Help:Reference Previews

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<languages /> Template:PD Help Page

<translate> The Reference Previews feature shows a preview of a footnote when you hover over its footnote marker. This feature is part of the MediaWiki extension [[<tvar|extpopups>Extension:Popups|Popups</>]], which is used for [[<tvar|pagepreviews>Page_Previews</>|Page Previews]]. It's currently a beta feature.

Background[edit source]

The Reference Previews feature aims to fulfill a wish from the German-speaking community's Technical Wishlist and is developed by WMDE's Tech team, with support from the WMF’s Reading Web team. The design for this feature is being developed by the WMF.

More information can be found on the [[<tvar|RefPreviews>m:WMDE Technical Wishes/ReferencePreviews</>|main project page on Meta]].

Usage[edit source]

Activate the feature[edit source]

Reference Previews will first be available as a beta feature. In order to use it, you have to

  • be logged in and tick the checkbox for "Reference Previews" in your [[<tvar|setBeta>Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-betafeatures</>|beta feature settings]],
  • [[<tvar|setGadgets>Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets</>|disable]] [<tvar|NavPopups> Navigation Popups </>] (otherwise, Reference Previews won't show),
  • disable the [[<tvar|RefTooltips>Reference_Tooltips|Reference Tooltips</>]] gadget (recommended, because otherwise two pop-ups will appear).

Look and behavior[edit source]


<translate> Scope of the very first version of this feature:

  • The pop-up opens when you hover over or when you click on a footnote marker.
  • It gives a preview of the footnote as it is shown at the bottom of the page. Inside the preview, all kinds of footnote content (text, images, tables, …) can be displayed.
  • Reference Previews look like [[<tvar|pagepreviews>Page_Previews</>|Page Previews]]. This way, all pop-ups have the same design, no matter if you hover over a page link or a footnote marker.
  • At the top of the pop-up, the reference type is shown (more info below).
  • For short footnotes, the pop-up window adjusts to a smaller size. If the footnote size exceeds the maximum pop-up size, you can scroll to read the whole footnote.
  • Clicking on the link "Jump to reference" brings you to the actual footnote in the footnote section.
  • Links that are part of a footnote open in a new tab.
  • After the beta phase, a settings cog will take you to your user settings for this feature.

Displaying the reference type[edit source]


<translate> Example of a footnote preview (status April 2019)</translate>

<translate> First tests have shown that displaying the type of a reference can help readers evaluate its trustworthiness more quickly; e.g. a journal publication is more trustworthy than a blog post.

This is how the categorization works:

  • Currently there are four types of references defined: Web Reference, Journal Reference, Book Reference and News Reference. Apart from that there is always a generic "default" type, which is simply named Reference.</translate>


  • Technically speaking, the type of a reference is defined by CSS-classes, e.g. <tvar|citeclass><cite class="journal"></> for journal references. These classes are set in the <tvar|cite><cite></> element in a reference's content ([[<tvar|classExamples>Page_Content_Service/References#Example 3: Various citation types</>|more info]]).</translate>


  • On most wikis, you can assign a class to a reference by using templates. For example, the English {{cite}} templates specify their respective class already. Classes can be added to other templates as well.</translate>


  • Alternatively, you can add a cite class directly into a ref tag, e.g. <tvar|refExample1><ref><cite class="book">reference content</cite></ref></>.</translate>


  • References without cite tags and classes (e.g. plain <tvar|refExample1><ref></> tags) are shown as "Reference".

JavaScript[edit source]

The preview uses JavaScript. If you don't have JavaScript activated, you'll get the current view: Footnote markers are jump marks and there's no preview.

Deployment roadmap[edit source]


  • Template:Tick (testwiki): 2019-02-28
  • <translate> beta feature on</translate>:
    • Template:Tick <translate> German Wikipedia: 2019-04-04</translate>
    • Template:Tick <translate> Arabic Wikipedia: 2019-04-04</translate>
    • <translate> all wikis that use the Popups extension (all Wikipedias & en, he and zh Wikivoyages): 2019-10-24</translate>


Links[edit source]

Reference Previews

Page Previews

Help with translation[edit source]

The software messages for this feature can be translated on translate wiki. Any help is much appreciated! </translate>

[[Category:Help{{#translation:}}| ]] [[Category:Beta Features{{#translation:}}]]