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This template encapsulates the <references /> tag to show the list of references defined by <ref>...</ref> tags, with some formatting. It reduces the font size and has options for columns and groups. References can be defined within the body of the article or within the reference list.

The <ref>...</ref> and <references /> tags are part of the Cite.php MediaWiki extension.

{{Reflist}} may be used with {{Refbegin}} and {{Refend}} to format different styles of references.


Using only footnote-style references
== Content ==
Lorem ipsum.<ref>Source name, access date, etc.</ref>

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.<ref>Source name, access date, etc.</ref>

== References ==
Using only bibliographical style references
== Content ==
Lorem ipsum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

== References ==
* reference 1
* reference 2
Using both footnote-style and bibliography-style references
== Content ==
Lorem ipsum.<ref>Source name, access date, etc.</ref>

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.<ref>Source name, access date, etc.</ref>

Lorem ipsum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

== References ==

* reference 1
* reference 2

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.[1] Note that there is no consensus that a small font size should always be used for references; when normal-sized font is more appropriate on an article, use <references /> instead.


Columns are currently supported only by Gecko-based browsers (such as Mozilla Firefox). See below for more information.

Using {{Reflist|2}} will create a two-column reference list, and {{Reflist|3}} will create a three-column list. Three-column lists are inaccessible to users with smaller/laptop monitors and should be avoided.

Using {{Reflist|colwidth=30em}} will allow the browser to automatically choose the number of columns based on the width of the web browser. Choose a column width that is appropriate for the average width of the references on the page.

Multiple uses

If {{Reflist}} is used multiple times without a parameter, each instance will include all of the previously defined references. To force the parser to close previous references, each use of {{Reflist}} must be forced as a new instance by the use of any parameter. Even a undefined parameter such as {{Reflist|close=1}} will force the references to close.

Grouped references

As of June 2008, the footnotes system supports the separation of references into groups. This allows groups for explanatory notes, table references and the like. See Wikipedia:Footnotes#Separating reference lists and explanatory notes.

The general format for the reference tag would be:

<ref group="groupname">

And for the reflist:

Where groupname would be a group identifier such as "note", "nb" or "label".

List-defined references

As of September 2009, references may be defined within {{Reflist}} using |refs= and invoked within the content. There are new error messages associated with this update, documented at Help:Cite errors. As usual, groups can be used. Defined references must be used within the body; unused references will show an error message.


This is reference 1.<ref name="refname1" group="groupname"/>
This is reference 2.<ref name="refname2" group="groupname"/>
This is reference 3.<ref name="refname3" group="groupname"/>

<ref name="refname1" group="groupname">content1</ref>
<ref name="refname2" group="groupname">content2</ref>
<ref name="refname3" group="groupname">content3</ref>


This is reference 1.[groupname 1] This is reference 2.[groupname 2] This is reference 3.[groupname 3]

  1. content1
  2. content2
  3. content3

Technical details

Browser support for columns

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.[2][3]

This issue has been resolved in Safari 5 and Chrome 5. WebKit support will be returned once the usage reports indication a preponderance of adoption.[5]
  • Opera does not support multiple columns.

Supporting CSS

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

  • .references-small { font-size: 90%;}

These classes are used directly in the template for the columns:

  • .references-column-count
  • .references-column-width

These properties are used in the template:

  • column-count CSS3 standard
  • column-width:auto CSS3 standard
  • -moz-column-count Mozilla CSS extension
  • -moz-column-width Mozilla CSS extension
  • -webkit-column-count Webkit CSS extension (disabled)
  • -webkit-column-width Webkit CSS extension (disabled)

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 defaults to 90% of the standard size. To change it, add:

.references-small { font-size: 90%;}

Change 90% to the desired size.


To disable columns, add:

.references-column-count, .references-column-width {
    column-count:1 !important;
    column-width:auto !important;
    -moz-column-count:1 !important;
    -moz-column-width:auto !important;
    -webkit-column-count:1 !important;
    -webkit-column-width:auto !important;

Similarly, to force all reference lists to a number of columns, change the number.

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 to due to issues with readability, accessibility, and printing. The applicable guidelines are at MOS:SCROLL.

The links between the inline cite and the reference list do not work when the reference list is enclosed in a collapsed box.

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. अभिगमन तिथि November 24, 2006.
  3. "CSS3 module: Multi-column layout". W3C. December 15, 2005. अभिगमन तिथि November 24, 2006.
  4. "CSS Compatibility and Internet Explorer: Multi-column Layout". Microsoft Developer Network. Microsoft. अभिगमन तिथि September 15, 2008.
  5. "Wikimedia Visitor Log Analysis Report - Browsers e.a". June 1, 2010.