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MediaWiki extension that automatically adds links to words that match titles of existing pages.
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MediaWiki extension that automatically adds links to words that match titles of existing pages.

Minimum requirements: MediaWiki 1.25, PHP 5.3. Source code documentation can be found at the Github project pages.

Table of contents

  1. Oveview
  2. Installation
  3. Usage
  4. Configuration
  5. Development
  6. License


The LinkTitles extension automatically adds links to existing page titles that occur on a given page. This will automatically cross-reference your wiki for you. The extension can operate in three ways that can be used independently:

  1. Whenever a page is edited and saved, the extension will look if any existing page titles occur in the text, and automatically add links ([[...]]]) to the corresponding pages.

  2. Links may also be added on the fly whenever a page is rendered for display. Most of the time, MediaWiki will fetch previously rendered pages from cache upon a page request, but whenever a page is refreshed, the LinkTitles extension can add its page links. These links are not hard-coded in the Wiki text. The original content will not be modified.

  3. Batch mode enables Wiki administrators to process all pages in a Wiki at once. Batch processing can either be started from a special page, or from the server's command line (see below).


This extension is semantically versioned. In short, this means that the first version number (the 'major') only changes on substantial changes. The second number (the 'minor') changes when features are added or significantly improved. The third number (the 'patch level') changes when bugs are fixed.

Version Date Major changes
5 09-2017 Rewrote the entire extension; vastly improved namespace support; some breaking changes Details
4 11-2016 Changed format of the extension for MediaWiki version 1.25; added basic namespace support Details
3 02-2015 Added magic words; improved performance Details
2 11-2013 Introduced smart mode Details
1 05-2012 First stable release

For more details, click the 'Details' links, see the NEWS file in the repository for a user-friendly changelog, or study the commit messages.


To obtain the extension, you can either download a compressed archive from the Github releases page: Choose one of the 'Source code' archives and extract it in your Wiki's extension folder. Note that these archives contain a folder that is named after the release version, e.g. LinkTitles-5.0.0. You may want to rename the folder to LinkTitles.

Alternatively (and preferred by the author), if you have Git, you can pull the repository in the usual way into the extensions folder.

To activate the extension, add the following to your LocalSettings.php file:

wfLoadExtension( 'LinkTitles' );

Do not forget to adjust the configuration to your needs.

If your MediaWiki version is really old (1.24 and older), you need to use a different mechanism.


Editing a page

By default, the LinkTitles extension will add links to existing pages whenever you edit and save a page. Unless you changed the configuration variables, it will link whole words only, prefer longer target page titles over shorter ones, skip headings, and add multiple links if a page title appears more than once on the page. All of this is configurable; see the Configuration section.

Preventing automatic linking after minor edits

If the 'minor edit' check box is marked when you save a page, the extension will not add links to the page.

Viewing a page

If you do not want the LinkTitles extension to modify the page sources, you can also have links added whenever a page is being viewed (or, technically, when it is being rendered). MediaWiki caches rendered pages. Therefore, links do not need to be added every time a page is being viewed. See the $wgLinkTitlesParseOnRender configuration variable.

Including and excluding pages with Magic Words

Add the magic word __NOAUTOLINKS__ to a page to prevent automatic linking of page titles.

The presence of __NOAUTOLINKTARGET__ prevents a page from being automatically linked to from other pages.

Enable or disable automatic linking for sections

To exclude a section on your page from automatic linking, wrap it in <noautolinks>...</noautolinks> tags.

To include a section on your page for automatic linking, wrap it in <autolinks>...</autolinks> tags. Of course this only makes sense if both $wgLinkTitlesParseOnEdit and $wgLinkTitlesParseOnRender are set to false or if the page contains the __NOAUTOLINKS__ magic word.

Namespace support

By default, LinkTitles will only process pages in the NS_MAIN namespace (i.e., 'normal' Wiki pages). You can modify the configuration to process pages in other 'source' namespaces as well. By default, LinkTitles will only link to pages that are in the same namespace as the page being edited or viewed. Again, additional 'target' namespaces may be added in the configuration.

If a page contains another page's title that is prefixed with the namespace (e.g. my_namspace:other page), LinkTitles will not add a link. It is assumed that if someone deliberately types a namespace-qualified page title, they might just as well add the link markup ([[...]]) as well. It is the LinkTitles extension's intention to facilitate writing non-technical texts and have links to existing pages added automatically.

Batch processing

The extension provides two methods to batch-process all pages in a Wiki: A special page (i.e., graphical user interface) and a command-line maintenance script.


The special page provides a simple web interface to trigger batch processing. To avoid blocking the web server for too long, the page will frequently reload itself (this can be controlled by the $wgLinkTitlesSpecialPageReloadAfter configuration variable that the administrator can set in the LocalSettings.php file).

For security reasons, by default only users in the 'sysop' group are allowed to view the special page (otherwise unauthorized people could trigger a parsing of your entire wiki). To allow other user groups to view the page as well, add a line

$wgGroupPermissions ['<groupname>']['linktitles-batch'] = true;

to LocalSettings.php.

Maintenance script

If you have access to a shell on the server that runs your wiki, and are allowed to execute /bin/php on the command line, you can use the extension's maintenance script. Unlike MediaWiki's built-in maintenance scripts, this resides not in the maintenance/ subdirectory but in the extension's own directory (the one where you downloaded and extracted the files to).

To trigger parsing of all pages, issue:

php linktitles-cli.php

You can interrupt the process by hitting CTRL+C at any time.

To continue parsing at a later time, make a note of the index number of the last page that was processed (e.g., 37), and use the maintenance script with the --start option (or short -s) to indicate the start index:

php linktitles-cli.php -s 37

See all available options with:

php linktitles-cli.php -h


To change the configuration, set the variables in your LocalSettings.php file. The code lines below show the default values of the configuration variables.

Linking when a page is edited and saved

$wgLinkTitlesParseOnEdit = true;

Parse page content whenever it is edited and saved, unless 'minor edit' box is checked. This is the default mode of operation. It has the disadvantage that newly created pages won't be linked to from existing pages until those existing pages are edited and saved.

Linking when a page is rendered for display

$wgLinkTitlesParseOnRender = false;

Parse page content when it is rendered for viewing. Unlike the "parse on edit" mode of operation, this will not hard-code the links in the Wiki text. Thus, if you edit a page that had links added to it during rendering, you will not see the links in the Wiki markup.

Note that MediaWiki caches rendered pages in the database, so that pages rarely need to be rendered. Rendering is whenever a page is viewed and saved. Therefore, whether you want to enable both parse-on-edit and parse-on-render depends on whether you want to have links ([[...]]) added to the Wiki markup.

Please note that the extension will work on a fully built page when this mode is enabled; therefore, it will add links to text transcluded from templates, regardless of the configuration setting of $wgLinkTitlesSkipTemplates.

You can purge the page cache and trigger rendering by adding ?action=purge to the URL.

Enabling case-insensitive linking (smart mode)

$wgLinkTitlesSmartMode = true;

With smart mode enabled, the extension will first perform a case-sensitive search for page titles in the current page; then it will search for occurrences of the page titles in a case-insensitive way and add aliased ('piped') links. Thus, if you have a page MediaWiki Extensions, but write Mediawiki extensions (with a small 'e') in your text, LinkTitles would generate a link [[MediaWiki Extensions|Mediawiki extensions]], obviating the need to add dummy pages for variants of page titles with different cases.

Smart mode is enabled by default. You can disable it to increase performance of the extension.

Dealing with custom namespaces

$wgLinkTitlesSourceNamespace = [];

Specifies additional namespaces for pages that should be processed by the LinkTitles extension. If this is an empty array (or anything else that PHP evaluates to false), the default namespace NS_MAIN will be assumed.

The values in this array must be numbers/namespace constants (NS_xxx).

$wgLinkTitlesTargetNamespaces = [];

By default, only pages in the same namespace as the page being edited or viewed will be considered as link targets. If you want to link to pages in other namespaces, list them here. Note that the source page's own namespace will also be included, unless you change the $wgLinkTitlesSamenamespace option.

The values in this array must be numbers/namespace constants (NS_xxx).

$wgLinkTitlesSamenamespace = true;

If you do not want to have a page's own namespace included in the possible target namespaces, set this to false. Of course, if $wgLinkTitlesSameNamespace is false and $wgLinkTitlesTargetNamespaces is empty, LinkTitle will add no links at all because there are no target namespaces at all.

Example: Default configuration

$wgLinkTitlesSourceNamespace = [];
$wgLinkTitlesTargetNamespaces = [];
$wgLinkTitlesSamenamespace = true;

Process pages in the NS_MAIN namespace only, and add links to the NS_MAIN namespace only (i.e., the same namespace that the source page is in).

Example: Custom namespace only

$wgLinkTitlesSourceNamespace = [ NS_MY_NAMESPACE];
$wgLinkTitlesTargetNamespaces = [];
$wgLinkTitlesSamenamespace = true;

Process pages in the NS_MY_NAMESPACE namespace only, and add links to the NS_MY_NAMESPACE namespace only (i.e., the same namespace that the source page is in).

Example: Link to NS_MAIN only

$wgLinkTitlesSourceNamespace = [ NS_MY_NAMESPACE];
$wgLinkTitlesTargetNamespaces = [ NS_MAIN ];
$wgLinkTitlesSamenamespace = false;

Process pages in the NS_MY_NAMESPACE namespace only, and add links to the NS_MAIN namespace only. Do not link to pages that are in the same namespace as the source namespace (i.e., NS_MY_NAMESPACE).

Linking or skipping headings

$wgLinkTitlesParseHeadings = false;

Determines whether or not to add links to headings. By default, the extension will leave your (sub)headings untouched. Only applies to parse-on-edit!

There is a known issue that the extension regards incorrectly formatted headings as headings. Consider this line:

## incorrect heading #

This line is not recognized as a heading by MediaWiki because the pound signs (#) are not balanced. However, the LinkTitles extension will currently treat this line as a heading (if it starts and ends with pound signs).

Prioritizing pages with short titles

$wgLinkTitlesPreferShortTitles = false;

If $wgLinkTitlesPreferShortTitles is set to true, parsing will begin with shorter page titles. By default, the extension will attempt to link the longest page titles first, as these generally tend to be more specific.

Filtering pages by title length

$wgLinkTitlesMinimumTitleLength = 4;

Only link to page titles that have a certain minimum length. In my experience, very short titles can be ambiguous. For example, "mg" may be "milligrams" on a page, but there may be a page title "Mg" which redirects to the page "Magnesium". This settings prevents erroneous linking to very short titles by setting a minimum length. You can adjust this setting to your liking.

Excluding pages from being linked to

$wgLinkTitlesBlackList = [];

Exclude page titles in the array from automatic linking. You can populate this array with common words that happen to be page titles in your Wiki. For example, if for whatever reason you had a page "And" in your Wiki, every occurrence of the word "and" would be linked to this page.

To add page titles to the black list, you can use statements such as

$wgLinkTitlesBlackList[] = 'Some special page title';

in your LocalSettings.php file. Use one of these for every page title that you want to put on the black list. Alternatively, you can specify the entire array:

$wgLinkTitlesBlackList = [ 'Some special page title', 'Another one' ];

Keep in mind that a MediaWiki page title always starts with a capital letter unless you have $wgCapitalLinks = false; in your LocalSettings.php. Therefore, if you have lowercase first letters in the black list array, they will have no effect.

Dealing with templates

$wgLinkTitlesSkipTemplates = false;

If set to true, do not parse the variable text of templates, i.e. in {{my template|some variable=some content}}, leave the entire text between the curly brackets untouched. If set to false (default setting), the text after the pipe symbol (|) will be parsed.

Note: This setting works only with parse-on-edit; it does not affect parse-on-render! This is because the templates have already been transcluded (expanded) when the links are added during rendering.

Multiple links to the same page

$wgLinkTitlesFirstOnly = false;

If set to true, only link the first occurrence of a title on a given page. If a link is piped, i.e. hiding the title of the target page:

[[target page|text that appears as link text]]

then the LinkTitles extension does not count that as an occurrence.

Partial words

$wgLinkTitlesWordStartOnly = true;
$wgLinkTitlesWordEndOnly = true;

Restrict linking to occurrences of the page titles at the start of a word. If you want to have only the exact page titles linked, you need to set both options $wgLinkTitlesWordStartOnly and $wgLinkTitlesWordEndOnly to true. On the other hand, if you want to have all occurrences of a page title linked, even if they are in the middle of a word, you need to set both options to false.

Keep in mind that linking in MediaWiki is generally case-sensitive.

Special page configuration

$wgLinkTitlesSpecialPageReloadAfter = 1; // seconds

The LinkTitles:Special page performs batch processing of pages by repeatedly calling itself. This happens to prevent timeouts on your server. The default reload interval is 1 second.


If you wish to contribute, please issue pull requests against the develop branch, as I follow Vincent Driessen's advice on A successful Git branching model (knowing that there are alternative workflows).

The master branch contains stable releases only, so it is safe to pull the master branch if you want to install the extension for your own Wiki.


  • Daniel Kraus (@bovender), main developer
  • Ulrich Strauss (@c0nnex), initial support for namespaces
  • Brent Laabs (@labster), code review and bug fixes
  • @tetsuya-zama, bug fix
  • @yoshida3669, namespace-related bug fixes
  • Caleb Mingle (@dentafrice), bug fix
  • @paladox, bug fixes


Starting from version 5, LinkTitles finally comes with phpunit tests. The code is not 100% covered yet. If you find something does not work as expected, let me know and I will try to add unit tests and fix it.

Here's how I set up the testing environment. This may not be the canonical way to do it. Basic information on testing MediaWiki can be found here.

The following assumes that you have an instance of MediaWiki running locally on your development machine. This assumes that you are running Linux (I personally use Ubuntu).

  1. Pull the MediaWiki repository:

    cd ~/Code
    git clone --depth 1
  2. Install composer locally and fetch the dependencies (including development dependencies):

Follow the instructions on the composer download page, but instead of running php composer-setup.php, run:

    php composer-setup.php --install-dir=bin --filename=composer
    bin/composer install
  1. Install phpunit (it was already installed on my Ubuntu system when I began testing LinkTitles, so I leave it up to you to figure out how to do it).

  2. Copy your LocalSettings.php over from your local MediaWiki installation and remove (or comment out) any lines that reference extensions or skins that you are not going to install to your test environment. For the purposes of testing the LinkTitles extension, leave the following line in place:

    wfLoadExtensions( 'LinkTitles' );

And ensure the settings file contains the following:

    $wgShowDBErrorBacktrace = true;
  1. Create a symbolic link to your copy of the LinkTitles repository:

    cd ~/Code/mediawiki/extensions
    ln -s ~/Code/LinkTitles
  2. Make sure your local MediaWiki instance is up to date. Otherwise phpunit may fail and tell you about database problems.

This is because the local database is used as a template for the unit tests. For example, I initially had MW 1.26 installed on my laptop, but the cloned repository was MW 1.29.1. It's probably also possible to clone the repository with a specific version tag which matches your local installation.

  1. Run the tests:

    cd ~/Code/mediawiki/tests/phpunit
    php phpunit.php --group bovender

This will run all tests from the 'bovender' group, i.e. tests for my extensions. If you linked just the LinkTitles extension in step 5, only this extension will be tested.


Copyright 2012-2018 Daniel Kraus (@bovender)

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.

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