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This is the help page for Wikipedia editors and other end users who are using DiscussionTools .

Reply tool edit

Links are added after each comment for posting quick replies to existing discussions.

Getting started edit

Screenshot of the visual mode
  1. At the end of each signed message, there will be a Reply link. Click that link to reply to the message.
  2. A box will open. Your message will be placed where the box is located.
  3. Type your reply in the box. Your signature and the date will be added to your reply automatically.
  4. When you are ready to post your reply, click the Reply button.

Features edit

  • You can switch between visual and wikitext source editing modes.
  • In the wikitext source mode, a live preview shows what your message will look like while you are typing it.
  • In both the source and visual modes, you can use keyboard shortcuts to make links, to @-mention the person you're replying to, and to add character formatting.
  • If someone else posts a comment in the same section while you are typing your own comment, it will alert you. Click Show 1 new comment to see the new comment. If you have already typed part of your comment, it will try to keep your comment. Restoring your comment is sometimes slow on large pages.
  • Replying can be disabled on individual pages and sections as described at Help:DiscussionTools/Magic words and markup .

Limitations edit

  • As of 2022, this tool does not work with multi-line templates or wikitext codes that must be placed at the start of a line (e.g., wikitext table syntax). You will not be able to switch to visual mode if your comment contains this syntax. See reply tool visual mode limitations.
  • The tool will only show on:
    • Pages in talk namespaces
    • Pages in namespaces which have been configured to show the 'add signature' tool ($wgExtraSignatureNamespaces). For most Wikimedia wikis this is the project and help namespaces.
    • Pages which have manually added the Add topic button using __NEWSECTIONLINK__
  • The reply tool is visible when it detects a link to a user account and a timestamp on the same line. Some custom signatures will not be detected. See Why can't I reply to this comment?.

New topic tool edit

The new topic tool starts a new discussion topic on the page. The features and limitations are very similar to the features and limitations of the reply tool. Complex formatting, such as tables, is allowed.

Starting a new topic edit

Screenshot of new topic tool
  1. At the top of the page, click the "Add topic" tab.
  2. A box will open at the end of the page. Your message will be placed where the box is located.
  3. Type a subject heading in the box, where it says "Subject". A subject heading is required.
  4. Type your message in the big box. Your signature and the date will be added to the end of your message automatically.
  5. When you are ready to post your message, click the Add topic button.

Experimental: Preloading message content edit

Since March 2023, the New topic tool includes experimental support for preloading the talk page message, similar to native MediaWiki preloading . Preloading is only supported experimentally on opt-in basis and is not yet ready for wide adoption. Support of this feature was introduced as part of T269310.

To enable the experimental preloading, it is necessary to provide the dtpreload=1 parameter (or usedt=1 in InputBox ). If the enabling parameter is provided, the following preloading URL parameters are recognized:

  • preloadtitle - if provided, the value is used as the talk page message's subject
  • preload - if provided, the page specified in the value is used to preload the talk page message content
  • preloadparams[] - if provided, the value is used to replace parameters in the preloading template; each parameter is specified as $1, $2, $3. This parameter can be provided multiple times.

Topic subscriptions edit

Click the [ subscribe ] button at the top of the section.

The topic subscriptions feature adds a link to Subscribe at the end of the discussion section headings. Click the Subscribe link to receive notifications if and when new comments are added to that section in the future.

Notifications for new comments posted in a talk page section someone has subscribed to.

You can enable automatic topic subscriptions in Preferences → Discussion pages. Only edits made with the reply and new topic tools will cause you to be automatically subscribed.

After you have subscribed to this section, there will be an Unsubscribe link. Click that to stop receiving notifications about new comments in that section.

Location of page subscription link in Skin:Vector 2022

You can subscribe to a whole talk page. If you subscribe to the whole page, you will be notified about new discussion topics in the future.

You can see a list of your subscriptions at Special:TopicSubscriptions. You can unsubscribe from topics on that page, too.

Notes edit

  • Notifications are based on the first comment and its timestamp. Changes to the section heading do not affect the subscription.
  • You can only subscribe to a ==Level 2 section==.
  • You will receive notifications about new comments regardless of the editing interface used to post them.
  • Subscriptions will remain intact even when conversations are moved to other pages or the section heading changes.
  • You can read technical information at Extension:DiscussionTools/How it works#Notifications.

Information and appearance edit

The changes to the top of each discussion topic

Discussion pages will show additional information about each section. Discussion pages will not look the same as article pages, to help newcomers recognize them as places for talking to other users.

This feature adds new information about:

  • the number of users and the number of comments in each topic and how old the most recent comment is – at the top of each ==section heading==
  • the most recent comment on the page – at the top of the page
  • the number of comments in each thread – in the Table of Contents (Vector 2022 skin only)

This feature also changes the appearance of the talk pages, particularly for ==Level 2== section headings.

You can turn off this feature in Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing-discussion. Look for "Show discussion activity".

Mobile edit


All of the above features are also available on the mobile web site. Their design is adapted to fit in with the design of the mobile skin and the mobile editor.

The reply tool's comment box shows vertical placement of your comment. It does not show horizontal placement ("indentation"), to provide more space for editing on narrow mobile screens.