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Special pages are pages that are created by the software on demand. They are located in their own namespace (Special) and are not editable directly as other pages.
Some special pages depend on the preferences that have been set by a user, e.g., the number of titles which is displayed on a user's watchlist.
Editing Special namespace pages
Special: namespace stands for special pages generated by MediaWiki. There is no matching talk space. The special pages are not made of wikitext up, therefore they are not editable like other pages.
They usually contain system messages from MediaWiki namespace, which are editable by interface administrators.
Linking, transcluding, or redirecting to a special page
You can link a special page as you would do for any other internal page; e.g.
[[Special:Diff|see diff page]]. Some special pages can take a parameter value after a slash character; e.g.
[[Special:Diff/123]] provides “123” value to diff URL parameter.
Some special pages are transcludable, some other ones are not. For example, you may transclude the list of recent changes with
You cannot create a redirection towards a special page: it will display a link towards the page instead of directly redirect to it. However, some special pages have built-in aliases which redirect to them.
Page name alias and localization
Unlike other namespaces, the first heading of pages in “Special:” namespace is not consistent with page name in the URL: the “Special:” prefix is not displayed, and the heading text may vary a bit from page name.
Each special page has a default English name, but it mays also have aliases, i.e. other special page names which redirect to it. Besides, on non-English wikis (i.e. $wgLanguageCode different from “en”), special page names are localized, and English names are aliases which redirect to the localized page name.
Note the localized aliases only work in one language per wiki, in addition to English ones; e.g. Italian special page names only work on Italian wikis. Multilingual wikis with Translate extension only support English names.
The “Special:” namespace prefix itself may be localized depending on wiki content language.
List of special pages
Special:SpecialPages shows a list of almost all special pages on a wiki. It is often linked in the toolbox on the side panel.
- All pages (includable)
- Merge history
- New files (includable)
- New pages (includable)
- Random page
- Recent changes (includable)
- What links here (includable)