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MediaWiki extensions manualManual:Extensions
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Release status:Extension status stable

ImplementationTemplate:Extension#type User interface, Parser extension
DescriptionTemplate:Extension#description Easy system for specifying custom sidebars on a per-page basis
Author(s)Template:Extension#username SwiftlyTilting (Frantiktalk)
Latest versionTemplate:Extension#version 0.3.0 (2009-08-09)
MediaWikiTemplate:Extension#mediawiki 1.14-1.23
Database changesTemplate:Extension#needs-updatephp No
LicenseTemplate:Extension#license GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
Download Download v0.3.0
  • $wgDefaultSideBarText
  • $wgDefaultSidebarNSText
  • $wgDefaultSideBarGroupText
Hooks usedTemplate:Extension#hook

Translate the CustomSidebar extension if it is available at translatewiki.net

Check usage and version matrix.

The CustomSidebar extension provides an easy way to customize the sidebar on a per-page basis. You may define the sidebar in-page or reference another page which contains the text. The sidebar text takes the same format as Mediawiki:sidebar, and also supports Templates and Magic words.



sidebartext may contain the following elements. If the text does not return any valid elements, the default sidebar MediaWiki:Sidebar is used.

Standard MediaWiki:Sidebar syntax[edit]

You may specify the main layout of the sidebar using standard sidebar syntax.


* Menu
** link1|Text 1
** link2|Text 2 

Reference to another page[edit]

If the sidebartext only contains a page name and no asterisks, that page will be used as the sidebar text. Any page in any namespace may be used.


<sidebar>wiki page name</sidebar>

Magic words and Template Support[edit]

Version 0.3.0 adds full template support.

Version 0.2.0 adds Magic words and simple template.

Magic Words[edit]

You may use any of the default Magic words within the sidebar text, or custom magic words listed below:

Custom magic words[edit]

{{#__USERNAME}} - Returns the current username.

Simple Template Support in v0.2.0[edit]

Versions 0.3.0 and higher support full template syntax. The code is processed by Mediawiki itself.

In v0.2.0, a custom processing engine was used. Templates with zero or one unnamed parameter will be transcluded as expected. Nested calls are not allowed, but included template pages will be processed recursively.


# OK

# Not ok in v0.2.0
{{TemplateName|param = parameter}}



Added in v0.1.0

The text $wgDefaultSideBarText is similar to setting MediaWiki:Sidebar, only it can be set within LocalSettings.php and can use variables and templates. Example: This sidebar text will allow you to specify a sidebar for each "sub directory"

$wgDefaultSideBarText = '{{NAMESPACE}}:{{BASEPAGENAME}}/Sidebar';

Using the above example, the contents of foo/Sidebar would be applied to the following pages as sidebar text

  • foo
  • foo/page 1
  • foo/page 2
  • foo/page 3
  • foo/etc

You can also use the default sidebar, though it is recommended to use a different page as the default sidebar, so that MediaWiki:Sidebar can be used in case the processed sidebar text does not return a valid sidebar.

$wgDefaultSideBarText = 'MediaWiki:Sidebar';


Added in v0.3.0

Defines an additional sidebar based on the namespace. Syntax is the same as $wgDefaultSideBarText

$wgDefaultSidebarNSText[NS_TALK] = "Template:CustomSidebarTalk";

(Note the lowercase b in Sidebar)


Added in v0.3.0

Defines an additional sidebar based on groups. Syntax is the same as $wgDefaultSideBarText

$wgDefaultSideBarGroupText['sysop'] = "Template:CustomSidebarSysop";


  • Download and place the file(s) in a directory called CustomSidebar in your extensions/ folder.
  • Add the following code at the bottom of your LocalSettings.php:
    require_once "$IP/extensions/CustomSidebar/CustomSidebar.php";
  • YesY Done - Navigate to Special:Version on your wiki to verify that the extension is successfully installed.

Change Log[edit]

  • Added full template support
  • Added Custom sidebars based on user groups and namespaces
  • Added magic word and template support
  • First public release

See also[edit]