- For a thorough discussion of using categories, see Help:Category.
Categories provide a way for articles to be grouped by a common criterion. Wikis have unique challenges involved in navigating through thousands of articles. Categories are an economical way to add support for browsing.
When an article is added to a category, a link to the category is shown at the bottom of the article. Clicking on that link brings the user to the category's page which lists all other articles in the same category.
In general, we want to keep categories clean and structured to act as the best possible navigational tool for users to browse the Wiki.
When dealing with a topic category, as long as the article is related to that topic there is a strong case for the article to include that category.
When dealing with a set category, it is important to only include the category on an article that is-a member of the set. To illustrate this, consider the article Amulet of Ghostspeak. This is a quest item, but while it belongs in Category:Items, it does not belong in Category:Quests. An important exception to this are meta-pages: those where the pages act to describe the set itself. For example, Quest belongs in Category:Quests and Level 99 belongs in Category:Skills.
When to add a category
- When you can help out with removing items from Special:UncategorizedPages, Special:UncategorizedTemplates, Special:UncategorizedFiles, or Special:UncategorizedCategories.
- To define a subcategory by adding the more general category to the subcategory's page. For example, Category:Quest items includes the Category:Items category since it is a specialization of items: every quest item is also an item.
- In templates where inclusion of the template would indicate that the category should also be included. However, categories added to templates must generally use Template:mainonly around the category link to ensure that user sandboxes do not get added to the category by including the template.
When not to add a category
- When the category is added implicitly by including a template. Many templates include the categories so that they are not forgotten and to save time. For example, Template:Infobox Item automatically adds Category:Items to any page that includes the template.
- When the category is a user-facing category (one meant for navigation by non-editors) and the article should not be seen by normal readers of the Wiki. The most common occurrences of this are users' sandbox pages. If building a sandbox page, ensure you do not include the categories meant for the final article.
- When the motivation is solely to provide a link to the category. For example, it is logical for Summoning to have a link to Category:Summoning items, but it is not logical for Summoning to be in that category. To provide a link, see #How to link to a category.
How to add a category
If you are using the default theme when viewing the RuneScape Wiki, articles should have a box near the bottom of the article with an attached button reading "Add category." Click on this button.
Start typing part of the category name until the category you wish to add appears on the dropdown list. Select the desired category and click "Save".
There is a similar tool available while editing the article to add and remove categories. Categories can be added to an article in raw text form using the format
[[Category:Name of category]]
While this looks like a typical Wiki link, it is not and the link to the category will not appear where inserted but rather at the bottom of the article. For consistency, it is thus important for explicitly added categories to be placed at the bottom of the article's raw text.
Occasionally a category will need to be linked in the text rather than appended to the end of the article. Like files, category links use the format
[[:Category:Name of category]]