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[edit] Template documentation
  • This page gives technical details for the {{reflist}} template. For a full overview of this template in use, see Help:Footnotes.

Template:Transwiki guide Template:Uses TemplateStyles This citation template provides formatting and organizational features for footnotes. It encapsulates the <references /> tag used by the Template:Cite.php MediaWiki extension to show the list of references as defined by <ref> tags. It adds support for sizing the column width, groups and Template:Ldr.


There are no required parameters; if none are supplied, a single-column list will be generated if there are fewer than 10 references in the list. If you have more than 10 references, it will use columns of 30em wide if your device allows this.

Optional parameters are:

  • Unnamed parameter (must be the first one if used): the minimum width for each column of references, typically in ems. Syntax (for example) |30em with no space (i.e. not |30 em). Note that this replaces colwidth—see § Obsolete parameters.
  • refs: used with Template:Ldr.
  • group: identifies by name the subset of references to be rendered; the value should correspond to that used inline, e.g., {{Reflist|group=groupname}} renders all references with groupname as the group name (<ref group="groupname">). There are five pre-defined group names that style the list differently. See § Grouped references below.
  • liststyle: specifies the style used when the reference list is rendered. The default is a numbered list. When set, it will override the style set by the |group= parameter, without affecting group functionality. See § List styles below.


Using only footnote-style references
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Using only bibliographical style references (no direct references from the text)
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Using both footnote-style and bibliography-style references
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{{Reflist|30em}} (for example) instructs the browser to create as many columns as possible (of width at least 30 em, in this example) given the width of the display window. (Units supported are em, ex, in, cm, mm, pt, pc, px, but em is almost always used.) There must not be a space between the number and the unit. Percent is not supported.

Choose a width appropriate to the typical width of the references:


15em wide columns (vary width of display window to see change in number of columns)
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  • Note 1: The syntax {{Reflist|2}} (for example), which specifies two columns of equal width regardless of the available display width, is deprecated (and is disabled for mobile view). When you use 1 the template gives you a single column while 2 will pretend you specified 30em. When using higher column counts, it will pretend you specified 25em.
  • Note 2: Browser support: Internet Explorer 10+, Microsoft Edge, Firefox 2+, Chrome 4+, Safari 3.1+, Opera 11.1+

List-defined references


A list of references may be defined within {{Reflist}} using the |refs= parameter, just like including named <ref name="...">...</ref> elements inside the <references>...</references> container.


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Grouped references


References can be grouped into separate sections (for explanatory notes, table references, and the like) via group=:

<ref group="groupname">

where groupname is (for example) notes or sources. The group name need not be enclosed in quotes; this differs from the footnote marker where quotes are required if the group name includes a space.

Each group used in the article must have a matching reference list:


Predefined groups


There are predefined group names that automatically set the labels in the footnote markers and the reference list to other styles. Thus, setting {{Reflist|group=lower-alpha}} will set the group to lower-alpha and will style the reference list with lower alpha characters. The matching footnote marker can be formed by <ref group="lower-alpha">...</ref>. This is made easier by a series of templates to set the group/label styles for the footnote marker and the reference list: {{#section:Help:Footnotes|pregrouptable}}

List styles

As noted in § Predefined groups, there are predefined groups that automatically add list styling. Using the listed templates is more convenient than using |liststyle=.

Reference lists are by default numbered lists. By using the |liststyle= parameter, you can control how the list is rendered. For example, using |liststyle=upper-roman will result in references being labeled with Roman numerals instead of decimal numbers. The parameter accepts any valid CSS value defined for list-style-type as shown below. Template:CSS list-style-type values

It is possible to use |liststyle= so that the labels for the footnote marker and the reference list marker differ. This should be used with care as it can be confusing to readers. For example:

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Interaction with images

Template:Reflist hide In the unusual case of an image being placed to the left of a reference list, layout problems may occur on some browsers. This can be prevented by using the columns feature.

Technical details

Font size

The font size should reduce to 90% for most browsers, but may appear to show at 100% for Internet Explorer and possibly other browsers.[general 1] As of December 21, 2010, the standard <references /> tag has the same font styling. The smaller font may be disabled through Template:Myprefs.

Browser support for columns

Template:CSS3 multiple column layout

Multiple columns are generated by using CSS3, which is still in development; thus only browsers that properly support the multi-column property will show multiple columns with {{Reflist}}.[general 2][general 3]

These browsers support CSS3 columns:

These browsers do not support CSS3 columns:

  • Microsoft Trident-based browsers including Internet Explorer up to version 9[general 4]
  • Opera through to version 11

Widows and orphans

The use of columns can result in widows and orphans, where a citation at the bottom of a column may be split to the top of the next column. MediaWiki:Common.css includes CSS rules to prevent list items from breaking between columns. Widows may still show in extreme circumstances, such as a reference list formatted in columns where only a single reference is defined.

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Supporting CSS

{{Reflist}} uses a CSS rule in MediaWiki:Common.css to set the font size:

  • div.reflist { font-size: 90%; }

The following class is assigned by the template when column width is set:

  • .references-column-width

The following CSS properties are utilized using the {{column-width}} templates:

  • column-width CSS3 standard

Customizing the view


By editing your CSS, the personal appearance of the reference list can be customized. From Preferences, select the Appearance tab, then on the selected skin select Custom CSS. After editing and saving, follow the instructions at the top of the page to purge. See Wikipedia:Skin#Customisation (advanced users) for more help.

Font size

The font size for all reference lists defaults to 90% of the standard size. To change it, add:

div.refbegin {
  font-size: 90%;

Change 90% to the desired size.


To disable columns, add:

.references-column-width {
  column-width: auto !important;

Column dividers

To add dividers (rules) between columns, add:

.references-column-width {
  column-rule: 1px solid #aaa;

You can alter the appearance of the dividers by changing the values.

Perennial suggestions

Collapsing and scrolling

There have been a number of requests to add functionality for a collapsible or scrolling reference list. These requests have not been fulfilled due to issues with readability, accessibility, and printing. The applicable guidelines are at MOS:SCROLL. Links between the inline cite and the reference list do not work when the reference list is enclosed in a collapsed box.

To display the reference list in a scrollbox or collapsed per user, see Help:Reference display customization.

For discussion on previous attempts to do this with a template, see the discussions for Scrollref and Refbox.

Including the section title

There have been suggestions to include section header markup such as ==References==. This is inadvisable because:

  • There is no standard section name Template:Crossreference.
  • When transcluded, the article will have an edit link that will confusingly open the template for editing.

Obsolete parameters

These parameters are no longer in use:

  • colwidth: Same as specifying a column-width for the first unnamed parameter. Replaced by width as unnamed first parameter.
  • close: Until 2014, the parameter |close=1 was used to work around a bug involving multiple uses of {{Reflist}} on the same page. When the bug was fixed, this was removed. (For multiple uses on talk pages and other non-article pages structured in sections, see {{Reflist-talk}}.)

Articles using unsupported parameters are tracked in

Template:Category link with count generates a link to a category followed by the number of pages in the category. It uses the PAGESINCATEGORY parser function.


One parameter
{{Category link with count|CATEGORY}}
Two parameters
{{Category link with count|CATEGORY|TYPE}}
Name label
{{Category link with count|Category:Guans (bird)|name=CAT:Guans}}
Template loop detected: Template:Clc


Using the template shortcut {{clc}}:

One parameter

without "Category:"
{{clc|Côte-d'Or}}Template loop detected: Template:Clc
with "Category:"
{{clc|Category:Côte-d'Or}}Template loop detected: Template:Clc

Two parameters

without "Category:"
{{clc|Côte-d'Or|pages}}Template loop detected: Template:Clc
{{clc|Côte-d'Or|subcats}}Template loop detected: Template:Clc
{{clc|Côte-d'Or|files}}Template loop detected: Template:Clc
with "Category:"
{{clc|Category:Côte-d'Or|pages}}Template loop detected: Template:Clc
{{clc|Category:Côte-d'Or|subcats}}Template loop detected: Template:Clc
{{clc|Category:Côte-d'Or|files}}Template loop detected: Template:Clc

See also

Template:Internal category-link templates.

Template data

This is the TemplateData documentation for this template used by VisualEditor and other tools; see the monthly parameter usage report for this template.

TemplateData for Reflist

This template displays the list of footnotes at the end of an article and provides additional formatting and organizing options. After hitting "Apply changes" and turning back to VE read mode, you will not see the references list. After hitting "Publish page" and turning back to normal read mode the reference list will reappear with the changes applied, see T53146.

Template parameters

Columns / Column width1 colwidth

Two modes supported. First mode (deprecated): integer number of fixed columns into which the reference list is to be rendered. Second mode: typographic unit of measurement such as 'em', specifying the width for the reference list columns, e.g. '33em'; spaced '33&nbsp;em' will not be recognized

1 if < 11 references; otherwise 30em

Specifies the style used when the reference list is enumerated; accepts any valid CSS value defined for list-style-type


Group is an identifier which restricts the references that are shown. Without this parameter, this template only shows references with no group identifier. With a group identifier specified, only references with a matching group identifier are handled. The rest are left alone.

List of referencesrefs

Provides a space to define named references for use in the article. References defined in this space are not shown unless used somewhere in the article.



Do not use {{reflist}} or other templates or modules that use {{#tag:references}} in numbered or unnumbered lists if the list is inside an HTML div tag. See the talk page (permalink) for examples and details.

Template:No mark Template:Em dash :{{reflist}}
Template:No mark Template:Em dash *{{reflist}}
Template:No mark Template:Em dash #{{reflist}}
Template:Yes check Template:Em dash {{reflist}}

See also



  1. See User:Edokter/fonttest for a comparison of font sizes for various browsers; see previous discussions on changing the font size to resolve the IE issue.
  2. "CSS3 Multi-Column Thriller" (December 30, 2005). Retrieved on November 24, 2006. 
  3. "CSS3 module: Multi-column layout" (December 15, 2005). W3C. Retrieved on November 24, 2006. 
  4. "CSS Compatibility and Internet Explorer: Multi-column Layout" . Microsoft Docs. Microsoft Developer Network. 

Template:Wikipedia referencing Template:Wikipedia templates Template:Wikipedia technical help