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The template {{Abbr}} is used to write an abbreviation with its meaning. It is a wrapper for the HTML element <abbr>...</abbr>, the element used by most web browsers to create a tooltip indicating the meaning of an abbreviation or acronym.

Please note: Do not use {{abbr}} or <abbr> to mark up material other than abbreviations or acronyms. Using it to generate tooltips elsewhere is a misuse of the underlying HTML and causes accessibility problems. See {{Hover title}} for how to implement similar functionality without abusing markup (though it is also not accessibility-perfect as of June 2018; input sought at Template talk:Hover title).


The template {{abbr}} takes two unnamed parameters, in order:

abbreviation – the abbreviation, acronym, or initialism to be explained; shows as text, and may use wikimarkup, such as a link to an article about what it refers to.
meaning – the expansion or definition of the abbreviation; shows as the popup when you hover over the abbreviation. No wikimarkup can be used in this parameter.

These can also be given as explicitly numbered parameters; this is necessary if a parameter's content contains the equals (=) character:

  • Complex example: [[Mass–energy equivalence|{{abbr|{{math|''E'' {{=}} ''mc''<sup>2</sup>}}|2=Energy = mass times the speed of light squared}}]]
  • Produces: E = mc2

A third unnamed parameter accepts the following values (which have the same effect):

IPA or i – applies the {{IPA}} template to fix the International Phonetic Alphabet rendering on Windows XP.

Named parameters and the input they take:

One or more CSS classes (space-separated if more than one)
An HTML id (i.e., a #ID name here link anchor); this must be unique on the entire page
Arbitrary inline CSS to apply to the abbreviation text. For any input that needs to be quotation-marked (e.g. because it contains a space character), use straight single-quotes only, e.g. |style=font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif;


Markup Renders as
{{abbr|MSLP|Mean Sea Level Pressure}}


When hovering over the text "MSLP", something like Mean Sea Level Pressure will appear as a tooltip in most browsers. Popular screen readers, used by visually impaired readers, give the meaning in a different way.

Markup Renders as
{{abbr|UK|United Kingdom|class=country-name|id=foobar}}


Linking must be done a particular way

To wiki-link the abbreviation being marked up by this template, wrap the template in the link, not vice-versa, or the meaning will not appear in some browsers, including Chrome.


Markup Renders as
[[Knockout#Technical knockout|{{abbr|TKO|technical knockout}}]]


Does not work:

Markup Renders as
{{abbr|[[Knockout#Technical knockout|TKO]]|technical knockout}}


Do not link, or use any other wikimarkup or HTML markup, in the meaning (popup) – only plain text.
The mouse-over popup for the meaning text is created by a title= attribute inside an <abbr> HTML element's opening tag, so it cannot itself contain any HTML (or markup that resolves to HTML when rendered). This includes simple things like ''italics''.

Accessibility and HTML validity concerns

This template is intended only for use with abbreviations (including acronyms and initialisms).

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines contain guidelines for using the <abbr> element generated by this template; see section H28: Providing definitions for abbreviations by using the abbr and acronym elements.

Furthermore, the HTML specifications (both those of the W3C and WHATWG) strictly define the <abbr> element as reserved for markup of abbreviations. Abusing it for mouse-over tooltips breaks our semantic markup and makes our content invalid HTML (technically, "not well-formed"; it will pass an basic automated validator test because such a tool can't tell that the logical application of the data to the structure isn't correct, only that tags are nested properly, etc.).


The following template names will redirect to {{abbr}}:

Template data

This is the TemplateData documentation for this template used by VisualEditor and other tools; see the monthly error report for this template.

TemplateData for Abbr

This template defines an abbreviation or acronym, by creating a tooltip that is displayed on mouse-over.

Template parameters

Parameter Description Type Status
Abbreviation 1

Shows as text

Line required
Meaning 2

Shows as a tooltip

String required

Applies {{IPA}} to fix strings in the International Phonetic Alphabet rendered in Internet Explorer on Windows XP

Line optional
Class class

Adds a HTML class

Line optional
ID id

Adds a HTML id

Line optional

See also

  • {{abbrlink}}, a variant of this template that includes wikilinking.
  • {{H:title}}, used for generating tooltips in general.
  • {{R-phrase}}, which generates the abbreviation (the code number) for an R-phrase (a "risk phrase", e.g. "Explosive when dry"). The R-phrase itself and a link to List of R-phrases are included in a tooltip.
  • {{clarify}}, which produces the inline superscript: [clarification needed].
  • {{finedetail}}, which allows a main fact to be presented in an article while hiding finer detail which, although factually accurate and maybe of interest to specific readers, might detract from the general readability of the article by cluttering the article if always presented; it allows referencing.
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