<references group=""></references>
[edit] [purge] 50px Template documentation

This template encapsulates the <references /> tag to show the list of references defined by <ref></ref> tags, with some formatting. It reduces the font size and has options for columns and groups. References can be defined within the body of the article or within the reference list.

The <ref></ref> and <references /> tags are part of the Cite.php MediaWiki extension.


Using only footnote-style references
== Content ==
Lorem ipsum.<ref>Source name, access date, etc.</ref>

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.<ref>Source name, access date, etc.</ref>

== References ==
Using only bibliographical style references
== Content ==
Lorem ipsum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

== References ==
* reference 1
* reference 2
Using both footnote-style and bibliography-style references

== Content ==

Lorem ipsum.<ref>Source name, access date, etc.</ref>

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.<ref>Source name, access date, etc.</ref>

Lorem ipsum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

== References ==


* reference 1
* reference 2

Font size[edit]

The font size should reduce to 90% for most browsers, but may appear to show at 100% for Internet Explorer and possibly other browsers.<ref name=fontsize/> As of December 21, 2010, the standard <references /> tag has the same font styling. The smaller font may be disabled through Special:Preferences → Gadgets → Disable smaller font sizes of elements such as Infoboxes, Navboxes and References lists.


Using {{Reflist|2}} will create a two-column reference list, and {{Reflist|3}} will create a three-column list, and so on. Choose the number of columns that is appropriate for the average width of the references on the page.

Using {{Reflist|30em}} will create columns with a minimum width of 30em, allowing the browser to automatically choose the number of columns based on the width of the web browser. Choose a column width that is appropriate for the average width of the references on the page.

Columns are currently supported only by Gecko-based browsers (such as Mozilla Firefox) and WebKit-based browsers (such as Google Chrome and Safari). See below for more information.

See also bug combining grouped references and columns

List styles[edit]

Reference lists are by default numbered lists. By using the liststyle= parameter, you can control how the list is rendered. For example, using liststyle = upper-roman will result in items being prefixed with roman numerals instead of decimal numbers. The parameter accepts any valid CSS value defined for list-style-type as shown below.

Multiple uses[edit]

If {{Reflist}} is used multiple times without a parameter, each instance will include all of the previously defined references. To force the parser to close previous references, each use of {{Reflist}} must be forced as a new instance by the use of any parameter. Even an undefined parameter such as {{Reflist|close=1}} will force the references to close.

Grouped references[edit]

As of June 2008, the footnotes system supports the separation of references into groups. This allows groups for explanatory notes, table references and the like. See WP:REFGROUP.

The general format for the reference tag would be:

<ref group="groupname">

And for the reflist:

Where groupname would be a group identifier such as "note", "nb" or "label".

There are three pre-defined group names that will automatically cause the link labels and this template to display other characters instead of numbers (see List styles above). These are: "lower-alpha" (a, b, c...), "lower-greek" (α, β, γ...) and "lower-roman" (i, ii, iii...).

See also bug combining grouped references and columns

List-defined references[edit]

As of September 2009, references may be defined within {{Reflist}} using |refs= and invoked within the content. There are new error messages associated with this update, documented at Help:Cite errors. As usual, groups can be used. Defined references must be used within the body; unused references will show an error message.


This is reference 1.<ref name="refname1" group="groupname" />
This is reference 2.<ref name="refname2" group="groupname" />
This is reference 3.<ref name="refname3" group="groupname" />

<ref name="refname1" group="groupname">content1</ref>
<ref name="refname2" group="groupname">content2</ref>
<ref name="refname3" group="groupname">content3</ref>


This is reference 1.<ref name="refname1" group="groupname"/> This is reference 2.<ref name="refname2" group="groupname"/> This is reference 3.<ref name="refname3" group="groupname"/>

<references group="groupname"><ref name="refname1">content1</ref> <ref name="refname2">content2</ref>

<ref name="refname3">content3</ref></references>

Technical details[edit]

Browser support for columns[edit]

CSS3 multiple column layout
browser support
Firefox Safari Chrome Opera
6 3 3.1 7 10.5
7 3.5 3.2 8 10.6
8 3.6 4 9 11
9 4 5 10 11.1

Multiple columns are generated by using CSS3, which is still in development; thus only browsers that properly support the multi-column property will show multiple columns with {{Reflist}}.<ref name="stuffandnonsense" /><ref name="w3org1" />

These browsers support CSS3 columns:

These browsers do not support CSS3 columns:

  • Microsoft Trident-based browsers including Internet Explorer through to version 9<ref name=msdn />
  • Opera through to version 11

Supporting CSS[edit]

{{Reflist}} uses a CSS rule in MediaWiki:Common.css to set the font size:

  • div.reflist { font-size: 90%; }

One of the following classes is assigned by the template when either column count or column width is set:

  • .references-column-count and .references-column-count-n (where n is the numer of columns)
  • .references-column-width

The following CSS properties are utilized using the {{column-count}} and {{column-width}} templates:

  • column-count CSS3 standard
  • column-width CSS3 standard
  • -moz-column-count Mozilla CSS extension
  • -moz-column-width Mozilla CSS extension
  • -webkit-column-count Webkit CSS extension
  • -webkit-column-width Webkit CSS extension

Customizing the view[edit]

By editing your CSS, the personal appearance of the reference list can be customized. From Preferences, select the Appearance tab, then on the selected skin select Custom CSS. After editing and saving, follow the instructions at the top of the page to purge. See Wikipedia:Skin#Customisation (advanced users) for more help.

Font size

The font size for all reference lists defaults to 90% of the standard size. To change it, add:

div.refbegin {
    font-size: 90%;

Change 90% to the desired size.


To disable columns, add:

.references-column-count, .references-column-width {
    column-count: 1 !important;
    column-width: auto !important;
    -moz-column-count: 1 !important;
    -moz-column-width: auto !important;
    -webkit-column-count: 1 !important;
    -webkit-column-width: auto !important;

Similarly, to force all reference lists to a number of columns, change the number.

Column dividers

To add dividers (rules) between columns, add:

.references-column-count, .references-column-width {
    column-rule: 1px solid #aaa;
    -moz-column-rule: 1px solid #aaa;
    -webkit-column-rule: 1px solid #aaa;

You can alter the appearance of the dividers by changing the values.


Note that, whereas {{reflist|15em|group="e"}} works as expected, {{reflist|15em |group="e"}} (with an extra space) currently does not display in columns.

Perennial suggestions[edit]

Collapsing and scrolling

There have been a number of requests to add functionality for a collapsible or scrolling reference list. These requests have not been fulfilled to due to issues with readability, accessibility, and printing. The applicable guidelines are at MOS:SCROLL. Links between the inline cite and the reference list do not work when the reference list is enclosed in a collapsed box.

To display the reference list in a scrollbox or collapsed per user, see Help:Reference display customization.

For discussion on previous attempts to do this with a template, see the discussions for Scrollref and Refbox.

Including the section title

There have been suggestions to include section header markup such as ==References==. This is inadvisable because:

  • There is no standard section name; see WP:FNNR
  • When transcluded, the article will have an edit link that will confusingly open the template for editing

See also[edit]


<references group=""><ref name=fontsize>See User:Edokter/fonttest for a comparison of font sizes for various browsers; see previous discussions on changing the font size to resolve the IE issue.</ref>

<ref name=stuffandnonsense>"CSS3 Multi-Column Thriller". December 30, 2005. Retrieved November 24, 2006. </ref>

<ref name=w3org1>"CSS3 module: Multi-column layout". W3C. December 15, 2005. Retrieved November 24, 2006. </ref>

<ref name=msdn>"CSS Compatibility and Internet Explorer: Multi-column Layout". Microsoft Developer Network. Microsoft. Retrieved March 16, 2011. </ref></references>
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