{other uses}} may be used for this.
In many cases the hatnote also includes a brief description of the subject of the present article, for readers' convenience:
This page is about the maze-like labyrinth from Greek mythology. For other uses, see Labyrinth (disambiguation).
In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate maze-like structure constructed for King Minos of Crete and designed by the legendary artificer Daedalus to hold the Minotaur. ...
The template {{about}} may be used for this. In this case the parameterization was
{{about|the mazelike labyrinth from Greek mythology}}
.
Ambiguous term that redirects to an unambiguously named article
{{redirect}}, or a related template, can be used when an ambiguous title is redirected to an unambiguous title or a primary topic article:
Johann Sebastian Bach

(Redirected from Bach)
"Bach" redirects here. For other uses, see Bach (disambiguation).
Johann Sebastian Bach (German pronunciation: [joˈhan/ˈjoːhan zeˈbastjan ˈbax]; March 21, 1685 O.S. – July 28, 1750 N.S.) was a prolific German composer. ...
Hatnotes above maintenance tags
Always place a hatnote above maintenance tags, but below short description templates. See above for specific details regarding the placement of hatnotes.
For the 2014 film adaptation, see The Giver (film).
The Giver is a 1993 American young-adult dystopian novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which at first appears as utopian but is later revealed to be a dystopian one as the story progresses. The novel follows a boy named Jonas. ...
Hatnotes with italics in the links
"Spotted angle" redirects here. For the other butterfly with this name, see Caprona alida.
Caprona agama, the spotted angle, is a butterfly belonging to the family Hesperiidae. ...
The italics are cancelled by the parameterization: {{Redirect|Spotted angle|the other butterfly with this name|Caprona alida{{!}}''Caprona alida''}}
Examples of improper use
Trivial information, dictionary definitions, and slang
When notes feature a trivial detail or use of a term, or links to overly specific and tendentious material, they are unwarranted.
A previous version of the article Investment showed:
During a siege to invest a town or fortress means to surround it with a contravallation and a circumvallation.
Investment is a term with several closely related meanings in finance and economics. It refers to the accumulation of some kind of asset in hopes of getting a future return from it. ...
In this case, there is no direct disambiguation, and the note listed is bound to be uninteresting to most readers. The proper disambiguation simply links to a separate Invest (disambiguation) page.
Legitimate information about the topic
A previous version of the Aisha article showed:
Ayesha is sometimes used as a woman's name. Once popular only among Muslims, it was briefly popular among English-speakers after it appeared in the book She by Rider Haggard.
Aisha or Ayesha (Arabic عائشه `ā'isha = "she who lives") was a wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. ...
This is a typical but improper use of disambiguating hatnotes. Instead, the information belongs in the body of the article, or in the articles about the book, or in a separate article about names, or all three places. Hatnotes are meant to reduce confusion and direct readers to another article they might have been looking for, not for information about the subject of the article itself.
Linking to articles that are related to the topic
Disambiguation hatnotes are intended to link to separate topics that could be referred to by the same title. They are not intended to link to topics that are simply related to each other, or to a specific aspect of a general topic:
This page is about the scientific study of extraterrestrial life. For treatment in popular culture, see Extraterrestrial life in popular culture.
Extraterrestrial life is life that may exist and originate outside the planet Earth. Its existence is currently hypothetical: there is as yet no evidence of extraterrestrial life that has been widely accepted by scientists. ...
Instead of using a disambiguation hatnote in such cases, it is better to summarize the topic Extraterrestrial life in popular culture under a subsection of Extraterrestrial life in conjunction with the {{main}} template.
This guideline does not discourage the use of disambiguation hatnotes in a situation where separate topics are related, but could nonetheless be referred to by the same title and would thus qualify for disambiguation, such as a book and its film adaptation.
Disambiguating article names that are not ambiguous
It is usually preferable not to have a hatnote when the name of the article is not ambiguous.
Water (Wu Xing)
For other uses, see Water (disambiguation).
Water (Chinese: 水; pinyin: shuǐ), is the low point of the matter, or the matter's dying or hiding stage. Water is the fifth stage of Wu Xing. ...
Here, the hatnote can be removed. A reader who is following links within Wikipedia is unlikely to end up at Water (Wu Xing) if they were looking for other meanings of water, since water does not redirect there.
A hatnote may still be appropriate when even a more specific name is still ambiguous. For example, Tree (set theory) might still be confused with Tree (descriptive set theory).
The presence or absence of hatnotes in articles with disambiguated titles has been a contentious issue, and this guideline doesn't prescribe one way or the other. There are cases where some editors strongly believe that such hatnotes should be included, such as the various articles about treaties called Treaty of Paris.
A hatnote may be appropriate in an unambiguously named article when an ambiguous term redirects to it, as explained in § Ambiguous term that redirects to an unambiguously named article above.
Extraneous links
Each additional link in the hatnote besides the ambiguous or confusable topic(s) makes it more difficult to find the desired target. For example:
For the New Orleans, Louisiana, United States radio station known as WTIX from 1953 to 2005, see WIST (AM).
WTIX (980 AM) is a radio station broadcasting a Sports radio format.
In this case, the link to New Orleans, Louisiana, in the hatnote leads to an article that is not ambiguous with the title. Linking only to the possible other destination (WIST (AM)) makes it easier to find the link.
External links
A previous version of the Hurricane Katrina article contained:
If you are trying to locate someone missing in Hurricane Katrina, or register yourself as found, you can use the site www.disastersearch.org [1]
Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, on August 29, 2005, was one of the most destructive and expensive tropical cyclones to hit the United States. ...
The use of external help links in Wikipedia, though noble, cannot reasonably be maintained. In special cases, a link to an "External links" section may be appropriate, but POV favoritism can be obstructive. In this case, the hatnote was removed entirely.
Non-existent articles
Hatnotes should not contain red links to non-existent articles since hatnotes are intended to help users navigate to another article they may have intended to find. The exception is if one intends to create the linked article immediately. In that case, consider creating the new article first, before saving the addition of the hatnote.
Hatnote templates
Generic hatnote
allows general text to be shown in hatnote format. It is appropriate when none of the other specific templates listed below includes the combination of parameters needed, or to combine several of them in a single hatnote.
{{Hatnote|CUSTOM TEXT}}

CUSTOM TEXT
{{Hatnote|For other senses of this term, see [[etc…]]}}

For other senses of this term, see etc…
(a generic template for self-references to Wikipedia material)
Other uses of the same title ("For …, see …")
Per WP:NAMB, it is usually preferable not to have a hatnote when the name of the article is not ambiguous.
"This page is about … For other uses …"
{{About}}
is the main template for noting other uses.
Note: When used in main namespace (aka mainspace), the word "page" in the following hatnotes is replaced by "article".
  • {{About|USE1}}

    This page is about USE1. For other uses, see Hatnote (disambiguation).
  • {{​About​|USE1||PAGE2}}
    (When the disambiguation page has a different name – Note the empty second parameter) →
    This page is about USE1. For other uses, see PAGE2.
  • {{​About​|USE1|USE2|PAGE2}}
    (When there is only one other use) →
    This page is about USE1. For USE2, see PAGE2.
  • {{​About​|USE1|USE2|PAGE2|and|PAGE3}}
    (Two pages for USE2) →
    This page is about USE1. For USE2, see PAGE2 and PAGE3.
  • {{​About​|USE1|USE2|PAGE2#SUBSECTION​{{!}}​PAGE2TITLE}}
    (Using the {{!}} magic word to give the link a different title) →
    This page is about USE1. For USE2, see PAGE2TITLE.
  • {{​About​|USE1|USE2|PAGE2|other uses}}
    (When there are several standard other uses and also a disambiguation page with default name – Note that the last page name is not specified) →
    This page is about USE1. For USE2, see PAGE2. For other uses, see Hatnote (disambiguation).
  • {{​About​|USE1|USE2|PAGE2|other uses|PAGE3}}
    (When there are several standard other uses and also a disambiguation page with non-default name) →
    This page is about USE1. For USE2, see PAGE2. For other uses, see PAGE3.
  • {{​About​||USE2|PAGE2|USE3|PAGE3|other uses}}
    (When you don't need to state the focus of this article/page – Note the empty first parameter) →
    For USE2, see PAGE2. For USE3, see PAGE3. For other uses, see Hatnote (disambiguation).
  • {{​About​|||PAGE1|and|PAGE2}}
    For other uses, see PAGE1 and PAGE2.
Note:
{{for||PAGE1|PAGE2}}
produces the same result.
{{​About​|USE1|section=yes}}

This section is about USE1. For other uses, see Hatnote (disambiguation).
Note: this hatnote says "section", instead of "article" or "page".
{{​About​|USE1|text=TEXT}}

This page is about USE1. TEXT.
"This page is about … It is not to be confused with …"
is a template for noting other uses when there could be confusion with another topic.
"For …, see …"
{{For}} can be used instead of {{About}} so as not to display: This page is about USE1. but still specify a specific other use. This effect can also be achieved by using an empty first parameter in {{About}} as in:
For example:
{{For|OTHER TOPIC|PAGE1}}
is the same as
{{About||OTHER TOPIC|PAGE1}}
(note the empty first parameter).
However, it is somewhat clearer when using the {{For}} template, since the word "about" does not appear in the statement.
Variations
As with {{Other uses}}, there is a whole family of "for" templates. {{For2}} allows custom text, such as quotation marks or a link from part of the "CUSTOM TEXT", but does not supply automatic wikilinking
{{For2|OTHER TOPIC|CUSTOM TEXT}}

For OTHER TOPIC, see CUSTOM TEXT.
(note how CUSTOM TEXT isn't bluelinked)
It also supports up to three topics:
  • {{For2|OTHER TOPIC|CUSTOM TEXT|OTHER TOPIC 2|CUSTOM TEXT 2}}

    For OTHER TOPIC, see CUSTOM TEXT. For OTHER TOPIC 2, see CUSTOM TEXT 2.
  • {{For2|OTHER TOPIC|CUSTOM TEXT|OTHER TOPIC 2|CUSTOM TEXT 2|OTHER TOPIC 3|CUSTOM TEXT 3}}
    For OTHER TOPIC, see CUSTOM TEXT. For OTHER TOPIC 2, see CUSTOM TEXT 2. For OTHER TOPIC 3, see CUSTOM TEXT 3.
"For other uses, see …"
When such a wordy hatnote as {{About}} is not needed, {{Other uses}} is often useful.
Variations
There are, historically, a whole family of "other uses" templates for specific cases. {{About}} is the standard hatnote for "other uses" and many of them can be specified using the {{About}} template. However, the individual templates may be easier to use in certain contexts.
Here are the variations and (when appropriate) the equivalents using the {{About}}, {{Other uses}} or {{For}} templates.
"For other uses of …, see …"
Redirect
"… redirects here. For other uses, see …"
Variations
"For technical reasons, … redirects here. …
… redirects here. It is not to be confused with …
Similar proper names ("For other people named ...")
Other people
Note: defaults to "named" as in {{Other people}}, exists for options like "nicknamed", "known as", etc.
Other places/ships/hurricanes
Distinguish
"Not to be confused with …"
"… redirects here. It is not to be confused with …"
Family names
Further information: Category:Hatnote templates for names
Family names can also be clarified using inline footnotes, such as with {{Efn Chinese name}}.
For use in sections
"Main article: …"
{{Main}}
is used to make summary style explicit, when used in a summary section for which there is also a separate article on the subject:
"Further information: …"
can supplement
{{Main}}
in summary sections, or can indicate more details in nonsummary sections:
"See also …"
can be used at the head of a section.
{{See also|TOPIC PAGE|OTHER TOPIC PAGE}}
Note: use only when OTHER TOPIC PAGE is related to current article and contains a self-explanatory parenthetical.
{{See also2|[[OTHER TOPIC]]|[[OTHER TOPIC2]]|[[OTHER TOPIC3]] and other text}}

See also: OTHER TOPIC, OTHER TOPIC2, and OTHER TOPIC3 and other text
Article or section transclusions
For category pages
See also: Category:Hatnote templates for category pages
Category-specific templates:
{{Category see also|THIS|THAT|THE OTHER}}
See also: the categories THIS, THAT, and THE OTHER
This is a template for linking categories horizontally. Horizontal linkage is often the right solution when vertical linkage (i.e., as sub-category and parent category) is not appropriate. In most cases, this template should be used on both categories to create reciprocal linkage between the two categories.
Lists
Further information: Category:Hatnote templates for lists
What to do before editing or creating a template
This template should not be substituted. Do not use subst: with these templates, as that will prevent:
  1. propagating changes as the template is modified; and the
  2. What links here (WLH) listing.
These templates are used in literally thousands of articles; therefore, changing the syntax could break thousands of articles. If you wish to create or edit a disambiguation or redirection template, first ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Is there already a template that will do this job? Since many disambiguation and redirection templates have already been created, first check: Category:Hatnote templates.
  2. Do I really need a new template for this? Will it likely be used on any other articles or should I just use {{Hatnote}} instead? Before creating a new template, see the template namespace guideline.
  3. If I change the parameters around on an existing template, do I know what the result will be? Will it break existing uses of the template and if so, can I fix all of the errors? Before making any changes, see Wikipedia:Template sandbox and test cases.
See also
References
  1. ^ See MOS:SECTIONORDER for specific details regarding the placement of hatnotes.
  2. ^ The acceptability of mutliple hatnotes was clarified in a 2016 discussion.
Last edited on 14 May 2021, at 08:34
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