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Bulbapedia:Manual of style

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This article is an official guideline on Bulbapedia.

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This is an instruction manual that addresses the conventions adopted by Bulbapedia in writing, titles, articles, and linking. Please read it before you contribute to the Bulbapedia project. Note, however, that this document is not updated frequently; survey prevailing conventions as well as reading these guidelines.

This manual attempts to address all issues of style in an objective manner, though there are inevitably cases where issues of style are subjective. If there are any unresolved disputes over what best adheres to the style of Bulbapedia, please contact the editorial board.

Basic wikicode

Main article: Bulbapedia:Wikicode

Besides writing articles in the Bulbapedia on factual, useful information, contributors are expected to use decent spelling and grammar and a basic level of wikicode. Some of the most commonly used aspects of wikicode are listed below. Should you forget, above the text editors for articles are a row of buttons with many common wikicode attributes.

  • Text formatting: To make text bold, put three apostrophes on either side of it, such as '''Bulbapedia'''. This will result in Bulbapedia. However, bold text is mostly used to define the name of the subject matter at the start of an article or for any notes which need a very large amount of emphasis. For a normal emphasis, it is common style to put text in italics, which is done with two apostrophes instead of three, such as ''Bulbapedia''. This will result in Bulbapedia.
  • Links: Whenever something else is referenced in an article which has its own article on the Bulbapedia, be sure to link to it. This is done by putting two brackets on either side of a word. For example, [[Pokémon]] will result in Pokémon. However, sometimes there's no way to use the exact name of an article in a sentence without the sentence being awkwardly-worded. In these instances, to have different text display than the article's name, put a vertical pipe between the article's name and the text you would like to display. For example, [[Pokémon|Pocket Monsters]] will result in Pocket Monsters, which you may notice links to the Pokémon article.
    • Short links: There are several quick links which are not only useful, but common style. For example, when linking to a Pokémon article, typing {{p|Pikachu}} would result in Pikachu, which you may notice links to the article Pikachu (Pokémon). For more links, please see the Disambiguation section under Naming further in the manual, and for a list of the templates used, along with their use, see Shortlinks.
    • Wikipedia links: When something is referenced outside of the Pokémon world, it is often useful to link to the Wikipedia article on the subject. When linking to a Wikipedia subject, simply put a "wp:" before the article's name. However, be careful that this doesn't show up in the link text itself, and be sure to check to see if you're linking to an existing Wikipedia article. As an example, to link to the Wikipedia article on Pokémon, typing [[wp:Pokémon|Pokémon]] would result in Pokémon.
    • External links: Other links can be done with using a single bracket. In this instance, a vertical line is not necessary to divide the name from the link. However, the full address is needed to link to a page. For example, to link to the Bulbagarden forums, typing [http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/index.php Bulbagarden Forums] would result in Bulbagarden Forums. External links are primarily used to cite references and to link to any related websites.
  • Bulbasaur
    Images: Images are added in a manner similar to links. To add in an image, link to the image's name, but add in "File:" before the name. For example, [[File:001MS.png]] will add in the image 001MS.png. Formatting attributes can be added to an image as well, divided with vertical lines. For example, [[File:001Bulbasaur.png|thumb|100px|Bulbasaur]] will add the image to the right. All images are uploaded to Bulbagarden Archives.
  • Categories: Categories are also added in a manner similar to Links. To categorize an article, link to the category's name, but add in "Category:" before the name. For example, [[Category:Pokémon world]] would add this article to Category:Pokémon world. To link to a category and not add the article to the category, add in an extra colon before the name, like [[:Category:Pokémon world]], or alternately, use the {{cat}} template. All articles should be categorized. The only page which should appear on the list of uncategorized pages should be the main page of Bulbapedia.
  • Headlines: Articles are divided by levels of headlines, much like a large outline. These are indicated by equals signs on either side of the headline text. There are six levels of headlines, with one equals sign being the first and highest level, which would look like =Headline text=, and six equals signs being the sixth and lowest level, which would look like ======Headline text======. First and second level headlines are underlined. Text size decreases with lower level headlines.
  • Lists: There are two major ways to do lists.
    • Bulleted lists: To create a bulleted list, put an asterisk before each item. For example:
* Bulbasaur
* Charmander
* Squirtle
* Pikachu

Will become:

  • Bulbasaur
  • Charmander
  • Squirtle
  • Pikachu
    • Definition lists: To create a list with definitions, put a semicolon before each item, and a colon before the details on each item. For example:
; Bulbasaur
: Grass-type
; Charmander
: Fire-type
; Squirtle
: Water-type
; Pikachu
: Electric-type

Will become:

Bulbasaur
Grass-type
Charmander
Fire-type
Squirtle
Water-type
Pikachu
Electric-type

A colon will indent the start of any other line as well, and multiple colons can be used for multiple indents. However, indents should only be used for data formating, and should not be used to start paragraphs within an article. Indents are also used on talk pages to indicate a reply.

  • Tables: Tables are started and ended with a curled bracket and a vertical line. Rows can be divided with a vertical line and a dash, and sections within rows can be divided with vertical lines. Title headings can be indicated with exclamation points rather than vertical lines. For example:
{|
! Name
! Type
|-
| Bulbasaur
| Grass
|-
| Charmander
| Fire
|-
| Squirtle
| Water
|-
| Pikachu
| Electric
|}

Will become:

Name Type
Bulbasaur Grass
Charmander Fire
Squirtle Water
Pikachu Electric

Formatting attributes can also be added to the table. The first row attributes apply to the whole table. Attributes on the lines with vertical lines and dashes apply to the row. Attributes for just one cell can be put before the content, divided with another vertical line. For example:

{| style="border: 1px solid #999; border-collapse: collapse;"
|- style="background: #ccc;"
! Name
! Type
|- style="background: #cfc;"
| Bulbasaur
| style="text-align:right" | Grass
|- style="background: #fcc;"
| Charmander
| style="text-align:right" | Fire
|- style="background: #ccf;"
| Squirtle
| style="text-align:right" | Water
|- style="background: #ffc;"
| Pikachu
| style="text-align:right" | Electric
|}

Will become:

Name Type
Bulbasaur Grass
Charmander Fire
Squirtle Water
Pikachu Electric

Article titles

The conventions for titles dictate that all proper nouns are capitalized, as are all locations, and names unless specifically not capitalized. Titles are not written like book titles with most words capitalized (unless the article is about a book); note the title of this page as Manual of style, not Manual of Style.

Uniformity in the titling of pages is much appreciated in that it makes for a much more professional appearance with regards to the public perception of Bulbapedia. Any page title that includes a name should not be stored in a biographical format; i.e., "Gary Oak", not "Oak, Gary" as the page title for Ash's rival. In cases where only a first name (Bill) exists, or where a character is known by a title (such as Professor Oak) more than their proper name, those should be used as the sole title of the page. In the case of Professor Oak, redirects from "Prof. Oak" and "Samuel Oak" may be used.

In most cases, titles referring to a specific group should be kept singular, such as item rather than items. However, some exceptions are allowed when the group name is plural, such as Eevee brothers rather than Eevee brother.

Also, only link to an article once within a given portion of text; if you say "Ash" more than once in a paragraph, only link it the first time. Instances further apart may be linked to more than once, it is up to you how far apart to place repeated links. For consistency, if most elements of a list are links, then link to an article as many times as needed in that list.

Japanese titles should be romanized in titles, but see the following sections for details.

The é and other special characters

The e-acute (é) is always used in a title where appropriate; pages are titled "Pokémon", not "Pokemon." When the é is used in a title, for instance in Pokémon or Pokédex, please create a redirect from the title that doesn't have the accented é. Pokedex redirects to Pokédex, for instance; this allows for people who don't know how to add the special characters in the search bar the same access as the rest of us. The same would apply for any other special characters that may occur in a title.

With regards to romanized Japanese titles, omit macrons and apostrophes in the title (but create redirects from the accurate romanization if you so desire).

Technical limitations include mandatory capitalization of the first letter of titles and the identical treatment of space, + and _ as spaces. Use {{Wrongtitle}} to make a note of any wrong titles due to technical limitations. Also note that formerly & was not an acceptable character, but now it is acceptable to use up to two ampersands in a title - more than two ampersands in a row will cause problems. Special care must be taken with ?, though usually things will work as expected.

Naming conventions

Naming conventions in Bulbapedia have been determined to go by English names of characters unless a character does not currently have an English name. Redirects from Japanese names should be created in order to alleviate confusion. For instance, the page Kasumi redirects to Misty.

Formerly, the style was to name articles based on whichever name a character was most "well known by". However, this created debate as to who judges which name is most commonly known, and thus created unnecessary conflict given how rarely a character is known to the English-speaking fanbase more commonly by anything but their English name. Hence, the style has since been abandoned.

An article titled with a Pokémon name with a very well known instance in any form of canon should have a disambiguation page. For example, due to Meowth (Team Rocket) being extremely well-known, a disambiguation page exists at Meowth (disambiguation).

Names of people

All modern persons should have their name given in Western order. Since the definition of "modern" may vary from culture to culture, for the Japanese, all names from the Taishō period onwards should be given in Western order. Names from the Meiji restoration may be given in Western or Eastern order -- use prevailing convention on a person-by-person basis. Names prior to the Meiji restoration should be given in Eastern order.

When a person has a specific preference for the way their name is rendered, or where convention differs, use that instead. For example, use Hiromoto SIN-Ichi, Ikue Ohtani, and Rica Matsumoto, instead of Shin'ichi Hiromoto, Ikue Ōtani, and Rika Matsumoto.

Disambiguation

The bracketed terms used to disambiguate articles with titles that would otherwise be the same should be a single short word and lowercase, except when proper nouns are involved. The following are commonly used:

Pokémon
An article for a general species of Pokémon, for example, Bulbasaur (Pokémon). Short link: {{p}}
move
An article for a move, for example, Tackle (move). Short link: {{m}}
ability
An article for an ability, for example, Pressure (Ability). Short link: {{a}}
type
An article for a type, for example, Normal (type). Short link: {{t}} {{type}}
game
An article for a game, or a character from a game, for example, Silver (game).
anime
An article for an anime, or a character from an anime, for example, Brock (anime). Short link: {{an}}
Adventures
An article for Pokémon Adventures characters, for example, Silver (Adventures). Short link: {{Adv}}.
MPJ
An article for Magical Pokémon Journey characters, for example, Pikachu (MPJ).
TCG
An article for a product, set, or other aspect of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, for example, Base Set (TCG). Short link: {{TCG}}
Specific cards within the TCG are identified using the TCG ID format, for example, Alakazam (Base Set 1). Short link: {{TCG ID}}
TFG
An article for a product, set, or other aspect of the Pokémon Trading Figure Game, for example, Next Quest (TFG). Short link: {{TFG}}
Specific figures within the TFG are identified using the TFG ID format, for example, Charizard (Next Quest 1). Short link: {{TFG ID}}

For a list of all link templates, please see this page.

Opening line

The full name of the subject of an article should appear within the first few words of the article itself. Alternate and popular names may be described later. The name should be given in its original form if it differs from its Anglicized form. Note that a name need not be romanized more than once. Song, episode and movie titles should be translated, not romanized. Also note that names in languages besides Japanese and English should not be included in the opening line, but rather further in the article, preferably in a section titled In other languages near the bottom with only Related articles and External links following after. Some examples follow:

Archaic
Liam Pomfret, better known as Archaic, is the current head of Bulbagarden.
Hirokazu Tanaka
Hirokazu Tanaka (Japanese: 田中宏和 but usually credited in hiragana only) is most well known as the composer of much the theme music used in the Pokémon anime, but he is also the president of Creatures, Inc.
Hiromoto SIN-Ichi
Hiromoto SIN-Ichi (Japanese: ヒロモト森一 Hiromoto Shin'ichi) is a manga artist, born on January 4, 1966.
Professor Oak
Professor Samuel Oak (Japanese: オーキド・ユキナリ博士 Dr. Yukinari Ōkido, Ookido and Orchid are also seen) is a Pokémon Professor and has a home and research lab located in Pallet Town.
Bulbasaur
Bulbasaur (Japanese: フシギダネ Fushigidane) is a Grass/Poison-type Pokémon.
Aim to Be a Pokémon Master
めざせポケモンマスター (Mezase Pokémon Masutā exact, Mezase Pokémon Master is common; English: Aim to Be a Pokémon Master) was the first opening theme song of the Pokémon anime series, ...

Japanese

Kanji

See Bulbapedia:Manual of style/Kanji

Romanization

See Bulbapedia:Manual of style/Romanization

Nouns, capitalization, and specific terminology

  • The word Pokémon is always capitalized, as well as the names of Pokémon species. So are nouns starting with "Poké", such as Pokéblock, PokéNav and Poké Flute. Note, however, that there is no one common trend for spelling of words beginning with "Poké" - they can be written as a compound word, with the second part of the word capitalized or uncapitalized, or as two words with the second word capitalized. Also note that this applies to many nouns starting with "Pokémon", such as with Pokémon Trainer.
  • Items and all words in them are always capitalized; they are considered proper nouns for the purposes of Bulbapedia. "Leftovers", "Escape Rope", or "Water Stone" are all correct as written; a page would not be titled "Water stone". Case should match that of the game text, such as the DeepSeaTooth.
  • Locations should also be capitalized in a manner consistent with English grammar; Ruins of Alph has the A in Alph always capitalized, while numbered routes, such as Route 101, Route 217, and so on, are proper nouns and must have the R capitalized.
  • Specific terminology is different; leveling up and legendary Pokémon have a lowercase L, as "starter Pokémon" would have a lowercase "s" (but, of course, a capital P in Pokémon).
  • Specific types are called "the Water type" and "the Rock type" when used as nouns and "Water-type" and "Rock-type" when used as adjectives, while their subject pages are Water (type) and Rock (type), respectively. Squirtle is a "Water-type" is not correct; Squirtle is a Water type and Squirtle is a Water-type Pokémon are. When linking as an adjective, it is preferred that {{type|Water}} is used rather than {{t|Water}}-type.
  • The plural of "Pokémon" is "Pokémon", as is the plural of every Pokémon species the same as the singular, much like moose or sheep.
  • Evolutionary levels should be designated as "unevolved", "first evolution", and "second evolution" for Pokémon that have undergone zero, one, and two evolutions respectively during their development. TCG terminology of "basic Pokémon", "stage 1 Pokémon" and "stage 2 Pokémon" should not spill over into other media, as Pikachu and several other Pokémon are considered basic in the TCG sense, yet are Pokémon that have undergone one evolution in their lifetimes, making them first-evolution Pokémon, more akin to Charmeleon than unevolved Pokémon, which their pre-evolutions are.

Remember that consistency with these conventions is very important, and your cooperation is appreciated.

Regarding specific topics

Topics such as the anime should link to the page "Pokémon anime"; topics for the game should either link to that game's generation or its specific page. Topics about the manga should link to Pokémon manga, and so on; linking to just "anime" or "games" or "manga" is incorrect. Please take note of the already-existing pages regarding a topic and be sure to try and link to them; it makes for less fixing of broken, bad, and misdirected links. The staff of Bulbapedia is trying to keep options open to expand beyond a Pokémon context and into a more general encyclopedia topic; using the specific titles for Pokémon topics instead of making them overly vague helps in organization.

For specific information regarding style on manga-related articles, please see Manual of style/Manga.

Style of writing; editing, bias, and opinion

Please remember that Bulbapedia is designed to be an encyclopedia, and as such should contain the best possible level of literary style. Also as an encyclopedia, it is suggested to not use the second-person in descriptions, as this is unprofessional: "You can get the Reaper Cloth in Turnback Cave" is incorrect, while "The Reaper Cloth can be obtained in Turnback Cave" is preferred.

Check for spelling and grammatical errors before entering a page; if you notice factual or spelling errors on a page other than the ones you have created, feel free to correct the problems, as Bulbapedia is an open project. In order to avoid disagreements over factual accuracy, it is best to cite sources for controversial statements. If presenting one point of view, it is best to also present a contrasting opinion with it.

Image preferences

For further details, please see the Archives manual of style

Images are often a helpful visual addition to the content of articles. However, in some cases, it is questionable what images are best used for articles.

  • If there is official artwork, such as the Sugimori stock artwork or video game sprites, this is always the preferred image.
  • If there is no official artwork, such as screenshots from episodes or manga, ones created by the contributing user are preferred over images taken from other sources. There will inevitably be disputes about which user-created image is best, as there is no exact policy on such; however, the image should generally be the highest quality and most informative image.
  • Animated images should be avoided proportionately with how large and distracting the animation is. Small uses, such as a blinking dot on a world map to indicate location, are non-obtrusive and acceptable.
  • Overwriting existing images is acceptable, since Bulbapedia favors the image with the higher quality, not the greater seniority. However, please avoid disputes by discussing the change with the user who uploaded the former image before uploading the new image.

Formatting preferences

  • For backgrounds and templates, obtrusively bright colors should be avoided. Generally, Bulbapedia style favors pastels, particularly green, blue, or gray, depending on the content.
  • Smaller tables are generally considered better, assuming they still have adequate information. Even little things, such as a thin 1px border, are preferred.
  • When listing a TM or HM as an item, make use of the {{TM}} or {{HM}} templates, written as {{TM|50|Overheat}} for TM50 (Overheat) and {{HM|08|Dive}} for HM08 (Dive).
  • When writing episode names, write them as ''[[Episode code|Episode name]]''; for example, the fifth episode of the original series is Showdown in Pewter City.
  • When multiple numbered routes are to be listed, they should be listed in numerical order, and only the first should have any prefix to it; for example, "Jigglypuff appears on Routes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 34, 35, and 115, depending on the version played" is preferred to "Jigglypuff appears on Route 3, Route 4, Route 5, Route 6, Route 7, Route 8, Route 34, Route 35, and Route 115 depending on the version played". The link template {{rtn}} can be used for handily linking route numbers.
  • Navigation templates should aspire to be as useful as possible, not as large as possible. For some reason, several users are fond of trying to put entire articles worth of information on a single navigation template, resulting in gigantic templates at the bottom of articles interconnecting many articles which are only related by a very long tangent. This is tacky and useless; try to keep navigation templates simple but useful.

Lists of Pokémon in other articles

Unless there is a specific reason to order them otherwise, lists of Pokémon should be sorted according to their National Pokédex number.

Integration of content from other websites

It is against Bulbapedia's policy to directly copy text from other websites without permission. If other sources consent to allowing their text to appear on Bulbapedia and be subsequently edited and expanded upon to better fit Bulbapedia's style and standards, then and only then editors can directly copy their text into Bulbapedia. In this case, the source must be credited.

Integration is not the same as replacement, however. If Bulbapedia already has information written on a subject and it is not directly copied from any other source, then it is better to edit and expand that text than to completely replace it with another source's words, even if the other source has allowed their text to be used and has more information. This may not violate Bulbapedia's policy, but it does clash with Bulbapedia's style, which prefers original content directly provided from its contributors over content taken from another website.

An important note about Wikipedia content

No matter how similar the two may be, Bulbapedia and Wikipedia do not have compatible licenses. Therefore, for legal reasons as well as those of style, please avoid directly copying any text from Wikipedia straight into Bulbapedia.

If Wikipedia has an article on a Pokémon-related subject which Bulbapedia does not, and there is good reason for doing such, the article can be started directly based off the Wikipedia article as long as the {{WikipediaBased}} template is added to the bottom. For example, this was how the article on Satoshi Tajiri was made. However, please avoid this when possible. In particular, the staff will probably not listen to any requests to delete an existing Bulbapedia article to make room for a Wikipedia-based article. Bulbapedia prides itself on original content, and would rather not have all its major articles taken directly from Wikipedia. Again, integration is not the same as replacement.


We at Bulbapedia are here to create, provide, and upkeep an enormous database filled with Pokémon information. Your help is appreciated more than you know; contributions extend beyond just Bulbapedia to the entire online Pokémon community.

Bulbapedia policies and guidelines
Manual of style AnimeGamesMangaSidegamesTCG
Help pages Dispute resolutionFAQList of link templatesWikicode
Articles Manual of styleNotability requirementsProtectionVandalism
Talk pages Code of conductSignature policyTalk page policy
Templates Link templatesList of link templatesTemplate policyUsertag policy
Userspace Username policyUserspace policyUsertag policy