Manual talk:Interface/Sidebar


Discuss the contents of Manual:Interface/Sidebar. Note this is not really a good place to ask support questions. If you need help with editing the sidebar in your own project, please see Communication for places to ask.

Rename to 'Sidebar'[edit]

I propose we rename this page to 'Manual:Sidebar'. 'Sidebar' seems to be the name the developers have chosen for this part of the interface. By default it happens to have a section called 'navigation', but overall it's a sidebar right? -- Harry Wood 12:50, 25 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Navigation bar" makes it easier to identify which elements are being edited, especially in the case of skins where the bar isn't on the side, or where other sets of links (user panel, footer panel) are also moved to one side or near the navigation bar. The title as it stands was selected for a reason. A redirect here from Manual:Sidebar would be helpful, of course. 14:42, 4 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK so you might use a skin where the sidebar is not actually on the side. But you still edit it by editing the MediaWiki:Sidebar page. This is the name MediaWiki developers have given it. What about the case where your MediaWiki:Sidebar page doesn't have a 'navigation' heading? -- Harry Wood 14:35, 21 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In one particular location, we refer to allow_url_fopen as the "marching ant of doom", but it doesn't make it the canonical name. :) I still think that "navigation bar" overall makes more sense, to more people, regardless of their skin preferences. robchurch | talk 18:37, 21 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unlocking the sidebar file?[edit]

For newbies/nonprogrammers like myself, it would be helpful to tell us how to unlock the Mediawiki:Sidebar page. I'm having a hard time finding it anywhere in the documentation. (Sarah Kanouse)-- 20:04, 6 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No need to do any programming Sarah. The page is 'protected' by default. You need to login as user with 'sysop' permissions to edit the sidebar. Look at 'special pages' -> 'user list'. See who is sysop. Ask them to do it. ...or is it your own wiki installation. In that case you need to log in as the WikiSysop user you configured when you installed it. When logged in as the right user, you can edit the page as normal -- Harry Wood 12:47, 25 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I found when I first installed MediaWiki on my server that I could not edit the MediaWiki:Sidebar. I tried everything I had found in articles here and elsewhere but to no avail. I then had a bright idea :), make a new user and give him sysop rights. I then logged in and was able to edit the MediaWiki:Sidebar with the new user. I am still not able to edit the MediaWiki:Sidebar with the original bureaucrat/sysop admin. (1.6.10) TonyE

Please, somebody help me! I just CAN'T modify my own wiki sidebar. I've tried everything, the default sysop user, another sysop user, the specialpages:allmessages in the sidebar part, i don't know what to do! It stills remain unchanged and I can not access it via the URL location yourwiki/here/MediaWiki:Sidebar... could somebody give me some advices? --Adr3000 15:53, 12 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Adr3000 try yourwiki/here/index.php?title=MediaWiki:Sidebar&action=edit --Zbot_1 12:51, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@TonyE Could you detail the steps followed to create the new user account, maybe I am not doing it right(?). --Zbot_1 12:54, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Opposed to Adr3000, I *can* see the page, though I can't edit it. Version 1.6.10. I tried TonyE's solution above with no luck. I cannot edit MediaWiki:Sidebar with the original bureaucrat/sysop admin. Tried everything on the web for giving group permissions in LocalSettings.php. A little frustrating. --Zbot_1 12:55, 29 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I too am unable to edit the sidebar. This is my wiki, I am the admin, I have "sysop" rights. Yet there's no "edit" tab. If i do the ?action=edit manually, it says: You do not have permission to edit pages, for the following reason: This page has been locked to prevent editing What is going on? Note i'm using Auth_phpBB extension, would that interfere? Davecotter 05:28, 21 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@DP I am also having a problem getting changes to the sidebar to appear. So far I have tried Clearing the cache, touching the usersetting.php. truncating the objectcache table. I have also checked for sysop rights. I can edit the MediaWiki:SideBar but the changes never appear in the site. Any help would be appreciated.
That's probably because the page is called MediaWiki:Sidebar. —Emufarmers(T|C) 11:48, 23 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DP My page is spelled correctly as MediaWiki:Sidebar I can make any changes to the page without any errors but the page will not show up in the side bar no matter what I do. Is there some other configuration that must be set to enable the sidebar?
Make sure you're using the right skin. Some of them don't use the sidebar at all. Egingell 20:09, 23 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I too have navigation editing problems using the MonoBook default skin. At first no edit button was available, so I manually typed in the edit link, after doing this the edit button appeared. I have the rights to edit it now but no changes are shown. Deleting my cache and trying different browsers has no effect. I too am using the Auth_phpBB extension and judging by the amount of people reporting it here, I would put that as a possible cause.

I have the same problem with the sidebar and I am not using the Auth_phpBB extension. The problem resulted when I upgraded to 1.6.10. I'm using the Monobook skin.

When I place http://mywiki/index.php/MediaWiki:Sidebar in my browser, I am able to edit what looks like the navigation sidebar. But if I save this, all that's happened is for a new page to be created called 'MediaWiki:Sidebar' and absolutely nothing has changed to the navigation bar !! This is the most basic edit that anyone would want to do as soon as they've installed their Wiki - why is there no documentation about this ?

I've got the same problem on a fresh 1.16.1 install. Tried to clear cache (browser, server, wiki) and still no effect when I change the MediaWiki:Sidebar page. It seems like the wiki don't use this page at all...
Make sure you're editing the right page (it's case-sensitive). —Emufarmers(T|C) 03:58, 12 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


how do you change the color of the text on the first-level headings?? example: on my wiki I want to change the words "navigation", "search" and "toolbox" to be all in white. --BenMcLean 21:19, 6 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry I can't answer this question exactly, but I do know what you're asking is a skinning question, not something that can be done in wikitext. You'll have to mess around with the files of the 'skins' directory.-- 06:32, 8 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I created a new section at the bottom. We should add more detail about skinning w.r.t. the sidebar -- Harry Wood 12:47, 25 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, leave that for the general skinning information, when that's written. 15:01, 4 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You don't have to change anything about the skins file, to change the name of navigation go to MediaWiki:Navigation, for search go to MediaWiki:Search, for toolbox go to MediaWiki:Toolbox. 18:27, 22 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

He wants to change their colour, not their wording. 10:45, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So to actually answer the question...
have a look for the '#p-navigation a' CSS entry, and add a text 'color' definition like this:
#p-navigation a {
    display: block;
This will change the links ('a' elements) to be yellow
So I guess Manual:Skins is the place where this kind of thing should be explained? That page needs some work. In the meantime see also 'Skins' on meta -- Harry Wood 01:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The answer to all this problem is to insert this code at the end of the main.css file of your skin:

.portlet h5 {
       color: yellow;

To find this out I opened the page source of my wiki's Main Page and looked at what class the corresponding text belongs to. XApple 01:40, 15 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You don't need to edit any CSS files for this, just add the CSS to MediaWiki:Custom.css or MediaWiki:{skin name}.css --Egingell (talk) 06:00, 3 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Problem changing the navigation/sidebar[edit]

After changing MediaWiki:Sidebar, the changes appear on the top like links change "mainpage, community portal, etc... but i wan to add links at left side where is tool box links. how can i change left side links. can some one tell me.

After changing MediaWiki:Sidebar, the changes don't appear on the pages until I edit the pages. Is that the expected behavior?

And I can't figure out how to make the new navigation show up on the Main Page -- just editing that doesn't seem to be sufficient.

Nevermind. It seems there's just a delay as that change propagates. See also the discussion at Help:Navigation bar. I'm new enough that I don't know when to use the Manual vs. Help - but in this case the Help page seems more complete.

Bottom section of the rewritten version of this page. 15:02, 4 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm having the same problem, and none of the suggested actions (touch, action=purge, etc) seems to have any effect. I am running 1.4.5. Does this work only on later versions of MediaWiki? -- 03:51, 22 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This documentation was written with current releases in mind. Take a look at these Google results for information on 1.4.x - and please upgrade to at least the latest 1.4.x release, which is 1.4.15; it contains a vast number of security and data corruption fixes. 10:42, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Getting very much the same problem (with 1.6.8). If I go to MediaWiki:Sidebar and look at what's there vs. what's in the navigation bar, they are nothing alike. I've tried everything I can find anywhere to fix this, and it just doesn't work. -- 18:26, 5 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just add &action=purge onto the end of the URL, and that will clear the cache for that page and show any skin changes you've made. 12:05, 15 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm having this issue with 1.7.1. If I change the sidebar page, I can see the changes there, but nowhere else in the wiki. I've tried trunacting the objectcache table, touching the LocalSettings.php file, clearing my browser's cache, closing and opening my browser, purging the page manually through the purge action to no avail! Why is it so hard to view the changes in the sidebar? (Enrique Delgado) 14:24, 23 October 2006 (UTC). Update: I found a workaround in this blog until we get a definitive solution. (Enrique Delgado) 14:08, 24 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Added a paragraph at the very end describing a another possible reason why changes to the sidebar might not show up in the live wiki. Since this failure mode was not covered in this article before, I think it is a valid addition. Hans Ecke 23:41, 14 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have installed 1.9 and simply cannot change the sidebar. I tried everything, edited the content of MediaWiki:Sidebar, truncated, touched, reloaded, and so on... I have found that the actual navigation is defined in the languages/messages/MessagesEn.php file, beginning from line 446. I can only change the sidebar by changing the content of this file. What am I doing wrong, why isn't it working with the MediaWiki:Sidebar thing as described? -- 21:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just installed 9.3.1. Here is what I did to edit the sidebar:

  • log in as a sysop
  • go to Special pages | System messages
    • you will see a table with two columns
    • the left colum is headed Name
    • all messages are listed here, alphabetically by name
  • find the message sidebar in this list
    • the name sidebar in the left column is a link
    • there is a separate link below each name Talk
  • click on the sidebar link
    • you will see a new page labelled MediaWiki:Sidebar
  • press the Edit tab
    • you will see the list described elsewhere, i.e. *navigation etc.
  • edit this page as needed
  • save this page
  • the navigation list will change on your browser
  • The next time you enter the System messages list, the sidebar entry will have a different background color and the box to the right will be split horizontally into the original (default), above, and your revised version, below.

--AJim 00:12, 3 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We found out that changes of the MediaWiki:Sidebar do not appear if $wgUseDatabaseMessages is set to false.

Two items on one line[edit]

Is there any way to link to two items on one line, for example, a blog and its RSS feed? I've tried separating the items with spaces, slashes, double-brackets, and more, but none of it works. AdamRetchless 17:18, 8 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah that kind of thing might be impossible (without by passing the sidebar contents mechanism in the skin php code) Anyone know? -- Harry Wood 12:47, 25 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It will require improvements to the sidebar handling code...but the English Wikipedia are pondering something like this, so it might get implemented soon. Watch this space. ;) 10:45, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Any progress on this since 2 years ago? ;) --Tekmosis 21:50, 29 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah, use the CustomNavBlocks extension. You can completely customise the Sidebar using it. Works great, IMO. Perspectoff 17:26, 3 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

sidebar for anon[edit]

Is there a way to have a different sidebar for logged in users and anonymous users? -- 01:40, 12 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not at this time, although it might not be too difficult to hack in. 10:45, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can probably do something similar to what I did to get different namespaces to have their own sidebars. In includes/Skin.php there is a function called buildSidebar. Just edit that to check for $wgUser->isLoggedIn() and called a different system message than Sidebar.
if ($wgUser->isLoggedIn()) { $lines = explode( "\n", wfMsgForContent( 'sidebar' ) ); } else { $lines = explode( "\n", wfMsgForContent( 'anon_sidebar' ) ); }
Then in your Wiki, go to MediaWiki:anon_sidebar and create your new sidebar.
You can change the content of the sidebar with this code and restrict the modifications to anonymous users. --WIKImaniac 22:27, 1 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This Mod sounds awesome, but on my wiki it does nothing... I added "global $wgUser;" , then deleted the line "$lines = explode( "\n", wfMsgForContent( 'sidebar' ) );" and added the code in that position - no error, but the second sidebar is not seen (i created it as described in the manual) I´m using Mediawiki 1.11! Thanks for Help

Also broken in 1.12.0: "Fatal error: Call to a member function isLoggedIn() on a non-object in /home/intspeib/public_html/mediawiki-1.12.0/includes/Skin.php on line 1626" Singalen

I got the same error with 1.12.0. But after adding global $wgUser it worked for me -- 14:24, 20 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Using the technique there a way to get a different sidebar for different UserGroups. I tried using the technique i used in my Common.js where i:
if('sysop' in $wgUserGroups) something
else something else
but that doesnt seem to be working. Also tried using $wgUser->getEffectiveGroups() but that evidently made a string of values and so i tried exploding it but not quite sure what the identifier should be (assumed '\n'). Any assistance would be grand
Goldbishop 05:48, 5 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Search Box and Toolbox[edit]

Is there any way to change what is shown in the search box and the toolbox?

  • Edit the skin. For example, if using the Monobook skin, edit the Monobook.php file. Note that the toolbox contains context-dependent items which change according to the properties of the page being viewed. 10:45, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Toolbox code, for example, is in the p-tb portlet code (in the Monobook.php file, for example). Editing the PHP code there will enable you to customise the Toolbox for that particular skin. If you merely wish to hide some of the options of the Toolbox, for example, you can comment out the relevant sections ( using /** */ ). --Perspectoff (talk) 17:09, 31 July 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By editing Mediawiki:Monobook.css and adding the code below (MW 1.16.0). It does not display the searchbox (#p-search) and the contents of the toolbox (#t-...). --Sigbert 07:40, 6 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
#p-search {display:none;}
#t-recentchangeslinked { display: none; }
#t-trackbacklink { display: none; }
#t-print { display: none; }
#t-permalink { display: none; }
#t-specialpages { display: none; }
Or to hide the whole toolbox
#p-tb { display: none; }

Understanding the Indirection Used for the Sidebar[edit]

Am relatively new to all this but have already set up a handfull of wiki's!

It took me several reads and some experiments to understand that "indirection" is being used by the Sidebar. This when the example mentions:

**portal-url|Community Portal

Its going to go to look in system message for portal-url. This is the same as the page called MediaWiki:Portal-url. In the my (default) version, the page MediaWiki:Portal-url contains one line reading: Project:Community Portal. That then causes it to look for a page named "Community Portal" in my project. In my wiki, that page did not initially exist - but it is an editable page - so people can contribute to that page.

So - whatever is on the first line of that MediaWiki:Portal-url page will be the actual page that is opened - its one level of indirection!

That had me totally confused for a while!!

I thought I'd share that in case others are suffering from the same confusion. --Wodenickel 02:34, 29 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks a lot, man! I had no clue where to find the place to edit this "portal-url" thing, and your hint helped me! :) Capmo 05:01, 11 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Context-dependent navigation bar[edit]

Is there a way to get a navigation bar that contains context-dependent items which change according to the namespace of the page being viewed? -- 19:09, 29 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A quick change to includes/Skin.php will get you want you need. The code below will keep Sidebar for all system namespaces and allow you to create new ones for custome namespaces.
global $wgLang, $wgContLang;
global $wgLang, $wgContLang, $wgTitle;
and then replace
$lines = explode( "\n", wfMsgForContent( 'sidebar' ) );
$NameSpaceNumber = $wgTitle->getNamespace();
if ($NameSpaceNumber < 100) {
$lines = explode( "\n", wfMsgForContent( 'sidebar' ) );
} else {
if($NameSpaceNumber & 1) {
  $NameSpaceNumber -= 1;
$lines = explode( "\n", wfMsgForContent( 'sidebar_'.$NameSpaceNumber ) );


with (alternate 1)
// Change the default sidebar to a custom one (MediaWiki:Sidebar_[NS_NUM] if it exists) on any namespace,
// not just custom namespaces. If MediaWiki:Sidebar_[NS_NUM] doesn't exists, use MediaWiki:Sidebar.
$sideBar_str = wfMsgForContent( 'sidebar_'.$NameSpaceNumber );

if ($sideBar_str != '&lt;sidebar_'.$NameSpaceNumber . '&gt;' ) {
    $lines = explode( "\n", $sideBar_str );
} else {
    $lines = explode( "\n", wfMsgForContent( 'sidebar' ) );
with (alternate 2)
// Change the default sidebar to include a custom one (MediaWiki:Sidebar_[NS_NUM] if it exists)
// on any namespace, not just custom namespaces.
$sideBar_str_default = wfMsgForContent( 'sidebar' );
$sideBar_str_custom = wfMsgForContent( 'sidebar_'.$NameSpaceNumber );

if ($sideBar_str_custom != '&lt;sidebar_'.$NameSpaceNumber.'&gt;' ) {
    $sideBar_str_default .= "\n" . $sideBar_str_custom;

// Remove dupes. See array_unique()
$lines = array_unique(explode( "\n", $sideBar_str_default ));
In my two alternates above:
MediaWiki:Sidebar => Default Sidebar
MediaWiki:Sidebar_[NS_NUM] => Custom Sidebar for [NS_NUM]

Note: You can get the namespace number from Special:Prefixindex. Look at the URL in the Location/Address bar of your web browser, it will look like this:

[Your Wiki Site]/index.php?title=Special%3APrefixindex&from=&namespace=[NS_NUM]

</Egingell 08:23, 20 April 2007 (UTC)>Reply[reply]

You can then access the new sidebar inside your wiki by going to the page MediaWiki:Sidebar_[NS_NUM] (i.e. MediaWiki:Sidebar_100 for the first custom namespace)
Yup, you'd have to code it yourself at the moment. I imagine in Output.php. There's a call you can do to find out what namespace your in, then have a
 case 01: //load x
 case 02: //loady
etc This is a crappy explanation if you can't code, but at the moment thats the only way you'll get it I beleive!! --Rick 15:35, 19 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here's an idea - I reckon you could probably customise the navigation using CSS. The body tag has a class "ns-x" where x is the number of the namespace. Also, each portlet (box in the sidebar) has it's own ID, which is "p-header" where "header" is the text that sits above the box. So you can setup your sidebar code (at MediaWiki:sidebar) like this:
* box1
** item1|label1
** item2|label2
* box2
** item3|label3
** item4|label4
You could then add some css to MediaWiki:common.css to show/hide content for individual namespaces. So to show only box1 in the main namespace, and only box 2 in all other namespaces, you would use:
 .ns-0 #p-box2 {
    display: none;   /* Hide box2 in the main namespace */
 #p-box1 {
    display: none;   /* Stop display of box1 in all namespaces */
 .ns-0 #p-box1 {
    display: block;  /* Re-enable the display of box1 for just the main namespace. */
I haven't tested the above, so it may not work on all browsers (or even at all!) but it's worth testing out, I think. Let me know how you get on. It works, --HappyDog 15:48, 19 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

MediaWiki:Sidebar - 'no Page matches'?[edit]

When I enter 'MediaWiki:Sidebar' in the search-field and hit 'go' as specified in the FAQ, I just get the search results page that tells me that the page doesn't exist. I get no option of creating or editing the page. If I enter MediaWiki:Sidebar after the URL in the address-field in my browser when looking at the mainpage, I do get the option of creating and editing the page, but changes do not show up in the navigation bar (and I cannot edit the current content of the bar..)

Am I missing something?

annon - 22:56, 1 September 2006

this old version should answer your question. Someone got rid of all that explaination because it wasn't compact enough -- Harry Wood 20:32, 7 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
oh bugger.. I'm running version 1.4.15 or something.. just did an apt-get mediawiki, without checking which version that installed.. thanks for the pointer though. Installing a much newer version now :)

Sidebar: a disappearing trick[edit]

(posted monday, 6 nov 2006) My sidebar has 'disappeared' upon changing. I have scoured the help pages and tried several things including those suggested in this page such as:

  • the suggestion above to locate the sidebar "MediaWiki:Sidebar - 'no Page matches'?" - that worked, and I located and edited it; after several restarts and purging caches that sidebar simply did not show up.
Make sure you do not have an ill formatted MediaWiki:Sidebar page. If it is formatted incorrectly it will disappear. --Rogerhc 23:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • found a suggestion for 'touching' localsettings.php (to force a refresh), which I tried, and something did show up. I could see a navigation bar, but it showed the text 'Sidebar' in angled brackets instead of showing the contents of the file.
  • so, I tried to add a new navigation block as the post above suggests "adding additional navigation blocks" - created another menu as a separate page and edited monobook.php. Again, I can see a navigation bar, but it shows the text 'AnotherMenu' in angled brackets instead of showing the contents of the file.
  • Based on the post about redirection, tried to explicitly point to the file by changing the reference to 'AnotherMenu' in monobook.php to 'MediaWiki:AnotherMenu' and now that text shows up in angled brackets

So far, about five hours pouring over all manners of suggestions and tutorials on the web has not yielded a solution. Thanks in advance for your help. I realize that this is not a great addition to this page but I hope that this will lead us to a simple answer regarding navigation bars that I will compile and post to the Manual. From what I can see, I seem to be using MediaWiki 1.8.2 (on a MediaWiki hosting service for a little less than a week).

Format of sidebar code[edit]

This manual page says that you can write ** Special:Recentchanges|Recent changes on it. Although you can this causes a validation error as they also make the id's of the li's. Every entry should be configured using ** recentchanges-url|recentchages style code, they can then be edited at MediaWIki:recentchanges-url and MediaWiki:recentchanges (this will obviously change depending on what you put as the link. Lcarsdata (Talk) 16:34, 8 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is a known and still-open bug; the values need to be sanitised before use as identifiers in that fashion, rather than removing heavily-used and helpful functionality. robchurch | talk 04:53, 22 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

History moved from meta[edit]

In order to comply with the GFDL, I have copied the old history of this page from meta. This page was created from the version as of 19th November 2005. Between November 2005 and June 2006 both versions of the page were edited independently - the changes made at meta have not been incorporated into this version of the article (although they exist in the history which may cause some confusion if stepping through it manually). Go here To see the original history on meta.

I also copied the talk page history. The old discussion from meta is now merged with the discussion page history here, and the final version from meta is available on the Archived discussion from meta sub-page. --HappyDog 19:05, 2 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is there a way to toss some images into the wiki sidebar? Like, if I want to make an image for where the word "navigation" is, how would I go about it? I can try just, you know, normally embedding an image, and it works when I preview the article, but when I save it, it'll just ignore displaying the image. Or is there just a limitation in height/width that I don't know of and am not following? -- 01:34, 11 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You might be able to do it using CSS. --HappyDog 02:24, 11 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Um... Just making sure I understand where you're going with this... Are you suggesting I put the image in the template that I'm using, and then use the CSS position attribute to put the image where I want it? I mean, I think I can see how that can work, but it just kind of seems weird to do something like that... Is there a reason why the text "navigation", "resources", etc text isn't and can't be parsed like an article? -- 04:53, 17 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Providing you've set up your sidebar correctly, then you should be able to add something like this to MediaWiki:common.css
#n-recentchanges {
   background-image: url(...);
   background-position: top left;
   background-repeat: no-repeat;
   padding-left: 20px;
This would add an image to the left of the recent changes link. Set padding-left to the width of your image. You can also do funky things like hide the bullet point, I should imagine. Take a look at the html source and you will see the IDs for each of the links, or alternatively you can use the id of the containing div, or even the 'pBody' class to affect the whole box, or all boxes. Hope that helps - it's from memory so some of the details might be wrong, but that should give you enough to go on. --HappyDog 19:26, 18 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That appears to work JUST EXCELLENT for me (and, ignore the IP Addresses, I'm the same guy that started this, just that I've switched locations since then). Thanks! Google yourself a cookie and eat it! :D-- 08:44, 19 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks! It tasted great, but then I logged off and my browser deleted it. A great way to stay thin! :) --HappyDog 23:56, 7 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Very nice that it is supposed to work. But when I make the changes to MediaWiki:common.css nothing is happening. No changes.. I work with monobook. Any ideas? And does the formatting of the common.css make any difference? --ArminT 13:59, 16 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would like to add an image with a link. Is that also possible via css? If not, do you have another idea? -- 09:43, 20 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I was able to work this out CSS on Vector skin. First created two items on top of MediaWiki:Sidebar
** #|temp-banner
** #| 

The first one is the image per-se, second is just a space/line break. Then on MediaWiki:Common.css

/* That will place a temporary campaign/launch/event/whatever image right down the main logo - pretty useful hun? nah  */
#n-temp-banner { display: block !important; font-size: 10px; text-indent: -999px; background-image: url(''); background-position: top left; background-repeat: no-repeat; padding-left: 20px; padding-bottom: 20px; }
#n-\2e C2\2e A0 { display: block; font-size: 10px; text-indent: -999px; }

Worked flawless. Felipesmattos (talk) 17:09, 29 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Cannot edit navigation bar[edit]

I have just downloaded and installed the latest version of MediaWiki 1.9.0 When I enter "MediaWiki:Sidebar" into the "search" box nothing is found.

When I go via "All pages" I find MediaWiki:Sidebar/en. I can edit this page, but my modifications are never reflected in the navigation / side bar.

This is because system messages are no longer stored in the wiki if unmodified. Simply create that page manually. Lcarsdata (Talk) 10:50, 19 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

MediaWiki:Sidebar/en is ignored, edit MediaWiki:Sidebar instead, see m:Help:System message#MediaWiki namespace.--Patrick 22:12, 19 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding Web Links[edit]

I would like to add external links to the sidebar, but I don't seem to know the trick. Does anyone know how to add eternal links to the sidebar? Thanks

I have had a similar problem. I want to add a link to an RSS Feed. I'm using

* http://(mydomain)/w/index.php?title=Special:Newpages&feed=rss%7CNew items

but it keeps putting the link in the box as "INVALID-TITLE". I've tried changing the title, changing names, etc. Using 1.9. JustinLong 03:14, 18 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It appears to be choking on the ampersand. Escaping it as "&amp;" doesn't work because there's still an ampersand present, and escaping it as "%26" doesn't work because that gets passed all the way through into the title of the page. I don't know what to do about it. I'm trying to get a wiki edit ("...&action=edit") link into the navigation bar and I'm running into the same problem. --Midorigin 02:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I expanded the text:
Else, target itself is taken as link target (this does not work for some external links, notably those with "&" in it; use the first method instead: make a page in the MediaWiki namespace)
Patrick 08:17, 2 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You *can* choose one of the system messages (Special:Allmessages) and edit it to reflect your url. Example: portal-url ---> www.your.url

Changing portal-url works just fine BUT... just putting "** <url> | <name>" doesn't, as I read above text it should! it's not just the ampersand it's the complete method of putting external links in the navigation page that gives a hickup. And than it just opens in the same browser screen (after renaming portal-url to the desired url). Is there a way to open into a new browser tab of window? ArminT 19:19, 19 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On addition to my own idiot mind... You will have to format just correctly, so no spaces in front off or behind the "|" in the syntax and it just works like a charm.. (Blame me :)) ArminT 19:19, 19 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


You can also make you're own and add that to the list. Lcarsdata (Talk) 10:50, 19 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

parameters to sidebar entries?[edit]

I'm still unsure how to properly work around this - the docs for this alternate xxx-url reference escape me. I merely want to add a link in the nav bar that shows recent changed by anonymous users. For example

** recentchanges-url|recentchanges

but with the added parameter &hideliu=1 but this doesn't work:

** recentchanges-url&hideliu=1|anon edits

What to do??

Go to MediaWiki:recentchanges-url-anon and create a new article with this as the only content:
and this in the sidebar:
** recentchanges-url-anon|anon edits
--Egingell (talk) 20:02, 17 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

linking to category?[edit]

I'm trying to modify the sidebar so that a few links will link directly to the category page they reference, but so far everything i've tried has not worked. some help on this would be great.

   nevermind, found it on another site. use the format "Category:Proverbs|Proverbs"
Don't - that is invalid usage and will generate bad xml. use transclusion like you're supposed to and put :Category:Proverbs in the link page. Lcarsdata (Talk) 10:49, 19 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I have made a simple external link to the webadress of the category, like
** | Ente

--Ossip Groth (talk) 13:33, 16 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is it possible to create more than one item level in the navigation bar?


  • Mainpage
  • MediaWiki-Portal
    • Users
      • Peter
      • Thomas
    • Events
  • Forum
See Bugzilla:3597 which has an ugly hack to do this. --D0li0 23:03, 15 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My answer on SO --2nd 13:46, 18 May 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding link targets[edit]

any way to add a target attribute to a link, so that it opens in a new window? Dingfelder 21:15, 7 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Images in the navigation bar[edit]

This is a suggestion that tries to promote the idea of adding images to the sidebar using the same method of adding links to the sidebar. As yet this suggestion has not been implemented and there is no way of easily adding images to the sidebar.

It is a fact that it is easy to add a link in the navigation bar by using this syntax:

** mainpage|mainpage 

It is suggested that someone should develop a way of adding a picture as background in the navigation bar. A picture per link. This would enable a clickable image/picture. It is suggested that a simple syntax such as


would be a very useful feature. This would be a great feature but I haven't seen any reference to it elsewhere. If it does exist please provide details. Mind2mind 23:18, 29 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can not find any possibilities within meta, mediawiki of wikipedia help pages. Is this at all possible? Or just a nice (as I see it) feature to have? ArminT 13:40, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Circumvent the '&' Bug[edit]

  • You can circumvent the ampersand bug by (example):
  • Create a new page in the MediaWiki namespace (such as MediaWiki:MW_Google_Search)
  • Add a URL to said page (such as
  • Add the page's sub title to MediaWiki:Sidebar like so:
** MW_Google_Search|Google: MediaWiki
  • This also allows for some dynamics:
  • Special:Export/{{FULLPAGENAME}} in MediaWiki:Export_This, for example, and "** Export_This|Export Article" in MediaWiki:Sidebar would generate a link to Special:Export/Some Page with text "Export Article" in the sidebar when navigating to Some Page.
  • Note: Seems that if you make a link to an internal page, such as "MediaWiki:Sidebar&action=edit", the link will try to create a new page, in this case a page named "MediaWiki:Sidebar%26action%3Dedit".
  • For this, you need to put the full URL into the page in the MediaWiki namespace as if it were an external link.

(Updated) Egingell 16:04, 23 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above example does not work... unless the problem is, there is no documentation on what is meant by "put the full URL into the page in the MediaWiki namespace" - if this means putting the URL in the edit area, it still does not work. It merely shows the MediaWiki page and does no redirect. Please advise. --Pile 19:48, 17 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't know what you find confusing about "put the full URL into the page in the MediaWiki namespace". Seems to me that means exactly what it says. Go to MediaWiki:Some Page, plop a URL in there, and click "Save page". I have no problem with this on my Wiki. Show me (link) where it doesn't work. --Egingell (talk) 20:07, 17 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • What versions does this trick work on? The live example seems to be missing or doesn't align with the google search example above.

Separated Menus Not Visible with Cologne Blue[edit]

Anyone got some suggestions on why it doesn't work to have separate menus, like we have here on MediaWiki (site, download etc) with the skin Cologne Blue? --Dr DBW 00:44, 5 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Have also asked on the meta pages for this skin, m:Talk:Cologne Blue skin problems#Separated Menus Not Visible with Cologne Blue. --Dr DBW 00:47, 5 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See bugzilla:2557. --HappyDog 01:11, 28 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to add sub-pages of "special:nnnpages" to navigation bar?[edit]

Peter Blaise says: I can add special:allpages to the navigation menu, but I can't add any of the sub-pages that any user can select from within special:allpages, such as all talk pages and so on. It seems that special:allpages brings all pages only in the namespece = 0, but if I want to just see talk pages, and that's namespace = 1, how would I add a link to that in the navigation menu?

I tried many iterations of the following:

With a space on either side of the | (pipe character)

  • http://our-wiki-url/mediawiki/index.php?title=Special%3AAllpages&from=&namespace=1 | Discussion/talk index

Without space at the | (pipe character)

  • http://our-wiki-url/mediawiki/index.php?title=Special%3AAllpages&from=&namespace=1|Discussion/talk index

With single [ ] (single brackets)

  • [http://our-wiki-url/mediawiki/index.php?title=Special%3AAllpages&from=&namespace=1 | Discussion/talk index]

With double [[ ]] (double brackets)

  • [[http://our-wiki-url/mediawiki/index.php?title=Special%3AAllpages&from=&namespace=1 | Discussion/talk index]]

With internal abbreviation:

  • Special:Allpages&from=&namespace=1

... and so on, for many more tries and iterations, and all it results in is either NOT showing up in the navigation menu, or showing up but linking to


Argh! HELP! How can I permit a visitor to see all talk pages in one step?

I want it to look like this, AND work:

  • Main Page
  • Community portal
  • Current events
  • Recent changes
  • Random page
  • Help
  • Tell us what you think
  • Article index
  • Discussion/talk index

All links in the navigation menu above work EXCEPT the "Discussion/talk index" link which just brings up


Thanks! -- Peter Blaise peterblaise 19:59, 8 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See my section Circumvent the '&' Bug (above) --Egingell (talk) 16:01, 23 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Egingell's suggestion does not appear to work.. Maybe it only worked with an older version of Wiki?

Do we have a solution to this problem?? --Pile 19:51, 17 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is the official method. I've just explained it a little better. As stated above, show me where it doesn't work. --Egingell (talk) 20:16, 17 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Use reserved names for sidebar[edit]

I finally was able to add links to my sidebar. Simply use 'reserved' (I can't find the correct nomenclature here) word to add the link.

For example, copy and paste "** helppage|help" twice in the sidebar page, and refresh your browser / purge / wait. You should see the added link to the sidebar. Hope it helps!

Personal sidebar extension (JavaScript)[edit]

If anybody is interested, I have made a JavaScript extension to customize the sidebar by placing file with an extended format of MediaWiki:Sidebar at User:xxx/MediaWiki:Sidebar. You can use standard entry names which will be looked up in the MediaWiki namespace, including localisation. You can also use quoted entry names which will be put straight into the nav bar without looking them up. You can also use {{PAGENAME}} in any URL. It does not support defining multiple portals at this time.

Source: wikt:en:User:Hippietrail/personalsidebar.js

Sample sidebar def: wikt:en:User:Hippietrail/MediaWiki:Sidebar

Hippietrail 02:42, 3 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • I feel that it should be noted that not all skins handle the sidebar the same way.
    • Some only show the first section.
    • Some don't use the sidebar at all.
  • Prepackaged Skins
    • Chick
      • Shows the whole sidebar
    • Classic
      • Only shows the first section
    • Cologne Blue
      • Only shows the first section
    • MonoBook
      • Shows the whole sidebar
    • MySkin
      • Shows the whole sidebar
    • Nostalgia
      • Does not show the sidebar
    • Simple
      • Shows the whole sidebar

--Egingell (talk) 04:26, 3 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is already mentioned in the article, except for the fact that Nostalgia doesn't show the sidebar at all. Feel free to edit the page. —Pathoschild 06:01:27, 03 August 2007 (UTC)
I created a new bug for the Nostalgia skin and added it and the skin to the article. --Egingell (talk) 21:11, 3 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


How can i hide the toolbox for anonymous users or restrict access? Using MW 1.11.0 and gumax skin. I don't want for anon users to see/have access to SpecialPages. -- 12:39, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's an extension, which uses the userCan hook, you can use to block access to any page in the Special sudo-namespace. As for not showing it in the toolbox, you might have to hack something into Gumax.php in the skins directory. -- --Egingell (talk) 20:36, 23 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  1. Restrict access to all specialpages with Extension:Lockdown.
  2. Remove unwanted links from sidebar and toolbox with this code. You can also restrict this removal to unregistered users.
--WIKImaniac 22:15, 1 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How do I hide the sidebar for unregistered users?[edit]

Is there a way to hide the sidebar for unregistered users please? My wiki is setup with read permissions for registered users, and I do not want to display the sidebar to UNregistered users, only to egistered users. So when a unregistered user goes to the wiki it get's redirected to the loginpage as normal, but does not see the sidebar. Or even a custom free-layout loginpage. Thanks Hfwang

Hello Hfwang, with this code you can remove links from the sidebar and the toolbox, and you can also restrict this removal to unregistered users. --WIKImaniac 22:12, 1 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Limit on Sidebar Boxes[edit]

I have been trying for ever to get more than 3 sidebar boxes. I can't figure it out nor can I find anything on this site related to the issue. I add more than 3 boxes and only 3 boxes show up. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks Steve

You realize that the format for the sidebar is '*'-main topic (ie. navigation, information, toolbox) and then the '**'- sub-topic. In effect the '*' is the creation of the box and then fills the box with all the '**' that come afterwards until it meets another '*'. Goldbishop 06:01, 5 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

adding interwiki links to the sidebar[edit]

This may not actually be a sidebar issue at all but we recently upgraded to 1.11 and in doing so we lost all of our interwiki links from the sidebar. The interwiki links themselves still work so the interwiki table was left intact. The issue is with their inclusion in the sidebar, like languages on wikimedia sites. I am baffled. I have a suspicion that this is not in the sidebar file but where is it. --Metal.lunchbox 00:26, 20 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

JavaScript links[edit]

Is it possible to call a JavaScript function from the sidebar (eg. ** javascript:toggleMe();|Toggle)? I've tried all sorts of things, but nothing's worked. I'd like to do the monobook hack, but I'm using somebody else's server for the wiki, and don't think I can access monobook.php. 09:52, 5 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Intranet Link in Sidebar[edit]


I want to put an intranet link in the sidebar. e.g. ** \\<IP-Adress>\home\|Homeshare (would be the nicest way...) Is there any chance to do this?

Thanks for your help

Placing the search box at the top[edit]

Is there any way to ensure that the search box is placed above the other items on the sidebar ? thanks 03:20, 25 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should be able to do that by editing monobook.php -- Harry Wood 10:20, 27 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is no need at all to edit MonoBook.php for that! Just edit "MediaWiki:Sidebar" as you would normally to customize it, and use the reserved words SEARCH / TOOLBOX / LANGUAGES (in all caps!) to change their relative positions in relation to the navigation box:
* navigation
** foo-url|foo
** bar-url|bar
In the example above, the Search box will be placed on top, then comes the Toolbox, then the Language box (if available) and, at the bottom, the Navigation box. Capmo 00:05, 2 December 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have tried this on my new MediaWiki 1.14 install. When I add the reserved word SEARCH as a bullet point in the position I want it (right below the main navigation box), it just adds a new box labeled "search" with no contents and leaves the normal search box at the bottom, right above the toolbox. Do you have any suggestions? -- 05:55, 18 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, on my mediawiki project too it is impossible to move the search box by reordering the contents of the mediawiki:sidebar page. Is this a feature that was added recently? RedJ 17 01:52, 3 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sidebar width (monobook specific)[edit]

if I do what you write, sidebar with is ok, but main page width don't change ! It's not very pretty... How change main page width ?

Referring to the current page in the sidebar[edit]

Is there a way to call a Template and refer to the current page in the sidebar? For example, is it possible to create a sidebar entry something like this.

{{Google |{{PAGENAME}} }}|Google search for {{PAGENAME}}

When I try it on our local installation, I get an INVALID-TITLE reference. Thanks. -- Russ Abbott 06:11, 16 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

disable: link text name of interface message?[edit]

Hi folks,

I use German as default language, but I have some Englisch linktext (not to mediwii sites) line 'Statistics'. Mediwiki 'translates' these automatically to German (Statsistik). (If the link text is the name of an existing or default interface message...) can i disable this? merci &

Modifying the toolbox (the one generated by php, not the sidebar)[edit]

I have been looking at the php used to generate the toolbox and while some of it is rather straightforward it seems to jump from file to file which makes it more difficult to track.

I am trying to modify the toolbox so that when a user follows a link to a user page the links to my preferences, my watchlist and my contributions show up so I can remove these links from across the top of the page and just leave the one that shows the currently logged in username.

Has anyone seen any pages that talk you thru updating the toolbox that you could send me the links to so i could try to figure out how to do this?


Sidebar width (CSS) works with Firefox / Opera but not Internet Explorer[edit]

The instructions to increase the sidebar's width works fine in Firefox & Opera but in Internet Explorer 6 (don't have 7 to verify) the sidebar overlaps the main content page (seems the main content page still sees sidebar as 120px). Could someone offer tips on a I.E. fix for this problem?

You may need to modify the IE fixes in ./skins/monobook (see this thread for more details).

Can Not Edit Side Bar No Matter What (SOLVED)[edit]

I've googled. I've searched high and low. I've looked in the forums, I've looked everywhere. In all these places I see people who have the exact same problem as I do, and nobody has offered a solution that actually works.

I am the sysop, I own the wiki. But there is no edit tab on the Sidebar page.
I had been using phpbb authentication, but i removed it in case it was interfering. It's not. And yes I tried ?action=edit, to no avail. Why am i able to delete a page (an obviously sysop priv) but I can't edit it??!?

Can someone PLEASE tell me why there is no edit tab? Or, better, tell me how to grant myself or a specific user permission to edit the gol durn Sidebar!! Davecotter 01:12, 24 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Update: I solved this by deleting the page and re-creating it. Now i have edit privs again. Davecotter 21:47, 25 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yet another "Can't edit."[edit]

I've tried it all. My suspicion is that the NameSpace extension has done something evil to my database. We're in the process of getting rid of the extension, but I've also tried editing without the extension with no luck. Check it out here. Note that the Search Box is not appearing in the correct location. I've also tried other minor edits, touching LocalSettings.php, truncating the objectcache, flushing xcache, restarting, and all of the above to no avail. Please help!

Configure your extensions properly or remove them. —Emufarmers(T|C) 20:51, 12 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Removing the extensions has no effect on the problem.--Pashdown 21:39, 12 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Omit Sidebar from Single Page[edit]

I want to omit the sidebar from some specific pages - is there a command that will allow this action? --Johnyqd 20:46, 3 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Me Too!!!
Well why would you want to remove the sidebar from specific pages. That would lead the user to a dead end page. Goldbishop 06:02, 5 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is that not what "Printable version" is for??
I was wondering this as well. I would like to be able to add iFrames of other wiki pages in a Tech-Support section of my wiki so that people on the phones can navigate easily from one page, instead of multiple pages.

about setAttribute('href', link);[edit]

I use that with firefox.

in the example we have this :

function CustomizeModificationsOfSidebar() {
//adds Special:CategoryTree to toolbox
ModifySidebar("add", "toolbox", "CategoryTree", "w:en:Special:CategoryTree");
//removes Special:Upload from toolbox
ModifySidebar("remove", "toolbox", "Upload file", "w:en:Special:Upload");

But to have a static link : like, is not very interressing.

So I prupose this :

function CustomizeModificationsOfSidebar() {
//adds Special:CategoryTree to toolbox
ModifySidebar("add", "toolbox", "CategoryTree", "./Special:CategoryTree");
//removes Special:Upload from toolbox
ModifySidebar("remove", "toolbox", "Upload file", "./Special:Upload");

I have 2 domain name for the wiki, and It's work well.



Is it possible to change the fonts on the sidebar? Sachein 14:24, 31 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

.portlet .pBody {font-family:"font name here"}. Be sure to have a fallback to a web safe font so the user's browser doesn't choose one randomly. Splarka 07:16, 1 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Language translation[edit]

I have customized my sidebar on my personal wiki with additional links. However if the user uses another default language, everything on the sidebar will be translated to the user's preferred language except for the customized links I've added. Where do I exactly add translation for those links? In my case I'm trying to add translation in Korean, I tried making a Sidebar/ko page but that didn't work. Help please

See Manual:$wgForceUIMsgAsContentMsg. You have to specify the messages to be forced into translation. Splarka 07:38, 7 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for your reply. However there are no examples at all on that page. It would be nice if someone added them since Mediawiki is the main source for people who need to look into tweaking their wiki. --Bluesoju 01:52, 17 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see an example on that page. Don't you? If you add a message to that array, like 'mainpage', then places where it is not forced to translate, such as the logo link or sidebar links (as opposed to text messages that are), then it will be translated. Splarka 07:33, 17 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not a useful example if I don't know what page or what file to put it in. The documentation is hardly thorough for someone who's never done it.--Bluesoju 08:17, 18 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to remove * SEARCH?[edit]

Hi, is where any way to remove the search box from the sidebar? As I deleted the above entry on MediaWiki:Sidebar, it reappears automatically as the last item at the bottom of the sidebar, just after the TOOLBOX. Since I inserted the search box on the main page by using the extension InputBox, SEARCH is not longer required on the sidebar. Thanks a lot for your help. Cheers --Marbot 23:06, 18 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No there isn't. You can just hide it with CSS though (like in MediaWiki:Monobook.css: #p-search {display:none;}. Splarka 01:51, 19 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello Splarka, sometimes solutions are quite easy if you know about them. :-) Thank you very much for your answer and help. I very much appreciate it. Keep up the good work here! Best regards --Marbot 23:25, 19 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to add link sidebar toolbox ( Upload file-->Wikipedia:Upload)[edit]

How to add link sidebar toolbox ( Upload file-->Wikipedia:Upload)

Dear All I am from Bengali Wikipedia ans I am admin there. I want to create same approach to our wiki as English wiki sidebar Toolbox section Upload file link to Wikipedia:Upload. How do you create that? Please explain. If any kind of change to be done in any MediaWiki page, please secify me. I want to create for only registar user can see the Upload file. Thanks in advance.- Jayantanth 18:53, 26 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You need to set the upload image to true in localsettings.php. By default, when you first install the mediawiki program, it is turned off, (false).
## To enable image uploads, make sure the 'images' directory
## is writable, then set this to true:
$wgEnableUploads       = true;
refresh your mediawiki and you should immediatly be able to upload images.
For the future, I find I get better answers faster if I post to Rumpsenate 12:33, 17 July 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Reason for lack of answer was that if he had read the administrators guide, in his native language, then he would have known about the $wgEnableUploads global variable. As such, the general motto is, and im not quoting, "Try at Least!", we will not do your homework for you, but do as many searches as you can within the MediaWiki network and you will find 90% of your answers there. Goldbishop 16:13, 17 July 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Cannot edit sidebar (SOLVED)[edit]

Everybody is probably still looking for the 'edit' link in the MediaWiki:Sidebar page. Just click the 'create' link at the top of the page and you'll see the editable page contents. -- L.Bono 19:21, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Now I'm looking for the 'create' link too ! :)

Linking to another language article[edit]

How does wikipedia link articles on it's sidebar to a version in another language? The article name is usually in another language but are connected to other articles. For example the article "door" (english) is connected with 문 (Korean), and Puerta (Spanish) and languages that are only available are on the sidebar. How do I achieve this? --Bluesoju 16:30, 18 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interwiki#Interwiki_links_to_other_languages. Splarka 07:06, 19 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm using an extension (Paul Gu's) to add AdSense ads to my wiki. Everything seems like it should work: ads display on any page I put them on, but I can't seem to add the ad to the sidebar. I created a header just for the ads. I tried both putting the ad text in a mediawiki message and calling on that in the sidebar, and just putting the ad text in the sidebar. The header is created, but there is nothing underneath it. I realize Paul Gu's website has a forum just for questions about these extensions, but... well, embarassingly enough, I'm unable to pass his forum's captcha and can't register. (It has me doubting my humanity; am I a robot?) So, anyway, does anyone here know if it is possible to put ads there? Can you use special elements like a google ad in a sidebar? It's very small and should fit without a problem... Thanks for any help you can provide. Modrobene 20:10, 30 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Try Extension:Google_AdSense_2. - 17:35, 8 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Erratic Sidebar Display[edit]

Someone who used to administer our wiki hacked our sidebar to implement the Hidden Pages extension, so that if you logged in you would see the restricted namespaces in the sidebar. We just recently upgraded to the latest version, and that namespace hack didn't work at all, and we installed the Lockdown extension instead. But as part of the upgrade we installed the Collection extension, which comes with a section of the sidebar labelled print/export. The print/export sidebar section does not appear, or when it does (when viewing special pages), appears blank. I'm having trouble troubleshooting the issue. For some reason, going to our Special:Allmessages page triggers a memory error in SkinTemplate.php. Anyone know anything that could help? --G.y 16:26, 25 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Still can't remove items from sidebar!!![edit]

Hello - I have desperately been trying to modify my .js and CSS files looking for a way to remove some items from my sidebar. Any help would be greatly appreciated... In particular, I'd like to remove the following items from my sidebar: edit, context, this page, my pages, special pages. I am currently using the cologneblue skin and am new to editing CSS/js. Also -- and now I know i'm being greedy -- is there anyway I can change the remaining sidebar item which says "Browse" to some other title? Thanks in advance -- Dana 23:47, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Restricting to few groups[edit]

I can read that I can restrict removing some parts for special group but I want to restrict to all groups except sysops. I have put into code

if (wgUserGroups.Contains('*','user','emailconfirmed'))

But it looks like it doesn't work

function CustomizeModificationsOfSidebar() {
       ModifySidebar("remove", "toolbox", "Strony specjalne", "");

if (isArray(wgUserGroups)) {
    if (wgUserGroups.Contains('*','user','emailconfirmed')) {

Is this some bug ?

Another solution for adding banners to the sidebar[edit]

I find the following easier, since you don't have to edit the <style>.php file after each upgrade: Tested with MW 16.0 (but it should work with MW 15.0 also I believe). Disclaimer: I am not a programmer ...

Write an extension like this (file name = 'SidebarBannerBox.php'):

 * SidebarBannerBox
 * CREDITS: Idea shamelessly copied from

if ( !defined( 'MEDIAWIKI' ) ) die( "This is an extension to the MediaWiki package and cannot be run standalone." );

$wgExtensionCredits['parserhook'][] = array (
	'path' => __FILE__,
	'name' => 'SidebarBannerBox',
	// 'url' => '',
	'version' => '0.1',
	'author' => "[ Daniel K. Schneider]",
	'descriptionmsg' => 'Adds banner(s) to the sidebar',
); // should be properly localized

$wgHooks['SkinBuildSidebar'][] = 'efSidebarBannerBox';

function efSidebarBannerBox( $skin, &$bar ) {
  global $egSidebarBannerBoxContent, $wgScriptPath;
	// CHANGE this according to your needs
        $out = '<div>';
	$out .= '<a href="">';
	$out .= '<img title=""';
	$out .= 'alt=" - Main Page" ';
	$out .= 'src="' . $wgScriptPath . '/XXX/YYY.png" /></a>'; // or wherever you put your pictures
	$out .= '</div>';

        $out .= '<div>';
	// another banner
	$out .= '</div>';

	$bar['Cool Links'] = $out;
	return true;

then include it in LocalSettings.php:


See also:

- Daniel K. Schneider 09:52, 20 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Customize Vector skin?[edit]

This section of the Manual talks about how to put arbitrary text into the sidebar. Does anyone know how to perform the same change in 1.16 when using the Vector skin which is part of the Usability Initiative? --Gkullberg 18:36, 7 September 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looking at the collapsible menus seems to be an integral part of the vetor skin; but I can't get them activated in my install; despite using the common.js source from LucaPost 17:26, 20 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The collapsible menus are part of the Usability extension. See here for instructions. 16:35, 8 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding log in section to sidebar[edit]

Is is possible to add input boxes for user names and password and a log in button to the sidebar? I have searched the internets to no avail. LasEspuelas 21:13, 14 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


For some reason, even logged in as admin I still cannot get the edit tab to show up. Since it seems to be the same problem many are having, I suppose it's just a deficiency in the program? Giving up on this. thx

Add or remove sections (JavaScript)[edit]

I attempted to use the JavaScript example provided for adding/removing Sidebar content, but it doesn't seem to have any affect. I purged my cached, CTRL+F5 refreshed, re-[touch]ed LocalSetting.php, and restarted apache, but none of that seems to enable the Common.js Sidebar script.

I have other code within Common.js that is currently working, so I know MediaWiki is reading it correctly. Any insights as to why the script isn't working for me?

Using MW 1.16.0 with the Vector Skin. --Enterprise user 21:42, 19 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Having the same problem with Monobook skin. --Superyetkin 00:12, 25 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Having the same issue as well; using Vector skin, MW 1.23.0. -- owl 09:12, 05 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Allow wiki markup (PHP) using Vector skin[edit]

The code is altogether different from my point of view, and I cant see any way to apply the 'hack' from monobook to vector...

I've asked on IRC, and I get no response.


This page explains it.

Simply put, use the same code, but now you replace this:

 $this->renderPortals( $this->data['sidebar'] );

default content[edit]


Reading this page, it's seems the default content of Mediawiki:Sidebar begin with :

* navigation
** mainpage|mainpage

But in a brand new mediawiki installation i made, it contain :

* navigation
** mainpage|mainpage-description

instead. I am myself not really confused about it, but i wonder if the page should be updated to not confuse others or is there a reason why it should remain as is. Thanks. --TulipVorlax 01:30, 20 December 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sidebar customisation using CustomNavBlocks[edit]

Most of the Sidebar customisation desires on this talk page can be solved using the custom Sidebar technique allowed by the CustomNavBlocks extension. I use it to place images, change the format of the Sidebar -- anything. I even place randomly rotating images with captions (for ads, for example) in a block. Details of how I use it are at (and that Mediawiki site has CustomNavBlocks fully implemented). Perspectoff 17:30, 3 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

hide link at users on navigation bar[edit]

Hi, i need to hide a link in my navigation bar at every user, because it is useful only for admins. How can i do that?

wiki version: 1.15.1 || mysql: Ver 14.14 Distrib 5.1.49, for debian-linux-gnu x86 || php: PHP 5.3.3-7+squeeze3 ||

Horizontal sidebar? Hiding the sidebar?[edit]

Is it possible to create a horizontal "sidebar" at the top of the page, to create a "topbar"? Is it possible to hide the sidebar completely? Banaticus (talk) 20:10, 20 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I recently discovered it is possible to hide it in the “Classic” a.k.a. “Standard” skin. You first have to save the preferences with that skin, then when you go back to Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering there is a new option under “Quickbar”. Vadmium (talk) 05:30, 31 January 2013 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Change content width on all pages for Vector skin[edit]

I figured out how to change the sidebar width for the vector skin. Can anyone help me reduce the width of the content section so it's much smaller and it makes the text easier to read?

For example, is there a way to force the page width on all pages on this site to expand to a limited width? Want to avoid it displaying super wide because it's hard to read...

Enable 'Page information' link in Toolbox[edit]

Please explain how the 'Page information' link is enabled in the toolbox. I looks like from the release notes that ?action=info enhancements were added in MediaWiki 1.20, but Manual:$wgAllowPageInfo says this setting was phased out in 1.20 and does not say how to enable the link in the toolbox. If it is 'automatic', that's fine; but new features and when they were released will help us who are on older (i.e. 1.19.2) versions understand. Thanks --DavidBiesack (talk) 14:59, 4 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pdf Export toolbox on SpecialPage:Poll[edit]

Is it somehow possible to get the Pdf export active for a SpecialPage like that Poll extension? I mean the one thing is that this Extensions toolbox link is only appearing on "regular" pages. The other thing is I get "you can create bleh bleh" PDF files if I try to export a Poll to PDF. Or ist it on the other side possible to let a SpecialPage act like a "regular" one? Or is it possible to tell that TOOLBOX creation script treat a SpecialPage like a regular one!

The editing the "MediaWiki:Sidebar" does not have any effect[edit]

I have recently moved my wiki to an subdirectory (and new DNS-lookup ... and most things went as planned. Now the trouble is that the Sidebar only shows the default setting - no matter how I try to edit the "MediaWiki:Sidebar". Any one that can tell what may be the best settings to look for?

Add Iframe to Sidebar[edit]

I would like to add an iframe to the sidebar with or without iframe widget. page:

** Browse categories
** Community portal
** Recent changes
** Current issues
** Sandbox
{{Iframe}} <-- The iframe widget works but doesn't appear in Sidebar

Is there a way to do without changing the PHP code?


How to move "What links here" to Actions menu?[edit]

I want "What links here" to move to the drop down cactions menu. What is the best way to do that?

Adding a Line break to the sidebar[edit]

The sidebar code is adding is wrapping the line, properly, but in the wrong place for me. <br> doesn't work - what can I use? Fustbariclation (talk) 14:27, 26 June 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I tried adding <br> to the sidebar, and it did not work. Just like you said. I do not know what to do force a line break at a particular point in a sidebar entry.
Instead of using a line break you might try making it unnecessary by increasing the width of the sidebar, and also by getting rid of the blank space on the left and right of the sidebar. See what I did here:
--Timeshifter (talk) 19:22, 24 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Decreasing the padding and margins in the Vector sidebar[edit]

Reducing the padding and margins within the Vector sidebar is a way to make room for more text in the sidebar without having to necessarily increase the width of the sidebar.

Add the following to MediaWiki:Vector.css

/* Decrease Vector sidebar padding and margins. This allows space for more text. */
#mw-panel { padding-left: 0; } /* Reduces sidebar padding on the left. */
div#mw-panel div.portal { margin-left: 0; margin-right: 0; } /* Reduces sidebar margins. */
div#mw-panel div.portal div.body { margin-left: 0.5em; } /* Reduces left margin of sidebar toolbox */

Remove the 2nd line of CSS if you don't want the sidebar text to be so close to the left side of the browser window.

The third line is for decreasing the left margin of the expanded tools section at the bottom of the sidebar.

I don't understand CSS very well, and the above comes from playing around. For more info see:

I experiment in my personal CSS first since changes show up right away when I preview:

For me changes do not show up in the preview for MediaWiki:Vector.css. Sometimes in my wiki, CSS changes that are saved do not show up right away either, even after bypassing my browser cache, or doing the simple purge explained at the top of Manual:Purge. Sometimes I have had to contact the overall wiki farm sysop about sidebar problems. Something about memcache, if I am remembering correctly.

Using the above CSS additions can solve many problems. Especially for people who use larger font sizes when browsing. Increasing the sidebar width as described in Manual:Interface/Sidebar is also sometimes necessary, depending on how many characters are used in entries in the sidebar. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:28, 25 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sidebar won't update no matter what[edit]

After upgrading to mediawiki 1.26, my customized Mediawiki:Sidebar page does not have any effects any more. The sidebar stays the default no matter what. Tried to purge the page and it does not help. My default language is en, didn't change with the upgrading, so there is no confusion. Anyone knows a solution? Thanks!

05:18, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

This is a couple years old, but I wanted to post the answer for anyone who is looking for this topic. I've been through this frustrating experience and it sucks, so here you go:
Every time you run into an issue where something isn't updating in your wiki, run "php RunJobs.php" from the maintenance folder. If you are using Windows hit the windows button, type "CMD" to launch command prompt, then navigate to the folder where your website is located. In mac or linux use the terminal.
One caveat: Whether or not you can change the sidebar can be dependent upon what skin you are trying to use. For instance, in the default light blue skin, you cannot put the Search box in the sidebar because that skin only allows it at the top. -- Ehtech2000 (talk) 09:15, 28 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External Links in Sidebar in new tab/window[edit]


is there any way of making the external links in the sidebar to open in a new window/tab?


Translations:Manual:Interface/Sidebar/100/ ; links[edit]

It includes a deleted page, which I tried to update but couldn't correct, see below. Could you have a look and maybe fix please? The following is the part I wish you will have a look.
<!--T:17--> : Examples:‎</translate>

  • "** portal-url|portal" ‎<translate> uses the text of MediaWiki:Portal-url (which contains "Project:Community portal‎</translate>").

I tried replacing in translated text as below, but only a red link appeared as;

  • "** portal-url|portal" ‎<translate> uses the text of [[MediaWiki:Portal-urlMediaWiki:Mw-Portal-Url|MediaWiki:Portal-url]] (which contains "Project:Community portal‎</translate>").

--Omotecho (talk) 11:34, 8 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed section. It was breaking mobile view.[edit]

I removed section: "Sidebar width in Vector skin (CSS)". See it in this older version:

It was breaking the mobile view. See this thread:

The mobile view was not expanding to the full width of the screen as it did before the addition of the CSS below:

Sidebar width in Vector skin (CSS)

You can change the width of your sidebar by adding the following CSS rules to your MediaWiki:Vector.css. The standard width in vector skin is 10em. The following example changes the width to 12em:

/* increase Vector sidebar width */
div#mw-panel { width: 12em; }
div#footer, #mw-head-base, div#content { margin-left: 12em; }
#left-navigation { margin-left: 12em; }

--Timeshifter (talk) 21:47, 16 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Link to MySQL table documentation is broken[edit]

In Manual:Interface/Sidebar#Changes_not_showing_up, the link to the MySQL documentation for truncate is broken. The new link should be dev<dot>mysql<dot>com/doc/refman/5.7/en/truncate-table.html, but I don't have permission to add links, apparently. The-erinaceous-one (talk) 08:48, 10 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Customizing sidebar to show icons and colors[edit]

Is there a way to make changes on sidebar to show icons and colors like this site I need to divide sidebar into groups. every group has its own color and icon. Omda4wady (talk) 07:25, 15 October 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


To completely remove the sidebar and logo:

Blank the MediaWiki:Sidebar page and save.


#column-content { margin: 0 0 .6em 0; }
#content { margin: 0 0 0 0; }

Infinitepeace (talk) 23:03, 18 January 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Make expanding/collapsing sidebar for all users: DOES NOT WORK[edit]

Suggested JavaScript did not work for me. I saw the side bar jump position an inch, but using Firefox and Chromium on Linux, no "hiding" or "collapsing" of any kind was observed! Gave up and using Timeless or Vector skins instead... Left side bar is such a waste of screen space!!! I can't believe it has not been moved to top or bottom 10 years ago... Oh well. MKRD info (talk) 05:11, 20 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How to remove the section for Anonymous users[edit]

RE: 2008 message above

Is there a way to hide the sidebar for unregistered users please? My wiki is setup with read permissions for registered users, and I do not want to display the sidebar to UNregistered users, only to egistered users. So when a unregistered user goes to the wiki it get's redirected to the loginpage as normal, but does not see the sidebar. Or even a custom free-layout loginpage. Thanks Hfwang

Hello Hfwang, with this code you can remove links from the sidebar and the toolbox, and you can also restrict this removal to unregistered users. --WIKImaniac 22:12, 1 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is done by modifying MediaWiki:Sidebar

Manual:Interface/Sidebar#content of sidebar and toolbox (javascript)

does that code work?

Manual:Interface/Sidebar#restricting modifications to specific usergroups

I will look at this now.

Quiet2 (talk) 21:22, 30 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Restricting modifications to specific usergroups at MediaWiki:Sidebar;

If you want to restrict the modification of the links to a specific user group (e.g. bureaucrat), change:

jQuery( CustomizeModificationsOfSidebar );


if ( mw.config.get( 'wgUserGroups', [] ).indexOf( 'bureaucrat' ) !== -1 ) {
	jQuery( CustomizeModificationsOfSidebar );

For restricting the modifications to IPs instead of a specific user group, use

if ( mw.config.get( 'wgUserGroups', [] ).indexOf( 'user' ) === -1 ) {
	jQuery( CustomizeModificationsOfSidebar );

Not sure how to code this :( I will work on it: 21:32, 30 January 2022 (UTC)