Guide to Linking and the Mention System

The mention system exists to make your world building life on World Anvil a whole lot easier; it links your articles together so your readers will stay on your world for all eternity.   If you have started an article and you mention something that you already have an article for then the only thing you have to do is to mention it and it will appear as a link. Even if you don't have an existing article you can still mention it and it will also appear in your to-do-list.  


Mentioning an existing article

To mention an article that you have already created, maybe with the purple button, you type an @ and add the first letters of the name of the article or the first letters of the article type. Then you click the button of the article you want to link to and it will automatically appear in the editor.
  If you have several articles with the same name but they are different templates you can search for them too, like this @person

Mentioning a non-existing article

You can also link an article that hasn't been created yet. To do so, simply add the link as normal, typing the full name of the future article. After the article title, type its template name between (parenthesis). Like this:  
  The available templates are listed in the bbcode reference sidebar while editing an article, but they are: (character) or (person), Conflict (militaryConflict) or (conflict), Condition (condition), Document (document), Ethnicity (ethnicity), Formation (formation),Geographic location (location), Generic article (article), Item (item), Language (language), Law (law), Settlement (settlement), Building/Location (landmark), Material (material), Myth / Legend (myth) or (legend) or (prophesy), Organization (organization), Prose (prose), Profession (profession), Rank/Title (rank) or (title), Spell (spell), Species (species), Technology (technology), Tradition / Ritual (ritual) or (tradition) and Vehicle (vehicle).   Note that when you save an article with a link that points to an uncreated article, the uncreated article will be added to the to-do list automatically.  

Excerpts vs. Tooltips

While editing an article, go to the "Design" tab on top of the page and find the "Excerpt" text box:
  That excerpt will appear when people hover over the link. Like this;  
If your article isn't created yet you can fix that by adding a tooltip like this;   Testy
  Excerpts are to explain what an article is about. Tooltips can also be used for that. But it can also be used to explain words or concepts that you won't be making any articles for.  

Block links and other tidbits

While you are editing an article, on the right sidebar below the to-do list you will find this:
  The text link is just the regular link that you get with the mentioning system. But the block link looks like the left one if you are placing them at the bottom of the vignette or a text box or like the right one if you put it in the sidebar.




Table of contents



Can I change the display text of a link? Yes, the displayed text does not affect the actual link. Anything between the two square brackets can be changes to anything you wish.

Extended mention system

Advanced linking is a Guild feature!
If you want to make use of this feature, consider supporting World Anvil.
  Guild members can also link to other elements (i.e. images, maps, historical events, categories and secrets) using the mention system. The only difference is that instead of using "@", the character "[" must be used. To use it, simply type "[" followed by the name of the elements you want to link to and a drop-down will appear, just as with the article mention system.


Using the purple button

Instead of using a link placeholder, you can use the purple button (bottom right corner) to create articles and other kinds of content on the fly, and link to them immediately without leaving the article edit screen! Check out the Guide to the Quick Buttons for more details.

Cover image: by geralt


Please Login in order to comment!
@ Dheran
Horatio Hornblower
30 Jul, 2019 18:28

Is there a way to provide alt name for article link? E.g. I want to link a character, but I want to use only the first name, or I want to link a organization (e.g. Kingdom of X) but I want to use X?

1 Aug, 2019 01:49

Yep, if you look at the first image you can see that I've written @world and gotten as a response at the top of the list "PatheticBarrel's World-Building Guide" Or did you mean something else?

@ Dheran
Horatio Hornblower
4 Aug, 2019 23:28

Hmm, what I mean is that I have an article about some Taric LeSample. But I want to mention him as Duke LeSample for example. How can I do that? Is it possible if the article is not created yet?

5 Aug, 2019 03:04

The mentioning system works on the title of the article. If you create an article for him and name it Taric LeSample and then when you want to link to him on his sister's article you write a @tar or @les and his article will appear in a list together with other articles with similar names. You click on his article and a string of text looking like this will appear:

and within the [ ] you can change it to anything. So you can change the Taric to Duke and then the link on his sister's article will say Duke LeSample and when a reader clicks the link it will still take the reader to the Taric LeSample article.   I hope I made sense and that this is what you wanted to know. Poke me again if it isn't XD;;

5 Aug, 2019 03:17

If you haven't created Taric's article yet but you are writing his sisters article and you want to mention him as Duke LeSample you just type (a)Duke LeSample(person) and this link will work when you create an article with that name. (if you click the link an you will automatically end up on an empty article with that name) If you are a Guild member the article will appear in the to-do-list and you can just change the title of the article later on when you have named him. If you aren't a guild member it's a lot easier to just create the article with the purple button and use the link that the button gives you and place it there and later rename the article. (it will still say Duke LeSample on his sister's article until you change it since the text within the [ ] is the name the article had when you linked it on that article. )

@ Dheran
Horatio Hornblower
6 Aug, 2019 20:06

Thanks mate, cheers!

7 Aug, 2019 03:53

Cheers :)

10 Oct, 2019 12:28

Is there a way to create a link in an article's title? For example, if I create an article with the title "Mr. Example goes for a walk", can I have Mr. Example be a link to that character?

11 Oct, 2019 18:44

Yes, if you write your article in the vignette.

(and if you mean the headers in the article)

18 Nov, 2019 17:30

Is it just me or Mentionning doesn't work anymore in the new Text Editor? I also tried to get back in Source code and didn't work either...

19 Nov, 2019 02:26

There can be bugs with the new text editor. If you're on the discord bring them up in the #alchemists-wysiswyg channel. Otherwise, you can take screencaps and report what browser you're using (the report a bug page can be reached on the bottom of all pages on the backend). If you don't mind using the old editor you can go to the Interface setting page and change to Legacy under the Editor selection header.

19 Dec, 2019 22:07

I believe we can't at-mention timelines, correct? Or at least not before the timeline exists? Do events in a timeline work in either case?

19 Dec, 2019 23:16

No, I don't think so. Articles and events (/timelines) run on different systems as far as I am aware.

31 Dec, 2019 04:49

Is there a way to add links with the new update. Ever since they changed the layout of the type box I haven’t been able to link things by using the @ method. If someone could explain this it would be great :)

2 Jan, 2020 01:48

The new wysiwyg editor and the mentioning system isn't the best of friends yet. You can change it to the old editor if you would prefer the old ways. To change click on your avatar image in the top right corner, and then on "interface and accessibility" You'll get this page.

Change to "Legacy" in the dropdown under "Editor Selection" and click save. Hope it helps :)

21 Jan, 2020 15:56

Hey all, I just joined, so apologies if this is covered somewhere else and I just haven't found it yet:   If you change that article name, will it update mentions of that article throughout your content? or does it break the links?   Thanks in advance!

22 Jan, 2020 02:47

Hey! Welcome! :)   The links will continue to work. However, if you change the name of an article the name won't change on the other pages. So for example; if you have an article Named "King Anvil" and have a mention on another article King Anvil ...If you change the name of the article to "Queen Anvil" then the link on the other pages will still say "King Anvil". It's like that so you can use different names for the same thing or make it fit more with what you are writing. ...I hope I made sense? XD   If you feel like it, you can also join the development discord ...most of the community is over there and want to answer a lot of questions. :)

22 Jan, 2020 13:12

Thanks so much for the quick response!   Yes, that makes sense. Maybe one day we can get the option to update all mentions when you rename an article. For example, I have preliminary names for the continents of my world right now. It would awesome if in the future I decide to rename a continent and could just change the name of the article and it pushed that update to each mention.   I'll shoot on over to the discord and check that out soon. Thanks again!

22 Jan, 2020 13:12

Thanks so much for the quick response!   Yes, that makes sense. Maybe one day we can get the option to update all mentions when you rename an article. For example, I have preliminary names for the continents of my world right now. It would awesome if in the future I decide to rename a continent and could just change the name of the article and it pushed that update to each mention.   I'll shoot on over to the discord and check that out soon. Thanks again!

23 Jan, 2020 02:15


27 Apr, 2020 19:15

Is there a way to put a hyperlink in an article to jump around the same article in different places

28 Apr, 2020 00:56

Do you mean anchors? Yes, there is, you'll have to use bbcode. While you're editing an article you can find the codes under the "WORLD ANVIL TAGS REFERENCE" tab in the right sidebar.  


Master Gandalfthe28th
Shayan Ghorbanian
7 Jun, 2020 16:47

Is there a way of combining Anchors and Hyperlinks? So a link to a specific header in another article?

8 Jun, 2020 01:02

Yes, but you'll have to do it manually. [url=WORLDURL/ArticleName#Header][h1]Header[/h1][/url]

1 Jul, 2020 08:00

Hi there! I've got a question which I suspect might be quite foolish, but is necessary non the less: When using mentioning, the article sometimes shows a bold text instead of a link to the article. All articles are non-drafts WIPs, and most of those articles (if not all) possess working mentions in other articles, or sometimes even within the article itself. Does anyone have an idea what's going on? It's driving me mad

2 Jul, 2020 17:40

Hmmm~ weird, I think the bold text is only supposed to be for articles that aren't published. Might be some kind of a bug?

3 Jul, 2020 10:32

maybe? it's fairly common though I mean, it happens in almost every article I'm trying to use mentions in. As far as I know the only case in which I could get this bug (?) to be fairly consistent is when mentioning the same article twice. Other than that, I got nothing. who should I go to if it is a bug? Because if it is, than probably more information is needed to solve it (at the very least links to articles as they are currently, the source code on my end and the mention link that is used, or at least so I would guess)

3 Jul, 2020 16:54

Yeah, but if the same mention link works in other articles I can't think of anything else that it can be. You can report the bug here; Dimitris uses a third party program to sort and optimize his bugs and feature requests so you'll have to make a new account there.

4 Jul, 2020 10:33

Will submit, thanks!

4 Jul, 2020 20:17

np! Thank you as well :)

22 Jul, 2020 10:26

Hey there, when I link an article in our world, no preview pops up when hovering with the mouse over the link. The linked article is published already. What could be the reason and how do I allow a linked article to be previewed?

22 Jul, 2020 15:19

You've added text in the excerpt?

22 Jul, 2020 22:17

No, I didn't, thank you so much. I thought, World Anvil would automatically show the first few sentences of my vignette. Anyway, now I know how to make it work!

22 Jul, 2020 23:54

Great! Nah, for the simple preview popups you can put any information that you want there. :)

24 Jul, 2020 23:00

Is it possible to get a list of articles which link to a given article? I've got some (duplicate) stubs I made by accident in early articles and want to track down where they were made.

24 Jul, 2020 23:27

No real way, but you can take the code (the string of code you get when you mention it) and go to your world's view page. Put the string of code in the search bar there and all articles that have that article mentioned in them will show up.

25 Jul, 2020 18:12

With the new article update today there is now a reference list on the editing of articles page so you can load all articles that reference the article that you are editing.

25 Jul, 2020 22:54

That's exactly what I wanted! Just a couple of days too early

25 Jul, 2020 23:07


4 Aug, 2020 01:48

Can I link a location article to one of my maps?

4 Aug, 2020 02:15

How do you mean? You can put a map in your location article by going to "Map settings" and copy-paste the bbcode in the "map embed snippet" dropdown in the right sidebar. While editing your maps you can also connect the article to the maps.

4 Aug, 2020 02:25

Okay, I discovered the latter. I will try the former. I'm not very computer savvy you see, most of my work is on thousands of hand-written pages. I will give it a shot. Thank you.

4 Aug, 2020 04:05

Okay :) I hope it works for you, if you have any other ideas for how you want it to be you can put in a feature request.