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.
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 [[NFS members|NFS members]]hip instead of complicated [[NFS members|NFS membership]],. Both display identically as NFS membership.
- Never use piped links to convert first letter to lower case: write simply [[File Organization]] instead of complicated [[File Organization|file organization]]. Both display identically as file organization.