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Categories: Categorization Help | WikiTree Help

Here is how to categorize a profile. If you're not sure what categories are or why to use them, see the Category FAQ. To get more actively involved, see Project: Categorization.


How to Categorize

First, research and draft your full page whether it's a person profile, free-space profile, or other type of page. Spending time on developing this information will give you the background needed to properly categorize the page. Consider what characteristics about the profile would make someone else want to find the profile, and how they might look for it.

Everyone on WikiTree needs to use exactly the same category name for a particular category. So, WikiTree has created a quick system for finding categories which already exist.

When you are in edit mode on a profile, click on the category symbol on the toolbar above the biography/text section: category.png

Clicking this icon will open a text box. In this space, begin typing a word that may be in the category name. Existing categories will appear as you type. If you see the one you want, just click on it. The category tag will be added to the profile.

Be sure to use the narrowest applicable category. That is, always choose the most-specific, lowest-level category you can find. For example, put a profile in Category:Madisonville, Louisiana rather than in the high level Category:Louisiana category.

If you cannot find an appropriate category, you may need to add a new category to the hierarchy. See Help:Category Creation and Removal.

Suggestions for Types of Categories to Add to Profiles

Here are examples of ways to categorize the profiles of your family members and ancestors.

Advanced Categorization

Here are more advanced topics for when you're ready to move beyond the basics.

Categorizing categories

Categories can be categorized too. This creates a hierarchy of subcategories such as:

Categorizing a category works the same as categorizing a profile. For example, on the edit page for Category:Madisonville, Louisiana you will see:

[[Category:St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana]]

On the edit page for Category:St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana you will see:


Links to categories

If you put [[Category:Louisiana]] inside a biography the profile will be categorized in Category:Louisiana.

What if you just want to add a link to the category page for Category:Louisiana? Simply include a colon before the word Category in the link. For example:

[[:Category:Louisiana]], which displays as Category:Louisiana.

If you want to display this linked category as a link, the pipe character is used. Whatever text follows the pipe is what displays as the link.

Jane is from [[:Category:Louisiana|Louisiana]] displays as Jane is from Louisiana.

See Adding Links for more on linking.

Changing the sort order

Items in a category are automatically sorted alphabetically, but sometimes that isn't ideal. For example, all items that start with "New" will be sorted under N. In a category for New York or New South Wales, there could be many entries that start with this word.

To change the sort order for subcategories, you just need to add a "sort key" to the category tag on the page you're categorizing.

For example, let's say you want Category:New York, Religious Institutions to be listed in Category:New York but under R, not N. Instead of putting the usual [[Category:New York]] on the Category:New York, Religious Institutions category page, use [[Category:New York|Religious]]. The part after the pipe (|) is the sort key that specifies what the category should be sorted as in that category.


Here are some terms that you may find used when discussing categorization:

Category Page

The page in which category contents are included.

The page includes the Category name, the toolbar, the edit box, links in the upper right:

Limit to Watchlist (limits to profiles in your watchlist included in this category)
How to Categorize (links to Help:Categorization)
Category Search (links to Category search)
WikiTree+ Search (links to WikiTree+ search function)
WikiTree+ Navigate. (links to WikiTree+ navigation function)

There are also links in the lower right to

What links here (pages that link to this profile)
Change history (the history of changes made to category)

High Level Category

A high level category is used to group other categories. It will usually carry a legend that profiles should not be added to the high level category, but rather to a subcategory.

The {{Top Level}} template displays in the following high level notice on the category:

This is a high level category. Please do not add individual profiles. Add profiles to the narrowest category possible. See How to Categorize.

See it at work in this category: Category:Cemeteries


A subcategory is a category which is linked to a higher level category. All categories in WikiTree (except for Category: Categories) are subcategories of at least one higher level category.

Nesting Categories

When we are referring to a category having a subcategory, we may say that the subcategory is "nested" in the higher category. A subcategory can be nested in any number of higher categories.

Landing Level Category

A "landing level category" is a category far enough down the category tree that it is expected to contain primarily profiles of individual people rather than being used to group together several narrower categories.

  • Where possible, having just one landing level category common to all languages is preferable to having parallel landing level categories in multiple languages. Where this is not possible, the "landing level category" should be in the dominant language of the category so that profiles belonging to that category are not scattered between the same category in different languages.

In some cases, such as Indonesian Category Conventions you will see the term "Destination Category" used in place of "Landing Level Category." They mean the same thing.

Parent Category

A parent category is the higher level category in which a sub-category is nested.

More Categorization Help

See the other help pages categorized under Category: Categorization Help and feel free to ask a question in G2G using the tag categorization.

Language: en | nl

This page was last modified 12:08, 14 November 2018. This page has been accessed 30,583 times.