Wikipedia Gadgets Overview

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 29, 2010

Wikipedia users have access to so called gadgets which are Javascript snippets that extend the functionality of the popular online encyclopedia. They provide a similar functionality as userscripts with the difference that they are not installed on the user's computer.

Wikipedia gadgets can be accessed by clicking on the my preferences link in the top navigation of Wikipedia after logging in. These gadgets are only available to logged in users which is somewhat of a disappointment as some are useful for nearly every Wikipedia visitor.

The my preferences page displays all preferences of the online encyclopedia divided into tabs. A click on the gadgets tab will display all available gadgets to the logged in user. Gadgets are divided into the five categories browsing gadgets, editing gadgets, user interface gadgets, user interface gadgets for editing and library and compatibility gadgets.

Most interesting to non-editors are the browsing and user interface gadgets that are available.

Browsing gadgets

  • GoogleTrans, opens a translation popup for the selected text or the word under the cursor when pushing the shift button
  • Navigation popups, article previews and editing functions popup when hovering over links

Editing gadgets

  • Add a sidebar menu of user-defined regex tools, with a dynamic form for instant one-use regex.
  • Friendly, a set of tools for Firefox, Safari, and Opera that automates some of Wikipedia's more friendly, collaboration oriented tasks, such as welcoming new users.
  • HotCat, easily add / remove / change a category on a page, with name suggestion
  • refTools, adds a "cite" button to the editing toolbar for quick and easy addition of commonly used citation templates.
  • Twinkle, a set of tools for Firefox, Safari, and Opera that automates common tasks such as reporting vandalism, warning vandals, and requesting deletion.
  • wikEd, a full-featured integrated text editor for Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome. Please read the help page for usage instructions.

User interface gadgets

  • Add a "*" tab to the top of the page, which purges the page's cache when followed.
  • Add a clock in the personal toolbar that displays the current time in UTC (which also provides a link to purge the current page).
  • Add a selector to the Wikipedia search page allowing the use of external search engines.
  • Add mwEmbed support for video playback, Firefogg uploading and the "Add-Media-Wizard". (These components are still evolving; you can help by providing feedback and bug reports on the respective talk pages.)
  • Add page and user options to drop-down menus on the toolbar. Works in Monobook and Modern skins.
  • After rolling back an edit, automatically open the contributions of the user rolled back.
  • Allow /16 and /24 – /32 CIDR ranges on Special:Contributions forms (uses API), as well as wildcard prefix searches, e.g., "Splark*".
  • Change the location of the category box to place categories above all other content (MonoBook skin).
  • Change the "new section" tab text to instead display the much narrower "+".
  • Change UTC-based times and dates, such as those used in signatures, to be relative to local time.
  • Disable access keys
  • Display an assessment of an article's quality as part of the page header for each article.
  • Focus the cursor in the search bar on loading the Main Page.
  • Open external links in a new tab/window
  • Use a black background with green text on the Monobook skin

User interface gadgets: editing

  • Add an [edit] link for the lead section of a page
  • Allow up to 50 more characters in each of your edit summaries. Works in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera.
  • Make text fields (e.g. the edit form) use a sans-serif font instead of a monospace font.
  • Moves edit links next to the section headers

Library and compatibility gadgets

  • Compatibility function to run scripts only tested on Monobook on the new Modern skin. Required for using Twinkle or Friendly (along with many other scripts) with the Modern skin.
  • DejaVu Sans, a font with support for various dingbats. This gadget works on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox 3.5, and Safari. Install this gadget if you need better font and character support but cannot install fonts directly onto your computer.
  • The JavaScript Standard Library, a compatibility library for browsers that lack full support for JavaScript 1.6. This includes Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari 2
  • .

The navigation popups for instance display footnote information directly in a popup when hovering over a footnote on Wikipedia.

wikipedia footnotes

Some gadgets only work when a specific skin or web browser is being used. These restrictions are always mentioned in the gadget's description. Gadgets can extend Wikipedia. Most gadgets are only useful for Wikipedia editors but the ones above and a handful of others are also useful for Wikipedia users.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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