This page contains guidance on the proper use of the categorization function in Wikipedia. For information on the mechanics of the function, category syntax, etc., see
Help:Category. For quick answers, see the
Categorization FAQ. For proposals to delete, merge, or rename categories, follow the instructions at
Categories for discussion. Please use it before undertaking any complicated re-categorization of existing categories or mass creation of new categories.
The central goal of the category system is to provide navigational links to all Wikipedia pages in a hierarchy of categories which readers, knowing essential—defining—characteristics of a topic, can browse and quickly find sets of pages on topics that are defined by those characteristics.
Categories are not the only means of enabling users to browse sets of related pages. Other tools which may be used instead of or alongside categories in particular instances include lists and navigation boxes. For a comparison of these techniques, see
Categories, lists and navigation templates.