Signatures identify you as the author of a block of text on a talk page or wiki-style forum page. They should contain an automatic link to your user page, making it easy for others to learn more about you and communicate with you. The date contained in the signature also indicates how current the discussion is and the order in which comments were made.
Generally, your contributions to articles, help pages, policies, and other content pages should not be signed. Likewise it is not necessary to sign message wall posts, comments, or posts in the forums (with the exception of wiki-style forums), as these include your avatar, username, and time of post by default.
Below is an example signature from a Fandom Staff member:
Adding a signature
To sign your name, type four tildes in a row: (~~~~)
In Source editor, the signature button () above the edit box can also be clicked to leave four tildes automatically.
This will show up by default as:
- J. Random User 19:01, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
This example indicates that a user named "J. Random User" left the signature at the time indicated.
You can use three tildes (~~~) to leave your name without a timestamp, or five (~~~~~) to leave a timestamp but no name.
Changing a signature
Your default signature will contain just your username, linked to your user page on the wiki where you signed it, and the timestamp:
- Example 10:42, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
You can change this signature to include a link to your local talk page:
To do this, go to your Preferences (on any community), locate the Signature section on the first tab and check the I want to use wikitext in my signature checkbox. Then enter
- [[User:Example|Example]] ([[User talk:Example|talk]])
in the Custom signature field above the checkbox.
You can add other customizations to this signature, such as colored text, a funny name, a small image, a special font, etc. by adding the appropriate wikitext to the signature box in your preferences, but this is not recommended as your choices of color may not be visible on wikis with different styling.
Check with your community for whether there are any rules about styles in signatures.
Note: When you test your signature, keep in mind that a link to the current page will not be displayed as a clickable hyperlink. So the "link" to your talk page in your signature will not be clickable when placed on your own talk page.
Anonymous users and signatures
If you chose to edit on Fandom without logging in, but leave a signature, the tildes will be converted to your IP address. However, it can be easy to confuse two similar IPs in a conversation, so it may make more sense to manually sign your posts with a pseudonym or tag such as ―janedoe. Note that choosing not to sign with tildes does not keep your IP address private, since the IP still appears in the page history. If you wish for your address to be private, it is best to create an account.
Signatures in other character sets
If your signature is in a character set not in wide usage on the wiki where you are using a signature, it may be easier for users there to recognize you if you add a version of your name in the character set of that wiki.
In addition to difficulties users may have in remembering and using a name in a script which is foreign to them, characters from many scripts (such as Chinese, Hindi, or Georgian) may display as boxes or mojibake (garbage characters) for users without the proper fonts installed.
In these cases, you might want to add an additional nickname to your signature that is more understandable on that community. For example, you could use something like [[User:快樂|快樂 (Happiness)]] or [[User:快樂|快樂 (Felicidad)]] in the Custom signature field.
Dealing with unsigned messages
The English Wikipedia has various pages relating to signing comments, and to making comments in general, which may help to guide your project's development of signature and talk-page policies.
- Talk pages
- Archiving talk pages
- Talk page style guide
- Refactoring talk pages
- Sign your posts on talk pages