Cite4Wiki window screenshot.png
Cite4Wiki in use
Developer(s)SMcCandlish (active)
Unit 5 (inactive)
User:Jehochman (inactive)
Diego Cadogan (inactive),
Yojimbo Doodah (inactive),
Ratel (inactive)
Written inJavaScript, XUL, RDF
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows (confirmed)
Mac OS X (unconfirmed)
*n*x (unconfirmed)
Available inEnglish
TypeWikipedia editing tool

Cite4Wiki is a freeware and open source add on for the Firefox web browser. It can make a webpage citation with a simple "right-click". This citation is in the right format for the Simple English Wikipedia, and follows our guidelines (WP:Citing sources). It also works on the Flock. It should work with stable versions of other Gecko based browsers that support Mozilla add-ons. (One known exception is SeaMonkey 2.0.2/Vista as of this writing.)

The user can right-click to get a basic {{Cite web}} source citation for the page currently loaded in the browser, such as a news report or a journal article. The information will be put inside a <ref> inline footnote citation. The code is then put on the clipboard for pasting into a Wikipedia article being edited.

The default output is in this format (see below for US-style dates):

<ref>{{Cite web

 |title=Page Title
 |url=page's URL
 |accessdate=today's date in D[D] Month YYYY form


You can even use it on more than one pages. Each one will get its own little popup window with citation details and you can just leave them there until needed, and re-use them many times.

The add-on is clever enough to strip "www." from domain names before using them for the |work= parameter.

There is also a second menu entry for making a "Month D[D], YYYY" American-style date, for use in articles written in American English.

Why use itEdit

Some editors simply paste in a URL and call it a source citation. It is left to other editors to properly format the citation to include very basic information such as title. This add-on helps all editors, who do not need to remember complicated citation code to insert a basic citation with this add-on. It also makes cleanup of bare-URL citations easier for other editors. Simply load the URL in question and copy-paste a proper citation over it in a matter of a seconds.

Download and installation compatibilityEdit

The add-on is available from Add-ons for Firefox at

Click the install button, allow the add-on to install, and restart the browser to activate it. Its operation can be tested on any and all actual Web pages.

How to use itEdit

  • Edit an article.
  • In another browser tab, open a webpage you need to cite in the article.
  • Right-click on that page.
  • Select the Cite4Wiki context menu item (it has a helpful Wikipedia "W" logo next to it).
  • You'll get a dialog box showing the {{Cite web}} code; examine it, then press "Copy to cliboard", then close the dialog.
  • Paste the citation into the article, and edit it as needed.
  • Preview and save the article.

User input often neededEdit

The add-only only copies basic information. Some details need to read and a decision made. This can include the author name, publication date, real-world publication company (|publisher=) and its location.

Users of the add-on should check the details before saving a Cite4Wiki-made citation into a real article. The add-on can only get the information that the site provides. Many sites do not update the <title> of a page, if they have been copy-pasting code from one page to another. In other cases, this HTML field may simply repeat the work (site) name. The pages real title is in a <h1> heading that will need to be manually located, read and repeated in the template code made by the add-on.

The site name reported in |work= may be more readable with cleanup (e.g. "" instead of ""). The site as a publication may have and advertise a different title (e.g. " - The A to Z of Billiards and Pool", not just "", or even completely different, such as "BBC News" vs. ""). Some sites also merge the page title and site name (for example, this page at Wikipedia itself has a <title> of "Wikipedia:Cite4Wiki - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" in which only the first part would be the |title= information).

If the page is going to be cited more than once in the same article, be sure to name the reference: <ref name="something unique here">.

Use outside of en.wikipediaEdit

The add-on will also work on other MediaWiki sites that have a copy of Wikipedia's Template:Cite web. Tt must be at that name, and use the same basic parameters. Cite4Wiki's JavaScript source code can be easily modified, in the file cite4wiki.js to handle other set-ups, such as non-English Wikipedias with different template and parameter names.


The first add-on of this sort, WPCite, was designed in September 2008 by Jehochman (talk · contribs) and coded by Diego "Manuar" Cadogan. It was released under the GNU Lesser General Public License, and provided very basic citation information in a new browser window. In August 2009, Unit 5 (talk · contribs) adapted it into a Java-free implementation, Cite for Wiki, using a pop-up window. At some point in the interim, it had also been modified by "Ratel" (details unknown). It was modified again by "Yojimbo Doodah". In January 2010 it was updated again by SMcCandlish (talk · contribs) whose versions fixed some bugs/misfeatures, added new features, and used the name Cite4Wiki.).

New features in 1.4Edit

  • The |last= and |first= parameters are part of the output now. They are empty but with a warning tag to fill them in. Most citations will actually need these, there's no reason to make Cite4Wiki users manually type them out, and we don't want half-citations being put into articles (thus the warning tag).
  • Auto-detection of some particular sites (The Times, Washington Post, etc.) to show future capabilities, with customized output for these sites, including use of {{Cite news}} instead of {{Cite web}}, linked |work, |publisher, |location and |issn parameters, and so on.
  • Auto-insertion of year from last-modified date as |year= value for {{Cite web}} sources; while this will often be more recent than the actual publication date. This is better than no date at all.
  • Many more potentially problematic characters and strings besides "|" have been escaped, to prevent weird output.

Known issuesEdit

To-do list of stuff to fix:

  1. The add-ons validation process at Add-ons for Firefox's "Developer Hub" throws a yellow warning (i.e., not a red error message) about a potential JavaScript issue, namely use of wrappedJSObject; code should be replaced if possible.
  2. Needs more localization, so it will be more easily portable to other Wikipedias, and so it will stop giving another warning when uploaded to
  3. Inexplicable vestigial code ripped from AdBlockPlus needs to be removed from; some of this has been changed to refer to Cite4Wiki, but the presence of any of it at all is questionable.
  4. No installer script does pre-install cleanup of previous versions' files (such a script was included with the original WPCite, but was abandoned in Cite for Wiki for unknown reasons). This doesn't seem to be strictly necessary, but it can't hurt and could become necessary in later versions.
  5. Should auto-detect the (declared-in-HTTP-headers) language and add that as a parameter, if not English.
  6. Should auto-detect the (declared) file format as a MIME type and add that as a parameter, if not HTML.
  7. An option to format output with no linebreaks.
  8. Should, if possible, grab the company name, for the |publisher= parameter, from authentication data, the same way that Firefox itself provides this information just to the left of the URL entry field when at an https address and the site has a valid security cert.
  9. Should auto-detect the character "|" (pipe) and escape it as {{!}} to keep from breaking the {{Cite web}} template. Already in beta testing for ver. 1.4.
  10. Completely fails in SeaMonkey 2.0.2 (at least under Windows Vista x64 SP2), and has not been tested with any other version. Add-on installs, but no right-click context menu items are available, ergo no popup window of wiki code. Not tested in any other version, on any other platform.