Help:Talk pages

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Talk pages (also known as discussion pages) are administration pages where editors can discuss improvements to articles or other Wikiafripedia pages. The talk page associated with an article is named "Talk:Example", where "Example" is the name of the article. For example, the talk page for discussion of improvements to the article Australia is named Talk:Australia. The talk page associated with a page in another namespace is named by adding "talk" after the namespace label; for example, the talk page for Wikiafripedia:About is called Wikiafripedia talk:About.

When viewing an article (or any other non-talk page) on the desktop Wikiafripedia, a link to the corresponding talk page appears on the "Talk" tab at the top of the page. Click this tab to switch to the talk page. On the mobile Wikiafripedia, type "Talk:" and the article's name in the search bar. (There are plans to provide easier talk access on mobile.)

User pages also have associated talk pages (for example, User talk:Jimbo Wales). When other editors need to contact you, they will usually do this by leaving a message on your talk page. When someone has left you a message that way, you will either see an orange information notice the next time you log in or view a page on Wikiafripedia if you are editing as an IP address, or a red badge next to your username if you are logged in.

Video introduction[edit source | edit]

File:Wikiafripedia basics - Talk pages.ogv
Video on how to use a talk page, 2m 30s (8 MB)
This introductory video covers:
  • What are talk pages
  • How to post a new message
  • Indentation
  • Keys to a good discussion
  • Watchlist

0:14
0:59
1:25
1:48
2:12

Where to find talk pages[edit source | edit]

Location of the talk page tab

When viewing an article (or any other non-talk page), a link to the corresponding talk page appears on the "Talk" tab at the top of the page. (The mobile version has a button at the bottom for logged-in users, while apps may have no link.) Click this tab to switch to the talk page; you can then view the talk page and its history, and edit it if you want to add a question or comment.

If the "Talk" link is red, it means no talk page has been started yet. Click the red link to begin a talk page for that article and follow the instructions in Starting a new thread below. (It is also possible for a talk page to exist while the corresponding non-talk page is a red link; this often occurs in User space, when a user has received talk page messages but has not started a user page yet.)

To go back to the article page from its talk page, use the leftmost tab at the top of the page, labeled "article". For pages other than articles, this tab may say something different, like "user page" or "project page".

Identifying yourself[edit source | edit]

When you post a message on a talk page you should always sign and date your comment so other editors can follow the thread of the conversation. To do this easily, type four tildes (~~~~) at the end of your comment, or just click the signature button Signature icon april 2018.png on the row of buttons above the edit box. Once you publish the edit, this will be automatically converted into a user signature with a link to your user page, your user talk page, and the date and time that you save your edit. (You can change the form of your signature using your user preferences.)

Code Result
~~~~ Username (talk) 03:58, 28 September 2021 (UTC)

If you choose to contribute without logging in, regardless of whether you have an account, you should still sign your posts. In this case your IP address will take the place of your username, and will link to your contributions history.

For further information, see Wikiafripedia:Signatures

Starting a new thread[edit source | edit]

File:Wikiafripedia-The Missing Manual I replacement1.png
The "new section" tab on article talk pages lets you start a new section.

To discuss a topic that’s not already covered on the article or user talk page, start a new topic.

  • Click on the "New section" link at the top of the talk page screen.
  • Be sure to enter a section header in the "Subject/headline" box with a suitable title, preferably not something generic like "Question" or "Problem".
  • Sign. At the end of your post, type four tildes (~~~~), which will automatically add your user name and the date.
  • Click "Publish changes"

A new section can also be started by editing the whole page or an existing section, going to a new line and typing == Heading ==, replacing "Heading" with a suitable title, but make sure to add new discussions at the bottom of the page. A new section automatically adds the heading to the "Contents" box on pages with at least four sections.

Replying to an existing thread[edit source | edit]

To respond to a discussion already in progress:

  • Click the "Edit" link on the right end of the bar of the section you want to reply to.
  • Add your comment below the last entry in the discussion. If you want to respond to a specific comment, you can place your response directly below it. Use a colon (:) to indent your message to create a threaded message. See Indentation below for more information on indenting talk pages with colons.
  • Sign. Type four tildes (~~~~), which will automatically add your user name and the date.
  • Click "Publish changes"

Indentation[edit source | edit]

Indentation is used to keep talk pages readable. Comments are indented using one or more initial colons (:), each colon representing one level of indentation. Each comment should be indented one more level than the comment it replies to, which may or may not be the preceding comment. For example:

Code Result
== Header ==

The first comment in a section has no colons before it. ~~~~

:The reply to the first comment is indented one level. ~~~~
::The reply to the second comment should be indented one more level. It doesn't matter if it's made by the same editor who did the first comment, it still gets indented one more level. ~~~~
::Another reply to the second comment is also indented one more level than the comment being replied to. ~~~~
:A subsequent reply to the first comment is indented one level. ~~~~
Header

The first comment in a section has no colons before it. Editor 1 (talk) 10:44, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

The reply to the first comment is indented one level. Editor 2 (talk) 16:40, 21 September 2016 (UTC)
The reply to the second comment should be indented one more level. It doesn't matter if it's made by the same editor who did the first comment, it still gets indented one more level. Editor 1 (talk) 16:57, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Another reply to the second comment is also indented one more level than the comment being replied to. Editor 4 (talk) 08:27, 25 September 2016 (UTC)
A subsequent reply to the first comment is indented one level. Editor 3 (talk) 03:15, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Some pages (deletion discussions, for example) use asterisks (*) rather than colons for indentation. Generally colons and asterisks should not be mixed; if you see asterisks are being used in a page, use them as well. Complex discussions may mix them (and numbered lists, too); in such a case avoid mangled list formatting with this simple rule of thumb:

Use the same indentation and list formatting as what you are replying to, plus one level at the end of the indent/list code. E.g., if you are replying to something in a complicated discussion that starts with #:::*, just copy-paste that and add a :, resulting in #:::*: in front of your reply (or use #:::** if you feel it is necessary for your reply to begin with a bullet point).

Avoid placing double line breaks between indented lines of text, since this can create problems for users of screen reader software (see Wikiafripedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility § Indentation).

If you practice these techniques, be sure to practice on a talk page, such as User talk:your user name/sandbox. The Cascading Style Sheets for talk pages are different from articles, and the visual appearance of list-formatted text can be different. Also, : should not be used for visual indentation in articles, as it is actually markup specifically for description lists.