Template types involves classifying each template with a type such as "infobox", "navbox", or "quote".
Adding types to our templates makes our community smarter and our templates easier to manage! Information about template types will enhance Insights and group our templates automatically on Special: Templates. Additionally, this information will help display our articles in the best possible way on our mobile skin by emphasizing some types (quotes, context links, infoboxes) and de-emphasizing others that don't work as well (navboxes, for example).
Classifying a template is easy, and we have also worked on automatic (or "machine") type detection that will likely cover a lot of cases – so classification should not require much work from you. You will need to help out the machines a bit, though, since they're not as smart as you are.
How it works
A template's current type is shown just under the page title on a template page. This type can be changed by logged in users who have edit permissions on that template.
Updates can be made via the template page and via the right rail of the editor when you're editing the template. Clicking the listed type or the pencil icon next to it will open a dialog that lets you select the template type.
Additionally, a dialog will ask you for the template type when creating a new template or when publishing an edit to a template page which has no type set.
Any automated classifications – those detected by the "machine" systems – are overridden by your classification choices.
The current template types are listed below. There are some overlaps between the types, so we recommend you choose the type that is most specific to each template.
Note: These may be updated in the future based on feedback – feel free to send in your thoughts to Special: Contact/feedback.
Infoboxes, or Sidebars, display the most essential information about an article in a box at the top of the page. These usually float to the right side of the page, but sometimes they span the entire width of the page.
Memory Alpha uses quote templates to highlight notable snippets of text such as lyrics, book passages, spoken dialogue, or extracts from interviews or news articles. These templates often contain either a quote from one source or dialog between multiple people.
Navbox templates display a list of organized links in a box for readers to navigate to related articles, usually at the bottom of the page.
Also known as tophats or alerts, these templates notify the reader about the status of the article itself, such as if it is a stub, if there is an associated disambiguation page, or if the article contains spoilers.
Notice templates often appear at the very top of an article page, but can also appear in certain sections or at the bottom of the page.
These templates suggest another page that is related to the current page or section. The two most frequent uses of this type are "Disambiguation" or "See also" and display as italicized text. These are used at the top of an article page or at the top of a section within an article page.
These templates are used for creating links with small icons.
These templates display their contents in a scrollable box.
Citation or reference
These templates organize and standardize how sources of content on an article page are annotated. These can be either used to place a single reference in an article or to build a references list at the bottom of the article page.
These templates can optionally use <ref> tags or build in-line citations.
Image, video, or gallery
These templates standardize or modify the display of one or more images or videos on an article page.
They are often used to build a gallery or to format how an image thumbnail displays.
Any templates that do not fall into the types above but add information or data to an article page should be classified as data. This includes (but is certainly not limited to) templates that are used to build tables, templates that are used to generate math equations, or pieces of data (for example, price of an item, release version of a game, etc.) that are inserted on multiple pages.
If a template's sole purpose is to modify how an article page (or a piece of an article page) looks, it should be classified as design. Common uses include adding tabs, a scrollbox, modifying the visual display of text or tables, or relocating the table of contents.
If a template's sole purpose is to help readers or other editors find another article page or category, it should be classified as navigation. Example uses include page-top icons, recommended links to other websites, categorizers, or succession boxes.
The most popular types of navigation templates are navboxes and context links, which are listed above.
Assign this type if a template is not used on any article (content) pages. For example, if the template is only used on talk pages, template pages, file pages, user pages, or only on Memory Alpha's main page, the template type is non-article.
Template types and categories
The template types feature is separate from template categories. Thus, template classification and categories do not affect each other. You can (and should) continue to use template categories exactly as the same as before.