Piped links are useful for preserving the grammatical structure and flow of a sentence when:
- the wording of the exact link title does not fit in context,
- or there are multiple meanings of the word.
To create the pipe ("|") character (also known as a vertical bar), you may press (SHIFT + BACKSLASH) on English-layout keyboards. More simply, note that the pipe character is the third character that appears in the "wiki markup" section of symbols at the bottom of the symbol page that appears in "edit this page" mode. Clicking on the pipe symbol there inserts it at the cursor spot, just as happens for any symbol chosen from this page.
There is disagreement about whether it is appropriate to pipe year numbers to "year-in-x" articles (such as [[1930 Census|1930]]).
- Another possibility is to link to a more specific article about that year, for example [[1930 Census|1930]], although some people find this unintuitive because the link leads to an unexpected destination.
When not to use
First of all, keep links as simple as possible:
- Avoid making links longer than necessary: write "president [[George Washington]]", not "[[George Washington|president George Washington]]".
- It is generally not good practice to pipe links simply to avoid redirects. The number of links to a redirect page can be a useful gauge of when it would be helpful to spin off a subtopic of an article into its own page.
- Given the option to pipe a link or to "blend" an affix, preferred style is to use a blended affix. Write simply [[Public transport]]ation instead of complicated [[Public transport|Public transportation]],. Both display identically as Public transportation.
- Never use piped links to convert first letter to lower case: write simply [[Public transport]] instead of complicated [[Public transport|public transport]]. Both display identically as public transport.