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MediaWiki extensions manual
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Release status: stable

Implementation Tag
Description Displays a random option from the given set.
Author(s) Ross McClure (Algorithm~mediawikiwikitalk)
Latest version 2.1.7 (2012-09-02)
MediaWiki 1.12+
Database changes No
License GPL
Example Example
  • <choose>
  • <option>
  • <choicetemplate>
Hooks used

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

Check usage and version matrix; code metrics

The RandomSelection extension allows for randomly-generated content inside your wiki; e.g. rotating images, random greetings, etc.


To choose between one or more options, simply place each option inside an <option> tag, like so:

<option>This is the first choice.</option>
<option>This is the second choice.</option>
<option>And so on...</option>

From each set of <choose> tags, precisely one <option> tag will be selected at random, and its contents shown. Anything can be placed inside of option tags: links, images, even templates. Note, however, that template arguments will not be expanded due to bugzilla:2257.

Parameters to <choose>[edit]

Parameter Description
before Put this text before the chosen option
after Put this text after the chosen option

Parameters to <option>[edit]

Parameter Description
weight Weight of the option


If you'd like some options to be shown more often than others, you can add weight to the option tags, like so:

<option weight="2">This option will be shown twice as often as a normal option.</option>
<option>By default, options have a weight of 1.</option>
<option weight="1.5">This option also has a weight of 1.  Fractional portions are ignored.</option>

You can also have what is placed inside the option tags be sent as an argument to a template, e.g.:

Choice templates[edit]

<option>Template:Featured article/Elephant</option>
<option>Template:Featured article/Giraffe</option>
<option>Template:Featured article/Rhinoceros</option>

You could then create a Template:PageWithEditButton with these contents:

[{{canonicalurl:{{{1}}}|action=edit}} Edit] {{{{{1}}}}}

This is useful if you want to set up randomly rotating featured articles and have an edit button to allow the user to edit the featured article blurbs.

"before" and "after" parameters[edit]

If you wanted to display one of three YouTube videos, you could try this (Extension:Widget and Widget:YouTube required):

<choose before="{{#widget: YouTube|id=" after="}}">
<option>eR7-AUmiNcA</option><!--King of Anything-->
<option>cSCi7kCXKDA</option><!--Slipping Through My Fingers-->
<option>7n2d9XPsmmE</option><!--When Death Note Music Plays in My Car-->


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


  • 2007-12-10 -- Updated for compatibility with MW 1.12's new parser model
  • 2008-02-23 -- Minor bugfix
  • 2008-05-08 -- Bugfix
  • 2008-07-01 -- Use ParserFirstCallInit hook if it's available
  • 2009-09-30 -- Doxygen comments added + minor tweaks
  • 2010-01-17 -- dropped backwards compatibility with old MediaWikis as per r55838 and made the extension work under PHP 5.3+
  • 2012-09-02 -- Added <choicetemplate> functionality
  • 2013-11-10 -- Added "before" and "after" parameters


  • MW 1.16.x - OK OK --[[kgh]] (talk) 22:10, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
  • MW 1.18.x - OK OK --[[kgh]] (talk) 18:37, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
  • MW 1.19.x - OK OK --Leucosticte (talk) 21:58, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
  • MW 1.20.x - OK OK --Arcane21 (talk) 00:14, 30 August 2013 (UTC)Arcane21
  • MW 1.21.x - OK OK --Arcane21 (talk) 00:14, 30 August 2013 (UTC)Arcane21
  • MW 1.22.x - OK OK --Leucosticte (talk) 10:32, 10 November 2013 (UTC)
  • MW 1.24.1 - OK OK --Jose8122 (talk) 18:30, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  • MW 1.26.2 - OK OK --Stranger195 (talk) 06:04, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

See also[edit]