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Users can easily sign their posts at the end of a comment. Signing is normally done on talk pages only, not on conjointly written articles.

Default signature options

There are three default options. Four tildes are standard (full signature). Typing three tildes results in a username-only signature (without timestamp). Typing five tildes results in a pure timestamp (without username).

Function Wiki markup (replaced when saving) Resulting wiki code Resulting display
Signature plus timestamp

[[User:Username|Username]] 12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Username 12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Signature alone


Timestamp alone
12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC) 12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

The common format to type a signature – two hyphens (or a long dash) followed by four tildes (-- ~~~~) – is derived from the computer network Usenet, where two hyphens mark a signature block. Note that the hyphens or dash are not inserted automatically (unless configured with a customized signature, see an example in the next section).

The actual signature string automatically gets substituted for the tildes, with the current username (linked to the appropriate user page), corresponding talk page, and timestamp (time/date), when saving a signed edit. This helps other users follow the chronological order of discussions, and identify the author of a particular comment.

There is a signature button signature button on the default edit toolbar, as a typing aid, useful if the tilde isn't easily accessed on some keyboards.

Signatures do not work in edit summaries (they do not translate from ~~~~ there).

Note that timestamps are currently formatted and saved according to the default locale conventions (language, script, date and time format) used on the wiki, and not according to the conventions of the current user's preferred language.

Customized signatures

Registered users can customize their signature (the part between the two hyphens and the timestamp) by changing the field "New signature:" in their preferences. By default, anything entered there will be wrapped with [[ ]]. To use a special linking (without this automatic link), enable “Raw signatures.” Then Wiki markup and also HTML may be used (as far as allowed on the wiki), but the maximum length is 255 characters. Please note that striking, loud, or unusual signatures are often disliked by other users.

Note that if customizing a signature, avoid displaying the identity of another unrelated user account, unless this account has the same owner or in case of explicit authorization by this user: the link should unambiguously point to the actual user page, or talk page, on the local wiki. However, changing a signature will not override the username that is recorded in page histories. The Gentoo wiki does not allow uploading of avatar images.

If “Raw signatures” is enabled but the signature string is not customized, the unlinked username will get used as a signature.

The most common customizations are the following:

Purpose Raw signature Resulting signature display (generated by four tildes)
Embedding the dashes in the signature

-- [[User:Username|Username]]

-- Username 12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Adapting the displayed username

[[User:Username|Preferred User Name]]

Preferred User Name 12:34, 1 February 2008 (UTC)