Help:Newlines and spaces

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In the edit box, if a line of text is so short that the first word of the next line would fit on it, this indicates that there is an invisible newline code at the end. In other cases it is not directly visible whether there is a newline code or just word wrap, with just a space between the last word of the line and the first word of the next line. One can find out by changing the width of the window. If one wants either one and is in doubt whether it is there one can delete it and put the desired one.

A third possibility is that there is a space followed by a newline. This can be distinguished from just a newline by the fact that without making changes the cursor can be moved one position to the right of the last visible character of the line.

For page rendering these distinctions are not relevant in plain text (see below): all three possibilities render as a space. However, table and list code is sensitive to newlines, and if a template produces a newline at the start or end, this cumulates with a newline before, respectively after the template call to give a new paragraph.

Word wrap can also take place without a space, e.g. between a closing and an opening brace. Thus e.g. if a line ends with a closing brace and the next start with an opening brace there are even four common possibilities: nothing, a space, a newline or both between them. In the first case moving the cursor forward or backward the position at the end of the line is skipped.

Examples (see edit box and vary the window width):

Here is a newline: Here is a newline with a space: Next line. Table code follows after a newline:

a bcd
efg h

The same without a newline: {|class="wikitable" |- |a||bcd |- |efg||h |}

  1. This ends with a newline.
  2. Pqr
  3. No newline after this. #Pqr

4545 4545


Two or more spaces are rendered as one; one newline is rendered as a space; two or more newlines are rendered as such:

p q  r   s    t




p q r s t u



Stripping on save

In the case of one or more newlines at the start of the wikitext of a page, this number is reduced by one on every edit. Thus just pressing edit and save changes the page; this can be repeated, until no newline is left. Spaces (and hence lines with just spaces) are preserved.

Spaces and newlines at the end of the wikitext of the page are deleted right away on saving.

Thus a stored page has no newline at the end but may have one or more newlines at the start.

To preserve spaces and newlines at the start and end of the included part of a template, add a noinclude part (it can be dummy, in which case the pair of tags can be reduced to <noinclude />) at the start and/or end, see template:t spaces ( talk edit history links ) and template:t newlines ( talk edit history links ). Alternatively includeonly tags can be used.

Conversely, avoid an unwanted newline between the included part and the noinclude part.

Automatic newline at the start

Templates starting with "*", "#", ":", or "{|" automatically get a newline at the start:

"{{T ast}}" gives "

"{{T num}}" gives "

  1. p" [2]

"{{T colon}}" gives "

p" [3]

"{{T table lb}}
gives "

" [4]

It is not prevented by a noinclude part at the start:

"{{T ast noinclude}}" gives "

Also for parser functions with the result starting with these characters:

"pq{{#if:x|*}}r" gives "pq

If this is not desired, as a workaround some unconditional text, if any, can be moved into the then- and else parts:

"p{{#if:x|q*|q}}r" gives "pq*r" [7]

"p{{#if:|q*|q}}r" gives "pqr" [8]

Stripping on expansion

Spaces and newlines are stripped from:

Spaces and newlines are preserved at:

  • the start and end of the expanded wikitext of the value of an unnamed template parameter
  • the start and end of the expanded wikitext of the default value of a template parameter
  • the start and end of the expanded wikitext of a template

For example:

  • "{{1x| a }}" gives " a " [9]
  • "{{1x|1= a }}" gives "a" [10]

gives "a"

Preservation, of course, requires cumulative preservation. For example, using template:nln ( talk edit history links ) and template:2x ( talk edit history links ), p{{2x|{{nln}}}}q gives



due to the three preservation rules, while p{{2x|1={{nln}}}}q, p{{#if:x|{{2x|{{nln}}}}}}q, and p{{2x|{{#if:x|{{nln}}}}}}q give pq, pq, and pq, because in each case somewhere in the expansion chain the newlines are stripped. Similarly, using template:spc ( talk edit history links ), p{{2x|{{spc}}}}q gives p q, while p{{2x|1={{spc}}}}q, p{{#if:x|{{2x|{{spc}}}}}}q, and p{{2x|{{#if:x|{{spc}}}}}}q give pq, pq, and pq.

Stripping of spaces and newlines can be inconvenient, but also convenient, it allows easy formatting of the wikitext without affecting the result.



1 =


}}" gives "pqpq"




1 =



2 =



3 =


}}" gives "rs"

Spaces and/or newlines as value of an unnamed parameter

Using template:1x ( talk edit history links ), for fixed spaces and/or newlines {{1x| }}, {{1x|
}}, etc. can be used, or template:spc ( talk edit history links ) and template:nln ( talk edit history links ). Using template:void ( talk edit history links ), conditional spaces and/or newlines can be obtained by having instead of 1x a conditional template name which is either "1x" or "void".

See e.g. w:template:Conditional table row Dutch municipality ( talk edit history links ).

Spaces and/or newlines as parameter default

Alternatively, use a parameter (e.g. "undefined") which is known to be undefined, see the templates above and e.g. w:template:Table row Dutch municipality (simple) ( talk edit history links ). Unfortunately with substitution this does not allow producing a plain spaces and/or newlines in the wikitext; instead it gives somewhat cluttering code rendered like the spaces and/or newlines, see e.g. Template:For/aux/few#Substitution.

Conditional spaces and/or newlines can be obtained with this method by having in addition a parameter "empty" which has to be defined as empty parameter in the template call ("empty="): put a parameter with a conditional name at the end, with the spaces and/or newlines as default value; depending on the condition the name should either be "empty" or "undefined". In the latter case we get the spaces and/or newlines. See e.g. w:template:Conditional table row Dutch municipality ( talk edit history links ).

To avoid that an editor has to use the cryptic "empty=", the template call can be put in other template that transfers its parameters.

More examples

Examples using #if, template:1x ( talk edit history links ), and template:strip ( talk edit history links ):

gives "pqr" [11]

gives "p q r" [12]

gives "pqr" [13]

Template with newline called inside parser function

As mentioned, if the template with the spaces and/or newlines at the end is called inside the expression for the value of an unnamed parameter of another template they are preserved. However, if the template with the spaces and/or newlines at the end is at the end of the then or else part of #if etc., or at the end of the expression for the value of a named parameter of another template, the spaces and/or newlines are stripped after all.

Using template:tnl1 ( talk edit history links ), template:3x ( talk edit history links ), and template:for ( talk edit history links ), compare:

"{{tnl1}}d" gives "


d" [14]






expands to







*"{{#switch: p |p= q |r=s}}"
*"{{#switch:p| p = q |r=s}}"


  • "q"
  • "q"

Thus, both from index values and from results, spaces are stripped.

As a workaround one can use parameter selection templates Pn:

"{{p{{#switch:p|p=1|r=2}}| q |s}}" gives " q "

This technique is used in template:sw ( talk edit history links ) (which can be extended to cover more cases):

"{{sw|p|p| q |r|s}}" gives " q ".

The allowed intermediate values are the positive integers for which there is a corresponding template Pn:

P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P11 P12 P13 P14 P15 P16 P17 P18 P19 P20 P21 P22 P23 P24 P25 P26 P27 P28 P29 P30 P31 P32 P33 P34 P35 P36 P37 P38 P39 P40 P41 P42 P43 P44 P45 P46 P47 P48 P49 P50 P51 P52 P53 P54 P55 P56 P57 P58 P59 P60 P61 P62 P63 P64 P65 P66 P67 P68 P69 P70 P71 P72 P73 P74 P75 P76 P77 P78 P79 P80 P81 P82 P83 P84 P85 P86 P87 P88 P89 P90 P91 P92 P93 P94 P95 P96 P97 P98 P99 P100

To avoid the need of many auxiliary templates, the switch functionality can also be obtained with nested parser functions #ifeq, and hence with template:if ( talk edit history links ).

Other parser functions

{{lc: AbC

dEf }} gives



{{uc: AbC

dEf }} gives



{{lcfirst: AbC

dEf }} gives



{{ucfirst: AbC

dEf }} gives



{{urlencode: AbC

dEf ghi}} gives


Thus inner newlines become %0A and inner spaces become +.

{{anchorencode: AbC

dEf ghi}} gives


Thus inner newlines become .0A and inner spaces become _.

"{{padleft: bc d|8|a}}" gives ""aaaabc d"" [15]

"{{padright: bc d|8|a}}" gives ""bc daaaa"" [16]

"{{formatnum: 12345 67890}}" gives "12,345 67,890" [17]

Conditional table rows

In the case of HTML table code with conditional table rows, with newlines between row codes, if two or more consecutive rows are absent there are three or more newlines in the expanded code, giving one or more extra blank lines above the table. The remedy is to avoid the newlines in the code.

Examples (see edit box):

Extra blank line at the top due to two consecutive absent rows:



No extra blank line at the top in the case of a single absent row:



No unneeded newlines in the code:





If wikitable code is used, newlines cannot simply be dispensed with like above.

Empty rows (rendering depends on the browser):



Putting the newlines unconditionally gives excess newlines showing up as additional vertical space in the rows which are present:






Therefore a special technique is needed, see Help:Table#Conditional table row.


Depending on the application an alternative for a pure newline or blank space in the expanded wikitext can be used, e.g.:

  • &nbsp;
  • <br>

See also

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