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A Wikipedia namespace is a set of Wikipedia pages whose names begin with a particular prefix recognized by the MediaWiki software (followed by a colon), or in the case of the main namespace have no such prefix. For example, the user namespace consists of all pages with names beginning "User:". Encyclopedia articles appear in the main namespace, with no prefix.

Wikipedia has 22 current namespaces: ten basic namespaces, each with a corresponding talk namespace; and two virtual namespaces. These are all listed in the box to the right. Note that the prefixes "Wikipedia:" and "Wikipedia talk:" can be abbreviated to "WP:" and "WT:" respectively when searching or making links (see Aliases below).

The table on the right shows what number to use when you want to hide pages that are on your watchlist. See: Wikipedia:Hide Pages in Watchlist for details.


Basic namespaces

Wikipedia's basic namespaces and their functions are listed below.

  • Main namespace (no prefix): contains all encyclopedia articles, lists, disambiguation pages, and encyclopedia redirects. Sometimes referred to as "mainspace".
  • Project namespace or Wikipedia namespace (prefix Wikipedia:): contains many types of pages connected with the Wikipedia project itself: information, policy, essays, processes, discussion, etc. The prefix can be shortened to WP: (see Aliases below), and there are many short redirects in the namespace written with capital letters that make pages easier to access, so for instance, Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a dictionary can be abbreviated WP:Wikipedia is not a dictionary or even just WP:WINAD (due to Wikipedia:WINAD being a redirect).
  • Portal namespace (prefix Portal:): for reader-oriented portals that help readers find articles related to a specific subject, and may contain links to encourage contributions to relevant WikiProjects. See, for example, Portal:Cricket and Portal:Spaceflight.
  • User namespace (prefix User:): contains user pages and other pages created by individual users for their own personal use. Pages under this namespace can still be viewed and modified by others, so do not keep any of your sensitive data here.
  • File namespace or Image namespace (prefix File:): contains file description pages for image, videos or audio files, with links to the files themselves. See Special:Filelist. Since many files used in Wikipedia are housed at Wikimedia Commons, those files will not have local pages but instead mirror file pages from Commons. There are three versions of links to files:
    [[File:Foobar.jpg]] will insert the image, video or audio directly into the page, except for audio MIDI files where a text link to the description page will be inserted;
    [[:File:Foobar.jpg]] will make a text link to the image, video or audio description page;
    [[Media:Foobar.jpg]] will make a text link directly to the image or audio or video clip.

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