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A signature is a piece of text and wikicode which identifies you as the author of a block of text. It looks like this:
czechout@fandom   01:56:34 Sat 09 Jul 2011 

Definition

A signature is comprised of at least three parts. It should contain an automatic link to your user page, making it easy for others to learn more about you. It should also contain a link to your user talk page, so that people can easily communicate with you. And finally, it should contain a datestamp. The date contained in the signature also indicates how current the discussion is and the order in which comments were made.

On talk pages and forum pages, signing your name helps others to keep track of discussions, and to understand who holds which opinions. This is considered good "Wikiquette".

Generally, your contributions to articles, help pages, policies, and other content pages should not be signed. However, our signature policy, which governs the use of signatures on this wiki, requires that you sign your contributions to talk and forum pages.

How do I add a signature?

If you do nothing to your preferences, the system will give you a basic signature every time you type four tildes in a row, like this:

~~~~

Well, okay, not that big. But you get the point. A perfectly usable signature is provided for you by default.

If you want to make it more colorful or interesting, you certainly may, so long as you observe whatever rules are currently in place at our signature policy.

How do I make my signature "cooler"?

SignatureLine

Go to Special:Preferences, scroll down to this area, tick the box next to Custom signature, then enter . . . something in the line next to "Signature:"

There are two main ways in which you can adapt your signature. Both of them involve changing the "signature" line on the main page of your user preferences here at Wikia. You can either click the link, or you can find your name at the top right of this page, and pull down to "my preferences".

Once you're on the main preferences page, scroll down to the signature line. If you want to change your signature, you'll have to modify this line. You can alter this line one of two ways:

  1. Enter the code which creates your signature on this line
  2. Use this line to call a template, making the template be the place where your actual signature code resides.

Method one: wikicode in Special:Preferences

If you put your code directly into the signature line at Special:Preferences, it's somewhat easier. You don't have to create any additional pages for templates. However, there's a maximum number of characters that can be accepted on this line, meaning that your signature can't be particularly complex. You'll have roughly enough space to throw in a couple of colors, maybe change the font. But that's about it.

It's beyond the scope of this document to tell you exactly what code you should put in this line. A good way to learn is to go to talk pages at Wikipedia and just look at the signatures there. You'll see a variety of interesting and creative uses of the space allowed by Special:Preferences. Cut and paste some of the code from people's signature; play around with it. You might try looking at some places like wikipedia:help:tables for overviews on how to use code to change bits of tables. Or do a Google search for "wikia signatures". You'll find lots of examples with a minimum of effort.

An example of method one

Although you can find plenty of creative examples elsewhere, let's take a look at a home-grown example of this first method. User:Bold Clone's signature changes the color of each word in his name, and links each to the pages our policy requires. Here's what he has in his signature line at Special:Preferences:

--[[User:Bold Clone|<span style="color:blue">'''Bold'''</span>]] [[User Talk:Bold Clone|<span style="color:gold">'''Clone'''</span>]]

This produces the following when he types four tildes (~~~~): --Bold Clone 18:22, January 7, 2011 (UTC)

Method two: calling a template

Although some wikis — like Wikipedia -— only allow you to use the above method, we here at the Doctor Who wiki allow you to also use the signature line in your preferences to call a template. What this means is that you change your Special:Preferences section to include a simple template call, and all the coding for your signature is then stored on that page. This means:

  • Your signature can have a theoretically unlimited amount of coding
  • Your signature will instantly change everywhere it was used when you change the template

Obviously, there's a lot of good there. It means you can really finesse your signature. You've got room to do a whole lot more than just color the letters. You can create borders, add background and foreground coloring, change the font — the whole bit.

But there's also a bit of a downside. On a big wiki like Wikipedia, if everyone started doing this "template call signature", the server would get bogged down, especially when people started changing their signatures. On a relatively small wiki like ours it's less of a concern, but there might come a day when we, too, will have to outlaw this kind of signature.

In any event, be aware that if you have this kind of signature, and you change it, it will change it everywhere that it has been used on the wiki. Each and every instance.

An example of the template call

When we say "template" here, we mean something very specific. We mean a user template. It operates like a regular template, but it is not a part of the template namespace. That is, don't create something like Template:MySignature. No, no — if you pull that, we'll probably delete it. Instead, this is a subpage of your user page. So here's what you do.

  1. Create User:YourName/autosig. On that page, type the following, and only the following:
    {{User:YourName/sig}}
  2. Create User:YourName/sig. On this page, enter the code for your signature.
  3. Under Special:Preferences, scroll down to the signatures area, and enter the following:
    {{User:YourName/autosig}}

So, imagine you're User:TimeTraveler. You'd create User:TimeTraveler/autosig. On that page you'd put {{User:TimeTraveler/sig}}. Then you'd create User:TimeTraveler/sig, and this would be where you'd really create your signature with your fancy wiki markup code. Then, in your Special:Preferences, you'd put {{User:TimeTraveler/autosig}} in the signature field.

Template call signatures on other Wikia wikis

As has already been discussed, the "template call signature" is generally outlawed on much larger wikis because of its potential for increased server loads. That's a fairly abstract reason for not using them, though. There is a drawback that you can immediately see, however. When you change your signature, you're making a change to your Wikia signature — not just to the way your signature appears at this wiki. That means that if you go to w:c:starwars or w:c:indianajones, a template call signature will attempt to find User:YourName/autosig on that wiki. If you've not yet created that page on that wiki, your signature won't work there.

Thus, if you're going to use template call signatures, and you edit on more than one wiki in the Wikia family (that is, a wiki whose URL ends in "wikia.com"), you have to remember to create the appropriate user subpages on every wiki. Because signature policy is set by the individual wikis, and not Wikia itself, you will need to make sure that your signature is in compliance with that wiki.

For instance, there are some wikis which completely outlaw the use of pictures in signatures. We currently don't. So if you had a signature here that included a picture, you couldn't just copy and paste Tardis:User:YourName/autosig to, for example, memoryalpha:User:YourName/autosig. However, this is where it's actually an advantage to have a "template call signature". You can have the same structure across all your wikis, but then just change individual User:YourName/sig pages on each wiki to comply with their particular signature policy. You can have a signature with pictures on one wiki, but a completely different signature elsewhere.

In other words, the apparent disadvantage of "template call signatures" is actually quite a powerful advantage.

When you start editing on a Wikia wiki other than ours, please be sure you check their signature policy so you don't fall foul of it. Almost everyone's signature policy is named the same way. Just type "signature policy" into the search bar, and you should be taken to the right page, regardless of wiki. You can also find another wiki's signature policy from our search bar by typing "w:c:wikiname:project:signature policy" into our search bar. Unlike intra-wiki searches, inter-wiki searches are more strictly case-sensitive. So it's probably a good idea to search for "Signature Policy" rather than "signature policy". So, if you enter w:c:leagueoflegends:project:Signature Policy into a Tardis search bar, you'll immediately be taken to the signature policy at the League of Legends wiki.

Of course, not all wikis have a formal signature policy, but if one exists, it's a good bet that it will exist at Project:Signature Policy or Project:Signature policy.[1]

Formatting time itself

As Doctor Who fans, we naturally like to have control over time. And it can actually be taken to extremes in signatures. It's not done terribly often, but it is possible to format the time stamp. In your signature line at Special:Preferences, you'd add (at least) the following:
{{SUBST:#time:<variables>}}
In place of "<variables>", you'd put in the variables which are appropriate for whatever you're trying to manipulate. So, for instance, the following expression:
'''{{SUBST:#time:H:i:s D}}'''

will result in the following output: 21:44:20 Sat

For a complete list of all the ways you can manipulate time — and there are a lot of them — check out this exhaustive table.

How do I sign if I've altered time?

If you do decide to format your time stamp, it will change the way you sign. Normally, the instruction is that you type four tildes in a row, just like we showed you a few sections ago. However, if you type four tildes on a signature that has a time stamp imbedded into it, you'll get two time stamps — one formatted, and one not — like this:


czechout@fandom   21:44:20 Sat 09 Jul 2011  21:44, July 9, 2011 (UTC)

So if you've got a signature with a time stamp in it, you should only type three tildes, not four.


~~~

Footnotes

  1. "Project" is the generic name for the project namespace. On this wiki, that namespace is called "Tardis"; at w:c:starwars it's "Wookieepedia", at w:c:zelda it's called "Zeldapedia", and so on. On every Wikia wiki, however, you can use the generic term "Project:" to save time. So Project:Administrators and Tardis:Administrators refer to the same page on this wiki, but you can always use Project:Administrators on any Wikia wiki to get a list of sysops on that wiki — provided they haven't deleted that page.

Signatures identify you as the author of a block of text. They should contain an automatic link to your user page, making it easy for others to learn more about you and communicate with you. The date contained in the signature also indicates how current the discussion is and the order in which comments were made.

On talk pages and wiki-style forum pages, signing your name is crucial to help others to keep track of conversations, and to understand who holds which opinions. This is considered good "Wikiquette".

Generally, your contributions to articles, help pages, policies, and other content pages should not be signed. Likewise it is not necessary to sign message wall posts, comments, or posts in the forums (with the exception of wiki-style forums), as these include your avatar, username, and time of post by default.

Below is an example signature from a Fandom Staff member:

Sannse @fandom (help forum | blog) 21:34, October 12, 2016 (UTC)

Adding a signature

To sign your name, type four tildes in a row: (~~~~)

In source edit mode, the signature button (button_sig.png) above the edit box can also be clicked to leave four tildes automatically.

This will show up by default as:

J. Random User 19:01, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

This example indicates that a user named "J. Random User" left the signature at the time indicated.

You can use three tildes (~~~) to leave your name without a timestamp, or five (~~~~~) to leave a timestamp but no name.

Changing a signature

Your default signature will contain just your username, linked to your user page on the wiki where you signed it, and the timestamp:

Example 10:42, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

You can change this signature to include a link to your local talk page:

Example (talk) 07:15, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

To do this, go to your Preferences (on any community) and check the I want to use wikitext in my signature checkbox. Then enter

[[User:Example|Example]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]])

in the Custom signature field above the checkbox.

You can add other customizations to this signature, such as colored text, a funny name, a small image, a special font, etc. by adding the appropriate wikitext to the signature box in your preferences.

Check with your community for whether there are any rules about styles in signatures.

Note: When you test your signature, keep in mind that a link to the current page will not be displayed as a clickable hyperlink. So the "link" to your talk page in your signature will not be clickable when placed on your own talk page.

Anonymous users and signatures

If you chose to edit on Fandom without logging in, but leave a signature, the tildes will be converted to your IP address. However, it can be easy to confuse two similar IPs in a conversation, so it may make more sense to manually sign your posts with a pseudonym or tag such as ―janedoe. Note that choosing not to sign with tildes does not keep your IP address private, since the IP still appears in the page history. If you wish for your address to be private, it is best to create an account.

Signatures in other character sets

If your signature is in a character set not in wide usage on the wiki where you are using a signature, it may be easier for users there to recognize you if you add a version of your name in the character set of that wiki.

In addition to difficulties users may have in remembering and using a name in a script which is foreign to them, characters from many scripts (such as Chinese, Hindi, or Georgian) may display as boxes or mojibake (garbage characters) for users without the proper fonts installed.

In these cases, you might want to add an additional nickname to your signature that is more understandable on that community. For example, you could use something like [[User:快樂|快樂 (Happiness)]] or [[User:快樂|快樂 (Felicidad)]] in the Custom signature field.

Dealing with unsigned messages

You can add {{unsigned|USERNAME}} or {{unsigned|USERNAME|~~~~~}} for a time stamp, replacing USERNAME with the username of the user who edited it, if a user did not sign their message.

More help

The English Wikipedia has various pages relating to signing comments, and to making comments in general, which may help to guide your project's development of signature and talk-page policies.

Please see:

See also

Further help and feedback

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.