Help:Talk Page

What's the meaning of a talk page?

  • To let multiple users collaborate on improving an article

How to get there?

  • Every page has its own "discussion" tab, just click on it.

How to ask a question, start a discussion or make a comment?

  • Click on the "new section" tab.

How to contribute to a discussion?

  • Scroll down to the right discussion, and click [edit]

}} Template:Questions

This page discusses talk pages. For user pages, see Wikipedia:User page.


Nearly every page on Wikipedia also has a talk page (also known as a discussion page). A talk page is a space for editors to discuss improvements to articles and other pages. Talk pages are named the same as their associated pages, the only difference being that they have "Talk:" before their name.

For example, there is one page called "Australia", which contains the article on the continent of Australia. There is also a page called Talk:Australia, where discussion occurs about possible improvements to the article page.

User pages also have associated talk pages (for example, "User talk:JohnDoe"). These pages are also intended for discussion, except in this case, the discussion might not relate to an article. When another editor needs to contact you, they will usually do this by leaving a message on your talk page. You will be notified when someone leaves you a message that way, with a notice the next time you log in to Wikipedia.

Important notes

  • Article talk pages should not be used by editors as a platform for their personal views, nor for casual conversation. Article talk pages are only to be used for discussing improvements to their associated pages.
  • If no one has ever used a particular talk page before, the link to it will appear red. You can still use the page; This just means that you are the first person to use it, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
  • Posting similar messages to more than a few users' talk pages, for example to solicit a certain action, is very strongly discouraged. See Wikipedia:Canvassing.
  • Occasionally, talk pages for Wikipedia articles will have one or more templates (such as Template:talkheader) displayed at the top of the page, showing guidelines to keep in mind during discussions.

Accessing a talk page

File:Wiki discussion tab.png
The discussion tab

To access a talk page, look for a tab or a link labeled talk, discussion, or mediawiki:talkpage. These tabs or links will be found either at the top of the page or on the left hand side (near edit this page).

The name of a standard talk page is "Talk:" plus the article's title. For example, the talk page of the article Soap is Talk:Soap. For page types other than articles, "talk" is added after the page type. For example, the talk page associated with a user page (User:JohnDoe) will look like User talk:JohnDoe.

To go back to the article page once you're at its talk page, use the tab labeled "article" in the upper-left. For pages other than articles, this tab may say something different, like "user page" or "project page".

You have new messages

After someone else edits your user talk page, the alert "You have new messages" is automatically displayed on all pages you view until you view your user talk page.


To discuss a new topic, start a new section by going to a new line and typing a title surrounded by '=='. Example: == Heading ==. When starting a new discussion, place it at the bottom of the page. You can also use the tab labeled "new section", at the top of a talk page, which performs those steps for you automatically.

To respond to a discussion already in progress, add your comment below the last entry in the discussion. If you want to respond to a specific comment, you can place your response directly below it. When doing this, keep in mind the advice given at Wikipedia:Guide to good indentation.


Consistent formatting is essential to maintaining readable talk pages. Indentation helps other readers figure out which comments are replies to other comments, and which are not.

Indents are made using colons (:) at the beginning of the statement. When editing a talk page, you will notice these colons before many of the page's comments. When not editing the page, these colons are not displayed, but rather show up as indents. The more colons before a statement, the more that statement will appear indented.

When you reply to a statement, you should use one more colon than the number that appear in the statement you're replying to. For example, if you're replying to a statement that has 2 colons before it, your response should have 3 colons before it.

The first comment in a section will have no colons before it, since it is not a response but rather the original statement that started the discussion. The second statement will have one colon in front of it. Each subsequent commenter adds one more colon.

When a long discussion has many indents, the discussion may be awkward to read, particularly for people with smaller computer screens. Eventually, for everyone's convenience, a replying editor will "start over" by responding without any colons at all.


As shown during editing:

How's the soup? --[[John]]
:It's great!! --[[Jane]]
::I made it myself! --[[John]]
I think the soup-discussion should be moved to [[Talk:Soup]].. --[[Jane]]
:I tend to disagree. --[[George]]

As displayed normally:

How's the soup? --John

It's great!! --Jane
I made it myself! --John

I think the soup-discussion should be moved to Talk:Soup.. --Jane

I tend to disagree. --George

Conversation formatting

Template:Shortcut Indentations are used in a slightly more complex way to indicate which comment a person is replying to. This allows many people to reply to the same comment without creating too much confusion. If you wish to reply to a comment that has already been replied to, place your response below the last response, while still only adding one colon to the number of colons present in the statement you're replying to.

Note that in the below example, Jane and George are both responding to John's comment, so they use the same number of colons. Sam is then replying to George, so he adds one more colon to his comment.


1. How's the soup? --[[John]]
:2. It's great!! --[[Jane]]
:3. Not too bad.. --[[George]]
::4. I thought it was a ''little'' bad... --[[Sam]]

Displayed text:

1. How's the soup? --John

2. It's great!! --Jane
3. Not too bad.. --George
4. I thought it was a little bad... --Sam

In the next example, notice the slightly more complex discussion. Even though Jane has responded to John first, and Elliot responded to Jane, we can still easily see that George's comment is meant to be in response to John's original question:


1. How's the soup? --[[John]]
:2. It's great!! --[[Jane]]
::3. Just ''how'' great was it? --[[Elliot]]
:::4. ''Really'' great! --[[Jane]]
:5. Not too bad.. --[[George]]
::6. I thought it was a ''little'' bad... --[[Sam]]

Displayed text:

1. How's the soup? --John

2. It's great!! --Jane
3. Just how great was it? --Elliot
4. Really great! --Jane
5. Not too bad.. --George
6. I thought it was a little bad... --Sam

Organization by topic


Further information and example: Wikipedia:Talk_page/OBT

Talk pages serve as a place for comments about articles, and typicaly generate archives to keep as a visible record of comments. In certain cases, talk page traffic can be intense — generating several long threads a day. If using the default 'dated thread' format, the creation of new subthreads may hamper discussion of a core topic, often-discussed topics may repeat themselves over and over again, and talk archives may be difficult to make sense of. Hence it may be useful to reorganize and reformat (refactoring) the talk page to use organization schemes (formats) used on very busy meta discussion pages such as WP:PUMP and WP:AFD.

Due to extreme traffic on certain meta pages, Wikipedians found it useful to organize discussions according to category, general topic, or even specific topic; directing comments to particular subpages. In other cases, discussions are archived according to subject after the discussion thread has run.

To organize a talk page requires using a particular format for both the talk page and for its archives. Certain formats may overlap, be combined, or else be exclusive and not compatible with other formats. Talk page format types (and organization tools) include:

The default organization format for most talk pages is dated (time-based and deprecating), where new threads are appended (added to the end of the page) and earlier threads become more and more deprecated as newer discussions tend to dominate.
  • Archives for dated format talk pages are based on number of threads. No topical information is given, unless users use archive logging (below)
A format that can be used on talk pages there are standard or recurring themes and topics.
  • Talk subpages are created to deal with particular standard topics, and the main page indicates where such comments can go.
  • Presorted talk pages may use template transclusion: the usage of template tags to link to templates, which in turn redirect to topical talk page subpages. Using this scheme, subpages and their threads are shown on the main talk page, and simplly clicking on "edit section" links automatically takes users to the appropriate subpage, where they can add comments specific to the thread topic. (Example)
Post-sorting/ Topical archiving 
Format where talk pages use default dated format and created subpages where deprecated comments are moved.
Archive logging 
Format where a brief description of what topics are covered within particular dated talk archives. A basic way of dealing with topics.
Archive searching 
The use of context-based wikipedia search to find topics within archive pages.

Placing material from the article on a talk page

Sometimes it is necessary to display a sentence or paragraph from the article on the talk page so that other editors can easily understand what is being discussed. Here are some methods of placing quoted material from an article to within the body of a talk page that are currently in use on Wikipedia talk pages.

You can place text in a light green colored box by copying and pasting the code below. Note: If copying and pasting an entire section, place the section title in boldface '''Title''' with three quotation marks on each side instead of equal signs ==Title== . This will remove the editing link normally seen on the article page.

<div class="boilerplate" style="background-color: #efe; margin: 2em 0 0 0; padding: 0 10px 0 10px; border: 1px dotted #aaa;">Put copied and pasted quoted text here.</div>


Another method is to just indent one space. Include line breaks or it will run as one long line off the page to the right. This method is only effective for a small amount of text. Occasionally, this type of box is found on a talk page as an editing error and needs to have the indented space removed to keep it from running off the page.

Indent one space to quote words, phrases, or short sentences.
         You can also position text within the box.
      Left               Center                  Right