Category | World Anvil Codex


Written by SoulLink
Categories are like folders that help you get organized. Imagine a messy pile of papers on your desk that needs to be sorted. You can use folders to collect similar papers, and you can label those folders to indicate their contents.   The World Codex found on your world's Homepage displays a Table of Contents showing the list of categories and the articles within them. Categories are collapsed by default and can be expanded by clicking on them. Items within a category and categories among themselves can be sorted in a specific order.

Create a Category

A category can be created in the Articles menu or with the Green Hammer tool. A newly created category does not appear in the table of contents because the category needs at least one subcategory or article to be visible.

Category Fields & Options

A category has a number of editable fields and several options to configure how the category is displayed. Some of these options are only available to Guild Member members.

Basic Details

Basic details include title, icon, excerpt, parent category, and redirect to article.


Add an icon to customize the appearance of the category in the table of contents, making it easier for you and your users to navigate. The icon appears on the category page itself, next to the category title. It also appears in the breadcrumb BBCode output.   Available icons are all of the icons from FontAwesome 6 and RPG Awesome. Use the search on these pages to find an icon that fits the category.


The excerpt is a brief summary of the purpose of this category. Describe what it contains or why a user should look at it. It can be up to 256 characters. It is only displayed if a category is configured as a book or added as a book BBCode.

Parent Category

The parent category determines which category this category will be sorted into. A category without a parent is considered a top-level category and is visible on the homepage.

Redirect to Article

This feature is available to Grandmaster and Sage guild members.
Add an article here for the category to redirect all users to this article when they click on a link that leads to the category. This setting can be used if the category itself doesn't have much content. Instead, make the article link to a browse page that leads to the articles within the category. It is important to add this article on the same level as the category, not in the category it is redirected from. Otherwise, the category link at the bottom of the article will redirect to itself.


Content can be added to the description fields and one of five custom fields.


The Description field is the main content field for the category. All text in this field is centered by default and appears below the category title. Add a short introduction of what this category is about.

Custom Content 1 - 5

This feature is available to Grandmaster and Sage guild members.
Additional content fields that appear in different parts of the category structure. Use the design tab to organize these fields.


This feature is available to Grandmaster and Sage guild members.
The Design tab is used to move around the widgets in the category. Drag each widget to the section of the category where you want it to appear.   To disable a section, drag a widget into the Unused Sections rectangle.


Use this tab to change the appearance of category books and cover images.
  • Visibility Settings: The first toggle replaces the category entry in the table of contents with a book cover link to the world homepage. This setting only applies to top-level categories. For other categories, use book bbcode. The second toggle can be used to remove the category title from the book cover.
  • Book style cover: Add a image from the library or upload a new image to use as the book cover image. Check the image guide for recommended pixel sizes.
  • Page cover: This image will be used as the cover image on the category page itself.
  • Default article category cover: This image will be used as the cover image for all articles directly under this category. It does not affect child categories or any items under those categories. Any cover set directly on an article will take precedence.
  • This feature is available to Master, Grandmaster and Sage guild members.
  • Additional CSS Classes: These classes are applied to this category page. See the CSS guide for more information.
  • This feature is available to Master, Grandmaster and Sage guild members.


This feature is available to Master, Grandmaster and Sage guild members.
A category can be set to private or public and can have subscriber groups.

Category BBCodes (Link, ToC & Book)

A category can be added anywhere in World Anvil in three ways. As a link, as a table of contents and as a book. Each of the BBCodes requires the category identifier. It is possible to add the link and ToC with the content linking system.   Each BBCode is located in the right column of the category editing interface.

Category presentation snippets

  • Category link: Creates a direct link to the category with the category title as the title.
  • Category link with a custom title: Like the first, but allows customization of the text displayed in the article.
  • Category table of contents widget: This widget creates the full table of contents with everything below that category. This BBCode has a horizontal option to make the TOC expand horizontally instead of vertically. See the bbcode guides for more details.
  • Category book widget: The book widget has the same structure as the book widget on the homepage. However, it usually does not have the same CSS applied to it, so it may look a little different. It can be placed anywhere on World Anvil where BBCode can be displayed.
  • This feature is available to Master, Grandmaster and Sage guild members.

Cover image: by Min An


Please Login in order to comment!
31 Dec, 2018 20:34

For some reason, it won't let me select Default Article Cover. Is there something that would prevent me from being able to click there? I can't seem to do it for any of my Categories.

31 Dec, 2018 21:17

Default cover? They automatically have the default one for the theme that you have chosen. If you want other covers you first have to upload them with the image uploader and then choose them in the "Page cover" section or click the browse button and choose them from your computer. :)

31 Dec, 2018 21:41

That's the problem, I have lots of images uploaded, but I can't select any to be the default cover for a category. I can manually set them, but that makes the articles look weird in certain areas. Maybe a screenshot will help:

31 Dec, 2018 23:42

That’s really weird. I’ll make a bug report for you.

31 Dec, 2018 23:54

Oh, so it's not something I did. Good to know, I'll file one, too.

31 Dec, 2018 23:54

(If you join the discord (you can find a link on your dashboard) you can get help with more things and file bug reports if you stumble across more of them )

1 Jan, 2019 00:29

What kind of a browser are you using? Chrome?

1 Jan, 2019 01:04


1 Jan, 2019 14:53

I just heard back - it's a Grandmaster feature.

2 Jan, 2019 05:47

Ah! Okay, that explains it. :3 thanks for keeping me updated. <3

Julien Meyer
20 Mar, 2019 12:25

"Access, here you can choose if you want your category to be public or private." Even if I set the 'access' field to 'private', I still can see it when I navigate to my article. I'm assuming that this is because I have admin privileges, and the average reader will not actually be able to see the private category. Is this correct?

21 Mar, 2019 02:09

Yep, that is correct. If you have co-owners or editors(I think, they can see private articles at least) they will also be able to see them. :)

Julien Meyer
24 Mar, 2019 14:42


24 Mar, 2019 16:53

NP! :)

14 Apr, 2019 14:30

I cant seem to get a category table of contents widget successfully showing on any article, I copy the link into the articles I want the widget to be in but it never makes a difference.

14 Apr, 2019 15:05

Weird, do you have an article where you have posted in the link, that I can take a look at?

14 Apr, 2019 15:39   Here you go, I've put it in the main prose in addition to the sidebar

15 Apr, 2019 02:35

(sorry for the late reply, been at work) Hm, it doesn't appear in the code. How many articles do you have under the category? Are you a member of the discord?

15 Apr, 2019 11:17

Hi, I'm not a member of the discord. I have 22 articles in the category, I've tried with another category with only four articles in and still no joy. I've followed the steps here and exactly as in the video example on YouTube but I have no idea why it's not working

15 Apr, 2019 16:36

Super weird and sadly I can’t help. But if you come over to the discord the developer and the rest of the staff (and the community) is over there and they should be able to help you. :) Otherwise you can mail them at [email protected] ...or write a bug report, you can find the form under “Need help?” In the footer.

16 Apr, 2019 02:39

Actually, can you maybe screencap where you have put the code?

9 Jun, 2019 03:24

Quick question: is there any way to auto sort the articles in a category i.e. based on the alphabetically order of the article name?

9 Jun, 2019 06:22

Yep, if you are on the alphabetical view you can just click on category header title...if you click on "Title" you sort them alphabetically after title. If you click "parent" it will sort them after the parents.

26 Jul, 2019 17:44

It looks like they've updated how Categories work, and now I can't find ANYWHERE to organize my articles within the category. What happened to the nice drag and drop system and how do I get my articles to display alphabetically now??

26 Jul, 2019 17:48

Oh, great, they moved it over to the ARTICLES section. How unintuitive and needless.

27 Jul, 2019 04:29

It was always over there, so this keeps it in one spot so he can focus development there instead of supporting the same functionality but different implementations in both.   I understand it's a minor inconvenience, but it unifies the whole process and allows him to add more features there to make it ever better.

Check out my summercamp by going here and checking out any of my gold-star articles!

Master Tatortotzke
Johnathan Totzke
14 Sep, 2019 00:56

Is there any way the I can align the text under the "introduction to the category" box to the left? It aligns to the center when viewed.

14 Sep, 2019 05:27

Do you mean the "Things to keep in mind" box? If so, no, you'd have to click the "Report a bug" link at the bottom of every page. The bullet list makes it look like it's in the center. It's not really a bug, but a visual thing that can only be changed by Dimi.

Master Tatortotzke
Johnathan Totzke
14 Sep, 2019 13:38

  The box that says "Write here the introduction to your Category." When viewed, it aligns all the text to the center. Here is a screenshot of what it looks like when viewed:  

15 Sep, 2019 04:21


15 Sep, 2019 04:25

or here


Master Tatortotzke
Johnathan Totzke
15 Sep, 2019 14:07

Thank you very much!

16 Sep, 2019 01:36


11 Oct, 2019 08:18

When I created some new categories for my world I noticed that the auto collapse button is gone. At least I can't find it in the visibility settings anymore. Is this a bug or is it somewhere else now?

11 Oct, 2019 18:54

Dimitris is probably poking around with that. There has been talk of being able to move around the TOC and other things on the main page of the world (for guild members).

12 Oct, 2019 11:15

Ok thanks!

12 Oct, 2019 18:40


10 Nov, 2019 00:21

Hello, I added an article to a category but when I visited my homepage it wasn't there.

10 Nov, 2019 06:53

You can see it in your category overview on the article list?

10 Nov, 2019 18:22


11 Nov, 2019 05:52

Is the article published?

11 Nov, 2019 05:54

If it is then it's probably a bug, can you take a screencap of your category overview and your world and file the bug?

12 Nov, 2019 00:41

Oh. It just wasn't published. Sorry.

12 Nov, 2019 05:54

Ah good good. :) One less bug for Dimitris to worry about. <3

21 Nov, 2019 14:09

I can't see this checkbox: VISIBILITY SETTINGS This Category will be collapsed on the Tables of Contents

21 Nov, 2019 21:56

You can now find it under display settings.

24 Nov, 2019 16:40

It is not there. There are only 2 options "Display this Category on the top of the World page using a Book-style cover image." and "Display the Category title on World page cover image" I'm using Chrome

25 Nov, 2019 02:39

AH, that button. Hmm~ I think that might have been removed when Dimitris changed the TOC to make it load faster. I'll ask him. Might take a while 'cuz his pretty busy this weekend. (WA is going to Dragonmeet, a convention in the UK)

25 Nov, 2019 08:19

Thank you :)

26 Nov, 2019 01:40

no problem :)

11 Dec, 2019 13:10

Any news about this?

11 Dec, 2019 14:58

No, but he has been busy with other things (the ddos attack on WA earlier this week among other things), I'll poke him about it this weekend. There's the coffee meeting and sage meeting this weekend anyway so I'll either bring it up then or I'll talk to him about it. :) (I want to be able to do it on the category pages)

14 Dec, 2019 11:04

Yeah, he would only bring it back for the inner sanctum members. It slows the loading time for the TOC and for people with large worlds it sometimes crashes the page. His suggestion would be to paste the links to pages that you want people to see right away in the world vignette.

29 Jan, 2020 13:12

ok thanks :( too bad...

2 Dec, 2019 02:54

Is there any way to copy a section of the category tree and paste it into another category? I have several continents and regions, and I would like to be able to copy and paste the relevant categories, and not have to remake the tree for each continent/region. Thanks.

4 Dec, 2019 02:50

Hmm, I don't think that there is a way to copy categories. Could you maybe click the "suggest a feature" bottom and ask Dimi if that feature could be added? :)

4 Dec, 2019 03:43

Thank you for your reply. I will do that!

5 Dec, 2019 01:38


24 Jan, 2020 21:49

Is there any way to have categories NOT show up on table of contents on the world page? I would like to organise some articles and use the link to be able to display the articles in that category within an article but don't want too many categories on my world page.

24 Jan, 2020 23:13

*checks category page* Hm, I think it's an either or situation. Either you have the TOC on your main page or you don't (it's possible to remove it on the world setting page). Hm, you could you perhaps suggest it as a feature?

22 Feb, 2020 07:00

Hi I'm trying to make a category for all the articles I have about monsters in my world, and I'm trying to break it into subcategories based on creature type (e.g. dragons, fey, undead, etc.). If you've played the witcher games, it's basically the bestiary. Everything looks fine when I'm in my workspace, but once I go to view the actual campaign homepage, I can only get 2 of the subcategories to show up. Is there a limit to how many categories or subcategories you can have? Is it a glitch? Am I doing something wrong? Plz help lol.

22 Feb, 2020 18:58

Hm, should at least be able to go 4 subcats deep (I haven't tried any deeper). Do you have published articles in the other categories? subcategories don't appear if they don't have any published articles in them.

22 Feb, 2020 21:01

Yeah it's funny you mention that lol...I decided to try that after posting this last night and found that out the hard way. Oops. I was getting all the subcategories ready to save myself some time. Didn't realize they needed to be filled first. Thought I deleted this post after. Oh well. Thank you for the response.

22 Feb, 2020 22:43

Ah! :) good good.

23 Feb, 2020 12:12

For some reason, some of my articles which I put in their categories show both in the category and in the uncategorized list giving out quite a crowded and unorganized look... Also some of my religion deities show both as gods and deities but that I suppose is a problem for another section

23 Feb, 2020 20:00

Hm, sounds like a bug, you'll have to take a screenshot of it and send a bug report. You should find a link called "Need help?" in the footer of most pages there you can find out where to do a bug report.

24 Feb, 2020 13:14

thank you, I shall

17 Apr, 2020 05:23

Any chance to have categories automatically open to be opted in? I would like to have all of them open to cut down some clicks.

18 Apr, 2020 02:39

That's how it was before, however that took made the pages take too long to load. It's possible to request it as a feature though and the developer will take a look: (the login is not WA, if you don't have a Jira account yet you will have to get one. Jira is a third party program used to simply collect bug and feature reports)

29 Apr, 2020 10:29

Hello - I started creating NPCs under my campaign and it doesn't seem clear to me how I can add those NPCs to a category I have created. Is this possible? Or do I need to recreate them as articles?

30 Apr, 2020 03:29

Only articles can be put under categories.

30 Apr, 2020 06:42

Ah ok bummer, but i guess it makes sense. Thanks for the heads up :-)

1 May, 2020 00:18

NP ...and another heads up. The category and article feature will be changing soon as well. Dimi is hard at work with it. :)

18 Oct, 2020 10:34

I made one accidentally I don't know how to delete it! can someone help!

18 Oct, 2020 17:30

Click it and on the right sidebar, you will see it and the delete button below it. A green checkmark will appear, click that one too.

19 Oct, 2020 14:59

thank you!

20 Oct, 2020 01:55

you're welcome! :) Have fun worldbuilding and if you're interested in joining the community you can head on over to the WA discord.

28 Dec, 2020 10:16

Hi, new to WA, and just wondering - when you change a category to a book cover it removes it from the TOC - is there way so it does not get removed?

29 Dec, 2020 03:01

Hiya! :) Welcome! You can put the world TOC where ever you want. Just write [\TOC] (remove the '\' )

29 Dec, 2020 10:39

Thank you for the reply - sorry I did not explain question well - when i change a category to display as a book cover - so on the homepage it presents as a picture - under the world codex table of contents it no longer shows in the list - wondering if there is a way to stop this from happening - again thank you.

30 Dec, 2020 02:01

No, when a category has been made a book on front page it will only be a book.

8 Jan, 2021 14:28

Thank you for confirmation

6 Jan, 2021 04:58

How do you delete or change the name of a category?

6 Jan, 2021 17:20

Click the name of the category in the left column and edit or change the name in the right column. Read more about managing the categories in the Guide to the article and category manager feature:
Guide to the Articles & Categories Manager
Generic article | Jun 2, 2023

7 Jan, 2021 06:55


7 Mar, 2021 04:31

I'm new to World Anvil, so please forgive me if I missed this somewhere or if I am doing something wrong, but it appears that the "icon" field for categories, has a character limit, is this correct? I am attempting to use a Font Awesome icon and it stops letting me type after 25 characters. Is it possible for this to be updated to allow for longer icon names?

7 Mar, 2021 04:37

I have asked the developer, Dimi, he is off from work until Tuesday though. I'll reply again when I've gotten an answer. :)

7 Mar, 2021 05:12

Okay! I have gotten a reply from him, there is a 25 character limit. But you can talk to him and give him the icon that you want to use so he can do some testing. Either join our discord and DM him there or write a bug report.

7 Mar, 2021 17:55

Thanks a ton! I didn't know if it was just me or if I was missing something. I'll send a message over on discord. :)

7 Mar, 2021 18:39

Great! <3

26 Mar, 2021 19:42

While working on organizing my categories, I accidently found a bug? I had two worlds open to see how ones categories where done, and while in the process of rearranging/organizing I moved all the articles and their categories from one world to the other. Now I can't access the articles or the categories from the original world. Is there a way to undo this without redoing months of work?

26 Mar, 2021 20:50

It's not a bug, because of the auto save function you should not have several windows open (especially not with two different worlds) because things will then be saved wrong.   I will mention to the developer that this should be made more clear with a warning on the site.

26 Mar, 2021 21:31

Thank you! I have since figured out how to replicate the problem after a series of trials and errors, and by doing this I was able to do it backwards to undo the damage, moving the categorize back to the original world1. Seems to be a result of creating a category on one page, while the other refreshes with world2, causing the created category to appear on the refreshed world2 instead of the intended world1.

26 Mar, 2021 23:29

Yep! that's what happens when two pages are up at the same time, with articles as well so be careful with those. Glad that you managed to move the categories to the right world. :)

28 Apr, 2021 09:59

Can someone please explain how I delete categories? It's absolutely driving me crazy and seems like a massive, messy oversight.   There's a very good chance I'm being an idiot, but I cannot for the life of me find this option. Please help!

28 Apr, 2021 14:39

Click the category and in the right sidebar is the delete button. You can see it in the bottom right of the image.

When you click the delete button it will change to these two buttons. An accept action button (green) and a cancel action (red) button. If you still want to delete the category click the green button. (this is for protection so you can't accidentally delete a category)

25 Jun, 2021 12:30

How do I navigate to articles that have other articles as their parent? I can see them under the title of the article eg (+2) in [category] but can't click that or see another way to get to them.

25 Jun, 2021 12:33

Currently I have to view the article, see what type it is in the "Articles under" section then use "browse by type" to find it

26 Jun, 2021 03:50

If you click the parent article so its information appears in the right sidebar, all "contained"(/child) articles appear in a list there.

5 Jul, 2021 13:11


5 Jul, 2021 13:27


10 Aug, 2021 03:20

Does anyone know if you can have sub-categories appear as books within their own category? So my first page has 6 books. I would like the user to click on one of them, and then the next page is books of the sub-categories of THAT category. As it stands now, after clicking on the books, there's just folders on the bottom left side of the screen for the sub-folders. It's not intuitive that those folders are the subcategories. I'd like a nice image with the sub-category title, the same as my main page with the category books. Is this possible?

10 Aug, 2021 15:47

All categories you make into books will display on the front page.   If you want to ask people how to change stuff and maybe simulate something similar with CSS, you can join the discord and ask the community in the #css-help and look at what others have done in #worldanvil-design

11 Aug, 2021 12:09

Thanks for the reply. Wanted to confirm there was no way to do it natively, perhaps something I was just overlooking in the control panel. I'll go the CSS route now that I know (not my forte but I'm learning). Thanks again!

13 Nov, 2021 21:02

Is there a way to easily move an article from one category to another? I realize I put all of my towns in Organizations instead of Settlements *facepalm*. Is the only way to undo that to make a copy of the article and start from scratch? Thanks for the help!

14 Nov, 2021 03:51

Scroll to ”Add articles to your categories” and read those instructions, to change them just pick another.

14 Nov, 2021 06:34

Thanks for the help! I greatly appreciate it!

15 Nov, 2021 04:39

No problem! :D For more help and to join the community you can check out the discord