Template:Short description/doc

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Template:Short description is used to add a short description (which can be edited from within Wikipedia) to a Wikipedia page.


{{Short description|Write your short description here}}


Short description

Creates a short description for a Wikipedia article, which is used in the Visual Editor to provide context on wikilinks.

Template parameters

This template has custom formatting.


The short description of the article

Online free encyclopedia anyone can edit

Whether to override a short description if transcluded. Should be unused or 'noreplace'.


The type of page. This puts it in the appropriate category - Things with short description

The namespace of the page.

Name of bot which added the short description. Should be generated automatically, as in [[Special:Diff/925779924]]

PearBOT 5

About writing good short descriptions

This page is about the short description template—it does not provide guidelines for writing a good short description. However, Wikipedia:Short description, offers quick, easy-to-understand guidelines for writing effective short descriptions. If you plan to use this template, you should make sure you understand how to write a good short description.

Template information

Eventually all articles should have a short description:

  • by directly using this template, in which case the short description will be unique to the article
  • transcluded in another template, such as a disambiguation template, where a generic short description is adequate for a large class of pages
  • where the short description is assembled from data in an infobox

Automatically generated descriptions within templates should set the second parameter as noreplace so they do not override any short descriptions specifically added to the transcluding article.

Short descriptions are not required in other namespaces, but in some cases may be useful.

If the article title alone is sufficient to ensure reliable identification of the desired article, a null value of {{Short description|none}} may be used. However, this will not override the descriptions from Wikidata.

Short descriptions do not necessarily serve the same function as the Wikidata description for an item and they do not have to be the same, but some overlap is expected in many cases. Some Wikidata descriptions may be unsuitable, and if imported, must be checked for relevance, accuracy and fitness for purpose. Responsibility for such imports lies with the importer.

The idea is that a class can be set to display differently on desktop Wikipedia from how it displays on mobile view. The intention is to bring the short description within the immediate editing ability of most editors.


At Oxygen therapy, add the following at the top of the article:


Use the second form if the text of the short description contains an equals sign (=). Avoid this if possible, as it affects alternative uses of the short description as in {{annotated link}} (T216356, if implemented, will make usage of annotated link unnecessary.)


For testing purposes, the display of this template can be enabled by adding a line to your Special:MyPage/common.css:

  • .shortdescription { display:block !important; }

This can be easily removed or disabled when finished testing.

If you wish to always see short descriptions, you may want a more utilitarian layout, such as:

.shortdescription {
  display:block !important;
  white-space: pre-wrap;
.shortdescription::before { 
  content: "\A[Short description:\0020";
.shortdescription::after { 
  content: "]\A";

There is a test version of this template available as Template:Short description/test which displays its text by default.

Taking (Q1096878) as an example:

  • {{short description/test|Underwater diving where breathing is from equipment independent of the surface}}<strong class="error"><span class="scribunto-error" id="mw-scribunto-error-0">Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:i18n' not found.</span></strong>
  • {{short description/test|none }}<strong class="error"><span class="scribunto-error" id="mw-scribunto-error-1">Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:i18n' not found.</span></strong>
  • {{short description/test|wikidata }}<strong class="error"><span class="scribunto-error" id="mw-scribunto-error-2">Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:i18n' not found.</span></strong>

Pagetype parameter

If {{{Pagetype}}} is not set, then this template adds the article to a category based on the namespace:

If {{{Pagetype}}} is set, then this template adds the article to a category matching the parameter. For example:


While there are redirects to this template, they should not be used.

Other templates and gadgets attempt to extract the description from pages by explicitly searching for the use of the {{Short description}} template.
For example, {{Annotated link}} searches for templates "Short description" or "short description".

Bot parameter

Bots adding short descriptions without manual supervision should set |bot= with the value being the bot task. For example Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/PearBOT 5 uses |bot=PearBOT 5. Any user may remove the parameter if the description is acceptable. If it's not please report it to the bot operator.

The bot name is added to the category. For example:

Maintenance categories

See also

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