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Instructions for {{Il}}
{{il}} is a template for producing an infobox list in a way that conforms with T:NO HTML and uses less space than bulleted lists. However, it takes up more vertical space than its sister template {{csl}}, which is to be preferred in most cases.

Usage

Simply type {{il|item 1|item 2|item 3| ... item 20}}

For instance, if we wanted to list the featured Doctors in PROSE: The Eight Doctors, we might well type something like this:
{{Infobox Story
|doctor = Eighth Doctor
|featuring = {{il|[[First Doctor]]|[[Second Doctor]]|[[Third Doctor]]|[[Fourth Doctor]]|[[Fifth Doctor]]|[[Sixth Doctor]]|[[Seventh Doctor]]}}
}}

Advantages

This has the following advantages over the bulletised lists:

  • An {{il}} list takes up less space, because they don't have to allow for the character of the bullet, plus the additional space to the left and right of the bullet
  • It's far easier to create than an HTML <ul> structure.

Disadvantages

  • The lack of indentation means that things which appear on more than one line are slightly less clear than with bullets.
  • This template can handle only 20 items. However, if you need more than 5 or 6 things on a list in an infobox, the chances are you're giving too much detail. Remember, the point of an infobox is to give a brief flavour of the main aspects of the thing in question. An infobox is never meant to be exhaustive.

Guidelines

Generally, lists in infoboxes, where each item is on its own line, should be avoided. It is a far more efficient use of space simply to separate thigs with a comma. However, there are certainly cases where such lists can be useful, and will be visually appealing.

Let's compare the same information presented both ways. At right, you'll see the featured characters from Journey's End. The top box does it by simply separating with commas. The bottom uses {{il}}. Yes, the one on the bottom is "neater", but it's also twice as tall. Depending on the article, that may be okay. If you've got a nice, fat lead that's as long as the infobox is tall, feel free to use {{il}} with impunity. But if your article — or, especially, lead — is smaller, using {{il}} is an extravagant waste of space that you can ill-afford.

Most really long entries should be handled by {{csl}} not {{il}}.

It's worth noting that on the live page of Journey's End — as of 16:57, March 21, 2012 (UTC) —  all these featured characters are reduced to first names only and separated by commas.

Please also note that parentheticals should absolutely be avoided in infoboxes. Yes, it has been commonplace to add things like (departs), (joins), (redeems herself) and other little asides, but these simply waste space. Remember, parenthetical information is by definition unnecessary, or you wouldn't have put it in parentheses. Infoboxes should contain only the least amount of necessary information. The lead of the article should be telling us that it's the first adventure with Adric, or the serial in which Dodo departed. Such information is not the province of the infobox.

Template history

This template was originally created as a way to make bullet-pointed lists in infoboxes. Hence, it was originally called {{bp}}. In the wake of its changeover to a non-bullet-pointed listmaker, its name was changed.

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