Wikitravel:Manual of style
Our Manual of Style is a collection of rules-of-thumb and guidelines for giving Wikitravel a consistent look and feel. Most of these rules have exceptions, but to put together a good reference work collaboratively, it's best to follow the rules unless they're quite inappropriate for a particular situation.
The manual is broken up into different pages so that this one doesn't get overloaded with extraneous text. It makes it easier to find and update individual rules or concepts if they're on their own pages. Finally, it's easier for smarty-pantses to link to the particular rule being broken from discussion pages for articles.
If all this stuff makes your head swim, and you don't want to bother with it, by all means plunge forward and just start sharing your knowledge. Other Wikitravellers will come through and bring your contributions more in line with the style guide.
If you have a question about the specifics of the manual, or want to see it changed/amended/clarified, use the discussion page for the section in question. A list of issues currently being discussed can be found here.
 Structural style
This section of the manual is for rules about the structure of Wikitravel as a whole.
- Main Page guidelines – how to add links to the Main Page
- What is an article? – how and when to start new articles
- Other ways of seeing travel – approaching travel from different angles
- Geographical hierarchy – how we divide up the world
- Article naming conventions – how to name an article
- Disambiguation pages – when to make them and how to use them
- Bodies of water – how lakes, rivers, seas and oceans fit into Wikitravel
- Categories – using the MediaWiki categories feature
- Using Mediawiki templates – using the MediaWiki Template: transclusion feature
- Mediawiki template index – a list of available Mediawiki templates
 Formatting style
These rules are about laying out individual articles. That is, they describe how we take raw information and put it in a format that's easily usable by travellers.
 Article layout
- Article templates – consistent articles. Standard sections and formatting.
- Where you can stick it – finding a place to share your knowledge
- Information for gay and lesbian travellers – where to put GLBT info in a destination article
 Formatting content
- Section headers – formatting guidelines for the section headers
- Avoid HTML – avoiding HTML formatting
- Information boxes – when, how and when not to use information boxes
- Geocoding – adding latitude and longitude to destination articles
- Wiki markup – How to use the special Mediawiki markup to present information
- Internal links – linking to other articles in Wikitravel
- External links – how and when to link to other Web sites
- Inter-language links – linking to other language versions
- Links to Wikipedia – how to make links to Wikipedia articles
- Links to Open Directory – how to make twin-pages links to Open Directory topics
- Accommodation listings – for the Sleep section of articles
- Activity listings – things to Do
- Attraction listings – things to See
- Bar listings – for the Drink section of articles
- Restaurant listings – for the Eat section of articles
- One-liner listings – for Regions, Districts, Cities, and Get out sections, and in other sections as appropriate
 Writing style
This set of rules describes how to write words, sentences, and paragraphs.
- Tone – the right tone for your prose
- Don't tout – describe, don't push
- Spelling – what spelling rules to use
- Abbreviations – when to abbreviate words
- Neutrality of medium – referring to the medium the article is in
- First person pronouns – avoid using "I", "we", and their ilk
- Second person pronouns – using "you" and friends is okay
- Words to avoid – some words and phrases to avoid in articles
- Foreign words – using non-English words and names in articles
- Romanization – for languages that do not use the Latin alphabet
- Don't overlink – when to make links in article text
- Use boldface to call out important topics – using boldface for theme words
- Use italics for emphasis – putting stress on certain words and phrases
- Avoid negative reviews – don't bother listing places not worth going to
- No advice from Captain Obvious – if it's obvious or universally true, there's no point in adding it
- Measurements – formatting lengths, weights, temperatures, etc.
- Currency – proper method of displaying currency
- Time and date formats
- When to use dates
- Phone numbers – including and formatting phone numbers
- Trademarks – using trademarks