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The Reference Previews feature shows a preview of a footnote when you hover over its footnote marker. This feature is part of the MediaWiki extension Popups, which is used for Page Previews. It's currently a default feature on some wikis and a beta feature on many other wikis.
The Reference Previews feature aims to fulfill a wish from the German-speaking community's Technical Wishlist and is developed by WMDE's Tech team, with support from the WMF’s Reading Web team. The design for this feature is being developed by the WMF. More information can be found on the main project page on Meta.
Reference Previews display a preview of the footnote as it appears at the bottom of the page. Within the preview, any and all footnote content (text, images, tables, …) can be displayed. At the top of the pop-up, the reference type is displayed. Reference Previews were designed to create an experience consistent with Page Previews, so that all pop-ups have the same design, regardless of whether you are hovering over a page link or a footnote marker.
- Hover over a footnote marker to open the pop-up.
- Click on a footnote marker to jump to the References section (as you would do if there weren't any pop-ups).
- For shorter references, the pop-up window adjusts to a smaller size.
- If the reference size exceeds the maximum pop-up, you can scroll within the preview window.
- External links inside a reference open in a new tab.
Reference Previews will be activated by default for everyone (logged-in users, logged-out/anonymous users, readers of a wiki).
- You can toggle them off under the Appearance tab in your preferences.
- You can also open this preference tab directly by clicking on the cog wheel in the pop-up.
- Anonymous users/logged-out users/readers can turn the previews off by clicking the cog wheel and toggling the setting. This saves the preference via a cookie. They can be turned back on using the “Edit preview settings” link in the website footer.
- If you use the Reference Tooltips or Navigation Popups gadget – either because it’s a default gadget on your wiki or because you enabled it individually – you won’t see Reference Previews.
- For wikis where Reference Previews are still a beta feature, you need to activate it in your beta settings.
Exposed reference types
At the top of each pop-up, Reference Previews prominently indicate what kind of source is being referenced. We currently define six reference types:
- Reference (generic)
- Web reference
- Journal reference
- Book reference
- News reference
How to assign a reference type to your reference
Each reference is defined by CSS classes, e.g.,
<cite class="journal"> for journal references. These classes are set in the
<cite> element in a reference's content. References without cite tags and classes (e.g., plain
<ref> tags) are displayed as "Reference".
To assign a reference type:
- The easiest way is to use a citation template that includes the
citeclass. The English
citetemplates, for example this one, specify the
citeclass already, and derivations of these templates are used in many wikis. Other templates can also be updated to do so.
- If you're not using templates to add references, another option is to add a
citeclass directly into a
reftag, like so:
<ref><cite class="book">reference content</cite></ref>.
- test.wikipedia.org (
- beta feature on:
- German Wikipedia: 2019-04-04
- Arabic Wikipedia: 2019-04-04
- all wikis that use the Popups extension (all Wikipedias & en, he and zh Wikivoyages): 2019-10-24
- default feature:
- German, Romanian, Estonian, Basque, Arabic, Hebrew, Gujarati, and Finnish Wikipedia: 2021-05-06
- Marathi Wikipedia: 2021-05-10
Help with translation
The software messages for this feature can be translated on translate wiki. Any help is much appreciated!