Template:Short description

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This template is intended to hold a short description of a Wikipedia article, which can be edited from within Wikipedia.

(probably should be linked to MOS, and this type of information provided there) The short descriptions should enable a user to recognise the associated article they want from a list of search results. It is not necessarily the same function as the Wikidata description for an item and they do not have to be the same, but some overlap is expected in many cases.

The short description function is to disambiguate not only from current ambiguities, but also from reasonably probable potential future ambiguities.

The short description should concisely state what the article is about, not be a list of what it is not about, nor a list of what the reader might be looking for. Keep it short and simple. Avoid specialist terminology. As much detail as is necessary should be provided, no more - avoid listing examples. It will be displayed on mobile view along with other possible hits, and must be intelligible to the lay reader. Content of the short description should be considered part of the article content and should be managed in the same way as any other content.

If the article title alone is sufficient to ensure reliable identification of the desired article, a null value of {{Short description|none}} may be used.

Perhaps a bot might be used to import the initial short description from Wikidata – or not as preferred. Some Wikidata descriptions may be unsuitable, and if imported, must be checked for relevance, accuracy and fitness for purpose. Responsibility for such imports lies with the importer.

The idea is that a class can be set to display differently on desktop Wikipedia from how it displays on mobile view. The intention is to bring the short description within the immediate editing ability of most editors.

Articles using this template can be found in Category:Articles with short description, which the template automatically sets.


At Oxygen therapy, replace the hidden comment with:

  • {{Short description|Use of high concentrations of oxygen as medical treatment}}


  • {{Short description|1=Use of high concentrations of oxygen as medical treatment}}

Use the second form if the text of the short description contains an equals sign (=).


For testing purposes, the display of this template can be enabled by adding a line to your Special:MyPage/common.css:

  • .shortdescription { display:block !important; }

This can be easily removed or disabled when finished testing.

There is a test version of this template available as Template:Short description/test which displays its text by default.

Taking Lua error in Module:Wd at line 196: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). (Q1096878) as an example:

  • {{short description/test|Underwater diving where breathing is from equipment independent of the surface }}Underwater diving where breathing is from equipment independent of the surface
  • {{short description/test|none }}
  • {{short description/test|wikidata }}Lua error in Module:WikidataIB at line 2750: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).