For the use of the {{SHORTDESC:}} parser implementation that does not use this extension, see the Wikibase option.
MediaWiki extensions manual
Release status: stable
Implementation Parser extension , API
Description Adds short description without Wikibase
Author(s) alistair3149talk
Latest version 2.4.0 (Continuous updates)
Compatibility policy Master maintains backward compatibility.
MediaWiki 1.35+
License GNU General Public License 3.0 or later
Quarterly downloads 0

The ShortDescription extension allows wikis to add short descriptions to wikitext pages, similar to the implementation on Wikipedia and Wikibase. On top of that, it replaces the site tagline with short description on pages with short description.



Note that the latest version is located in the GitHub repo instead of Gerrit.

  • Download and place the file(s) in a directory called ShortDescription in your extensions/ folder.
  • Add the following code at the bottom of your LocalSettings.php file:
    wfLoadExtension( 'ShortDescription' );
  •   Done – Navigate to Special:Version on your wiki to verify that the extension is successfully installed.


  • Define short description on the page with the magic word {{SHORTDESC}}, same as the implementation on Wikipedia
  • Retrieve short description on any wiki pages with the magic word {{GETSHORTDESC}}
  • Add short description underneath the page title on most skins, if the skin supports site tagline (#siteSub)
    • Note that the short description will replace the default site tagline message on pages with short description
    • Does not apply to Skin:Citizen and Skin:Minerva Neue, as they have native support
  • Allow short description to be accessed through the Action API
  • Provide description to the REST API search endpoint
  • Add short description to page information (&action=info)
  • Provide description for extensions such as MobileFrontend, RelatedArticles



The extension works out of the box without any configurations. The config flags allow more customization on the specific features in the extension.

Name Description Values Default
$wgShortDescriptionEnableTagline Enables short description in site tagline true - enable; false - disable true
$wgShortDescriptionExtendOpenSearchXml Provide short description to the Opensearch API module true - enable; false - disable false



Add short description


To add Bacon ipsum dolor amet turkey as short description, simply add {{SHORTDESC:Bacon ipsum dolor amet turkey}} on the page.

Retrive short description on wikipage


To retrive the short description on the page Bacon, simply add {{GETSHORTDESC:Bacon}} on the page. If you are retrieving the short description on the same page (e.g. getting the short description of Bacon on the Bacon page), simply add {{GETSHORTDESC:}}.

Retrieve short description through Action API


The short description can be called through the description property in query action in the Action API (e.g.api.php?action=query&prop=description). It is also accessible through the shortdesc property inside pageprops.

Retrieve short description through REST API


The short description can be accessed through the description property in the search endpoint in the REST API.



See also