URLs are used to navigate to a page in a wiki. This page will describe the different formats that can be entered into the address bar.
A full URL will point absolutely to one specific page in one specific wiki from any wiki.
For example, "en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth" will always navigate to the "Earth" page in "en.wikipedia.org" regardless of whether the current wiki is "en.wikipedia.org", "en.wiktionary.org" or "simple.wikipedia.org"
A short name allows quick lookup of an article within the current wiki.
For example, if you are in "en.wikipedia.org", typing in just "Earth" will take you to the Earth page inside en.wikipedia.org.
A shortcut is a compromise between the absolute reference of a full URL and the brevity of a page name.
For example, "w:Earth" will always take you to "en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth" from any other wiki. It is only 2 characters longer than "Earth".
See shortcuts for more information.
An http format url allows for copying and pasting directly from Firefox or other applications.
- Right click on any link to wikipedia
- Select "Copy Link Location"
- Press Ctrl-V to paste the link into the address bar. This will paste the full url of "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth"
- Press Enter. You will be redirected to "en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth"
Alternatively, instead of Ctrl-V and Enter, you can also middle-click on the URL bar. This will:
- Delete all text
- Paste whatever's on your clipboard into the Address bar
- Automatically try to open the page
On a similar note, you can also copy and paste urls of the format "http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/The_Blue_Marble.jpg". This will be converted to commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The Blue Marble.jpg
Note that http format also works for urls with the format of http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Earth