O'Reilly logo

Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 14. Creating Lists and Tables

Lists and tables are two different ways to format multiple, similar items on a page. Lists and HTML tables go back to Wikipedia’s early days. The current wikicode tables (Editing Tables), which you can edit more easily and even sort, came later.

You’ll find many more lists than tables on Wikipedia. For example, the External links sections that appear in almost every Wikipedia article are lists. Tables are less common, but they’re making up ground fast. You’ll probably have occasion to edit a table, if not make one. This chapter shows you how to create and edit both lists and tables.

Creating and Editing Lists

Wikipedia has two kinds of lists: embedded lists (a list within a larger article), and standalone lists (an article that’s only a list). An example of the latter is the article List of colors. Embedded lists are easier to grasp, both conceptually and in terms of formatting, although you won’t have trouble understanding articles that are lists.

Bulleted and Numbered Lists Within Articles

Lists are easy to create, but sometimes you really shouldn’t. Before you make a list, read the first part of this section and think about whether you could present the information in narrative form. When you’re ready to make a list, flip to How to create a list to see how to create the underlying wikitext.

Presenting information: list, narrative, or neither?

Wikipedia articles are intended to be narratives, not guides or places for stockpiling information, as explained ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required