Users can easily sign their posts at the end of a comment. Signing is normally done on talk pages only, not on conjointly written articles.
There are three default options. Four tildes are standard (full signature). Typing three tildes results in a username-only signature (without timestamp). Typing five tildes results in a pure timestamp (without username).
|Function||Wiki markup||Resulting code||Resulting display|
|Signature plus timestamp||
||Username 12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)|
||12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)|
If you edit without logging in, your IP address will take the place of a username. Usernames and IP addresses are also stored in page histories as a record of who wrote what, so others can always verify signatures.
The common format to type a signature – two hyphens (or a dash) followed by four tildes (
-- ~~~~) – is derived from the computer network Usenet, where two hyphens mark a signature block. The actual signature string, the tildes, automatically get substituted with username (linked to the appropriate user page) and timestamp (time/date), when you save a signed edit. This helps other users to follow the chronological order of discussions, and to identify the author of a particular comment.
If you don't find the tilde on your keyboard, you can use the signature button of the default edit toolbar as a typing aid.
Signatures do not work in edit summaries (they do not translate from ~~~~ there).
Registered users can customize their signature (the part between the two hyphens and the timestamp) by changing the field "Signature" in their preferences. Minimal wiki markup and HTML is allowed. Please note that striking signatures are often disliked by other users.
The most common customizations are the following two:
|Purpose||Raw signature||Resulting signature display|
|Adapting the displayed username||
||-- User Name 12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)|
|Adding a talk page link||
||-- Username (talk) 12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)|