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[edit] [purge] Documentation icon Template documentation

This is the {{ambox}} or article message box meta-template.

It is used to build article message box templates such as {{wikify}}. It offers several different colours, uses default images if no image parameter is given and it has some other features.

This meta-template uses the ambox CSS classes in MediaWiki:Common.css. The classes can also be used directly in a wikitable if special functionality is needed. See the how-to guide for that.


Simple usage example:

{{ambox | text = Some text.}}

Complex example:

| subst      = <includeonly>{{subst:</includeonly><includeonly>substcheck}}</includeonly>
| type       = style
| small      = left
| image      = [[File:Emblem-question-yellow.svg|40px|alt=Question mark]]
| smallimage = [[File:Emblem-question-yellow.svg|20px|alt=Question mark]]
| textstyle  = color: red; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;
| text       = Text for a big box, for the top of articles.
| smalltext  = Text for the top of article sections.
| category   = A name of a category to use for monthly categories
| date       = {{{date|}}}
| all        = A category which all articles will be placed in

But you are not really supposed to use red bold italic text.

Article message box types[edit]

The following examples use different type parameters but use no image parameters thus they use the default images for each type.

Other images[edit]

The default images shown above are mostly for convenience. In many cases it is more appropriate to use more specific images. These examples use the image parameter to specify an image other than the default images.

More examples[edit]

Some other parameter combinations.


List of all parameters:

| name        = Name of template without the Template: part
| subst       = <includeonly>{{subst:</includeonly><includeonly>substcheck}}</includeonly>
| type        = speedy / delete / content / style / notice / move / protection
| image       = none / [[File:...|40px|...]]
| imageright  = [[File:...|40px|...]]
| class       = A custom CSS class to apply to the box
| style       = CSS values
| textstyle   = CSS values
| text        = The message body text.
| small       = {{{small|}}} / left
| smallimage  = none / [[File:...|20px|...]]
| smallimageright = none / [[File:...|20px|...]]
| smalltext   = A shorter message body text.
| category    = Prefix for monthly categories
| preposition = Preposition between category name and month (defaults to "from")
| date        = {{{date|}}}
| all         = Category which all articles will be placed in, if any

subst This should be used in order to detect when the template has been incorrectly substituted. Such pages will be placed in Category:Pages with incorrectly substituted templates


If no type parameter is given the template defaults to type notice. That means it gets a blue side bar.


No parameter = If no image parameter is given the template uses a default image. Which default image it uses depends on the type parameter.
An image = Should be an image with usual wiki notation. Widths of 40px - 50px are usually about right. (Images over 52 pixels wide will cause padding problems.)
Often an icon is purely decorative in the W3C sense that it repeats the text. To improve accessibility, it is desirable to not have it be announced by screen readers, as well as to avoid it linking to an irrelevant page. If (and only if) the image license allows this, it can be marked with "|link=|alt=". For example:
image = [[File:Unbalanced scales.svg|40px|link=|alt=]]
Conversely, an icon that does not use "|link=|alt=", and which therefore is announced to visually impaired readers, should use an "|alt=alt text" parameter that describes the icon. With no |link= parameter (using the default link), the alt text should describe the icon's visual appearance. For example:
image = [[File:Gnome globe current event.svg|40px|alt=Clock over a larger globe]]
With a nonempty "|link=Page" the alt text should describe the icon's function. For example:
image = [[File:Purple question mark.svg|40px|link=Special:Random|alt=Random article]]
An icon whose license requires attribution may have alt text, but must keep the default link. Although public domain images do not require a link, many licenses do require one. Please see Purely decorative images for more information about licensing.
none = Means that no image is used.
blank = This parameter is now deprecated. If you see it in use, change it to "image=none".


No parameter = If no imageright parameter is given then no image is shown on the right side.
An image = Should be an image with usual wiki notation. 40px - 50px width are usually about right depending on the image height to width ratio. (Images over 52 pixels width will cause padding problems.) For example:
imageright = [[File:Nuvola apps bookcase.png|40px|alt=Three stacked books]]
Anything = Any other object that you want to show on the right side.


Optional CSS values used by the entire message box table. Without quotation marks " " but with the ending semicolons ;. For example:
style = margin-bottom: 0.5em;


Optional CSS values used by the text cell. For example:
textstyle = text-align: center;


Categorisation parameters[edit]

  • category / cat - prefix for monthly categories, e.g. Wikipedia articles needing style editing
  • preposition - preposition between category name and month; the default is from
  • date= - pass through the date parameter when using monthly cleanup categories
  • all - category which all articles will be placed in, e.g. All articles needing style editing

The small parameters[edit]

The small article message boxes are meant for the top of sections. Normally they should only contain one or two lines of text.


left = Makes it a smaller left aligned message box. This also makes the default images smaller. Note that any data fed to the smallimage, smallimageright and smalltext parameters is only used if "small=left". To make it so your template also understands the small parameter you can use this code:
small = {{{small|}}}
any other value, including blank and no parameter = Default-sized inlined message box. Ignores smallimage, smallimageright and smalltext.


No parameter = If no smallimage parameter is given then this template falls back to use the image parameter. If the image parameter also is empty then a small default image is used.
An image = Should be an image with usual wiki notation. 20px width is usually about right for boxes with one line of text, while 25px width is usually about right for boxes with two lines of text. For example:
smallimage = [[File:Gnome globe current event.svg|20px|alt=Clock over a larger globe]]
none = Means that no image is used. This overrides any image fed to image, when "small=left".


No parameter = If no smallimageright parameter is given then this template falls back to use the imageright parameter. If the imageright parameter also is empty then no image is shown on the right side.
An image = Should be an image with usual wiki notation. 20px - 25px width is usually about right. For example:
smallimageright = [[File:Nuvola apps bookcase.png|20px|alt=Three stacked books]]
Anything = Any other object that you want to show on the right side.
none = Means that no right side image is used. This overrides any image fed to imageright, when "small=left".


A shorter version of the message body text. If no smalltext parameter is given then this template falls back to use the text parameter.

Technical details[edit]

If you need to use special characters in the text parameter then you need to escape them like this:

| text  = <div>
Equal sign = and a start and end brace { } work fine as they are.
But here is a pipe &#124; and two end braces <nowiki>}}</nowiki>.
And now a pipe and end braces <nowiki>|}}</nowiki>.

The <div> tags that surround the text in the example above are usually not needed. But if the text contains line breaks then sometimes we get weird line spacing. This especially happens when using vertical dotted lists. Then use the div tags to fix that.

This template uses CSS classes in MediaWiki:Common.css for most of its looks, thus it is fully skinnable.

This template calls {{ambox/core}} which holds most of the code for {{ambox}}, while {{ambox}} itself does parameter preprocessing.

Internally this meta-template uses HTML markup instead of wikimarkup for the table code. That is the usual way we make meta-templates since wikimarkup has several drawbacks. For instance it makes it harder to use parser functions and some special characters in parameters.

The default images for this meta-template are in png format instead of svg format. The main reason is that some older web browsers have trouble with the transparent background that MediaWiki renders for svg images. The png images here have hand optimised transparent background colour so they look good in all browsers. Note that svg icons only look somewhat bad in the old browsers, thus such hand optimisation is only worth the trouble for very widely used icons.

For more technical details see the talk page and the "See also" links below. Since this template works almost exactly like {{tmbox}}, {{imbox}}, {{cmbox}} and {{ombox}} their talk pages and related pages might also contain more details.

See also[edit]

There are several meta-templates in the mbox family:

  • {{ambox}} – For article message boxes.
  • {{cmbox}} – For category message boxes.
  • {{imbox}} – For file (image) page message boxes.
  • {{mbox}} – Has namespace detection, for message boxes that are used on several types of pages and thus need to change style depending on what page they are used on.
  • {{ombox}} – For other pages message boxes.
  • {{tmbox}} – For talk page message boxes.

Closely related meta-templates:

  • {{asbox}} – For article stub message boxes.
  • {{dmbox}} – For disambiguation and set index message boxes.
  • {{fmbox}} – For header and footer message boxes.

Other pages: