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Users can easily sign their posts at the end of a comment. The common format to type a signature – two hyphens (or a dash) followed by four tildes (-- ~~~~). This comes from the computer network Usenet, where two hyphens mark a signature block. The tildes automatically change to the actual username (linked to the right user page etc.) and timestamp (time/date), when you save a signed edit. This helps other users to follow the timing order of discussions, and to find the author of a particular comment. Signing is normally done on talk pages only, not on written articles. Signatures do not work in edit summaries (they do not change from ~~~~ to your username).
If you edit without logging in, your IP address will take the place of your username.
Normal signature options
There are three 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)|
Registered users can customize their signature (the part between the two hyphens and the timestamp) by changing the field "Signature" in their preferences. By default, anything you enter there will be wrapped with
[[ ]]. To use a special linking (without this automatic link), you have to check the tickbox for "Raw signatures." Then you can add Wiki markup and also HTML (as far as allowed on the wiki) as you like, but the most in length you can do is 255 characters.
If you check "Raw signatures" but don't add any customized signature, you'll sign with your unlinked username.
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)|