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An infobox is a fixed-format table designed to be added to the top right-hand corner of articles to consistently present a summary of some unifying aspect that the articles share and to improve navigation to other interrelated articles.


What do infoboxes do?

Infobox templates contain facts and statistics that are common to related articles. For instance, all animals have a scientific classification (species, family and so on), as well as a conservation status. Adding a {{infobox}} to articles on animals therefore makes it easier to quickly find such information and to compare it with that of other articles.

Infobox templates are like fact sheets, or sidebars, in magazine articles. They quickly summarize important points in an easy-to-read format. However, they are not "statistics" tables in that they are only supposed to summarize material from an article—the information should still be present in the main text, because it may not be possible for some readers to access the contents of the infobox. In particular, infobox templates may hide long columns of data inside collapsing tables, which means readers using assistive technology may miss their presence entirely.

What should infoboxes contain?

In general, data in infobox templates should be:

  • Comparable. If a lot of different subjects all share a common attribute (for instance, all people have a name and a date of birth), then it is useful to be able to compare these across different pages. This also implies that where possible, material should be presented in a standard format.
  • Concise. Infobox templates are "at-a-glance", and used for quickly checking facts. Long bodies of text, or very detailed statistics, belong in the article body.
  • Materially relevant to the subject. A common problem is including material which is trivial and would not otherwise be included in the article body: for example, a fictional character's blood type may be referenced in passing in a work, but it is not especially useful to understanding the subject. Infobox templates should not be used for details that are too trivial to include in the article body.
  • Already cited elsewhere in the article. Infoboxes, like the introduction to the article should contain primarily material that is expanded on and supported by citations to reliable sources elsewhere in the article. However, if necessary (e.g., because the article is currently incomplete), it is possible to include footnotes in infoboxes.

Finding an appropriate infobox template

Infoboxes are an extension of MediaWiki's template feature, and as such their implementations are kept in the Template namespace. There are two ways that editors typically want to access the underlying details of an infobox:

  1. Editors can browse the comprehensive set of all infoboxes at.
  2. When an editor is inspired by an infobox in a particular article, he or she can map the infobox onto its template implementation in the Template namespace.

For example, the article Church of Santo Stefano contains an infobox. Simply edit the article to determine which one:

{{ infobox Church

The start of the template identifies the markup between the enclosing braces as an infobox instance. While the next word identifies the specific kind of infobox (in this case the "Church" infobox), the underlying template is still located in the Template namespace under {{infobox Church}}. Note: unlike Wikipedia, infobox names on Venipedia are case sensitive such that {{infobox church}} is not the same as {{infobox Church}}.

Creating a new infobox

You should research whether an existing infobox fits your purpose either by examining those in Category:Infobox templates or researching articles that might be candidates to receive the new infobox.


Editors generally compose infoboxes from four types of visual elements: A title, images, sections, and fields. Since these terms are not standard, we illustrate them here:

Image caption
FieldNameA1 FieldParameterA1
FieldNameA2 FieldParameterA2
FieldNameA3 FieldParameterA3
FieldNameB1 FieldParameterB1
FieldNameB2 FieldParameterB2

The selection and arrangement of fields is an important design decision for which Wikipedia:Manual of Style (infoboxes) gives some general advice. The part of a field that varies from article to article becomes a parameter for the newly-prototyped infobox and must be consistently expressed in two distinct places:

  1. In the infobox implementation itself, to indicate where the article-specific text is to be displayed
  2. In the infobox documentation, to indicate which article-specific information editors are to provide when using the infobox

Additionally, the editor should decide whether a field (and hence its corresponding parameter) is required or optional. The difference between the two is that a required field is always displayed; an optional field is not displayed where articles referencing the infobox omit the parameter. If the field is required, the infobox designer should consider whether a default value for the field is useful.


Once an editor has decided upon the title, image, and arrangement of sections and fields, he or she is ready to map those visual elements onto the parameters of the infobox template. {{infobox}} documents how to use this template. While there are many different infobox parameters, the most frequently used are:

{{ infobox
| abovestyle  =
| above       =
| image       =
| caption     =
| headerstyle =
| header1     =
| label1      =
| data1       =
| header2     =
| label2      =
| data2       =
| header20    =
| label20     =
| data20      =

The mapping of visual elements onto infobox parameters is straightforward:

Visual element How to implement Parameters to implement Notes
Colored title and section bars |abovestyle = background:color;
|headerstyle = background:color;
None See for styles other than background
Title |above = {{{name|<includeonly>{{PAGENAME}}</includeonly>}}} {{{name}}}
Image |image = {{#if:{{{image|}}}|[[Image:{{{image}}}|22em]]}}
|caption = {{{caption|}}}
{{{image}}}, {{{caption}}} Images must be specified using the Wikipedia:Extended image syntax
Section |headern = Fixed section name None
Required field with no default value |labeln = Fixed field name
|datan = {{{Parameter name}}}
{{{Parameter name}}} Note that parameters are enclosed in triple braces {{{...}}}
Optional field |labeln = Fixed field name
|datan = {{{Parameter name|}}}
{{{Parameter name}}} Use | to specify an empty string as the default ({{{...|}}})
Required field with a default value |labeln = Fixed field name
|datan = {{{Parameter name|default-value}}}
{{{Parameter name}}}
Field conditionally displayed |labeln = Fixed field name
|datan = {{#if:{{{Parameter nameif specified|}}}|{{{Parameter namethen display this|}}} }}
{{{Parameter nameif specified}}},
{{{Parameter namethen display this}}}
General form is {{#if:test|then-text|else-text}}}

When making style decisions, editors should follow the Wikipedia:Manual of Style (infoboxes) as closely as possible. Images must be specified using the Wikipedia:Extended image syntax. When specifying styles (e.g., for abovestyle, bodystyle, and headerstyle), is an excellent reference.

The vast majority of editors use only the simple features of an infobox in the ways described above. However, the more intrepid editor should be aware of the more esoteric features of {{infobox}}:

  • Displaying the title outside the infobox (as opposed to inside the infobox)
  • Displaying extra text below the title or at the bottom of the infobox (for "see also", footnotes, wikilink to "list of" article, etc.)
  • Displaying a second image
  • Displaying images anywhere other than the top of the infobox
  • Mapping individual fields onto an appropriate microformat (See also Wikipedia:WikiProject Microformats)
  • Displaying the "view/edit/discuss" navigation bar for the infobox

Again, these features are documented in {{infobox}}.


The goal of documenting the newly-created infobox is to allow other editors to quickly ascertain what information they need to provide when incorporating the infobox into articles. The convention is to keep documentation in a page separate from the infobox implementation and arrange for the implementation to transclude the documentation when the infobox is displayed directly, but not when the infobox is displayed in an article.

  • First, ensure documentation is appended to the template, enclosed in elements.(See also below) Ensure there are no stray spaces between the end of template (}}) and as these, if present, will be transcluded into every article that uses the template.
{{ infobox
}}<noinclude>{{documentation}}<!-- Please add category and language links to the bottom of the /doc sub-page, not here --></noinclude>
  • Next, create the documentation page as a subpage from the infobox template itself (e.g., Special:Mypage/Infobox mysubject/doc). The easiest way to do this is by following the [create] link from the empty documentation transclusion. This will preload a skeleton documentation page which can be filled in with basic usage, links to similar templates, interwiki links, and category links (at the bottom, in the <noinclude></noinclude> section).
  • Finally, organize the documentation into the following sections:
  • Overview
  • Parameters (their meanings and whether they are optional, have a default value, or are conditionally displayed)
  • Blank template (suitable for copy-n-pasting into articles)
  • Examples (e.g., to show the effects of conditionally-displayed parameters)
  • Microformats (if used)


In order for other editors to find an infobox more easily, categories and interwiki links should be added to the bottom of the infobox documentation (at Special:Mypage/Infobox mysubject/doc).

Note that by convention, the infobox should be categorized using an explicit sort key that drops the infobox prefix. In other words, rather than letting the category sort key default to Wikipedia:PAGENAME (in our example, "Infobox mysubject"), editors should explicitly supply "Mysubject" as the category sort key, as in [[Category:Mycategory infobox templates|Mysubject]].


Editors should test prototyped infoboxes in their own userspaces. The simplest means is for the editor to place the fully-qualified page name of the template to be tested within the template braces (e.g., {{Special:Mypage/Infobox mysubject}}) on his or her own user page, Special:Mypage.

Once the infobox prototype has been tested, it is ready for peer review and deployment.

A skeleton infobox

The following can be used as a starting point for a new infobox; simply copy and paste into the page designated to hold the new infobox and add or delete parameters as needed. Editors who want to take advantage of the more advanced features of infobox can copy and paste the comprehensive skeleton from {{infobox}}.

{{ infobox
| abovestyle  =
| above       =
| image       =
| caption     =
| headerstyle =
| header1     =
| label1      =
| data1       =
| header2     =
| label2      =
| data2       =
| header3     =
| label3      =
| data3       =
| header4     =
| label4      =
| data4       =
| header5     =
| label5      =
| data5       =
| header6     =
| label6      =
| data6       =
| header7     =
| label7      =
| data7       =
| header8     =
| label8      =
| data8       =
| header9     =
| label9      =
| data9       =
| header10    =
| label10     =
| data10      =
<!-- Please add categories and interwiki links to /doc subpage, not here! -->

Example {{infobox}}-based infoboxes



See also


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