BattleTechWiki:Manual of Style/Disambiguation

Disambiguation pages are non-article pages designed to help a reader find the right BattleTechWiki article when different topics could be referred to by the same search term, as described in the guidelines on the Guideline:Disambiguation page. In other words, disambiguation pages help readers find the specific article they want when there is topic ambiguity.


The style guidelines on this page aim to give disambiguation pages a consistent appearance and help the efficiency of searches by excluding extraneous information. Any page containing one of the disambiguation templates should contain only disambiguation content, whether or not the page title contains "(disambiguation)."

Users interested in learning more about wiki formatting (that which is required for this topic) will find detailed instructions on this page. Those wanting just a brief summary of main points can skip to the § Checklist at the bottom.

When disambiguation is not needed[edit]

There are occasions in BattleTechWiki when there are multiple pages relating to the same subject. {{Phoenix Hawk}}, for example, also has separate pages for the {{Phoenix Hawk IIC}}, {{Phoenix Hawk L}}, and {{Phoenix Hawk LAM}} models. These BattleMech variations are already linked to each other in a section on each of their respective pages, and as there are no other articles with the same term, a disambiguation page is not needed. Simply put, a disambiguation page is needed for "different things called" rather than "different versions of the thing called."

Additionally, a disambiguation page with only two meanings is not necessary if one of them is the primary topic for that term. The recommended practice in these situations is to place a hatnote on the primary topic article to link directly to the secondary topic. The {{for}} and {{redirect}} templates are useful. If neither of the two meanings is primary, then a normal disambiguation page is still used at the base name.

Page naming[edit]

In general, the title of a disambiguation page is the ambiguous term itself, provided there is no primary topic for that term. If there is already a primary topic, the "(disambiguation)" qualifier should be added to the title of the disambiguation page, such as {{Falcon (disambiguation)}}.

There will be times when an article is currently occupying the primary topic spot but might not be relatively significant compared to other similar terms. These pages can be moved to make way for a disambiguation page if approval is directly or tacitly given. Generally, planetary systems and iconic BattleMechs tend to be the most interlinked and searched terms and warrant being the primary topic, while individual ships, single-named characters, and planetary locations are not and can more easily be moved. While this is not the only indicator, viewing the "What links here" link in the toolbox can provide a sense for how much a page is used.

Introductory line[edit]

The term being disambiguated should be in bold, not in quotes or italicized. It should begin a sentence fragment ending with a colon, introducing a bulleted list:

Blackjack may refer to:

Hidden War(s) may refer to:

Individual entries[edit]

After the introductory line comes a list of individual entries—lines which direct the readers to BattleTechWiki articles on the various topics being referenced by the term being disambiguated. Keep in mind that the primary purpose of the disambiguation page is to help people find the specific article they want quickly and easily. For example:

Guardian may refer to:

Apply the following rules when constructing entries:

  • Preface each entry with a bullet (an asterisk in wiki markup).
  • The link should come at the start of the entry.
  • The article title should appear exactly as it is on the target page; the link should not be piped except under certain circumstances (see § Italics (Piping)).
  • Start each entry with a capital letter, unless it begins with a link to an article with a lowercase title, like {{ilClan}}.
  • Insert a comma after an entry when a description is included. In some cases, especially with military commands, the title of the article alone is sufficient and no description is necessary.
  • For the description, use a sentence fragment with no closing punctuation.
  • Keep the description associated with a link to a minimum, just sufficient to allow the reader to find the correct link among the entries.
  • Avoid descriptions that simply repeat information given in the link, for example:

However, this information may be repeated as part of a fuller description, if it adds value for the reader:

  • Do not emphasize links with bolding or italics unless required to conform to standard writing conventions or BattleTechWiki's Manual of Style. In general, if the linked article applies italics to the ambiguous term, duplicate it on the disambiguation page's entry. If the article's title contains a clarifier, such as {{Spirit (BattleMech)}}, then italicize only the title by piping the link.
  • In some cases, the target article title does not contain the term being disambiguated. For example, the link in the below entry is to the Fourth Skye Rangers military command, since a redirect page for their nickname would be to the same location:

Albion may refer to:


  • A disambiguation page should have at least two blue links on the page, because the purpose of disambiguation is to direct users to other BattleTechWiki pages.
  • Never include external links either as entries or in descriptions. These pages disambiguate BattleTechWiki articles, not the World-Wide Web. In rare cases such as {{Götterdämmerung}}, important editorial notes might include external links to clarify the term's usage in BattleTechWiki.
  • References should not appear on disambiguation pages, as they are portals, not articles.
  • To efficiently guide readers to the most relevant article for that use of the ambiguous term, avoid using links in the description.
  • If deemed helpful for navigation or context, especially for literature or in cases where a description is relatively generic, one link may be added. Common words such as BattleMech, MechWarrior, DropShip, any of the Great Houses or ranks, etc., should never be made a link.

Entries that should not be created[edit]

  • An entry without a blue link is useless for further navigation. (See § Red links for cases in which no article yet exists.)
  • Do not include entries for topics that do not use the term being disambiguated.
  • Do not create entries merely because the term is part of the name.

Black may refer to:

  • Only create entries for topics that have dedicated content in articles; do not create entries for related topics that might not directly address the sought-after information.

Terms that contain additional words[edit]

Entries do not have to be limited to the exact spelling of the term shown in the disambiguation page title, so long as they are strongly associated with the term. Often, a given term is not the first word of the article or contains additional words afterward.

Protector may refer to:

Hephaestus may refer to:

Padilla may refer to:

There are many cases in BattleTechWiki where articles, especially with Vehicles, have its extended name written out instead of using just its primary name. In the {{Padilla}} example, it would be confusing and difficult to distinguish between the two tanks if shorter terms had been used, but in context they are both referred to simply as "Padilla," and so a disambiguation page is not only appropriate but necessary.

Acronyms and abbreviations[edit]

Common abbreviations of terms may be considered terms themselves in regards to disambiguation. If there is uncertainty about whether a situation applies, it is often best to assume that it does.

TAG may refer to:

Nova may refer to:

Given names or surnames[edit]

Generally, characters identified only by a single name (given or surname) are treated the same as any other term in regards to disambiguation. The {{Karen}} page has been set up as an exception, but in this example, every entry of Karen containing a surname should normally not be listed.

Multiple characters having the same given and surname require disambiguation; in this case, the term is the full name. For example: {{Terrence Marik}}.

Exceptions might be possible in cases where a disambiguation page already exists for reasons consistent with previously mentioned guidelines. The {{Kerensky}} page, for example, lists appropriate entries at the top, but is then followed by a section for notable characters featuring the Kerensky surname, as some of the people listed are very well established in BattleTech lore.


Common misspellings should be listed only if there is a genuine risk of confusion or misspelling. These cross-links should be placed in a separate section entitled as seen below:

Torrance may refer to:

  • . . .

Common misspelling of:

In this example, a link to {{Torrence}} is present because the planetary system had been misspelled frequently in a major publication. The inclusion of a misspelling section should be used sparingly and left out when when usure about its necessity. There are many instances where changing or adding one letter within a term leads to an entirely different term, such as between {{Andrew}} and {{Andrews}}. This is an unavoidable part of BattleTechWiki.

Plurals and suffixes[edit]

A distinction is made between terms that have different meanings owing to slight spelling differences, and those that for all intents and purposes are the same, but may not be written exactly identical. Such articles may have initials in the name, be the plural of the disambiguation term, or contain a suffix in the form of Roman numerals or "Jr." All these variations may be considered appropriate as entries.

Rough Rider may refer to:

But not:

Sam Lewis may refer to:

Italics (Piping)[edit]

Piping is a mechanism that conceals the title of a linked article by replacing it with other text. For example, instead of showing the full title {{Apollo (system)}}, it may be presented as [[Apollo (system)|Apollo]], resulting in the link {{Apollo}}.

Apart from exceptions mentioned on this page, piping should generally not be used on disambiguation pages. This is to make it clear to the reader which topic is the subject of an article title. For example, on the disambiguation page {{Apollo}}, in the entry {{Apollo (system)}}, the parenthetical "(system)" should be visible so that the reader sees which "Apollo" topic the entry is about, among others sharing the same base title. In many cases, what would be hidden by a pipe is exactly what the user would need in order to find their intended article.

Piping is necessary on disambiguation pages primarily when words within a title are italicized in order to conform to standard writing conventions or BattleTechWiki's Manual of Style. All space-faring ships, 'Mechs, and book/story titles are italicized, as well as non-standard ranks and Clan terms (See Policy:Italics).

The words in the parenthetical clarifiers are usually not italicized, as they are present only for purposes of disambiguation and aren't officially part of the term. When editing, the article title is duplicated with a vertical bar (|) inserted in between. Now, the text on the right side (what is seen to readers) can have italics applied to the target word with two single quotes ('') on each end. The text on the left side of the bar is the link address, which remains unchanged.

* [[Hel (BattleMech)|''Hel'' (BattleMech)]], the 50-ton BattleMech later renamed the ''Eris''
* ''[[Hel (Loki Mk II)]]'', the 65-ton Clan OmniMech

While the vast majority of the parentheticals used in BattleTechWiki page titles function as disambiguation clarifiers, there are a handful of BattleMech pages where the parenthesis is used to provide an alternate name, such as {{Timber Wolf (Mad Cat)}}. For these specific examples, the entry is not piped and will simply have the italics around the entire title, as seen above.

Items appearing within other articles[edit]

If a topic does not have an article of its own, but is discussed within another article, then a link to that article may be included if it would provide value to the reader. Such entries may be notable for purposes of inclusion in a disambiguation page. Whether or not the link is at the start the line, it should still be the only one. For example:

Fox may refer to:

Columbia may refer to:

It is often useful to link to the relevant section of the target page and conceal that by making it a piped link. In the {{Columbia}} example, the continent and moon have dedicated redirect pages, but the two city locations do not. When editing, this is how they are piped:

* [[Mitchella#Planetary Locations|Columbia]], a location on Mitchella II
* [[Shiro (system)#Planetary Locations|Columbia Isles]], a location on Shiro III

Owing to the ever-expanding nature of BattleTechWiki, there will be instances when the structure is not entirely in place to support new categories. In this case, the lack of style and formatting guidelines for places and locations requires piping to the Planetary Locations section of system articles. This should be sufficient for navigation at this time.

Red links[edit]

A link to a non-existent article, a "red link," should be included on a disambiguation page if it serves as a placeholder for an term that hasn't been written about yet but is judged appropriate for a future article. Do not create red links to articles that are unlikely ever to be written, or are likely to be removed as insufficiently notable topics. If the red link is already present in other articles, it should be written the same way on all pages.

When adding the red link into the disambiguation page, it is formatted the same as any other normal, blue link entry.



The following guidelines describe the appropriate order of entries on disambiguation pages:

  1. The primary topic, if there is one, should be placed at the top.
  2. Entries using only the disambiguated term and its parenthetical qualifier, in alphabetical order.
  3. Entries starting with the term but containing additional words, in alphabetical order.
  4. Entries containing the term but starting with a different word, in alphabetical order.
  5. Entries for terms that currently don't have their own redirects, due to pending structural changes in BattleTechWiki. (For example: {{Unity City}})
  6. Entries not beginning with a link or where the term is not used.

Scout may refer to:

If an entry is directly related to another, it's appropriate to have it indented and immediately follow the original entry. This provides clarity that the articles are connected.

Grouping by subject[edit]

A large number of entries can make it difficult for a reader to find a particular topic. On longer disambiguation pages, a subject section may be helpful if several entries belong to a shared category. These sections should typically be in alphabetical order.

Dash may refer to:

Communications Systems:

Small sections of less than three entries may impede navigation and should be avoided. If most or all of the entries on a disambiguation page belong to a single category—for example, {{Dena}} is filled with only character entries—a section should not be used.

Section titles can be chosen on a case-by-case basis and may include (examples in parenthesis):

Images and templates[edit]

Images, icons, InfoBoxes, and transcluding templates, etc, should not be used.

Tags and categorization[edit]

At the bottom of the page, the {{disambig}} template should be used identifying the page as a disambiguation page. This produces a general disambiguation notice and places the page in Category:Disambiguation.

If a disambiguation page needs cleaning up to bring it into conformance with this style manual, use {{disambiguation cleanup}}. This replaces both {{disambig}} and {{cleanup}}.

Disambiguation pages do not need to be placed into any categories other than those generated by the template. If new topical categories of disambiguation pages seem to be needed, please bring this up for discussion at Policy talk:Disambiguation.


Disambiguation pages are not encyclopedia articles – they are navigation aids!
Users arrive at these pages with a specific article in mind. So when you edit these pages:
Check icon green.svg Limit descriptions to what's necessary.
Check icon green.svg Put the link at the start of each entry.
Check icon green.svg Sort entries; group by subject if necessary.
Check icon green.svg Put the primary topic at the top, if one exists.
Check icon green.svg Fix incoming links to target the intended page.
Check icon green.svg Tag pages that need work with {{Disambiguation cleanup}}.
X mark.svg Don't include entries without a link.
X mark.svg Don't include red links unless used in articles.
X mark.svg Don't include multiple blue links in an entry.
X mark.svg Don't include references or external links.
X mark.svg Don't list dictionary definitions.
X mark.svg Don't list every article containing the title.
X mark.svg Don't pipe links except to format.

See also[edit]