Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
Help Contents → Category

A category is a group of pages that are in some way similar enough to group together. The category may speak to a function on Memory Alpha – such as templates, images, or users. Or it may describe something about the page content, like characters, books, or locations. You can add a category link to any page, and it will automatically be listed on a category page with other similarly-linked pages.

In other words, categories are structural, navigational tools. And they can be found in the article header and at the bottom of the page.

You can place an article in a category by adding the string [[Category:Example]] to the article's text (where Example is the name of the category). A list of categories may be found at Special: Categories.

Why categories are important[]

Categories help organize Memory Alpha and make it easier for readers to find related content. Ideally, every page should be in at least one category. Since categories can be within other categories, you can start to build a structure – a "category tree" – which allows readers to move around the site. For example, a person might start on a page in Romulans, then move up to Individuals, then move back down again to Klingons and then on to Klingon military personnel. They're able to do this because Romulans acts as part of a tree on which the branches of the other categories about races or species are hung.

Aside from these navigational uses, proper categorization is crucial to a number of other processes, like:

These and other features won't work as well if Memory Alpha's category structure is weak.


The category feature has several features:

Sort keys[]

All articles in a given category are sorted alphabetically. If you want an article to be sorted by something other than its name, you should use the following link form in the article's text: [[Category:Example|Sort key]] (where Example is the category name, and Sort key is the value to sort the list by). If multiple categories need to use the same sort key, you can use the magic word "DEFAULTSORT" like so:

{{DEFAULTSORT|Picard, Jean-Luc}}
[[Category:Picard family|Jean-Luc Picard]]

By default, the article Jean-Luc Picard will be listed under the character's first name, "J", because it is the first letter of the article's name. The "DEFAULTSORT" in the example above instead forces the article to be listed by the character's last name, "Picard, Jean-Luc", in all the categories except "Picard family", where the piped sort key "Jean-Luc Picard" will override it.

Remember that sort keys are case sensitive, with capital letters being sorted before lowercase letters. Therefore, Picard, Jean-Luc would appear in the list before phaser.


  • When adding names, except most Bajoran names and a few other species, to a category, always sort by last name: for Deanna Troi, use [[Category:Hybrids|Troi, Deanna]]
  • When adding the name of planets, use a double-digit instead of the Roman numeral: for Rigel VII, use [[Category:Planets|Rigel 07]]
  • On "list categories" such as Category:Planets, include additional "list articles" by prefixing the sort key with a single blank: for Unnamed planets, use [[Category:Planets| Unnamed planets]]. This way, these articles will appear at the beginning of the list.

Linking to a category[]

In order to link to a category without the current article being added to that category, place a colon before the word "Category" inside the link, i.e.



Category pages may be added to other categories and are then recognized as sub-categories. For example, you could edit [[Category:Ferengi]] and add the link [[Category:Individuals]]. The Ferengi category would then be a sub-category of the Individuals category.