MarioWiki:Navigation templates

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This is a guide to correctly making and using navigation templates (or, "nav templates" for short). As their name suggests, navigation templates are used for navigating between related pages, as an alternative to categories. Both nav templates and categories are placed at the bottom of pages, but while categories must be clicked on in order to get to a list of related pages, navigation templates contain the links themselves, making the other pages directly accessible from the article that the reader is currently on. Also, while different levels of categories and subcategories must be used in order to organize different aspects of any one subject (i.e. the enemies, places or items found in a game), navigation templates can be divided up through the use of headers, subheaders and separated lists of links. Furthermore, nav templates can be color-coded for easy identification and use.

Keep in mind that the easiest way to learn how to make a proper template is by looking at other templates and repurposing their designs, and while this page itself does not discuss the coding specifics behind templates, it does list a number of examples that can be copied and investigated. Category:Navigation templates can be used to find additional examples.

Types of templates

While the overall structure and use of navigation templates is constant, templates cover a range of subjects, and different material needs to be organized in different ways. Templates can be grouped into three basic classes: game-specific, series-wide and species templates (note that the last one includes various non-species-based templates, however species-based are the most numerous and this, along with historical usage, lends the class its name). These three types of templates are described in the following sections, followed by some more general instructions about template design.

Game-specific templates

These are the most fundamental templates. In theory, every game should have one, although many of the more minor, obscure and/or data deficient titles do not. Game-specific templates should include links to all articles pertaining to the game in question, including the characters, enemies, bosses, items, worlds and levels. Game-specific templates are color-coded based on the series that the game hails from: see the coloration instructions below.

The templates should be divided up by headers under which the links are filed: in other words, all the enemies go in an "Enemies" section, all the levels into a "Levels" section, etc. While the most common types of content are listed above, different games often require specialized header names or unique sections entirely. For instance, like many templates, {{SML}} names its items section "Items and Objects" to be more inclusive (i.e. of environmental hazards and blocks), while {{SMW}} uses "Protagonists" to account for the fact that the antagonistic characters are grouped under the "Boss" section, rather than going into a single "characters" section. Many spin-offs are quite specialized in how their templates are organized, such as the many different character divisions in {{Mario Super Sluggers}}, or the completely unique setup of {{MASATOG}}. By comparison, {{DKC}} only requires one specialized section for the Animal Buddies.

Most of the time, every relevant article can fit into a navigation template. However, sometimes random items that do not easily fit into one of the sections are left out, or in the case of RPGs, minor things like NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) are omitted because they would make the template almost unusably large. In these cases, users must rely on categories to get to the unlisted pages. However, it should be noted that while the subjects aren't part of the templates, the templates should still be present on their articles. This is not applicable to galleries and list pages connected to the main game page.

Another situation is when one or more of the subjects has been taken out of the main game template and given their own template. For example, {{NSMB2 Levels}} and {{MPDS Minigames}} are separate from the main {{NSMB2}} and {{MPDS}} templates, respectively. This partitioning should generally be avoided except for levels, and other cases where including the subject would greatly increase the size of the template, as in the case of Mario Party series minigames (which are too major and require too much organization to simply put in categories like NPCs). These auxiliary game-specific templates only need to go on the articles of subjects that concern them (e.g. the NSMB2 level articles) and the game page itself, however the main template has to go on the subject pages along with the auxiliary template. Like the main game-specific templates, auxiliary templates are color-coded based on series.

Series-wide templates

There are two types of series-wide templates, both of which are color-coded like the game templates. The first type simply lists all the games in a series, usually subdivided into sub-series, such as in {{WarioGames}}. Non-game series can also have templates, such as {{ClubNintendo}}, which lists the comics by year. Console-based templates like {{SNES}}, {{Consoles}} and {{Game & Watch}} (which is both console- and series-based) are also considered to be series-specific templates.

The second type is similar to the auxiliary game-specific templates in that it focuses on a single subject, but as its name suggests, follows it all across a series, rather than within a single game. These types of templates are highly discouraged except in cases where listing them apart from the game templates would help streamline navigation. For example, {{Racecourses}} lists all the Mario Kart racecourses by game, but does not re-list courses when they reappear in later titles, whereas the game-specific templates do re-list retro courses; this means the at-a-glance list of racecourses is more compact than a simple assemblage of the game-specific templates' lists. It is also quite likely that readers will want to browse the courses across the entire spin-off series, whereas something more specialized like the Karts do not need a series-wide template. Please note that even in cases where a series-wide template is used, this should not be a substitute for a corresponding section in the game-specific templates: as mentioned before, the specific Mario Kart game templates also listed the courses (i.e. {{MK64}}). Series-wide templates should not be created to replace game-specific templates: they should merely be supplemental templates. The only exception is when a subject is so numerous and minor, it would not be included in a game-specific template, and would likely only be given a category, in which case, the series-wide template would be standing in as an auxiliary game-specific template in itself, and provide sufficient organization for the minor subject. {{Recipes}} is an example of this.

Species templates

Species templates organize subjects based on what they are, rather than what game they come from. Most of these templates are built around a group of related species, listing all the species and characters within that group, as in {{Koopa Troopas}}. Generally, differentiating between the species and the characters is all the subdivision that is found in these templates, although there are exceptions, such as {{Humans}}, where separating major series and alternate media is necessary for navigating the large list. As they are not game- or series-based, species templates are not bound by the same color-coding setup as the other two types of templates, and should instead be given colors befitting of their subject matter (i.e. brown for {{Monty Moles}} and yellow for {{Pokeys}}).

While species make up the vast majority of this final type of template, there are a few cases where other, non-species-based notable or complex subjects are granted these templates. Basically, if a template is not a game-specific or series-wide template, it is a species template, in structure if not in name. I.e. {{MarioFamily}} is about Mario's family, yet it is designed like the humans category, with the game and alternate media characters separated. {{Earth}} is another example of a non-species "species" template. Generally, these templates should provide some level of organization, and templates that are merely categories in template form, without any subdivisions, will usually be deleted. However, sometimes major subjects (items or objects) will be granted templates in order to bring them more attention than categories alone would, effectively doing for them what proper species templates do for characters and enemies. This is the reason for the existence of {{Blocks}} and {{Mushrooms}} (while the latter is now divided into mushrooms and mushroom recipes, it started out as a simple category-template).

For the most part, however, major subjects that deserve templates have already been given templates, and users should carefully assess the situation before creating more. This applies to species as well as miscellaneous subjects: if a group of species only has a few members, a template might be excessive, especially if it is only a minor assortment of species and characters. Conversely, very loose (and often large) groupings such as Fish or Undead should be saved for categories, not templates, as the need for such templates is far less than for specific species groupings like {{Koopas}} or {{Thwomps}}, and creating too many overlapping templates can clutter up pages.

Template design

The basic layout of a template features a banner across the top of the template bearing a descriptive title, below which are the lists of links, organized into sections by headers. The number and types of sections are different from template to template (see the above sections for more information), and many templates require sub-headers to further subdivide their sections. However, while template length is quite variable, all templates should be given the same width of 100%.

No matter the size of the template, it must be completely collapsible - in other words, all the content must be hidden by default, with only the banner visible, until the "[show]" link is clicked on. It is much easier to find a specific template when only the headers have to be skimmed through, and not the lists of links as well, and collapsing the templates also saves on space. It is enabled by including mw-collapsible mw-collapsed in the template's class (see below for more information on classes). Furthermore, if a page has 10 or more navigation templates, they should all be collapsed through the use of {{nav templates}}.

Finally, be aware that every navigation template must include an [edit] button on left hand side of the banner, opposite the [show]/[hide] button. This must be manually added by placing {{edit}} in front of the title in the banner, in the form of {{edit|NAME}}, where "NAME" is the name of the template as it appears in the address bar.

Listing the links

The lists of links should be grouped in a way that makes finding entries simple; generally this means alphabetical order should be used, however worlds and levels should be sequential, and characters are usually arranged by descending order of importance (i.e. Mario first, followed by Luigi, then Peach, then Bowser, etc.). Places and bosses can be organized alphabetically, like in {{Super Mario RPG}}, or sequentially like in {{SPM}}, depending on what makes sense given the structure of the game (i.e. do the places correspond to the levels?), the length of the sections (longer lists are better served by alphabetical order), and the personal taste of whoever made the template. If a high level of organization is needed, many templates make liberal use of subheaders, creating many small lists rather than a few big ones, such as {{ML:BIS}}. Other templates use symbols to denote specific subjects in a list, such as {{SM64}}'s use of asterisks to mark SM64DS-exclusive content. {{MASATOWG}} uses both subheaders and symbols to help organize its content, whereas {{SPP}} uses different types of dividers to group vibe-infused enemies with their regular counterparts which provides the overall alphabetical order. Some templates even color-code their lists, such as {{Yoshis}}, although this is more about aesthetic appeal than organization.

Headers

There are two types of headers that can be used in nav templates: horizontal headers look like the title banner and are placed above their sections, while vertical headers are stacked along the left-hand side of the template, with their corresponding lists beside them. Horizontal headers and their lists are centered, and while vertical headers are also centered, their lists are justified left; alternating background colors are used to separate the sections of vertical-style templates, while the horizontal headers themselves divide up their templates, and so only one continuous background color is needed for them.

Both styles have their pros and cons when it comes to functionality, but while horizontal headers used to be the only method used by the Super Mario Wiki, vertical headers have become the more common choice. This is mainly because they take up less space than horizontal bars, resulting in more compact templates. Unlike horizontal headers, they also lend themselves to header-subheader formatting, with subheaders nested within the column of headers, like in {{LM}}.

Horizontal headers generally only appear in complex templates that require an extra level of structure beyond the regular two-tier header-subheader system, such as {{quotes}}, which uses one to separate the two different sets of pages it covers. Very large templates like {{galleries}} can also use the show/hide function made possible with horizontal headers to collapse individual sections and makes the overall template more manageable. Finally, as seen in the aforementioned {{SM64}} and {{MASATOWG}}, horizontal headers can be repurposed to create unique footnote sections in which symbol legends or comments can be placed.

Coloration

Series Footer color
Super Mario #FF4400
Miscellaneous Mario #DD3333
Mario Kart #FFED00
Yoshi's Island #26A526
Miscellaneous Yoshi #47E02C
Donkey Kong Country / Land #AB6543
Donkey Kong general / misc #AA7744
Crossovers #43BB99
Consoles #C5C5C5

Series-wide and game-specific templates are color-coded by series. When designing a new template, specify which of the predefined color schemes to use by adding the relevant class (listed in the chart below) to the template code. For example, the first line of {{SMB}} would be {| class="mw-collapsible mw-collapsed navtemplate mario", while {{LM}} would have the class of "navtemplate lm", {{DKC}} would have the "navtemplate dk", etc. These classes automatically color the alternating background stripes, however the banner and header colors need to be added manually using the color codes in the chart and the format: style=background:#FF2400 (using the "Super Mario" banner color as an example). If no color is specified, the banner and headers will receive default grey tones. Please note that the code bgcolor=#FF2400 will not override the default colors.

With a few exceptions, all species templates should give banners the darkest coloration, followed by the headers and then the subheaders, with the background being significantly lighter. The default black text usually looks fine against the header and banner colors, but darker shades require the text to be white instead. The header font colors are automatically black, while the banner font colors are white by default, except for a few of the series/game-specific headers, which are black. If a species template's banner is too light for white font to be easily read, "navtemplate light" can be used to turn the banner font black. Conversely, if the headers are dark and the font needs to be white in order to show up, this can be done manually using {{color}} for the regular text and {{color-link}} or {{color-link-piped}} for the links. Only black and white should be used for the banner and header font colors, and all background colors should be light enough so that plain, blue links can be used for the actual lists.

For templates that use a footnote bar, such as {{SM64}}, the bar can be coded like the banner, but should be given a different color, darker than the headers, but lighter than the banner. The chart to the top right shows the existing footer colors; if a footer is added to a new class of templates, please alert an admin so that they can approve the color choice and add it to the chart. Remember to only use footers when it is absolutely necessary.

Chart

Series Banner (and text) Header Background Class name
Super Princess Peach #FF3EAF #FF90D0 pink mistyrose spp
Wario Wario Land #DF00DF violet #FE92FE #F8BFF8 #F8DFF8 wario
WarioWare darkorchid #C090DD #D89FE8
general/misc #901090 orchid
Mario general/misc #CC0000 #FF4433 coral bisque #FFF5EE mario
Super Mario #FF2400 #FF7733 #FFAA50
Super Mario Land darkorange orange mario-sml
Donkey Kong Mario vs. Donkey Kong chocolate sandybrown wheat #FFF8DC dk
Donkey Kong Country / Land saddlebrown #BB8855 burlywood
general/misc #9C6936 #BE9966 #CFBB88
arcade #BB882A #EAB500 #EEBB44
alternate media #FFBB00 gold #FFEE00 #FFEAAA #FFFFC0 media
spinoffs Mario Kart gold #FFEE00 yellow #FFFFBB #FFFFDD spinoff
Mario Party #FAFA00 #FFFF33 #FFFF88
Dr. Mario #D0CC00 #EEFF00
sports yellowgreen greenyellow #DDFF2F #EFFF9F #FFFFCC sport
Yoshi general/misc #00BB00 lime #83FF50 #AFFFAA #ECFFEC yoshi
Yoshi's Island forestgreen limegreen #88DD77
Luigi's Mansion darkgreen #009F00 #32CD32 #BBFF99 #EEFFCC lm
crossovers general/misc #33AA77 #66CDAA #80E8C4 #E0FFE0 #EDFFFF crossover
Super Smash Bros. #1FFFB9 aquamarine #9FFFEE crossover-ssb
RPGs Mario & Luigi #00DDFF aqua #99FFFF #CFEEFF aliceblue rpg-ml
Super Mario RPG dodgerblue skyblue rpg
Paper Mario #0000CC #74A5ED #AADDFF
former subpages #6B8CFF lightblue #BBDDFA lavender ghostwhite subpage
consoles silver #D3D3D3 #F5F5F5 #FBFBFB console
default #999999 #CCCCCC #E6E6E6 #F6F6F6 #FCFCFC navtemplate

Order on pages

In most articles, species templates should come first, followed by game-specific and series-wide templates, which are arranged in pure chronological order. This means that rather than being grouped into series, games will be listed separately according to their individual release dates, with their coloration being used to find all the members of a given series. Subject-based series-wide templates (the second type, like {{Racecourses}}) will be placed directly under the first game template from that series. Auxiliary game-specific templates should come after the main game template. Above the game- and series-based templates, any family templates (i.e. {{MarioFamily}} and {{Koopa}}) should come first, followed by the actual species template, and then any other non-species-based species templates, in order of decreasing importance. Usually, however, only the actual species template (or the equivalent item- or place-based template) will be present.

While that is the order for most subjects' articles, games and series are slightly different. Games should have their game-specific template come first, followed by the overall series-wide template (the first type, like {{DKGames}}), and then the console-based templates, such as {{SNES}} or {{VirtualConsole}}. Series pages should simply have their corresponding series-wide template.

Additionally, there are a number of specialized classes of pages, most of which have (or will eventually have) corresponding navigation templates. They are as follows:

  • Galleries should all contain {{galleries}}
  • "List of quotes..." pages should have {{quotes}}
  • "List of ... pre-release and unused content" pages should have {{pre-release and unused content}}
  • "List of glitches..." pages should have {{glitches}}
  • "List of media..." pages should have {{media nav}}
  • "List of ... profiles and statistics" pages should have {{stats}}
  • Staff pages should have {{staff}}
  • The references pages should all have {{references}}
  • Game bestiaries should have {{bestiaries}}

Finally, only mainspace articles can have navigation templates. Categories, other templates, Help pages, MarioWiki pages, userpages, talk pages and PipeProject pages should not have nav templates. While The 'Shroom has templates it uses for internal navigation, these should not be categorized as actual nav templates.

Categories

In the past, categories were often added to templates so that they would automatically appear on articles that the templates were placed on, but this is no longer allowed with the current categorization system. The only category nav templates should have is Category:Navigation templates, which must be included using the following coding, placed after the template coding itself:

<noinclude>[[Category:Navigation templates|{{PAGENAME}}]]</noinclude>

See also