Template:Short description

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Short description
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Template:Short description is used to add a short description (which can be edited from within Wikipedia) to a Wikipedia page. These descriptions appear in Wikipedia mobile searches and elsewhere, and help users identify the desired article.


{{Short description|Write your short description here}}


See the monthly parameter usage report for this template.

TemplateData for Short description

Creates a short description, for a Wikipedia article, which is used in the Visual Editor to provide context on wikilinks.

Template parameters

This template has custom formatting.


The short description of the article or 'none'.

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Should be unused or 'noreplace'. Noreplace templates will not replace other short description templates without noreplace. Mainly for use within transcluded templates.


The type of page. This puts it in the appropriate category - Things with short description


About writing good short descriptions

This page is about the short description template; it does not provide guidelines for writing a good short description. If you plan to use this template, you should make sure you read and follow the detailed guidance at WP:HOWTOSD. General infomation can be found at Wikipedia:Short description.

Template information

Eventually all articles should have a short description:

  • by directly using this template, in which case the short description will be unique to the article
  • transcluded in another template, such as a disambiguation template, where a generic short description is adequate for a large class of pages
  • where the short description is assembled from data in an infobox

Automatically generated descriptions within templates should set the second parameter as noreplace so they do not override any short descriptions specifically added to the transcluding article.

Short descriptions are not normally needed for non-article pages, such as redirects, but can be added if useful.

If the article title alone is sufficient to ensure reliable identification of the desired article, a null value of {{Short description|none}} may be used.

Short descriptions do not necessarily serve the same function as the Wikidata description for an item and they do not have to be the same, but some overlap is expected in many cases. Some Wikidata descriptions may be unsuitable, and if imported must be checked for relevance, accuracy and fitness for purpose. Responsibility for such imports lies with the importer.


At Oxygen therapy, add the following at the very top of the article, above everything else:

  • {{Short description|Use of oxygen as medical treatment}}


For testing purposes, the display of this template can be enabled by adding a line to your Special:MyPage/common.css:

  • .shortdescription { display:block !important; }

This can be easily removed or disabled when finished testing.

If you want to always see short descriptions, you may prefer a more utilitarian layout, such as:

.shortdescription {
  display:block !important;
  white-space: pre-wrap;
.shortdescription::before { 
  content: "\A[Short description:\0020";
.shortdescription::after { 
  content: "]\A";

There is a test version of this template available as Template:Short description/test which displays its text by default.

  • {{Short description/test}} displays the short description if supplied
  • {{Short description/test}} displays nothing if none is supplied
  • {{Short description/test}} displays the description from Wikidata if wikidata is supplied.

Taking (Q1096878) as an example:

  • {{short description/test|Underwater diving where breathing is from equipment independent of the surface}}Underwater diving where breathing is from equipment independent of the surface
  • {{short description/test|none }}
  • {{short description/test|wikidata }}

Pagetype parameter

If {{{Pagetype}}} is not set, then this template adds the article to a category based on the namespace:

If {{{Pagetype}}} is set, then this template adds the article to a category matching the parameter. For example:


While there are currently redirects to this template, they must not be used.

Other templates and gadgets attempt to extract the description from pages by explicitly searching for the use of the {{Short description}} template.
For example, {{Annotated link}} searches for templates "Short description" or "short description".

Do not start the template with a space: '"`UNIQ--nowiki-0000000A-QINU`"'. While this does create a valid short description, the space will prevent searches for the '"`UNIQ--nowiki-0000000C-QINU`"' text.

Maintenance categories

See also