Extension:Header Tabs

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Header Tabs
Release status: stable
Implementation Parser function , User interface
Description Displays top-level headers as JavaScript-based tabs
Latest version 2.0 (August 2020)
Compatibility policy master
MediaWiki 1.33+
License GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
Version history
Example Wiki of the Month on semantic-mediawiki.org
  • $wgHeaderTabsRenderSingleTab
  • $wgHeaderTabsDisableDefaultToc
  • $wgHeaderTabsAutomaticNamespaces
  • $wgHeaderTabsEditTabLink
  • $wgHeaderTabsGenerateTabTocs
  • $wgHeaderTabsDefaultFirstTab
  • $wgHeaderTabsUseHistory
Translate the Header Tabs extension if it is available at translatewiki.net
Check usage and version matrix.

The Header Tabs extension transforms top-level MediaWiki headers into JavaScript-based tabs.


To enable tabs on a page after you installed the extension, you need to add a

<headertabs />

tag into the page in place where the last tab should end (everything below this tag will be shown under the tab view). Most of the time, though, you'll want to put it at the bottom of the page.

In addition to that, the page should have top-level headers defined in it like this:

= Header title =

Each such top-level header, if it's anywhere above the <headertabs/> tag, will be displayed as a tab.

Linking to tabs[edit]

You can link to a tab, both from another page and from within that same page (and, within that same page, both from another tab and from outside the tab view). This is done using the {{#switchtablink}} parser function, which is called like this:

{{#switchtablink:Tab name|Link text|Page name}}

This will create a link to the tab with the name "Tab name", and the text of the link will read "Link text". If you want the link to a point to a tab on another page, you can optionally add the third parameter, "Page name".

Note Note: Multibyte characters was well as formatting characters e.g. bold is not permitted if you want to link to tabs in any way.


Some text above the tab view

= First section header =
This will be displayed on the first tab

{{#switchtablink:Second section header|Click here to go to the next tab...}}

= Second section header =
This will be displayed on the second tab

= Third section header =
This will be always displayed under the tab view
because it's below the <headertabs/> tag.

The header titles get automatically converted into tab titles.


You can download the Header Tabs code, in .zip format, here.

You can also download the code directly via Git from the MediaWiki source code repository. From a command line, call the following:

git clone https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/diffusion/EHET/extension-headertabs.git

To view the code online, including the version history for each file, go here.


  • Download and place the file(s) in a directory called HeaderTabs in your extensions/ folder.
  • Add the following code at the bottom of your LocalSettings.php:
    wfLoadExtension( 'HeaderTabs' );
  • Yes Done – Navigate to Special:Version on your wiki to verify that the extension is successfully installed.


Skin modification[edit]

To change the tabs' styling, see "Skin modification".

Configuration parameters[edit]

The following parameters can be modified in LocalSettings.php below the call to wfLoadExtension().


$wgHeaderTabsUseHistory defines whether tab navigation should be tracked within the browser history and within the URL, updating the hash value. By default this variable is set to true, i.e. history is used. You can disable it by adding the following:

$wgHeaderTabsUseHistory = false;


The $wgHeaderTabsRenderSingleTab variable defines if Header Tabs will activate if only a single top-level header is found. By default this variable is set to false, i.e. no tabs will be shown if only one top-level header is found. You can enable this behaviour by adding the following:

$wgHeaderTabsRenderSingleTab = true;


The $wgHeaderTabsAutomaticNamespaces variable defines the set of namespaces for which you don't need to add the <headertabs /> tag in order to enable tabs. If a namespace ID is defined in this variable, header tabs will activate automatically when you have two top-level headers (or one, if you have $wgHeaderTabsRenderSingleTab set to true) in an article. By default this variable holds no namespaces. You can add namespaces to this list by adding the following for each namespace:

$wgHeaderTabsAutomaticNamespaces[] = NS_MAIN;


The $wgHeaderTabsDefaultFirstTab variable defines whether Header Tabs puts any content before the first defined header and put it into its own tab. By default this variable is set to false. You can enable this behavior by adding the default name using the following:

$wgHeaderTabsDefaultFirstTab = 'DefaultTabName';

If using this setting, be careful not to enable $wgHeaderTabsRenderSingleTab as it will lead to tabs appearing in other parts of the UI.


The $wgHeaderTabsDisableDefaultToc variable defines whether Header Tabs will disable the MediaWiki article's table of contents (TOC) when tabs are enabled for a given article. This saves you the trouble of having to add __NOTOC__ to your article. If tabs are not enabled because of a lack of top-level headers, the table of contents will appear as usual. By default this variable is set to true, i.e. the MediaWiki TOC is disabled if header tabs are shown. You can disable this behavior by adding the following:

$wgHeaderTabsDisableDefaultToc = false;


The $wgHeaderTabsGenerateTabTocs variable defines if Header Tabs will try to generate a TOC for each tab. By default this variable is set to false, i.e. no tab TOCs will be generated. You can enable this behavior by adding the following:

$wgHeaderTabsGenerateTabTocs = true;


The $wgHeaderTabsEditTabLink variable defines if Header Tabs will add a edit link to the right of the tabs which let you edit only the tabs' text. By default this variable is set to true, i.e. a edit link for the tab will be shown. You can disable this behavior by adding the following:

$wgHeaderTabsEditTabLink = false;

Version history[edit]

To see a list of changes for each version, see version history. For a list of features planned for future releases, please see roadmap.

Known limitations and issues[edit]

  • You cannot use the tag more than once. In other words, a second tag will not produce a second series of tabs.
  • Tabs render on top of infoboxes in Chrome.
  • Header Tabs will not work with the HTML Tidy tool, i.e. if $wgTidyConfig is populated.

Incompatible extensions and skins[edit]

For versions earlier than 2.0, Header Tabs does not render correctly when used alongside the following skins and extensions:

  • MathJax - when the two are used together, it leads to faulty HTML, which results in a broken display in at least the Firefox web browser. (Things might have changed as MathJax has been updated.) You can disable MathJax on specific pages by adding __NOMATHJAX__.
  • AddThis (or the Widget) - only the first tab is shown
  • FancyBoxThumbs - same as AddThis.
  • MobileFrontend- same as AddThis.
  • SectionHide - incompatible due to both extensions altering section behavior. SectionHide now includes an automatic check that will inform the user that the extension does not work with Header Tabs.
  • Echo - seems to cause display problems with Header Tabs.
  • Tweeki - Skin Tweeki breaks the layout and hide the text of the tabs

There are no known issues, however, for Header Tabs 2.0 and higher, after Header Tabs switched to using the OOUI JavaScript library.

Sections appearing outside the tabbed section[edit]

Header Tabs sections which include floated objects (such as infoboxes) may appear outside the tabs container if other content does not force the container to be large enough to hold the floated object. One resolution to this problem is to place a cleared html element at the very end of each section. A simple, but not best-practice, means of doing this is:

<div style="clear:both"></div>

This forces this element to be considered by the browser after your floated object and thus will grow the container to fit both.


The best way to seek help with this extension is to send questions to the mediawiki-l mailing list. The extension maintainers, and active users and contributors, are on this list and will be able to help you.

See also[edit]