{{Ambox}} stands for Article message box. It is used to build message boxes for templates used in articles. It offers several different colours, images and some other features.

Basic usage[edit source]

The box below shows the most common parameters that are accepted by {{Ambox}}. The purpose of each is described below.

| name        = 
| subst       = <includeonly>{{subst:substcheck}}</includeonly>
| small       = {{{small|}}}
| type        = 
| image       = 
| imageright  = 
| smallimage  = 
| smallimageright = 
| class       = 
| style       = 
| textstyle   = 
| sect        = {{{1|}}}
| issue       = 
| talk        = {{{talk|}}}
| fix         = 
| date        = {{{date|}}}
| text        = 
| smalltext   = 
| plainlinks  = no
| removalnotice =
| cat         = 
| all         = 
| cat2        = 
| all2        = 
| cat3        = 
| all3        = 

Common parameters[edit source]

name[edit source]

The name parameter specifies the name of the template, without the Template namespace prefix.

This parameter should be updated if the template is ever moved. The purpose of this parameter is twofold:

  • If incorrectly substituted, it allows the meta-template to notify the name of the template which has been substituted, which may help editors to fix the problem.
  • It allows the template to have a more useful display on its template page, for example to show the date even when not specified, and to apply categorisation of the template itself.

subst[edit source]

The subst parameter allows the meta-template to detect whether the template has been incorrectly substituted, and give an appropriate warning. It will also add such pages to Category:Pages with incorrectly substituted templates. Just copy the code exactly as it appears in the box.

small[edit source]

The small parameter should be passed through the template, as this will allow editors to use the small format by specifying |small=left on an article:

Otherwise the standard format will be produced:

Other variations:

  • For templates which should never be small, specify |small=no or do not pass the small parameter at all.
  • For templates which should always be small, just specify |small=left.
  • For templates which should default to small, try |small={{{small|left}}}. This will allow an editor to override by using |small=no on an article.

To use a small box that adjusts its width to match the text, use |style=width: auto; margin-right: 0px; and |textstyle=width: auto; together:

type[edit source]

The type parameter defines the colour of the left bar, and the image that is used by default. The type is chosen not on aesthetics but is based on the type of issue that the template describes. The seven available types and their default images are shown below.

If no type parameter is given the template defaults to |type=notice.

image[edit source]

You can choose a specific image to use for the template by using the image parameter. Images are specified using the standard syntax for inserting files in Wikipedia (see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Images#How to place an image.) Widths of 40-50px are typical.

Please note:

  • If no image is specified then the default image corresponding to the type is used. (See #type above.)
  • If |image=none is specified, then no image is used and the text uses the whole message box area.
  • If an icon is purely decorative and also in the public domain, accessibility can be improved by suppressing the link to the file page by adding "|link=|alt=" as seen above.

sect[edit source]

Many article message templates begin with the text This article ... and it is often desirable that this wording change to This section ... if the template is used on a section instead. The value of this parameter will replace the word "article". Various possibilities for use include: |sect=list, |sect=table, |sect="In popular culture" material, etc.

If using this feature, be sure to remove the first two words ("This article") from the template's text, otherwise it will be duplicated.

A common way to facilitate this functionality is to pass |sect={{{1|}}}. This will allow editors to type section, for example, as the first unnamed parameter of the template to change the wording.

Another approach is to pass |sect={{{section|{{{sect|}}}}}} to provide a named value. Another is to use {{Yesno}} to parse the value for a positive, and pass |sect=section if true.

These approaches can be combined, and this is recommended.

It is also advisable to restrict use of the |small= parameter so that it is made contingent upon the template being applied to a section (or whatever) rather than the whole article, to prevent the small version of the template being used at the top of the article where it would be inconsistent with other article-wide cleanup/dispute banners:

issue and fix[edit source]

The issue parameter is used to describe the issue with the article. Try to keep it short and to-the-point (approximately 10-20 words) and be sure to include a link to a relevant policy or guideline.

The fix parameter contains some text which describes what should be done to improve the article. It may be longer than the text in issue, but should not usually be more than two sentences.

When the template is in its compact form or small form (when using |small=left), the issue is the only text that will be displayed.

talk[edit source]

Some article message templates include a link to the talk page, and allow an editor to specify a section heading to link directly to the relevant section. To achieve this functionality, simply pass the talk parameter through, i.e. |talk={{{talk|}}}

This parameter may then be used by an editor as follows:

  • |talk=SECTION HEADING – the link will point to the specified section on the article's talk page, e.g. |talk=Foo
  • |talk=FULL PAGE NAME – the template will link to the page specified (which may include a section anchor), e.g. |talk=Talk:Banana#Foo


  • When this parameter is used by a template, the talk page link will appear on the template itself (in order to demonstrate the functionality) but this will only display on articles if the parameter is actually defined.
  • In order to make sure there is always a link to the talk page, you can use |talk={{{talk|#}}}.
  • If the talk page does not exist, there will be no link, whatever the value of the parameter.

date[edit source]

Passing the date parameter through to the meta-template means that the date that the article is tagged may be specified by an editor (or more commonly a bot). This will be displayed after the message in a smaller font.

info[edit source]

This parameter is for specifying additional information. Whatever you add here will appear after the date.

removalnotice[edit source]

If you specify |removalnotice=yes, then the following notice will be displayed after the date and after the info text:

  • Learn how and when to remove this template message.

cat[edit source]

This parameter defines a monthly cleanup category. If |cat=CATEGORY then:

  • articles will be placed in Category:CATEGORY from DATE if |date=DATE is specified.
  • articles will be placed in Category:CATEGORY if the date is not specified.

The cat parameter should not be linked, nor should the prefix Category: be used.

all[edit source]

The all parameter defines a category into which all articles should be placed.

The all parameter should not be linked, nor should the prefix Category: be used.

Additional parameters[edit source]

imageright[edit source]

An image on the right side of the message box may be specified using this parameter. The syntax is the same as for the image parameter, except that the default is no image.

smallimage and smallimageright[edit source]

Images for the small format box may be specified using these parameters. They will have no effect unless |small=left is specified.

class[edit source]

Custom CSS classes to apply to the box. If adding multiple classes, they should be space-separated.

style and textstyle[edit source]

Optional CSS values may be defined, without quotation marks " " but with the ending semicolons ;.

  • style specifies the style used by the entire message box table. This can be used to do things such as modifying the width of the box.
  • textstyle relates to the text cell.

text and smalltext[edit source]

Instead of specifying the issue and the fix it is possible to use the text parameter instead.

Customised text for the small format can be defined using smalltext.

plainlinks[edit source]

Normally on Wikipedia, external links have an arrow icon next to them, like this: Example.com. However, in message boxes, the arrow icon is suppressed by default, like this: Example.com. To get the normal style of external link with the arrow icon, use |plainlinks=no.

cat2, cat3, all2, and all3[edit source]

  • cat2 and cat3 provide for additional monthly categories; see #cat.
  • all2 and all3 provide for additional categories into which all articles are placed, just like #all.

Technical notes[edit source]

  • The CSS for this template is defined by the ambox CSS classes in MediaWiki:Common.css.
  • If you need to use special characters in the text parameter then you need to escape them like this:
| text  = <div>
Equal sign = and a start and end brace { } work fine as they are.
But here is a pipe &#124; and two end braces <nowiki>}}</nowiki>.
And now a pipe and end braces <nowiki>|}}</nowiki>.
  • The <div> tags that surround the text in the example above are usually not needed. But if the text contains line breaks then sometimes we get weird line spacing. This especially happens when using vertical dotted lists. Then use the div tags to fix that.
  • The default images for this meta-template are in png format instead of svg format. The main reason is that some older web browsers have trouble with the transparent background that MediaWiki renders for svg images. The png images here have hand optimised transparent background colour so they look good in all browsers. Note that svg icons only look somewhat bad in the old browsers, thus such hand optimisation is only worth the trouble for very widely used icons.

See also[edit source]