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Easily add templates
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Author: testtestte

I have edited wiki for years and still cannot be bothered to learn how templates work, I think it should be easier to use.

Please consider adding a "Template" button to the edit toolbar (next to Bold, Italics, Link, ...) that will assist the editor in choosing and applying a template to a page. I imagine an approach akin to OOCalc's function wizard may be appropriate.

Version: unspecified
Severity: enhancement



Event Timeline

bzimport raised the priority of this task from to Low.Nov 21 2014, 10:27 PM
bzimport set Reference to bz16951.
bzimport added a subscriber: Unknown Object (MLST).

matthew.britton wrote:

Templates are not part of MediaWiki itself, but rather defined by a wiki's contributors for their own purposes, so they vary tremendously depending on the wiki's size, purpose and so forth. Even between different language editions of the same Wikimedia project templates are mostly incompatible.

With that in mind, anything added to MediaWiki to assist in choosing them wouldn't really be able to go further than, say, the category picker used on Commons, since MediaWiki itself doesn't know anything about the purpose of the templates. To have any more information than that would require storing some sort of metadata about the templates, and page metadata is something that's never really happened (whether for technical or political reasons I don't know).

To be honest, using templates is not all that hard (certainly compared to creating them) as long as whoever created it bothered to document what it does. I don't know which project you are most familiar with, but I'll assume English Wikipedia; most templates there do have such documentation and the syntax itself is probably best picked up by looking at existing uses of it. (I do think the help pages related to templates could be more helpful but that is only a small part of the general suckiness that is the Help namespace at the moment).

A simple template picker might be useful, though. Could probably be implemented with JavaScript (may even already be in a user script somewhere, I know there are scripts for tagging articles on the English Wikipedia but that's a bit more specialized).

To me, the idea of a template picker sounds more appropriate to be handled through a Gadget, and not through adding a feature in the core software. This can make this bug a candidate for a WONTFIX or a LATER.

This task is probably the closest existing task to the infobox wizard proposal on the 2017 Community Wishlist Survey. It may be possible to port the Visual Editor's template insertion interface to the old WikiText Editor. See also Needs more investigation. is a script that manipulates wikiproject templates, with a system for general editing of their parameters. Could be a useful reference.

Though this task is older, the other task has more information.