|This page documents an English Wikipedia editing guideline.|
|This page in a nutshell: Redirects are not articles and most should not be sorted into mainspace content categories; however, all redirects should be sorted into appropriate "maintenance" (non-article) categories whenever possible.|
This is a Wikipedia guideline for placing redirect pages into categories. It is intended to document current practice and suggest best practice in other areas, and indicate where categorization of redirects can be misleading.
Normal ("hard") redirects should be placed in one of several maintenance categories specifically for redirects. This should be done using categorization templates (rcats) such as ((R with Wikidata item)).
Soft redirects usually should not be categorized by rcats. Use of ((Soft redirect with Wikidata item)) and ((R category with possibilities)) to tag soft-redirected categories are presently the only exceptions.
Redirects are not usually sorted to article categories; however, there are exceptions, as described below.
There are a series of categories that are used only for redirects. Redirects are placed in categories by templates. These categories explain why the redirect exists, for example ((R from merge)) means it was created by a merge or ((R from alternative name)) means that the redirect is an alternative name for the main title.
These categories are only intended to contain redirects, and are helpful in keeping track of redirects and further subcategorizing them as needed. They include both redirects within main namespace and in other namespaces. They are often applied using templates, though such categories can also be created and populated directly. This categorization is intended for Wikipedia editors, not readers.
For tables of redirect category templates, grouped both alphanumerically and by function, see Wikipedia:Template index/Redirect pages. For the categorical list of such templates, see Category:Redirect templates. All the redirect categories are subcategories of Category:Wikipedia redirects, which is not meant to contain any redirects directly and is purposely kept empty except for subcategories.
There are some situations where placing a redirect in an article category is acceptable and can be helpful to users browsing through categories. The following are examples of some of these situations:
Alternative names should not look out of place on a category page. This is often a way to satisfy disagreements over renaming an article when more than one name seems equally valid. The alternative name(s) becomes a redirect and gets categorized the same way as its target. Another example is when a single article covers things known by multiple names, such as a person who is known in multiple fields of endeavour under different names, a merged article about three different newspapers, or a sketch comedy television show whose name exists on Wikipedia as a redirect to the comedy troupe that created it. In such a case, consideration needs to be given to which title should be reflected in an individual category.
Note that placing such a category on the target article, with the alternative title in pipetext, does not accomplish the desired purpose, as pipetext in a category link only affects how a title is ordered alphabetically, not how it actually appears.
The primary function of the category system is to allow readers to browse through articles. The category system is often used like an alphabetical index. It is sometimes helpful for redirects from common alternative names to appear in the index list. Editors should consider whether alternative names should be mixed in with other names, or not. Sometimes an entirely new category is more appropriate (see Categorization of multiple taxonomies below).
Some subtopics of articles have well-known names and, over time, may expand to become separate articles. Many articles cover several topics that have been combined. This can happen following a merge of several related articles. Often there are redirects pointing to these subtopics. These redirects can be categorized. In some cases, the categories for the redirects that point to the subtopics will be different than the categories for the entire article.
Some articles can be organized by more than one taxonomy. An example of this is the organization of animal and plant articles by common names and binomial name taxonomy. This is possible by categorizing the article one way and categorizing the redirect a different way. In this case, the alternative categorization of the redirect will not appear in the article unless it is manually added.
Some well-organized lists have redirects pointing at their subsections. In such cases, categorization of the redirects can be an alternative way of browsing entries in a long list. It can also provide an alphabetical listing for lists that are not organised alphabetically, such as lists organised in a chronological order. Redirects to sections of minor character lists should generally only be categorized within that fictional setting, and not in the wider fictional categories.
"WP:REDCAT" redirects here. For the guideline on red-linked categories, see WP:REDNOT.
A redirect may be categorized in the same way as for any other page; however, when it is possible to use redirect category templates (rcats), then these should be used. For clarity, all category links should be added at the end of the page on their own lines, after the redirect target link and rcat(s). Use of a blank line between the redirect target link and all rcats and category links promotes readability of the code.
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz]] ((Redirect category shell| ((R from move)) ((R printworthy)) )) ((DEFAULTSORT:Yzz, Xxy)) [[Category:Aaa]]
#REDIRECT [[Article title]] must come first, on the top line, and must start from the left margin.
[[Category:...]]-type links may be placed on their own lines after the redirect target link. Redirect category (rcat) templates,
((R from...)), ((R to ...)), etc., the ((Redirect category shell)) (Rcat shell) template may be placed anywhere after the redirect on another line or lines, preferably the third line for readability. Those are usually placed before (above) content categories and empty lines are left between the types for readability.
((DEFAULTSORT:)) magic word can also be placed on redirects, for example, to ensure that a redirect title that begins with a person's given name will be sorted to their surname:
The ((Redirect category shell)) (Rcat shell) template may be used to group redirect categories. That template automatically senses protection levels and promotes a faster learning curve for new editors. See its documentation page and the comparison page for more information.
The redirect will appear in the specified categories in a style format that is different than non-redirects (by default, redirects appear in italics type, while non-redirects do not – see Technical note below).
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz]] ((Rcat shell| ((R from former name)) ((R printworthy)) )) ((DEFAULTSORT:Yzz, Xxy)) [[Category:Aaa]] [[Category:Bbb]]
#REDIRECT [[Caitlyn Jenner]] ((Rcat shell| ((R from birth name)) ((R printworthy)) )) ((DEFAULTSORT:Jenner, Bruce)) [[Category:Athletes (track and field) at the 1975 Pan American Games]] [[Category:Athletes (track and field) at the 1976 Summer Olympics]]
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Header]] ((Redirect category shell| ((R to section)) ((R printworthy)) ))
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Header]] ((Redirect category shell|((R to section))((R printworthy))))
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Anchor this]] ((Redirect category shell| ((R to anchor)) ((R unprintworthy)) ))
#REDIRECT [[Xxy Yzz#Section header]] ((Rcat shell| ((R to section)) ((R to related topic)) ((R printworthy)) )) [[Category:Aaa|((PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz))]] [[Category:Bbb|((PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz))]] [[Category:Ccc|((PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz))]] [[Category:Ddd|((PAGENAME:Xxy Yzz))]]
((R from...)), ((R to...)), etc., templates have as their main purpose to populate a redirect subcategory (see Category:Wikipedia redirects) to aid in maintenance. A second goal is to help editors with concise explanations for such sortings. Generally speaking, one such template categorizes redirect pages to the subcategory, though that template may be "aliased" by use of several alternative phrasings, themselves redirects to the template. Common alias choices are: other vs. alternative, capitalization vs. capitalisation and other such spelling/phrasing variants like "R to singular" vs. "R from plural" and "R from singular" vs. "R to plural".
The appearance of a redirect link on category pages and in search results is determined by the CSS class "redirect-in-category" and the specification for that class in MediaWiki:Common.css. By default, this class is set to "italics", although this may be changed by the user. In the past, no distinction was made for users, which fueled the controversies over how to categorize redirects. By displaying them in italics, redirects are easy to pick out. Perfectly good (and in many cases better known) terminology implemented as redirects for technical reasons can now be categorized for the readers to browse, and for editors to know and use as needed.