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When a Wikipedia article is large, it is often rewritten in summary style. This template is used after the heading of the summary, to link to the sub-article that has been (or will be) summarised. This template can also be used in the Category namespace, but the preferred template for categories is {{Cat main}}.

This template can also be used in articles leads when an article is not the "main" article for its subject, but this is controversial. When there are multiple articles, distinct enough to warrant separate articles, but not enough to be very separate subjects. One to be the main article describing the topic, and the others avoiding unnecessary duplication of the main article. A good example would be geography articles where two terms have somewhat different meanings or "contexts", but refer to roughly the same geographic area, e.g. Balkans and Southeast Europe. The Balkans article is the main article, the Southeast Europe article doesn't try to be a duplicate of the Balkans article by having much info on History, natural resources, etc., it leaves that to the Balkans article. This can be thought of as a halfway point between having fully separate articles, and having a redirect.

Its usage should be restricted to the purposes described above. This template is not to be used as a substitute for inline links or as a "see also". The latter includes e.g. when a section has a title that happens to have a main article, but the section actually refers to a specific aspect of the article at hand. In Phthalate, for example, the template under the section Endocrine disruptor should not be Main: Endocrine disruptor, because the section specifically deals with phtalate as an endocrine disruptor and not endocrine disruptors in general.


Basic usage
All parameters
| page1 | page2 | page3 | ...
| l1 = label1 | l2 = label2 | l3 = label3 | ...
| selfref = yes


  • 1, 2, 3, ... - the pages to link to. If no page names are specified, the current page name is used instead (without the namespace prefix). Categories and files are automatically escaped with the colon trick, and links to sections are automatically formatted as page § section, rather than the MediaWiki default of page#section.
  • l1, l2, l3, ...; optional labels for each of the pages to link to (this is for articles where a piped link would be used). Note that the extra parameters use a lower case 'L', for example, l1, not 11.
  • selfref - if set to "yes", "y", "true" or "1", adds the CSS class "selfref". This is used to denote self-references to Wikipedia. See Template:Selfref for more information.