Help:Interwiki linking

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Interwiki links are links to pages of other projects, using a prefixed internal link style.

Interwiki links make it possible, to link to pages of (e.g.) Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikinews etc. or to your wiki-project in different languages (see Manual:Wiki family).

A link like [[Wikipedia:Main Page]] will appear like this: Wikipedia:Main Page and redirect you to Wikipedia's Main Page. Or it would, if Wikipedia: or a similar prefix were one of the interwiki links that is turned on by default. Try [[MetaWikipedia:Main Page]] instead : MetaWikipedia:Main Page.

For setting up interwiki links, you might need to edit the database. If you don't want to, you can use Extension:Special page to work with the interwiki table.


Interwiki links to other projects


Several Wikimedia-Projects (and others) are ready for interwiki linking by default, so you can use them without editing your database. However, the mother of all Wikimedia-projects — Wikipedia itself — is still missing, after all these years. It's a bit like the main roads in large cities around the world that go for generations without any street signs.

So here is how to add it...
(note: advanced mySQL users may prefer to use just a single command line: INSERT INTO interwiki SET iw_prefix='(the wiki name)', iw_url='http://(the adequate URL)/$1', iw_local=1, iw_trans=0 ; - instead of exporting and re-importing the whole table interwiki content... )

  • Export the database table 'interwiki' then add to the end of the table the following example...
  • ('en', '$1', 1, 0);
  • Note: in the above code, the semicolon ';' as seen, MUST be at the end of the table. At the end of any other line within that table Only has ','.
  • Import the database table 'interwiki'
  • Next: Goto your site, create an article, with the following content.
  • [[en:Main_Page|]] will display a link of Main_page and when click on, will go to the url

The following is general interwiki linking.

prefix direction usage example
commons [[commons:MediaWiki]]
mediazilla [[mediazilla:1209]]
meta [[meta:Main Page]]
mw [[mw:Help:Contents]]
wikibooks [[wikibooks:Main Page]]
wikimedia [[wikimedia:Main Page]]
wikinews [[wikinews:Main Page]]
wikiquote [[wikiquote:Main Page]]
wikisource [[wikisource:Main Page]]
wikispecies [[wikispecies:Main Page]]
wiktionary [[wiktionary:Main Page]]

Note: In some installations none of these is pre-installed. Try [[metawikipedia:Main Page]] in this case.

Adding more

As the Wikipedia isn't set up by default in version 1.9 and before, you might want to add it (and other projects of your need).

You have to edit your own database. Go to table interwiki and add a new line (usually done with phpMyAdmin):

  • iw_prefix: choose a prefix, which is used for interwiki linking, e.g. "wikipedia" for linking to Wikipedia
  • iw_url: enter the project's URL, e.g.$1 for Wikipedia. Don't forget the $1 as it is replaced with the article's name you are linking to ([[Wikipedia:Main Page]] links to

That won't work because you have to enter it as binary (bug?), So you have (or not) to add the url in a plain text file, then import it through phpmyadmin. this applies to SVN.

  • iw_local: if 1, your wiki will redirect even external links of the form iw_prefix:title, not only those from its own pages. you need this if you want to use the redirect functionality from outside your wiki or other wikis use your transwiki functions for nested transwiki links (like
  • iw_trans: "transwiki transclusion" - set to 1 if you want to use pages from the other wiki as templates. You will also need to set $wgEnableScaryTranscluding = true in your LocalSettings.php
Image:Tools.svg Tip for wiki admins: Several help pages link to's Manual namespace. To make these links work on your local wiki, add an interwiki link with iw_prefix=manual and iw_url=$1

Interwiki links to other languages

Image:M-en-interwiki lang.png
Interwiki links to other languages

If you have installed a Wiki family, you can link from an article in English to an article in German (if you have a German project, too). You can set up MediaWiki, to show those links in the sidebar, just below the toolbox.

In your filesystem, there is a subfolder of your MediaWiki installation, called "languages". Go there and have a look at "Names.php" as it contains a list of known languages and their prefixes. E.g. you want to add your German project, search "Names.php" for "Deutsch" and note the prefix "de".

If you know the "right" prefix, edit your database by adding a new line to table interwiki:

  • iw_prefix: language-prefix (e.g. "de" for German), which is listed in "Names.php"
  • iw_url: URL to your wiki-project (e.g.$1)
  • iw_local: same as above "Adding More"
  • iw_trans: same as above "Adding More"

Now, you can link an article to the same in other languages. Adding [[de:Hauptseite]] on your english Main_Page will create a link "Deutsch" below the toolbox, which leads to the Main_Page of the German wiki (Hauptseite).

Note, that this link is shown in Sidebar's section, only, and not inside of the article. If you want to create a link inside of the text, you have to add a colon previous to the prefix: [[:de:Hauptseite]].

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