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MediaWiki variables or magic words are strings of text that output as information such as time, site details, or page names.

General notes

  • Inheritance: page-dependent magic words will affect or return data about the current page, regardless of whether it is in the page code or a transcluded template.

Behaviour switches

A behaviour switch controls the layout of the page. They are written as a magic word wrapped with double underscores.

Word Description Versions
Table of contents
__NOTOC__ Hides the table of contents (TOC).
__FORCETOC__ Forces the table of content to appear at its normal position (above the first header).
__TOC__ Places a table of contents at the word's current position (overriding __NOTOC__). If this is used multiple times, the table of contents will appear at the first word's position.
__NOEDITSECTION__ Hides the section edit links beside headings.
__NEWSECTIONLINK__ Adds a link beside the "edit" tab for adding a new section on a non-talk page. 1.7+
__NOGALLERY__ Used on a category page, replaces thumbnails in the category view with normal links. 1.7+
__HIDDENCAT__ Used on a category page, hides the category from the lists of categories in its members and parent categories (there is an option in the user preferences to show them). 1.13+
Language conversion
On wikis with language variants, don't perform any content language conversion (character and phase) in article display; for example, only show Chinese (zh) instead of variants like zh_cn, zh_tw, zh_sg, or zh_hk.
On wikis with language variants, don't perform language conversion on the title (all other content is converted).
__END__ Explicitly marks the end of the article, to prevent MediaWiki from removing trailing whitespace (does not seem to work anymore).
__START__ No effect.


The syntax of most variables is similar to templates, but capitalized to help avoid conflicts. If a template has the same name and case as a variable, the variable will be used. Usage of the template can be forced by adding the "msg:" modifier (for example, "{{msg:CURRENTYEAR}}").

Page-dependent variables will return data about the currently-viewed page, regardless of whether the variable is in the page code or a transcluded template.


Date & time

The following variables return the current date and time according to the user's timezone preferences, defaulting to the UTC timezone.

Due to MediaWiki and browser caching, these variables frequently show when the page was cached rather than the current time.

Variable Output Description
{{CURRENTYEAR}} 2017 Year
{{CURRENTMONTH}} 02 Month (zero-padded number)
{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} February Month (name)
{{CURRENTMONTHNAMEGEN}} February Month (genitive form)
{{CURRENTMONTHABBREV}} Feb Month (abbreviation)
{{CURRENTDAY}} 19 Day of the month (unpadded number)
{{CURRENTDAY2}} 19 Day of the month (zero-padded number)
{{CURRENTDOW}} 0 Day of the week (unpadded number)
{{CURRENTDAYNAME}} Sunday Day of the week (name)
{{CURRENTTIME}} 21:20 Time (24-hour HH:mm format)
{{CURRENTHOUR}} 21 Hour (24-hour zero-padded number)
{{CURRENTWEEK}} 7 Week (number)
{{CURRENTTIMESTAMP}} 20170219212012 ISO 8601 time stamp

The following variables do the same as the above, but using the site's local timezone instead of user preferences and UTC:

  • {{LOCALDAY}}
  • {{LOCALDAY2}}
  • {{LOCALDOW}}

Statistics and technical details


Variable Output Description
{{SITENAME}} CreationWiki Name of the wiki ($wgSitename)
{{CONTENTLANGUAGE}} en Default interface language ($wgLanguageCode)
{{NUMBEROFPAGES}} 28,058 Number of wiki pages
{{NUMBEROFARTICLES}} 6,178 Number of pages in main namespace
{{NUMBEROFFILES}} 991 Number of uploaded files

Latest revision to a page

The following variables return data about the latest edit to the current page, even if viewing an older version of the page.

Variable Output Description
{{REVISIONID}} 185567 Unique ID
{{REVISIONDAY}} 30 Day edit was made (unpadded number)
{{REVISIONDAY2}} 30 Day edit was made (zero-padded number)
{{REVISIONMONTH}} 04 Month edit was made (unpadded number)
{{REVISIONYEAR}} 2009 Year edit was made
{{REVISIONTIMESTAMP}} 20090430161722 Timestamp as of time of edit

URL data


Variable Output Description
{{SERVER}} domain URL ($wgServer)
{{SERVERNAME}} domain name ($wgServerName)
{{SCRIPTPATH}} relative script path ($wgScriptPath)
{{localurl:pagename|query string}}
/index.php?title=Pagename&query string
relative path to title

Page names

Variable Output Description
{{FULLPAGENAME}} Help:Variable Namespace and page title
{{BASEPAGENAME}} Variable The namespace and page title excluding the current subpage ("Title" on "Title/foo")
{{PAGENAME}} Variable Page title
{{SUBPAGENAME}} Variable The subpage title ("foo" on "Title/foo")
{{SUBJECTPAGENAME}} Help:Variable The title of the associated content page.
{{TALKPAGENAME}} Help talk:Variable The title of the associated talk page.

The following are URL-encoded equivalents:



Variable Output Description
{{NAMESPACE}} Help Namespace (name)
{{SUBJECTSPACE}} Help Name of the associated content namespace
{{TALKSPACE}} Help talk Name of the associated talk namespace

The following are URL-encoded equivalents:


{{ns:}} returns the localized namespace name for that number of constant. The default values are:

Usage Output
{{ns:-2}} or {{ns:Media}} Media
{{ns:-1}} or {{ns:Special}} Special
{{ns:0}} or {{ns:Main}}
{{ns:1}} or {{ns:Talk}} Talk
{{ns:2}} or {{ns:User}} User
{{ns:3}} or {{ns:User_talk}} User talk
{{ns:4}} or {{ns:Project}} CreationWiki
{{ns:5}} or {{ns:Project_talk}} CreationWiki talk
{{ns:6}} or {{ns:Image}} File
{{ns:7}} or {{ns:Image_talk}} File talk
{{ns:8}} or {{ns:MediaWiki}} MediaWiki
{{ns:9}} or {{ns:MediaWiki_talk}} MediaWiki talk
{{ns:10}} or {{ns:Template}} Template
{{ns:11}} or {{ns:Template_talk}} Template talk
{{ns:12}} or {{ns:Help}} Help
{{ns:13}} or {{ns:Help_talk}} Help talk
{{ns:14}} or {{ns:Category}} Category
{{ns:15}} or {{ns:Category_talk}} Category talk

Custom variables

MediaWiki also supports custom variables defined as part of extensions or specific to a particular installation. For example, some installations might find it helpful to have a variable that identifies the name of the sponsoring organization or the portion of the wiki URL that precedes the title if it is liable to change or more complex than http://{{SERVERNAME}}.

For more information, please see MediaWiki Manual - Variables.