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This extension generates "breadcrumbs" to help users navigate around your wiki (assuming it has a structure suitable for navigation). Breadcrumbs replace the page subtitle, which is normally used for redirect messages, with a single line navigation string. A sample breadcrumb for this page is shown in pale yellow above.

BreadCrumbs2 generates breadcrumbs in the "Where am I?" sense<ref name="Krug">Street signs and Breadcrumbs, Chapter 6, Don't Make Me Think - Steve Krug </ref>.

For each page the extension can use the categories and/or namespace to:

  1. Replace the page subtitle with a single line navigation string
  2. Highlight the active sidebar link and/or tab
  3. Change the site logo
Breadcrumbs use a single line of text to show a page's location in the site hierarchy... Breadcrumbs have always been a secondary navigation aid... All that breadcrumbs do is make it easier for users to move around the site, assuming its content and overall structure make sense.<ref name="Neilsen">Breadcrumb Navigation Increasingly Useful - Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, April 10, 2007</ref>


The breadcrumb data is stored in a special page, MediaWiki:Breadcrumbs. The contents are formatted as a wikitext list, with one line per breadcrumb option:

* category name @ breadcrumb wikitext @ tab name @ site logo 

Extra blanks between parameters are ignored.

Parameter Type Description
category name required For each line in the list, see if the current page is a member of the category that matches category or the namespace with the same name.
breadcrumb wikitext optional Text to display in the subtitle with the page name appended
tab name optional The tab (navigation) bar with the name tab name that matches category is marked as active.
site logo optional Use a different site logo for this page. (Note: Use this option with care)

The breadcrumbs are built from the data page as follows:

  1. The string '@@@' is stripped from the text to be replaced with '@' before output (since the '@' character is used as a delimiter)
  2. Pseudo-variables of the form @@VAR@@ are evaluated.
    • @@USERID@@: User ID, blank if anonymous
    • @@USERGROUPS@@: Comma-delimited list of groups this user belongs to
  3. Templates and variables in the text are expanded. You can use parser functions like #if: if installed.
  4. The extension scans each line to find the first match with the current page's namespace or one of the page's categories.
  5. The remainder of the line is evaluated to set the breadcrumb string, sidebar, and/or logo (see below)


The extension replaces the page subtitle, which is normally used for redirect messages, with a single line navigation string. Arbitrary wikitext can be used for the navigation text, though it should be kept to a simple series of links and delimiters.

Jakob Nielsen strongly encourages web designers to use the '>' character to delimit breadcrumb levels<ref name="Neilsen" />.

For example, <source lang="text">

</source> Generates the following breadcrumb for this page:

MediaWiki.org > Extensions > BreadCrumbs2

Note that BreadCrumbs2 uses the first match with the current page's namespace or one of the page's categories. For example, if the Breadcrumbs page contains: <source lang="text">

</source> The breadcrumbs for this page would be MediaWiki.org > Extensions > Navigation > Extension:BreadCrumbs2 and not MediaWiki.org > Extensions > User interface > Extension:BreadCrumbs2 because the Navigation line comes first.


The active link in the navigation sidebar can be highlighted using the tab name parameter, if specified. This is especially useful with skins like GuMax that display the navigation bar as a row of tabs at the top of the page instead of the Discussion/Edit/History tools.

BreadCrumbs2 automatically detects and uses the dynamic sidebar generated by DynamicSkin-based skins.

The tab name is compared to the actual text displayed in the sidebar, so it is not language-independent.

If the site logo parameter is specified, an alternate image file is used instead of the site default. The path to this image is relative to the root of your wiki.


<references />