Template talk:Empty section

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Number of sections[edit]

There are about 25000 empty sections on WP Rich Farmbrough, 13:04 29 November 2008 (UTC).

In July 2010, Yobot added tags to about 22,000 articles. -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:04, 30 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Section numbers[edit]

It is hard to automatically ad these, an there is n edit button with each section. Better to lose this feature? Rich Farmbrough, 13:04 29 November 2008 (UTC).

Yes, losing or rewriting the feature would be good, as the current solution is cumbersome and prone to break every time a section is added above the tempate. — Pt(T) 08:02, 30 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]


Note that this will always edit a mainspace page regardless of the page the template is on.

Rich Farmbrough, 13:19 29 November 2008 (UTC).

What's the point of this?[edit]

In what circumstance is it appropriate for an empty section to be present at all? It's always seemed to me that the right way to deal with an empty section is to delete it. -- Smjg (talk) 13:50, 6 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Some pages are created as a copy-paste of the others to maintain the same structure. -- Magioladitis (talk) 01:14, 9 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]
So there are certain categories of pages for which policy dictates a list of sections to be followed to the letter? Would you care to give some examples? -- Smjg (talk) 11:00, 23 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I find it useful in articles where {{generalize}} is applicable to show exactly what important topic(s) are missing, and perhaps get some editors to write them. Examples include Robert Spitzer (psychiatrist) and Rodney Stark, to mention just two recent examples. Tijfo098 (talk) 07:06, 11 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Very good examples. I usually encounter this tag in articles about years to show the correct order of expected section: Born, Died, etc. -- Magioladitis (talk) 09:40, 11 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think this template is appropriate for stub articles. You've already flagged the article as needing more content, so an {{empty section}} template is redundant and most likely useless. If you think an article page needs more content, then add content. Praemonitus (talk) 16:55, 21 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion about new tagging bot[edit]

This message is being sent to inform you of a community discussion regarding a bot proposal. The bot would automatically tag new articles with matinence tags, such as this template. More details can be found at the proposal. Thank you,  ock  16:54, 23 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I figured there must have been some bot adding these, because I found a number of incorrect uses that no human was likely to have added, e.g. [1]. Tijfo098 (talk) 07:03, 11 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Changing to content type[edit]

Alpha Quadrant: A disucssion took place at Template:Expand and at WP:TFD concerning which templates relating to a lack of content should be reclassified as content templates, and this template was one of the ones identified. The reason this template was identified is because the lack of content in a section is understood to be a major content problem with the article, contrasted with a situation in which Template:Expand section would be used to merely indicate the need to expand a section. Could you explain your reason for reverting? --Bsherr (talk) 19:24, 2 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Remove period from wikilink[edit]

Please remove the period from the wikilink in the message of the template. --Bsherr (talk) 18:46, 6 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

OK. -- Magioladitis (talk) 19:32, 6 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Just redirect the template to delete it[edit]

As a bonus it means we can block AWB users who fix it down the road </sarcasm> Really though, it's the simpler method that doesn't involve hours of effort all at once. - ʄɭoʏɗiaɲ τ ¢ 10:34, 23 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

There is a DRV open. -- Magioladitis (talk) 11:47, 23 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Empty section vs. Expand section[edit]

Here some thoughts of what someone can do when they find this tag on a page. There are two main possibilities:

  • Remove the empty section as inappropriate or unlikely to have some content for a long time
  • Add some text and replace the tag with {{expand section}}

These two things are straightforward. On the other hand, when someone sees an {{expand section}} can do one of the following:

  • Merge the information to some other place and remove the tag if they decide this section can not be expanded further
  • Add some additional text and decide whether keep the tag or not.

In both cases of course using the talk page for informing other editors is welcome. In to my eyes the first job seems easier than the second. Empty sections are not really needed unless are in a series of articles with similar content (e.g. articles for calendar years, sport seasons, etc.). From this point of view we should not track pages with empty sections and pages that need expansion together and should have separate tracking categories since they serve a slightly different purpose and can be differently treated.

Keep in mind that the long discussion about the, now deleted, "expand" tag focused on the fact that this tag was to board and that taggers should give more specific instructions to those who copyedit. A merge of empty section and expand section won't help this purpose. -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:28, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Edit request on 18 February 2012[edit]

I think it would be necessary if you do not provide a link to the image. JC Talk to me My contributions 09:09, 18 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

 Done Tra (Talk) 09:23, 18 February 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Article version[edit]

Could an experienced user make a article version of this that would be the {{stub}} to this template's {{expand section}}? (talk) 16:27, 31 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I have not understood your request. --Nnemo (talk) 20:44, 14 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Reverts on recent changes to the doc[edit]


The beginning of this discussion is on my talk page.

Here let's discuss the mass reverts — by Phil Bridger — of my recent changes to this template's doc.

What are the problems ? What don't you like and why ? By discussing our opinions, I am sure we can achieve progress.

--Nnemo (talk) 20:57, 14 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I've noticed you making edits like this on many other template doc pages. You are adding blank lines and spaces where none are needed; in fact, sometimes these extra blank lines contravene WP:LISTGAP. You are also using words like "hereinbefore" which nobody in this country uses outside a lawyer's office. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:46, 14 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
My blank lines separate things which are too sticked together, they give air. But, regarding WP:LISTGAP, my blank lines never break lists. It is the opposite : I often remove lines that break lists and that harm accessibility.
What is “this country” ?
I have noted your remark about the word “hereinbefore”. We will find a word which is both true and more common. Like “preceding”, “precedent”.
--Nnemo (talk) 22:43, 14 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Currently the “Usage” part gives only one use, the complicated use. But simpler uses — even the simplest use, with no parameter — are available. The doc says so, but in the following part, “Parameters”. In order to simplify the life of the editors, I had added several variants to the “Usage” part. So that the editor can choose what use s/he wants. But I agree that all these choices can appear complicated to the ignorant eye. We will do something simpler : we will show two uses, the simplest one and the one with the parameters. The editor will be able to make the combinations s/he wants, thanks to the part “Parameters”. And, speaking of the part “Parameters”, I will clarify and unify the “optional” labels on the parameters. Currently these labels are messy and inconsistent. --Nnemo (talk) 19:43, 15 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Change tracking category[edit]

The latest TfD brings again the matter I mentioned 2 years ago and some people agreed back then. Pages with empty sections should have their own tracking category. I took the liberty to create Category:Articles with empty sections and I think the pages should not anymore contained in the larger category. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:38, 1 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]


For next time this ends up at TfD, there's now evidence that Wikipedia is mocked specifically because of this template. When the same thing can be achieved with HTML comments, I think we really need to ask ourselves if this is worth it. --BDD (talk) 18:41, 29 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia is mocked about many things. Take a look at xkcd sometime. I mean, I don't like this template either, but arguing to delete it on the grounds that some random blog has made fun of it is just silly. DoctorKubla (talk) 20:12, 29 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Question regarding use of this template[edit]

I would like some clarification regarding the use of this template. If a section has sub-sections with text but no text above the sub-sections (i.e. only text below sub-sections), should there be an Empty section template? See 2013–14 SHL season#Summary for what I mean. Heymid (contribs) 21:19, 6 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think so; technically, the section isn't empty if it contains sub-sections. {{Expand section}} might be more appropriate. DoctorKubla (talk) 05:42, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]
{{Expand section}} sounds like a better idea in this case, and I've therefore replaced the Empty section template in the article. Heymid (contribs) 07:04, 7 August 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Guidelines for use?[edit]

I've noticed inconsistent use of this template across WP; in some articles the tags remain for years while in others they are removed (along with the section header) in less than a day. Can anyone please point me to a WP policy or guideline related to the appropriate use of this template? Thanks & regards, DPdH (talk) 02:44, 6 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]

DPdH I am not aware of any specific guidelines but maybe we should try and start writing at some point. In general empty sections should not stay for long time unless there is some good reason for that. For instance, the pages follows a specific pattern defined by a series of pages. Otherwise, remove the empty section. If someone is interested can check the edit history and the talk page for more instructions on sections that could be in the article. I would be happy if someone started working on dealing with all these empty sections. I wonder if we could organise a organised attempt to reduce them. -- Magioladitis (talk) 06:55, 6 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks a lot for the feedback; I agree that some guidance is needed, and that this template should only be used for a brief period of time and ideally explaining why this is needed (e.g.: in the article's Talk Page). Sounds that agreeing the guidelines might be a contentious endeavor, for which a "task force" approach might be sensible. But I'm unsure how and where to start... Regards, DPdH (talk) 14:27, 6 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]


I noticed a problem, the template says "you can help us by adding to it" when it should really say "you can help us by adding content to it". --ToonLucas22 (talk) 16:45, 22 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Template-protected edit request on 9 August 2015[edit]

I suggest replacing "you can help by adding to it" to "you can help by adding content to it", to avoid confusion. TL22 (talk) 14:20, 9 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

@ToonLucas22: With your suggested change, that I can really understand and agree with, I got some unpleasant linebreaks (at least in my opinion). What do you think about the sandbox example where I added a linebreak after the first bolded part? Also I was considering if we should change "You can help..." to "Please help...". Qed237 (talk) 14:43, 9 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit protected}} template. – In my opinion, "content" is easily implied and understood, and "you can help" is more personal and effective than "please help". – Paine  14:15, 11 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with Paine. Alakzi (talk) 14:24, 11 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Can we add a note about empty sections that are not a problem?[edit]

Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Layout#Works or Publications or Bibliography doesn't address this, but it is common practice to have no text under the main works/filmography section title, then have sub-headings with the lists of works. See these Featured Articles:

Some headers exist to group sub-headers, and there isn't a need for text under them. The usage should mention that text under every section header is not mandatory. --Dennis Bratland (talk) 16:45, 23 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

@Dennis Bratland: My understanding is that a section doesn't count as "empty" if it contains sub-sections; that's certainly the logic that's been coded in AWB. I've added a sentence or two to the template documentation. -- John of Reading (talk) 20:29, 23 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I know this is an old thread, but FWIW I think this is a pattern to be avoided. It's always worth including some kind of prose summary rather than just dropping a hatnote link to Foo filmography or whatever. e.g. "Foo has appeared in more than 20 films, beginning with the 1996 picture Too Many Foos. She is best known for the role of Foo in Baz, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2012." I'm pleased to see that all of the examples above have actually been reworked since this was posted to include some amount of content. Colin M (talk) 14:18, 21 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Edit requests: expand width and standardize section templates! Add Category:Wikipedia section templates. And it's not showing on mobile Wikipedia.[edit]

The template looks ridiculously bad on any monitor that's larger than 300px and needs to be changed ASAP!
It looks crammed, like frightened from taking too much space and really, really bad and archaic. And it looks even worse when there's a normal, widespan template like {{Unreferenced section}} before or after it.

The same applies to {{Expand section}}, {{Cleanup section}}, {{Very long section}}. I also created edit requests on the talk pages of these pages. For a centralized general discussion please do not reply here but here instead.

They should all get standardized to one template-style - a reasonably good looking one.

→ They should be made to look like {{Unreferenced section}}, {{Refimprove section}}, {{Original research section}} and {{Summarize section}}.

Furthermore the new Category:Wikipedia section templates should be added to the template.

And lastly I just checked it on my mobile device and I can see the note neither on the mobile version of Wikipedia nor the mobile app. I'm not sure if this is an issue of the template or a technical issue? Because article hatnotes seemed to always show fine - for them it says "Page issues" (which can be shown/expanded by a click on it) - hence for sections it should say "Section issues". If this is a template-level issue I'll create a separate thread on that later so that this edit request can be resolved in its entirety right now.

--Fixuture (talk) 02:00, 8 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit template-protected}} template. Also, {{edit template-protected}} is usually not required for edits to the documentation, categories, or interlanguage links of templates using a documentation subpage. Use the 'edit' link at the top of the green "Template documentation" box to edit the documentation subpage. — JJMC89(T·C) 05:20, 8 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Time limit for Template:Empty section and Template:Expand section[edit]

At Wikipedia:Templates for discussion, I have now suggested that {{Empty section}} (along with the preceding header) and {{Expand section}} should be removed after a certain time limit, mainly because they don't seem to actually result in expanded sections in the long term. Please share your thoughts there:

Mikael Häggström (talk) 12:52, 11 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Template-protected edit request on 18 April 2018[edit]

There should be a line break (<br />) after the '''This section is empty.''' and before the <small> tag. — Hugh (talk) 03:59, 18 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

 Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit template-protected}} template. Why? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 12:34, 18 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Template-protected edit request on 23 October 2019[edit]

Want to remove "this section is empty' template Brahmatman (talk) 12:38, 23 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]

 Not done: Brahmatman, this page is for requesting changes to the template, not how it's used. Looking at your edit history it appearas you want to remove the use of this template from National Museum, New Delhi#Controversy. Edit that section of the article and remove the {{Empty section}} text. Hope that helps, Cabayi (talk) 12:59, 23 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]
@Cabayi: You can use {{subst:ETp|mis}}. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:55, 23 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Redrose64, I did consider that option but the text for that message says "Please make your request at the talk page for the article concerned." Brahmatman has edited the article already and doesn't need to request a change, they're well capable of making the change themselves. A barebones {{subst:ETp|n}} with some personal text seemed more appropriate. Cabayi (talk) 06:38, 24 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Template-protected edit request on 24 September 2020[edit]

Would someone be able to update the default value for the date parameter for this template to September 2020? Or even better, somehow have it automatically fill the current month and year? ItsPugle (please ping on reply) 06:33, 24 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]

 Not done: there is no way to this automatically, but AnomieBOT will come along and date these later — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 13:12, 24 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Correction. This is now fixed. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 22:10, 15 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Template-protected edit request on 15 December 2020[edit]

The date parameter filled in in Visual Editor is currently March 2020. If you look at other templates like {{citation needed}} when adding them from the visual editor, they are filled with


which auto updates them. When you subst this template it uses the current date like other templates do but from the visual editor it uses "March 2020". Please fix this. DemonDays64 (talk) 21:34, 15 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for reporting. Can you check it works properly now? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 22:09, 15 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@MSGJ: ah through your edit to the documentation page I believe I see how it works. I edited it in a way that I think will make it work every month, right? DemonDays64 (talk) 20:26, 16 December 2020 (UTC) (please ping on reply)[reply]
Yes, that's what I intended to do! Well done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 21:25, 16 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Template-protected edit request on 8 May 2021[edit]

Parts of this template are below the 85% recommendation of MOS:SMALL. I have made changes in the sandbox (diff) to fix the ones involving the text – the date in the default small mode is still below this, but I think that can be overlooked for now, since that is the case in all small versions of amboxes, and should probably be changed over there. Test cases for my changes are here: Template:Empty_section/testcases. — Goszei (talk) 21:38, 8 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

 DoneJonesey95 (talk) 01:08, 9 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Incorrect month[edit]

The autofill month is off by one. I suspect it has to do with the usage of {{Format TemplateData}} being used instead of <templatedata></templatedata>. I get May 2021 instead of June 2021 in the visualeditor when adding it. Could there be another problem with it? SWinxy (talk) 21:37, 15 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

What is this "autofill month"? It doesn't occur on the template page: where do you see it shown? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:06, 15 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The month and date that is autofilled when adding the template in the VisualEditor. SWinxy (talk) 23:22, 15 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Then that's a bug in VE (and it's not the only one), so is out of scope for this page. This page is for discussing improvements to Template:Empty section and its documentation. Per WP:VE, there are other places to Report a problem with VisualEditor. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 07:07, 16 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think so. Other templates (like Template:Cleanup) insert {{subst:CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{subst:CURRENTYEAR}} as the 'auto value', while this one inserts the direct string (e.g. January 2018). Could it be just adding subst: to the autovalue change it? SWinxy (talk) 17:23, 16 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Template space warning[edit]

I'm seeing a Template space warning ("Error: Please do not use this template in articles.") when using this template with the recently added param |find= in mainspace, but not when using it without that parameter. The message is generated by Module:Find sources/config, invoked at Module:Find sources l. 89 ('Namespace check'). But it doesn't normally object that 'Empty section' is being used in the article namespace, but only when 'find' param is included.

As a test case, see Antisemitism in France#French Revolution, uncomment the hidden parameters, and Previw. Mathglot (talk)

Note: the test case above no longer demonstrates the error message, following the revert mentioned below. Mathglot (talk) 06:13, 20 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Unable to revert[edit]

Something very weird going on. I tried to undo the last change (rev. 1039441321‎) with a simple 'Undo', and it's not letting me Publish the revert. I'm getting this error:

Required property "paramOrder[4]" not found.

That kind of sounds like a TemplateData issue, but I don't see what that would have to do with saving the template, even if it is true (which it isn't, because the doc page looks fine to me). I don't know what's goin on here, this template needs a revert, and I can't revert it. Mathglot (talk) 17:38, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Okay, I was able to revert it, *after* reverting the update to the /doc page; but I don't understand why reverting a template should be related to doc page content, even if there was some error in TemplateData (which was not apparent, as it displayed perfectly well on the doc page itself, as well as on the transcluded, noincluded'd template view. Mathglot (talk) 17:43, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Did you try just loading an old version, clicking edit, then clicking publish? — xaosflux Talk 23:22, 19 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
That's a good idea; no, I didn't think about trying that; so maybe something squirrely in the 'Undo' link? Mathglot (talk) 00:38, 20 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Bot to remove tags[edit]

Hi there! Based on a tangent from Wikipedia:Bot requests#"Empty sections" that are not empty, I think I could have my bot remove true empty sections with headings of "Bibliography", "Further reading", "Notes", "See also", "External links". There are hundreds of such articles. Looking for opinions before filing a BRFA. Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 16:05, 26 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@GoingBatty: Good idea, I think. I've done a little of this with AWB, but a bot would be more efficient and could avoid flooding people's watchlist. I suggest also...
  • "Gallery" could be added to your list of headings
  • A section containing only an {{Empty section}} tag should be treated as empty - or is this obvious?
  • If an external links heading is followed by the common comment <!-- Use the format: * [http://www.example.com/ example.com] -->, then the comment should be deleted along with the heading.
-- John of Reading (talk) 17:27, 26 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@John of Reading: Thank you! I agree with adding "Gallery" and that a section containing only an {{Empty section}} tag should be treated as empty. While I agree with your last point, I didn't find any in this search. Do you have any examples? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 20:52, 26 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@GoingBatty: There are many articles containing that comment. Looking down the first page of results, I think my current regex would correctly identify New York's 89th State Assembly district as having a redundant "External links" heading, and would arrange for the comment to disappear along with the heading. The heading at Castle of Outeiro is also redundant, but only a human can see that the two templates under the heading do not generate external links.
My regular expressions, still in the experimental stage:
"Can I get from the "See also" heading to the next level 2 heading, if I skip white space and "Empty section" tags?"
\n== *(?:See +[Aa]lso|Gallery|(Image|Photo|Picture)\s+[Gg]allery) *== *\n(\s|\{\{[Ee]mpty\s+section[^}]*\}\})*(?=\n==(?!=))
"Can I get from the "External links" heading to the end of the article, if I skip HTML comments, DEFAULTSORT, Categories and stub tags?"
\n==\s*External\s+[Ll]inks\s*==(\n<!-- Use the format: \* \[http://www\.example\.com/ example\.com\] -->)?(?=(?:\s|<!--(?:(?!-->).)*--\>|\{\{DEFAULTSORT:[^\}]*\}\}|\[\[Category:[^\]]+\]\]|\{\{[A-Za-z-]+-stub\}})*$)
-- John of Reading (talk) 06:59, 27 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@John of Reading: Thank you! I was limiting my thoughts to sections that contained the {{empty section}} tag. You've kindly opened my eyes to examples of empty sections that have not been tagged. Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 14:17, 27 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]