Help:Structured Discussions/One page
All Structured Discussions documentation on one page.
Reminder: Structured Discussions were formerly called "Flow". Some tools and processes hay have kept the old name.
How to activate Structured Discussions
On a wiki that is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation
All wikis that are hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation can activate Structured Discussions.
Some already have Structured Discussions on test pages or available as a Beta feature for all users.
The process to get Structured Discussions on a Wikimedia Foundation hosted wiki is detailed on the Request page (in English).
On any other wiki
You will need to install the StructuredDiscussions extension on your wiki.
Learn more at Extension:StructuredDiscussions
Activate Structured Discussions on your personal talk page
If Structured Discussions is available as a Beta Feature on your wiki
If Structured Discussions is available as a Beta Feature on your wiki, you can activate and deactivate Structured Discussions on your talk page by visiting the Beta link on your personal toolbar.
You need to have an account and to be logged-in to activate a Beta Feature.
When you activate Structured Discussions, a bot account named "Flow talk page manager" performs the following tasks:
- archives your previous talk page in wikitext in a sub-page;
- creates a link to this sub-page on Structured Discussions Board's description (the bar on the right side);
- copies all templates you had at the top of your talk page to the description bar;
- creates a Structured Discussions Board on your personal talk page.
When you deactivate Structured Discussions, "Flow talk page manager" does the following tasks:
- creates a new, blank wikitext talk page;
- archives the Structured Discussions Board on a sub-page.
Flow talk page manager may have a delay to activate Structured Discussions.
If you don't have Structured Discussions on your talk page after a few minutes, please report it.
It is not possible to convert a wikitext page content to Structured Discussions, or vice-versa.
This is due to Structured Discussions's structure (a Board with Topics).
If you want to rename, delete or restore a Structured Discussions board, please see the Administration page.
If Structured Discussions is not available as a Beta Feature on your wiki
Activation of Structured Discussions on user talk pages is not done anymore outside of the Beta feature. Only communities which reaches a consensus to activate Structured Discussions can request the activation and get the Beta feature.
Get Structured Discussions on a page other than a talk page
Structured Discussions are not available as a Beta Feature
If your community has a consensus to try Structured Discussions on a specific page, you have to request activation.
Someone from the Wikimedia Foundation will manually activate the Flow talk page manager for that page.
The activation process will be the same as described above.
Structured Discussions are available as a Beta Feature
Sysops on wikis that have Structured Discussions as a Beta Feature have the right to create, move and delete Structured Discussions boards.
To activate flow, go to
Special:EnableStructuredDiscussions on your wiki. Type the name of the page on the first form. The second textarea allows you to pre-fill the Board Description. The activation process will be the same as described above.
Page moves are done like any other page.
Delete a Structured Discussion Board is done like any other page. However, if you want to archive the Board, move it to a sub-page before.
Known problems (and how to solve them)
Some problems may occur when people use Structured Discussions. This page lists these problems.
Structured Discussions is not working for you
There is two possible known cases.
Structured Discussions is following MediaWiki's software compatibility. If your browser is not on the list of the "Grade A" browsers, Structured Discussions may not work for you. In any case, having an up-to-date browser is highly recommended for safety reasons.
If you still have a problem, it may come from your account settings.
Account settings compatibility
If your browser is up-to-date, you may have a problem with gadgets or personal scripts you use.
To check on that problem, at your choice:
- if you are on a Wikimedia wiki, test if you can use Structured Discussions on an other wiki with your global account. Check on the list of wikis where Structured Discussions is available and try Structured Discussions there. That option will not be relevant if you are using global scripts (written on your global.js).
- create a new account for test purposes. Don't activate any extra gadgets or add scripts to that account. Try then to use Structured Discussions.
- clear your cache and the try to post a message on a Structured Discussions board
- check for broken scripts
Find and solve the problem
You can identify which gadget or script is not compatible by locating it. When you have found the problematic script or gadget, please contact script/gadget's author, your local script/gadget project or the administrators.
If you still have a problem, unselect all gadgets and clear all scripts from your account, save the changes, clear your cache. Then re-enable all gadgets and scripts.
If then you still have a problem, please contact the Growth team.
It is not possible to use Search to find Structured Discussions topics and contents for now
Special:Search page does not includes Structured Discussions topics. It requires a lot of resources to be integrated and maintained. This is scheduled to be done in October-December 2017.
On top of a Board is an option to filter topics.
- "Newest topics" will show you topics stored by when they have been created.
- "Recently active topics" will show you topics as they have been updated, most recent first. Resolve a topic updates it.
Edit a topic/a message
Editing, like many other actions is accessible through the three-dots menu.
Autoconfirmed users can edit any message, to fix problems or look at the wikitext.
When a message is edited, a new entry is added to the History page. The username of the last editor who changes the message is displayed below the message itself, on the timestamp. To see the differences between the edits, click on the timestamp.
When you edit a message, all basic editing applies.
The title itself can also be edited. In the ... menu next to the topic's title, select "Edit title".
Summarize a topic
Summarizing a topic will help people to understand what happened in the Topic. It can be done anytime: during the conversation to summarize what happened, or at the end after a decision is made. Summarizing the topic will be suggested when you mark a topic as resolved.
Logged-in users can summarize a Topic.
Resolve a topic
Resolving a topic hides all answers for that topic, and a check mark is added to the Topic title. Summarizing the topic will be suggested when you mark a topic as resolved. You can expand a resolved Topic by clicking on the Title or on the Summary. You can re-open a Topic anytime, by clicking on the Topic's menu (three dots icon). You need to reopen a topic to do any administrative actions (hide, delete, suppress).
A resolved topic is identified by a grey font color on the table of contents.
Logged-in users can resolve a topic.
If you want to only have a start-a-new-topic page, with nothing else around, use
You can receive many informations about Structured Discussions with the Notifications.
Actions with notifications
Highlight new messages
If you click on a notification for a new message, a blue highlighting will be displayed on the side of all new messages for the given Topic.
Highlight mentions or thanks
If you click on a notification for a mention or a thank on a Structured Discussions board, the message where the mention is has a green highlighting.
Actions from notifications
You can unwatch a topic from notifications. Click on the ... and then on "Stop watching activity".
You can turn off Structured Discussions notifications on your notifications preferences. Your watchlist will be still updated with a new line for every subject on a talk page you watch or a new line when someone answers a Topic you watch.
Watch a topic
To watch a specific subject, click on the star on the top of the Topic, near of the title. It turns blue. If it is already blue, you already were watching this topic.
While watching, you will get a notification for every edit to this Topic, and a new line in your watch list.
When you create a Topic, you are auto-subscribed to this Topic.
Watch a Talk page
To watch a whole page, click on the star on the top of the page, near of the search field. It turns blue. If it is already blue, you already were watching this page.
While watching, you get a notification for every new subject posted on this talk page. You will also get a watch list entry.
Permalinks allow users to create a link to a Topic, or to quote precise elements from a Topic.
Like other pages on your wiki, a Board's permalink is the URL displayed on the browser's navigation bar, or, for internal links, the page title.
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User talk:Example and
[[User talk:Example]] are both permalinks to the whole board.
A Topics namespace is
If you are on a Board, the Topic's permalink can be found by clicking on the three-dots icon, on the right side. If you are on the Topic itself, then the Topic's permalink is the URL displayed on the browser's navigation bar, or by clicking on the three-dots icon.
Topic links are formatted with a random sequence of characters, their universally unique identifier (UUID). This link does not currently have a hierarchical relationship between the Board and the Topic. Example :
The UUID enables a Topic's title to be changed, e.g. to make it clearer, without needing to worry about breaking any incoming links. It is also needed by some future features, where a Topic may be displayed on multiple boards, or multiple wikis. A URL using the title was not possible to create, because many topics have similar titles: "Hello", "Thank you", "I need your help", etc. We are studying a way to have more human-readable URLs, which will still include the unique ID.
A Post's permalink is reachable by clicking on the three-dots icon, on the right side of the message itself.
Post links are formatted with a Topic's permalink and an anchor to the Post itself.
In order to highlight a particular topic, some elements may be added by Flow to the URL you will have in your browser address bar. Copying this URL will still work.
Tip: If you include another Post's permalink in your own comment, then any user who clicks on that link will see the post highlighted by a green bar.
All groups of user rights mentioned on this document are the ones defines on MediaWiki.org.
However, configuration varies by wiki, so consult Special:ListGroupRights on the wiki you're interested in.
Concerning posts and topics
Posts and topics can be moderated in three different ways: hide, delete and suppress.
Some users can also edit or rename a Topic or a board, or mark a topic as resolved.
The following sections mention "posts", but everything also applies to topics.
It is not possible to carry out these actions when a topic has been "Marked as resolved". You have to reopen it first.
You can edit your own posts. Autoconfirmed users can edit Structured Discussions posts by other users.
By default, any user can hide a post; it uses the
A hidden post is replaced by a warning message. You can read the hidden post by clicking on the history link on the warning message. You will then access to the history page, where the message is struck through.
Anyone can unhide a post on the history page. If a post is unhidden, it becomes visible by anyone.
Mark as resolved
By default, any logged in user can mark a topic as resolved, or reopen it (making it no longer resolved).
This prevents further posts to the topic.
This uses the
By default, users in the sysop group can delete posts.
When it is done, the post is deleted. Sysops can restore the post on the History page.
This uses the
Hidden topics that haven't been replied can be successfully deleted using
When it is done, the post is oversighted. Oversighters can restore the post on the History page.
This uses the
Renaming a topic will only change the topic title. It will not move the page from the board.
A user can rename a board if they have the right to create a Structured Discussions board at the destination name.
For example, if the destination is a Structured Discussions namespace, any user can move the board to there.
If a user has the "Create Structured Discussions boards in any location" (
flow-create-board) right, they can create a page working on Structured Discussions in any location; that means they can move a Structured Discussions board to any location.
flow-bot has this right.
However, wikis can give it to additional users.
Delete and restore
Deleting a board requires the same privileges as deleting any page. When you delete a board, all topics linked to this board are inaccessible to all users, except sysops (like any deleted page). When you restore a board, all topics are visible again.
Protection and blocking
Like all pages on a wiki, it is possible to semi-protect or protect a Structured Discussions board. Blocks are also handled normally. If you block a user without selecting the "Editing their own talk page" option, that user will still be able to create new topics on their personal talk page.
Move and redirect
It is not possible at the moment to move a Structured Discussions board, please request it.
It is not possible at the moment to create a redirection from a Structured Discussions board.
However, you can workaround this issue. Assume you want to redirect $1 to $2.
- If $1 exists, move it to an archive page $2 (or a suitable archive location).
- Create the redirect in a wikiktext namespace, as normal, e.g. at $1:
- Move $1 to $2.
You can add categories:
- for a Board, in the board description,
- for a Topic, in the Summary.
Categories will work like on any other page. They will be displayed at the bottom of the Description sidebar.
It is possible to preload some contents with Structured Discussions. You can create a link with some parameters, and these parameters will preload the Title and the text fields.
To do this, you can use these two parameters on a Structured Discussions Board:
topiclist_preloadtitle=- will preload the Title field with the text you add after the =
topiclist_preload=- will preload the text field with a page (usually as subpage) that you call after the = (does not works with simple text)
- Preload "Welcome" on a new topic on Talk:Sandbox:
- Preload "Add title" on a new topic title and preload the content of a subpage (Talk:Sandbox/sub) in the text field:
- If there is no content on given page, nothing is preloaded.
It is not possible to preload the Summary at the moment.
It is not possible to preload Templates at the moment.
It is not possible to preload simple text on the message field:
topiclist_preload=Hello will not work.
It is not possible to add preloadparams.
- Do not translate the parameters
- Use magic words like canonicalurl or urlencode to be sure your link will work with special characters or spaces on your wiki.
This page outlines the various keyboard commands supported by the visual editor mode on Structured Discussions. They are based on VisualEditor shortcuts.
The shortcuts shown below are for PC, and may be different on Mac (usually replacing CTRL with ⌘ Cmd). You can press CTRL+/ (⌘ Cmd+/ on Mac) from within Structured Discussions to see the latest available shortcuts on your device.
If you have ideas for new useful commands, or have noticed problems with the existing ones, please let us know on the Feedback Page.
|CTRL+⇧ Shift+6||Computer code|
|CTRL+⇧ Shift+V||Paste as plain text|
|Type ==||Heading 2|
|Tab ↹||Increase indentation|
|⇧ Shift+Tab ↹||Decrease indentation|
|Type *+SPACE||Bullet list|
|Type #+SPACE||Numbered list|
|CTRL+↵ Enter||Save changes|
|CTRL+F||Find and replace|
|CTRL+⇧ Shift+G||Find previous|