MediaWiki skins manual - category
Release status: beta
Description A clean and easy to read skin.
Author(s) Nick White, Matt Wiebe and Colin Andrew Ferm
Latest version 1.8 (2014-01-29)
MediaWiki 1.25+
License GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
Download Download release
Example Example on Skins wiki
Skin available for MW 1.18 and later.
Public wikis using 122 (Ranked 32nd)
Public wikis using as default skin 23
Translate the Erudite skin if it is available at
Issues : Open tasks · Report a bug

Erudite is a clean and easy to read skin.

The skin is designed to scale well to any device, using @media queries, only using relative units, no javascript, and generally keeping to the principle of "Keep It Simple, Stupid".

It is based on "The Erudite" WordPress theme by Matt Wiebe. It was first ported to MediaWiki for "The Unified Republic of Stars", later improved by Nick White, and now it sits in Wikimedia's source control.


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

To users running MediaWiki 1.24 or earlier:

The instructions above describe the new way of installing skins using wfLoadSkin(), since MediaWiki 1.25. If you need to install this skin in earlier versions, instead of wfLoadSkin( 'erudite' );, you need to use:

require_once "$IP/skins/erudite/erudite.php";

(To run a skin on an earlier release, you may need to download the version of it tagged for that release from Special:SkinDistributor.)

Note this will only install the skin, but will not change the current skin. To change the current skin, navigate to Special:Preferences and use Appearances to change your skin. To set Erudite to be the default skin, you must edit the LocalSettings.php to read:

$wgDefaultSkin = "erudite";



Top banner image


A background image can be set for the top section by adding a rule to your MediaWiki:Erudite.css page (create it if it doesn't yet exist) like this:

/* Set a background image for the top banner */
#top-wrap {
  background-image: url(images/mybanner.jpg);

Top menu bar colour


You can change the colour of the top menu bar by adding a rule to your MediaWiki:Erudite.css page (create it if it doesn't yet exist) like this:

/* Set the colour of the top menu */
#menu {
  background-color: rgba(30, 90, 160, 0.7);



The Erudite skin uses the Linux Liberation and Linux Biolinum fonts by default. To change this add rules to your MediaWiki:Erudite.css page (create it if it doesn't yet exist) like this:

/* Set font for body text */
body {
  font-family: Helvetica, sans-serif;

/* Set font for headings and navigation */
h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, .entry-meta, #menu, #footer-wrap {
  font-family: Times New Roman, serif;

Extra content can be added to each column of the footer. Just navigate to the page MediaWiki:Erudite-extracontent-column1 (or 2 or 3) on your wiki, and add the wikitext you want to appear.


1.8 (2014-01-29)
Fix bug that prevented table borders from being drawn, fix bug that made HTML invalid XML.
Requires MW 1.25+
1.7 (2013-12-12)
Ensure extra menus added by extensions or manually are displayed (in middle column), add separator between top menu items, fix error if no navigation menu exists, simplify HTML & CSS, other small consistency improvements. Note that due to the HTML cleanup the custom top banner image code has been updated; see above.
1.6 (2013-11-20)
Subset webfonts, use SVG for graphics, add :focus rules for improved accessibility, replace top menu with button which pops it up if clicked if screen is narrow, fix sup & sub styles.
1.5 (2013-11-05)
Use webfonts from Linux Libertine (Archived 2010-03-13 at the Wayback Machine), replace $wgEruditeBannerImg configure setting with optional css rule (see Customisation section above).
1.4 (2013-10-30)
Stop hiding TOC (this should be done the general MediaWiki way)
1.3 (2013-10-11)
Improved style.
1.2.1 (2013-07-18)
Fix @media rules on iOS browsers.
1.2 (2013-07-18)
Improve @media CSS queries.
1.1 (2013-07-04)
Simplify and improve CSS, add @media CSS queries to better handle smaller screens.
1.0 (2013-06-07)
First official release on infrastructure. Many many improvements.