Shortdesc helper
DescriptionAllows easy changing and importing of short descriptions
UpdatedOctober 5, 2023; 8 months ago
Skin support
  • Vector
  • Monobook
  • Modern
  • Timeless
  • MinervaNeue
GitHub repositoryshortdesc-helper

Shortdesc helper (SDH) is a gadget for adding, editing, and importing short descriptions.


Select the gadget at the "Editing" section of Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets (and save).

(if you already have the script installed, remove importScript('User:Galobtter/Shortdesc helper.js'); from Special:MyPage/common.js or Special:MyPage/skin.js)


When activated, the article's short description will be displayed on the page immediately under the line "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia", and edits may be made by clicking the buttons to the right of the short description (see image). An edit summary may be added using the "summary" button.

If there is no local short description but there is a Wikidata description, the gadget will instead show that in pink, with an option to import it to Wikipedia (capitalising the first letter).

By default, adding short descriptions to an article also adds the description to Wikidata if Wikidata has no description. This can be changed in the settings.

The gadget is compatible with the page assessments gadget.


Settings as of version 3.4.3

Shortdesc helper may be configured using the settings window that can be accessed when editing or adding a short description by clicking the gear-wheel button on the right.

Installation on another wiki

Shortdesc helper will automatically detect if it is loaded on another wiki, and allow viewing and editing of Wikidata descriptions on those wikis.

For individual use


mw.loader.getScript( '' ).then( function() {
	mw.loader.load( '' );

to Special:MyPage/common.js on that wiki to use the script on another wiki.

As a gadget

To install Shortdesc helper on another wiki, create a file named "MediaWiki:Gadget-Shortdesc-helper.js" with the content (comments there note how to localize):

window.sdh = {};

/* These messages can be changed to localize Shortdesc helper for your wiki. 
** If that is not necessary, then this can be removed, and English-language messages will be used. */
window.sdh.messages = {
	/** Uncomment the following to change messages used in settings dialog */
	"libSettings-settings-title": "Settings",
	"libSettings-save-label": "Save settings",
	"libSettings-cancel-label": "Cancel",
	"libSettings-showDefaults-label": "Show defaults",
	"libSettings-showCurrentSettings-label": "Show current settings",
	"libSettings-save-success-message": "Settings for $1 successfully saved.",
	"libSettings-save-fail-message": "Could not save settings for $1.",
	/* Settings messages */
	'sdh-settingsDialog-title': 'Settings for Shortdesc helper',
	'sdh-header-general': 'General',
	'sdh-header-appearance': 'Appearance',
	'sdh-AddToRedirect-label': 'Allow additions of short descriptions to redirects',
	'sdh-AddToRedirect-help': 'When checked, redirects will have an "add" button to add a short description. (default off)',
	'sdh-InputWidth-label': 'Width of editing input in characters (default 40)',
	'sdh-FontSize-label': 'Font size, as a percentage (default 100%)',
	/* Initial view messages */
	'sdh-missing-description': 'Missing <a href="/wiki/Wikipedia:Short description">$1 description</a>',
	/* Initial view buttons */
	'sdh-add-label': 'Add',
	'sdh-add-title': 'Add short description',
	'sdh-edit-label': 'Edit',
	'sdh-edit-title': 'Edit short description',
	/* Editing messages */
	'sdh-description-placeholder': 'Short description',
	'sdh-summary-placeholder': 'Custom edit summary',
	'sdh-save-label': 'Save',
	'sdh-save-title': 'Save description',
	'sdh-cancel-label': 'Cancel',
	'sdh-cancel-title': 'Cancel editing',
	'sdh-summary-label': 'Summary',
	'sdh-summary-title': 'Show edit summary box',
	'sdh-settings-title': 'Settings',
	/* Wikidata summary messages */
	'sdh-wd-summary': '([[w:en:Wikipedia:Shortdesc helper|Shortdesc helper]])',
	'sdh-wd-edit-failed': 'Saving the edit to Wikidata failed.',
	'sdh-wd-edit-failed-prefix': '\n\nThe info given by Wikidata is that:\n\n'

mw.loader.getScript( '' ).then( function() {
	mw.loader.load( '' );

and create a CSS file named "MediaWiki:Gadget-Shortdesc-helper-pagestyles-vector.css" with the content of MediaWiki:Gadget-Shortdesc-helper-pagestyles-vector.css.

Then, add to MediaWiki:Gadgets-definition:

* Shortdesc-helper-loader[ResourceLoader|dependencies=mediawiki.api,mediawiki.notify,user.options,mediawiki.util|skins=vector,monobook,modern,timeless|peers=Shortdesc-helper-pagestyles-vector]|Shortdesc-helper.js
* Shortdesc-helper-pagestyles-vector[hidden|skins=vector]|Shortdesc-helper-pagestyles-vector.css

See also