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Crystal kthememgr.svgA userbox is a small rectangular box that looks like this. More examples below.
Userboxes can come in many different styles and colors.Crystal package-plain.svg
Crystal package favourite.pngUserboxes can have one or two sideboxes.Ark-icon.svg

A userbox (commonly abbreviated as UBX) is a small colored box (see examples to the right) designed to appear only on a Wikiafripedian's user page as a communicative notice about the user, in order to directly or indirectly help Wikiafripedians collaborate more effectively on articles.

The first userboxes were introduced to support the Babel inter-language effort by indicating users' skills in other languages.

Be mindful that like anything else you add to Wikiafripedia, userboxes you add will likely be public forever, even if you later have your user page deleted. (Like other Wikiafripedia pages, your user page will be regularly archived in the database dumps and may be archived by third parties such as the Internet Archive.)

Using existing userboxes[edit source | edit]

Userboxes belong on their users' pages. In some cases, it may be considered uncivil to place userboxes on other users' pages without their permission (especially in a mean-spirited way—transphobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, etc). However, userboxes may be placed on non-mainspace talk/discussion pages by anyone. (See also Wikiafripedia:Talk page.) The {{clear}} template can be placed after the plain userbox if text is added on a new line immediately after it.

A gallery of existing userboxes can be found here: WAP:Userboxes/Galleries.

Syntax[edit source | edit]

The standard syntax for adding a userbox to your user page (also known as transclusion) is: {{user name_of_box}}.

Optional substitution[edit source | edit]

You may decide to substitute the template code onto your user page using the syntax {{subst:user name_of_box}}. The use of "subst:" will ensure that the template is always displayed in its form when you add it to your user page, i.e. it will not reflect subsequent edits to the template. This method will lead to large amounts of code on your user page.

Creating a new userbox[edit source | edit]

If you wish to offer an idea for a userbox, do so on the ideas page.

If you have designed a userbox that you would like to make available to others, you may wish to first display it on the New Userboxes talk page for community comment.

Namespace[edit source | edit]

The namespace you place your userbox in matters. Userboxes may only be created or displayed in the User, Project (Wikiafripedia), or Template namespaces.

So should your userbox be prefixed with User:, Wikiafripedia:, or Template:?

Since content in User:space represents individual editors more than the community, they are traditionally given more leeway than in other namespaces. Thus, userboxes in User:space may not be as directly collaborative in nature as those in Template:or Wikiafripedia:namespaces, which are expected to adhere more tightly with certain policies and guidelines, especially Neutral point of view and What Wikiafripedia is not. This should also be considered before moving a userbox from userspace to any other namespace.

To host a userbox in the user namespace, simply create a subpage of your own user page or User:UBX.
Userboxes in the project namespace are generally for WikiProject or task force usage. Simply create it as a subpage of the WikiProject (e.g. Wikiafripedia:WikiProject Board and table games/Userbox).
In the template namespace, userbox names must begin with "User " (e.g. Template:User Brazil or Template:User en)

If you are uncertain if your userbox is in the correct namespace, consider presenting the userbox at the New Userboxes talk page for community comment.

Userboxes and category use[edit source | edit]

A userbox can be coded to autocategorise any user pages which transclude the userbox into one or more user categories. However, do not use autocategorisation without good reason.

Userbox content[edit source | edit]

Content restrictions[edit source | edit]

  • All userboxes are governed by the civility policy.
    • Userboxes must not include incivility or personal attacks.
    • Userboxes must not be inflammatory or divisive.
    • Wikiafripedia is not an appropriate place for propaganda, advocacy, or recruitment of any kind, commercial, political, religious, or otherwise, opinion pieces on current affairs or politics, self-promotion, or advertising.

Simply: If content is not appropriate on other parts of a user page, it is not appropriate within userboxes.

Caution about image use[edit source | edit]

Wikimedia Commons has a large range of icons for use within boxes. However, if you select an image from somewhere else, make certain the image has a free license. Templates (which includes userboxes and topicons) on user pages may not contain any copyrighted content not under free license; so, for example, "fair use" images are explicitly forbidden. This is interpreted strictly and without exception. See Wikiafripedia's fair use policy guidelines for more details.

Caution about colours[edit source | edit]

Please be mindful of the colour contrast guidelines at WAP:COLOUR – low-contrast colours present accessibility barriers to people with colour-blindness or other visual disabilities.

Content examples[edit source | edit]

The following section is not to be considered all-inclusive. As such, other word combinations (both appropriate and inappropriate) are obviously possible.

Typical userbox content:

Typical verbs:

  • verbs of action: contributes (to), drives, eats, edits, plays, uses, watches
  • verbs of comprehension: reads, speaks, understands
  • verbs of preference: enjoys, likes, loves

Additional examples, using the linking verb is:

  • This user is <noun phrase>
  • This user is a fan of <noun phrase>
  • This user is a member of <noun phrase>
  • This user is interested in <noun phrase>

To avoid the awkward third-person phrasing ("This user"), you can use "{{#titleparts: {{PAGENAME}} | 1 | 1 }}" (without the quotes) to insert the name of the user that includes it on their page. E.g. "{{#titleparts: {{PAGENAME}} | 1 | 1 }} uses second-person phrasing" produces "Userboxes uses second-person phrasing".

Potentially divisive words[edit source | edit]

Avoid verbs (often followed by the word "that") which may be used to suggest negative comparison and would thus be potentially divisive, such as:

  • believes, considers, finds, knows, prefers, thinks, wishes.

Avoid negative verb phrases which can be potentially divisive, such as:

  • dislikes, despises, hates, loathes

Also avoid compound sentences which are positive and negative, such as:

  • This user likes <noun phrase>, but does not like <another noun phrase>.

Essentially: Express what you do like, rather than what you don't like. Express what you comprehend, rather than what you don't comprehend. Express what you do, rather than what you don't. Express who you are, rather than who you aren't.

Design: How to construct the box[edit source | edit]

There are a number of box types to select from when deciding to make a userbox. The most commonly used design is the "Standard box". It has one square shaped area on the left ("id") and a rectangular area on the right ("info").

For ease of use, userboxes are typically made using maker-templates that have a number of parameters.

Template Parameters Meaning Value type
border-c The border color of the userbox. CSS color value (#hex or color name)
border-s The border size of the userbox. Width in pixels
id-c The background color of the id box. CSS color value
id-s The font size of the id box. Size in PostScript points
id-fc The font color of the id box text. CSS color value
id-p The distance between border and content of id box. CSS padding width value. px, pt
id-lh The distance between text lines of id box. CSS relative line height/length value. em
info-c The background color of info box. CSS color value
info-s The font size of info box. Size in PostScript points
info-fc The font color of info box. CSS color value
info-a The horizontal alignment of text in info box. left/right/center
info-lh The distance between text lines of info box. CSS relative line height/length value. em
id This is the content of the id box. Free-form
info This is the content of info box. Free-form

The id and info boxes can include text, links, and images using the usual Wikiafripedia syntax. Generally, the info box will contain a sentence with a link or two, while the id box will contain a few letters or a 43px image.

Userbox types[edit source | edit]
Userbox sampling templates[edit source | edit]

To make it easier to quote the generation code for a userbox in a uniform format, a template {{Userbox sample compact}} has been made available, which produces a picture of the userbox along with the code necessary to create it. To use it, just give it exactly the same parameters you would give the {{Userbox}} template. You must use subst:, or the template will not work properly. An example is shown below:

{{subst:Userbox sample compact|id=UBX|id-c=red|info=This is a '''[[WAP:UBX|Userbox]]'''.}}


{{Userbox | border-c = #999 | border-s = 1 | id-c = red | id-s = 14 | id-fc = black | info-c = #EEE | info-s = 8 | info-fc = black | id = UBX | info = This is a '''[[WAP:UBX|Userbox]]'''. | float = left }}
UBX This is a Userbox.

There are not yet any similar templates available for userboxes created by the templates Userbox-r, Userbox-2 and Userbox-m.

Grouping userboxes[edit source | edit]

Using the Userboxtop template[edit source | edit]

As with the Babel box, there is a box to group userboxes together. Just make a list of userboxes with {{Userboxtop|box-name}} at the top, followed by your list of userboxes, and {{Userboxbottom}} at the bottom. For example, the box to the right is created using the following list:

{{Wikiafripedia:WikiProject Userboxes/Userbox}}

Using collapsible tables[edit source | edit]

If you wish to group your userboxes into expandable lists in the {{Userboxtop}} template, one way of doing this is by using collapsible tables with certain classes. Wikiafripedia's Mediawiki configuration attempts to make this happen through a combination of ECMAScript and CSS. This method is accessible to users with ECMAScript (jScript/JavaScript) disabled, and should work in most modern browsers (it is the method used by {{Navbox}}).

Using the codes in Help:Collapsing works much better and simpler using normal wiki table markup!
 {{Userboxtop|Example 2}}
 <table class="collapsible collapsed" style="width: 100%; background: transparent; color: inherit;">
   <tr><th class="navbox-title">(Caption)</th></tr>
     (Place your userboxes here...)

Include 'collapsed' if you want the box to start closed, omit it if you want the box to start open. You can also use multiple tables to get separate collapsible parts like in the example to the right.

You can now use {{Userboxgroup}} to create this kind of box.

Using the Babel grouping system[edit source | edit]

The Babel grouping system can also be used, e.g. {{Babel|sv|no-4|in Rome}}, which generates:

svDen här användaren talar svenska som modersmål.
no-4Denne brukeren/brukaren behersker/meistrar norskmorsmålsnivå.
Rome Skyline (8012016319).jpgThis user lives in Rome
Search user languages

However, it only works for user boxes with the "User" prefix, which must then be dropped for the arguments. Also, boxes that need arguments of their own (such as {{User:UBX/Monty Python}}) cannot be used with the Babel system.

Using tables[edit source | edit]

Another alternative would be to table your userboxes:

{| style="margin: 1em auto;"
|+ example 6
| {{User:AusTerrapin/Box:Jazz Fusion}} {{User_USAFo5}}
| {{User helper}} {{User:The Raven's Apprentice/Userboxes/User Warm}}

would produce the following:

example 6
Tenorsaxophon.jpgThis user enjoys jazz-rock fusion.
Gnome-help.svgThis user helps out newcomers.
Sun01.svg This user prefers warm weather.

To center one userbox use this coding:

{| style="margin: 1em auto;"
|+ example 7
| {{User:Saoshyant/Userboxes/User oops}}

which produces:

example 7
Face-angel.svgThis user tries to do the right thing. If they make a mistake, please let them know.

Combining tables and the boxboxtop template[edit source | edit]

Yet another method of grouping boxes is done by combining Examples 2 and 4 together. Example 2 breaks DHTML interoperability. It works as intended on Internet Explorer; however, it does not work well with Firefox, Google Chrome or Opera when additional hide/show sections are added. This solution provides proper rendering on all three web browsers and scales much better when it comes to the number of groups you want to have. The table property can be adjusted by adding width="100%" (adjusting its percentage or by using a pixel width multiple of the userbox) to add more than one column. Another property align="right" can be changed to place the userboxes left, right, or center of the page.

{| style="background-color: transparent; text-align: right; width: 160px;"
{{Boxboxtop| }}
<div class="NavFrame" style="padding: 0px; border-style: none;">
<div class="NavFrame" style="border-style: none; padding: 0px;">
<div class="NavHead" style="background: #EDF1F1; text-align: left; text-style: normal;">
Caption</div><div class="NavContent" style="display: none;">
''Place your userboxes here...''
''Place additional userbox groups here...''

You can now use {{Userboxside}} to create this kind of box.

See also[edit source | edit]

Users who make userboxes upon request[edit source | edit]