|This page documents an English Wikipedia project content guideline.|
A shortcut is a specialized type of redirect page that provides an abbreviated wikilink to an administrative page or one of its sections, usually from the Wikipedia namespace or Help namespace. These shortcuts' abbreviations in all-caps text are commonly used (linked or unlinked) on community pages and talk pages, but should not be used in articles themselves. If there are one or more shortcuts for a page or section, one or more will usually be chosen to be displayed in an information box on the right labelled Shortcut or Shortcuts, as can be seen at the top of this page.
Shortcuts are created for the convenience of editors. It is possible to create a shortcut for any page at all. The existence of a shortcut does not imply or prove that the linked page is a policy or guideline.
Lists of available shortcuts can be found at:
A Wikipedia shortcut can be entered into the Wikipedia search box to quickly bring you to a project page. For example, you can type WP:R or H:R into the search box and then press the enter key (or click the magnifying glass icon), to get to the Wikipedia:Redirect page, instead of having to type in the complete phrase.
Alternatively, you can use a shortcut in the URL in your browser's address bar. For example, you are currently viewing the Wikipedia:Shortcut page. The URL for this page is. You could then get from here to the Wikipedia:Redirect page by replacing Wikipedia:Shortcut with WP:R in the address bar, followed by pressing the enter key. (If your browser has relative URL entry, simply prefix the shortcut with ./ instead of having to edit the existing URL.)
Shortcuts are presented in all capital letters (ALL CAPS); however, the search box is case-insensitive. For example, in the search box, you can type wp:r, instead of WP:R. However, when using the URL method (or when making links) it is necessary to match the capitalization of the shortcut itself.
Shortcuts are often used on talk pages in their abbreviated form, decreasing readability for the general reader. For example, some editors are familiar with the bulk of the Wikipedia namespace shortcuts, recognizing what they stand for on sight. Others, however, are faced with pages full of incomprehensible jargon, the meaning of which is not immediately clear. Shortcuts also are sometimes (ab)used to make a WP:POINT, best described by WP:WOTTA.
To avoid these problems, a good practice when creating shortcuts is to choose common English words that are easily identifiable and memorable. Another good practice is to be mindful of the general reader and use meaningful terms when citing an obscure shortcut. For example, the piped link
[[WP:SHC|shortcut]] gives readers an idea of the subject of the target page, while the bare abbreviation
[[WP:SHC]] is unintelligible to those unfamiliar with the term.
It should also be remembered that shortcuts are a convenience, not a substitute for titles. Shortcuts should not appear in "See also" sections, hatnotes or any other place where a page title is expected.
See also: Category:Wikipedia header templates
Small link boxes, listing the names of the page's shortcuts, appear at the top of many pages, especially those on policies and guidelines. A shortcut link box can be added to a page, by placing the template
((shortcut|WP:<x>)) (for project namespace) or
((shortcut|H:<x>)) (for Help pages) at the top of the page's text, while editing. For template redirects,
((Template shortcut)) is used instead.
The point of these template boxes is not to list every single redirect for any given page (that's what Special:WhatLinksHere is for). Instead, they generally should list only the most common and easily remembered redirects.
Guideline pages with shortcuts pointing to them typically use
((guideline|WP:<x>)) or the ((subcat guideline)) template, such as on this page, instead of the shortcut template
((shortcut)). Another frequently used template is:
To learn more about the different shortcut box templates and their functions, see documentation at ((shortcut)). Among other things, there are templates for making boxes flow to the left and now, anchors are automatically added, making it much simpler to link to a page section.
Shortcut names are almost always in uppercase.
A shortcut is typically named using the following convention:
In the above form, the prefix is typically one of the prefixes in the following section, and the suffix is an acronym or abbreviation of the redirect target. However quite a lot are simply WP:BAD.
If the target is a sub-page, the following conventions are common (where 'Y' is an additional sequence of uppercase characters or numerals):
Shortcuts that do not follow the above naming convention are discouraged, and are typically deleted.
The directory of shortcuts contains several conflicts for prefixes of subpages, often caused by a shortcut being 're-targeted' (modified to point to a new target page) without the shortcuts to subpages also being re-targeted.
Before creating a shortcut, use Special:PrefixIndex to ensure that the same prefix is not being used for different purposes. e.g. WP:CJ has several existing uses. No additional confusion would be caused by creating a shortcut WP:CJQ, however creating a shortcut WP:CJ/Q would be adding to the existing mess. There is a long-standing feature request to resolve shortcut subpages automatically. (See T14980.)
Prefixes that shouldn't be used for other purposes include:
Other prefixes have become common for a set of pages include:
The following namespace aliases are automatically translated by the Wikipedia servers.
|Project talk:||Wikipedia talk:|
|Image talk:||File talk:|
They are case-insensitive (so wp: or wP: or Wp: have the same meaning as WP:). For example, both WP:TS and wp:TS link directly to Wikipedia:TS.
One unique feature of the WP: alias is its utility in searching for vast number of project pages. This is because most project pages outside the Wikipedia namespace, will have a redirect for the Wikipedia namespace prefix appended to their title and the same for most major shortcuts to them (e.g., Help:Watchlist, with the shortcut H:W, has redirects at Wikipedia:Watchlist and at WP:W. Thus, by extension, most project pages may be found by searching using the WP: alias alone, e.g.
WP:Name. For more, see Help:WP search protocol.
When the shortcut does not use one of the namespace aliases listed above (WP or WT), it is a cross-namespace redirect and is case-sensitive.
However, when a prefix is used by multiple shortcuts, and has broad community support, it is referred to as a pseudo-namespace to distinguish these shortcuts from other cross-namespace redirects. (Note that the term "pseudo-namespace" is also used to refer to namespaces without content that are provided by the MediaWiki software and extensions, such as Special:, Media:, Feedback:)
The following prefixes may be used freely for the target listed.
|MOS:||Wikipedia:Manual of Style|
Other prefixes do not enjoy the same level of community support. It is disputed whether they should be deemed to be pseudo-namespaces.
The following prefixes are used for limited or specific uses only.
The following prefixes do not enjoy broad community support.
|Wikipedia:Manual of Style|
As of 2022, creation of "WikiProject:" and "Wikiproject:" pages is blocked for most users by the title blacklist due to repeated redirect creations against consensus; administrators, template editors, and page movers can override this on a case-by-case basis if necessary. Note that some pages do exist starting with "WikiProject " or with "Wikiproject " (that is, using a space, not a colon); however, as of March 2022 all of them redirect to mainspace articles rather than to projectspace pages. (For instance,redirects to Women in Red, not to Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in Red.)
Portals have occasionally used spaces in shortcuts, e.g. "Portal X", or "X portal". Most redirects with such patterns point to articles, but, as of March 2022, 144 point outside mainspace.
Technical note: The links in the tables above go to a page where the term prefix is not used in the meaning as it has in this section. Rather, the code PrefixIndex there means, as it does for the search parameter, "the beginning string of characters in a title", whether that string ends before, during or after the colon character in a page name.
Note: The following is an example. The shortcut WP:TS already exists.
Say you want to create the shortcut
WP:TS to an existing page, Wikipedia:Template standardisation. Create a new page,
Wikipedia:TS, and in it place the following:
#REDIRECT [[Wikipedia:Template standardisation]] ((R from shortcut))
The resulting shortcut will be WP:TS.
If you're creating a shortcut to a category, you need to insert an additional colon (":") at the beginning of the link, as in the following.
#REDIRECT [[:Category:Redirects from shortcuts]] ((R from shortcut))
((R from shortcut)) must always be included in this kind of redirect. It records that the redirect is a shortcut, and auto-categorizes it into Category:Redirects from shortcuts.
Many shortcuts are acronyms or initialisms; others are abbreviations or single but memorable words from a longer page title.
Technically that's easy. All it takes is to click on the shortcut wherever it is, then on the page it leads to (a shortcut is a redirect) click on the "redirected from" link near the top of the page (forcing
&redirect=no in the URL when you go back to the shortcut page); edit the target
#REDIRECT [[Wikipedia:Whatever]]; then add
((R from shortcut)) if that template doesn't already appear.
However, before changing a shortcut, consider its existing usage:
After changing a shortcut, there are other pages which may need to be updated:
((Shortcut))or similar Wikipedia header templates.
Redirects (including shortcuts) to pages on other projects and special pages won't work—this formerly supported feature was abused and hence it has been disabled. The software will display the redirect page instead of redirecting the user to the target.
Some redirects to other projects and special pages use the template ((soft redirect)); however, shortcuts that are a soft redirects will appear in the pool of pages that are selected by Special:Random. Soft redirects are categorised into Category:Wikipedia soft redirects.