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# Wikipedia:Signatures

On Wikipedia, signatures are used to find out who wrote a comment on pages in the Talk:, User talk:, and Wikipedia talk: namespaces. To sign a post, type four tildes, like this: ~~~~. For example, if User:Example writes a comment on a talk page, and she/he typed four tildes, this would show: Example 00:00 01 January 1000 (UTC). To type the username only, type 3 tildes:~~~, and this would appear: Example. To type only the date, type five tildes:~~~~~, and this will appear:00:00 01 January 1000 (UTC). This is to know who wrote the comments, sort of like the bar on the left containing an avatar on forums, without looking at the page history. If you do not sign your edits will be signed by Cewbot

A registered user can customize their signature, (making it specially theirs) to make it have different colors, font sizes, or font. To do this:

1. Click on my settings at the top of the page.
2. Under the "User profile" tab, put the code for the signature you want in the "New signature:" field.

Example:
[[User:Example|<span style="color:#FF0000">Example</span>]] - [[User talk:Example|<span style="color:#FF0033">T</span><span style="color:#FF0066">A</span><span style="color:#FF0099">L</span><span style="color:#FF00CC">K</span>]]

and you will get: Example - TALK

1. Check the "Treat signature as wikitext (without an automatic link)" box. If you don't, it will just appear as plain text.
2. Push "Save", and then it will say "Your preferences have been saved". If it says something else, check for misspellings or other deficiencies in your code.
3. Here is a list of colors.

### Appearance and color

Your signature should not blink, or otherwise inconvenience or be annoying to other editors.

• Markup such as <big> tags (which produce big text), or line breaks (<br /> tags) should not be used because they can change the way that other text is displayed.
• Do not use a lot of superscript or subscript. In some cases, this type of script can also affect the way that other text is displayed.
• Avoid making your signature so small that it is difficult to read.
• In consideration of users with vision problems, be sparing with color. If you must use different colors in your signature, please be certain that the result will be readable by people with color blindness.

### Images

Images of any kind may not be used in signatures for the following reasons:

• they are an unnecessary drain on server resources, and could cause server slowdown
• a new image can be uploaded in place of the one you chose, making your signature a target for possible vandalism.
• they make pages more difficult to read
• they make it more difficult to copy text from a page
• they are potentially distracting from the actual message
• in most browsers images do not scale with the text, making lines with images higher than those without
• they clutter up the "file links" list on the image page every time you sign on a different talk page

### Length

Keep signatures short, both in display and markup.

Extremely long signatures with a lot of HTML/wiki markup make page changing and discussion more difficult for the following reasons:

• signatures that take up more than two or three lines in the edit window clutter the page and make it harder to distinguish posts from signatures,
• signatures which have long HTML/wiki markup and contain no spaces cause other editors' edit boxes to show unnecessary horizontal scrollbars (such signatures may have spaces added to them by any editor),
• signatures that occupy more space than necessary in the edit box displace meaningful comments, thus forcing the editor to scroll when writing his reply, and
• the presence of such long signatures in the discussion also bothers the reading of comments when an editor is formulating his reply

The software will automatically shorten both plain and raw signatures to 255 characters (characters used for HTML/wiki markup are included!).

It is common practice to include a link to your user page or user talk page (often both); the default signature links to the user page. At least one of those two pages must be linked from your signature, to allow other editors to find your talk page and changes log easily.

It is better to put information on your user page, rather than in your signature. However, including short additional internal links is generally allowed when used to help with communication or to provide general information. It is not allowed if seen as canvassing for some purpose.

### Other websites

Do not include links to external websites in your signature. Posting many links to one website is strongly discouraged on Wikipedia. This may be seen as spamming.

### Transclusion of templates

Transclusions of templates and parser functions in signatures are forbidden. Signature templates are vandalism targets, and will be forever, even if the user leaves the project.

Simple text signatures, which are stored along with the page content and use no more resources than the comments themselves, avoid these problems.

### Categories

Signatures must not have categories inside them. Categorizing talk pages by who has changed them is unhelpful, and the same information can be found by using your changes list.