We are currently discussing how could make better use of categories. If you have ideas on how we could use categories better, please post them on this page's Talk page.


What is a Category and Why would I Use One?

  • Categories provide a visual structure for WeRelate's contents, a way to group or list pages by different types. For example, ... (needs writing) ...
  • Categories may have one or more subcategories. For example, Category:Surname in place is a subcategory of Category:Surnames. If a category has a subcategory, these are automatically listed at the top of a category's page (generally in alphabetical order). After the list of subcategories, if any, will be an alphabetical list of all pages that fall into this category.

Where can I see a list of all current Categories?

Visit Special:Categories.

How do I know if a page is categorized?

If a page has been categorized, you will see at the bottom of the page a pale blue box inside of which is a line that begins with the word Categories:. For example, THIS page you are reading now has (at writing) the category, Help. If you want to see all pages that are categorized under "Help," simply go to the Category:Help page.

Which categories are automatically generated?

The bulk of categories currently used are automatically generated by the WeRelate software. They include
  • (Surname) in (Place) - i.e., Smith in California. The system examines the location fields, and automatically creates category pages when a surname is identified with a place name
  • Research guides - if you ever create a page where "Resource guide" or "Resource Guide" is in the title, WeRelate automatically adds this category name.

How do I categorize a wiki page?

Simply add [[Category:CategoryName]] at the bottom of the text box of the page you want categorized.
As soon as you preview the page, it will display the fact that it is in that category (the category name will appear at the bottom of the page).
As soon as you save the page, a category page with that name will automatically be created (if it didn't exist already) and that Category page will list your article page.

Can I add text manually to a category page?

Yes, you can edit the area that appears above the automatically-generated list of subcategories and/or pages simply by clicking on the Edit button. Here are examples of Category pages that have been edited:
  • Example One
  • Example Two

Can I edit the categories on a given page?

  • Most categories that appear on WeRelate pages (at the bottom of the page) are automatically generated. These cannot be edited. WeRelate sysadmins are currently considering the usefulness of these automatically-generated categories. (See the TALK page for more on this.)
  • If, in Edit mode for a given page, you see somewhere in the editable text box a phrase like this: [[Category:Category name]] then you may delete or change that text. But be careful about removing manually added Categories. Someone put it there for a reason. Use the page's history link to find out who added it and when. Communicate with them before removing it.

How can I categorize the surname categories on the bottom of my Person and Family pages?

The Surname and Surname in Place categories that appear at the bottom of Person and Family pages are automatically generated. If the categories appear in red, you can place them in the proper "parent category".

  • For Surname in Place categories at the State-level such as Category:Smith in North Carolina, place the following text on the category page (substituting the appropriate Surname and State that is in upper-case):
[[Category:SURNAME in United States|*STATE]]
[[Category:Surnames in STATE]]
For our Category:Smith in North Carolina example, this would look like:
[[Category:Smith in United States|*North Carolina]]
[[Category:Surnames in North Carolina]]
  • For Surname in Place categories at the Country-level, such as Category:Smith in United States, place the following text on the category page (substituting the appropriate Surname and Country that is in upper-case):
[[Category:SURNAME surname|*COUNTRY]]
[[Category:Surnames in COUNTRY]]
For our Category:Smith in United States example, this would look like:
[[Category:Smith surname|*United States]]
[[Category:Surnames in the United States]]

When shouldn't I create a category page?

Some of the automatically-generated surname-in-place categories are incorrect (don't follow the accepted format) due to an old bug. For example, Category:Calkins in MA should be Category:Calkins in Massachusetts. Eventually we'll have a process that will correct the automatically-generated categories. In the meantime, if you edit and save the page you should notice that the automatically-generated categories are corrected.

Pages for these incorrect categories do not need to be created. Similarly, pages for the automatically-generated "Unknown surname" categories are not worth creating either.

Categories should not be created for personal collections of pages. Tree are the appropriate way to create such collections. Categories should be used for more universally-defined collections.

Can I place a wiki page in more than one Category?

Yes. A good example is our "Surname in place" pages.
Many categories can similarly be subcategories of more than one category, but it is wise to ensure that a subcategory is wholly contained within its parent category so as to avoid ambiguity and circularity.
  • If "Russia" is a category, for example, it can be a subcategory of "Countries" but should not be a subcategory of either "Europe" or "Asia" (Mmmm... why not?)
  • The way to link it to them would be by a sentence on its page saying something like "See related categories [[Asia]] and [[Europe]]".

Can I change the order of pages as they appear on the Category page?

  • Order of listing is by page or category name unless a piped link is used to force a particular page to list differently. Examples:
    • Top of the list: if you have an article called "Russia" you will want it near the top of the list in the "Russia" category rather than after Alexandrovsk, Leningrad, Moscow, and Rostov
      • So, just before the closing brackets, add "|*" - that is [[category:Russia|*]] - or use a space instead of the star
      • The category will list it before the "A"s.
    • Surname order: if a category contains articles that use people's names in normal "Western" (First name, Surname) order, put them all in surname order by giving them all piped links
      • John Doe's page might show him in the "Poets" category as [[category:poets|Doe, John]], which will have him under D, not J.
    • Anything else: if you have pages or categories for centuries but want them to use words, not numbers, for the page names
    • Try something like this: "Ninth century" has [[category:calendar|09]]; "Eleventh century" has [[category:calendar|11]]
    • If you expect to go earlier than 1 AD, maybe add something to those!

Linking to Category Pages

  • Categories are different when it comes to linking to them.
    • A normal link such as [[Category:page name]] puts the page into that category, with a link to the category appearing at the bottom of the page.
    • If you just want to link to a category, you can put a colon before the word category, as in [[:Category:page name]].
  • Category – Add Category to Article:
    • [[Category:Category Name]]
  • Category – Link to Category:
    • [[:Category:Category Name]]
  • Category – Sort:
    • [[Category:People|Einstein, Albert]]

What is the Category "hierarchy"?

Our top-level category is called "Contents".
The number and names of the first-level ("child") categories down from it have not been finalized. They currently appear as people feel a need for them, and they can be changed fairly easily. Suggestions for new categories can be discussed on the talk pages of individual existing related categories.
See Special:Uncategorizedcategories and Special:Uncategorizedpages for some "gaps" in the system. See also WeRelate:Category index for a manually maintained list of categories (child and grand-child of Contents) created to allow users to received alerts to their watchlist regarding the high-level category structure.