Help:Formatting conventions

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Formatting conventions

Standard formatting conventions used for proofreading on Wikisource.

The following conventions are considered best practices for pages in the Page: namespace (DjVu files, PDFs and other files which use the ProofreadPage extension). For general article formatting conventions and guidelines see Wikisource:Style guide.

Running headersEdit

A scanned page's header and footer often include page number and titles, which are not transcluded. Place this information in the header and footer edit boxes, accessed by clicking the   which appears above the edit window, in the Proofread tools section.

The {{RunningHeader}} template is useful for formatting these headers, and is used as follows:

  • {{RunningHeader|left=|center=|right=}}
  • Text in the left, center, or right parameters will appear on the same line.
  • Five-entry style headers, such as those that appear in certain encylopedias and dictionaries can be entered with {{rh/5}}

Line breaksEdit

  • Remove end-of-line hyphens and line breaks.
It was a dark and stormy night, the rain fell in tor-⏎
rents—except at occasional intervals, when it was⏎
checked by a violent gust of wind which⏎
It was a dark and stormy night, the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which...
  • To start a new paragraph, MediaWiki pages use two line breaks (i.e. press return twice and leave one line blank):
...this is the end of one paragraph.

This is the start of the next paragraph...
  • Poetry and other texts presented on a line-by-line basis should have their line breaks preserved. See H:POEM for how to format them.

Hyphenated end of page wordsEdit

  • When a word is hyphenated onto two consecutive pages of the scans, the software will automatically remove the hyphen and join the words together when transcluded into the main namespace.
    First page: Sometimes words are hyphen-
    Second page: ated across page breaks.
    Final result: "Sometimes words are hyphenated across page breaks."
    • Note: Some older works use the templates {{hws}} and {{hwe}}: these are no longer required for newly created pages.
  • If you wish to keep the hyphen (e.g. in the word "over-eager"), use {{peh}} (a.k.a. {{page end hyphen}}) and the software will not remove it:
    First page: Sometimes removal of hyphens is over{{peh}}
    Second page eager: you wish to keep the hyphen.
    Final result: "Sometimes removal of hyphens is over-eager: you wish to keep the hyphen."
  • If a link goes across a page break, use {{lps}} and {{lpe}}. See the documentation of those templates for the various cases that they support.

Paragraph ending at the bottom of a pageEdit


  • Using standard templates instead of other types of markup, gives Wikisource protection from undesirable external changes. eg. Use {{right}} instead of <p align="right">.
    • If you need to indicate a word/phrase should be in Small Caps, use the {{small-caps}} template.
    • If you need to indicate a word/phrase should be in a smaller (or larger) font, use the {{smaller}} template. Similarly, the {{xx-smaller}}, {{x-smaller}}, {{larger}}, {{x-larger}}, {{xx-larger}}, and {{font-size}} templates can be used to modify text size.


  • Footnotes in the print version of the book should be implemented using the <ref></ref> and <references/> ( or {{smallrefs}} ) mark up. The {{reflist}} mark-up is for Author and Main namespaces.

Obsolete markupEdit

Some markup is obsolete in modern HTML and will eventually be removed from browsers and MediaWiki.

  • The use of the align attribute is also deprecated and should be replaced with CSS:
    • For table positioning:
      • align=center: use style="margin: auto;"
      • align=left/right: use style="float: left/right;"
    • For text alignment (e.g. in table cells):
      • align=left/center/right: use style="text-align: left/center/right;"