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✔ This page documents an Pensapedia guideline. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should follow, though it should be treated with common sense. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. When in doubt, discuss your idea on the talk page.

Signing your posts on talk pages and other Pensapedia discourse is good etiquette and facilitates discussion by helping other users to identify the author of a particular comment. The responder can navigate to talk pages and address their comments to the specific relevant user(s). Discussion is an important part of collaborative editing because it helps all users to understand the progress and evolution of a work.

Edits on main Pensapedia article pages should not be signed; this information is already recorded in the page history, and it gives undue prominence to the contributions of a single editor.

Using signatures[edit]

Signatures on Pensapedia identify you as a user, and your contributions to Pensapedia. They encourage civility in discussions by identifying the author of a particular comment, and the date and time at which it was made. Because of that, having an uncivil signature is strongly discouraged (in some cases, to the point of blocking the user until it is changed).

How to sign your posts[edit]

There are two ways to sign your posts:

  1. At the end of your comments, simply type four tildes (~), like this: ~~~~.
  2. If you are using the edit toolbar (it usually appears above the edit screen as a default), click the signature icon (File:Signature icon.png) to add the four tildes.

Your signature will appear after you have saved the changes.

The end result is the same in both cases. Typing four tildes will result in the following:

Wiki markup Resulting code Resulting display
[[User:Example|Example]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) 11:11, 24 July 2024 (UTC) Example (talk) 11:11, 24 July 2024 (UTC)

Since typing four tildes adds the time and date to your resulting signature, this is the preferred option for signing your posts in discussions.

Typing three tildes results in the following:

Wiki markup Resulting code Resulting display
[[User:Example|Example]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]]) Example (talk)

Since this does not date-stamp your signature, you may wish to sign this way when leaving general notices on your user page or user talk page. This is also a convenient shortcut (rather than typing out the full code) when you want to provide a link to your user page.

Typing five tildes will convert to a date stamp with the current date and time, without adding your signature, like this:

Wiki markup Resulting code Resulting display
11:11, 24 July 2024 (UTC) 11:11, 24 July 2024 (UTC)

Note that if you choose to contribute to Pensapedia without logging in, you should still sign your posts. In this case, your IP address will take the place of your username.

Your IP address might look something like this: Some users prefer to use their IP address instead of a user name because they think that an IP provides them with more anonymity. In fact, a pseudonymous account (that is, a registered user name) actually provides you with more protection of your identity ,as IP addresses can be easily tracked by anyone. Registered users have their IP addresses hidden from public view.

Note also that signing manually with a pseudonym or tag such as --anon does not give you more anonymity or privacy protection, since your IP address will still be stored in the page history. This also makes it more difficult for other users to communicate with you. If you choose to sign this way, you should still type four tildes: --anon ~~~~.

Customizing your signature[edit]

If an editor has not customized their signature, the default signature will display when ~~~~ is typed. This looks like:
Example (talk) 14:04, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Registered users can customize their signature by going to Special:Preferences and changing the field "Signature".

When customizing your signature, please keep the following in mind: A distracting, confusing or otherwise unsuitable signature may adversely affect other users. Some editors find it disruptive to discourse on talk pages, or when working in the edit window. Very long signatures that contain a lot of code ("markup") make it difficult for some editors to read talk pages while editing.

In no circumstance should a signature be used to impersonate another user: in particular, a signature should not be identical to the actual username of another existing user, and even more importantly should not link to someone else's userpage. While not an absolute requirement, it is common practice for a signature to resemble to some degree the username it represents.

Appearance and color[edit]

Your signature should not blink, or otherwise inconvenience or be annoying to other editors.

  • Markup such as <big> tags (which produce big text), or line breaks (<br /> tags) are to be avoided, since they disrupt the way that surrounding text displays. The limited use of non-breaking spaces (&nbsp;) to ensure that the signature displays on one line is allowed.
  • Be sparing with superscript or subscript. In some cases, this type of script can also affect the way that surrounding text is displayed.
  • Avoid making your signature so small that it is difficult to read.
  • In consideration of users with vision problems, be sparing with color. If you must use different colors in your signature, please ensure that the result will be readable by people with color blindness.


Images of any kind must not be used in signatures for the following reasons:

  • They are an unnecessary drain on server resources, and could cause server slowdown.
  • A new image can be uploaded in place of the one you chose, making your signature a target for possible vandalism and denial-of-service attacks.
  • They make pages more difficult to read and scan.
  • They make it more difficult to copy text from a page.
  • They are potentially distracting from the actual message.
  • Images do not scale with the text, making lines with images higher than those without.
  • They clutter up the "file links" list on the image page every time you sign on a different talk page.
  • Images in signatures give undue prominence to a given user's contribution.

As an alternative to using images, consider using Unicode characters that are symbols, such as these: ☺☻♥♪♫♣♠♂♀§.


Keep signatures short, both in display and markup.

Extremely long signatures with a lot of HTML/wiki markup make page editing and discussion more difficult for the following reasons:

  • Signatures that take up more than two or three lines in the edit window clutter the page and make it harder to distinguish posts from signatures,
  • Long signatures give undue prominence to a given user's contribution,
  • Signatures which have long HTML/wiki markup and contain no spaces cause other editors' edit boxes to show unnecessary horizontal scrollbars (such signatures may have spaces added to them by any editor).
  • Signatures that occupy more space than necessary in the edit box displace meaningful comments, thus forcing the editor to scroll when writing his reply.
  • The presence of such long signatures in the discussion also disrupts the reading of comments when an editor is formulating his reply.

The software will automatically truncate both plain and raw signatures to 255 characters (including characters used for HTML/wiki markup).

Internal links[edit]

It is common practice to include a link to your user page or user talk page (often both); the default signature links to the user page. At least one of those two pages must be linked from your signature, to allow other editors simple access to your talk page and contributions log.

Do not place any disruptive internal links, such as SIGN HERE!!!, which refers to an autograph page.

External links[edit]

Do not include links to external websites in your signature.

Mass posting of links to a particular website is strongly discouraged on Pensapedia. Posting a link to an external website with each comment you make on a talk page could be taken as link spamming, or an attempt to improve your website's ranking on search engines. Although this does not actually work, it is best not to do it. If you want to tell other Pensapedians about a good website with which you are associated, you can do so on your user page.


Signatures must not contain categories. Categorizing talk pages by who has edited them is unhelpful, and the same information can be found by using your contributions list.

Dealing with unsigned comments[edit]

The template {{unsigned}} can be used at the end of an unsigned comment to attach the username or IP to the comment. This template does not automatically populate (fill in) the name or IP of the poster and the time of the post. That information is best copied from the history page and pasted into the template. Note: All of the unsigned templates must be substituted.

Wiki markup Resulting code Resulting display
{{subst:unsigned|user name or IP}} {{subst:unsigned|Example}} —Preceding unsigned comment added by Example (talkcontribs)
{{subst:unsigned|user name or IP|date}} {{subst:unsigned|Example|23:59, 1 April, 2006 (UTC)}} —Preceding unsigned comment added by Example (talkcontribs) 23:59, 1 April, 2006 (UTC)

It is also a good idea to notify users, especially new users, that they should sign their comments.

See also[edit]