Bulbapedia logo.png
This article is a proposed policy for Bulbapedia.

Please discuss the proposed policy and suggest possible changes on the article's talk page.

This page is an instruction manual which addresses the stylistic conventions adopted by Bulbapedia in writing, titles, articles, and linking. Please, please, please read it over before you begin contributing to the Bulbapedia project, as other editors usually do not appreciate having to edit again to clean up a poor edit.

This manual attempts to address all style issues in an objective manner, though there are inevitably cases where style is subjective. If there are any unresolved disputes over what best adheres to the style of Bulbapedia, please contact the editorial board.

Basic wikicode

Main article: Help:Editing

Article titles

Standard English proper noun conventions are followed on Bulbapedia; that is, all names and places are capitalized, unless explicitly specified. Also, the first word of a title is capitalized unless there is a specific exception. No other words in the title are capitalized unless they are a proper noun. For example, Mewtwo Strikes Back is a proper noun, as the name of a movie; Manual of style is not a proper noun, so only the first word is capitalized.

Names are non-biographical: for instance, Gary Oak is the title of Ash's rival's page, as opposed to "Oak, Gary". In a case where someone is more well-known by a title than their given name, or their given name is unknown, their title may be used; this applies to each of the Pokémon Professors, such as Professor Oak.

In most cases, titles referring to a specific group should be kept singular, such as item, or the previously-mentioned Pokémon Professor, rather than items or Pokémon Professors. This does not apply if the group name is plural; for instance, Eevee brothers is the correct name of the group, not Eevee brother.

For multiple characters that share the same name, use previously-established conventions when available. As a rule of thumb, characters may be referred to in parenthesis by location if in the same media. For instance, two characters named "John," one in the Advanced Generation and the other in Diamond and Pearl, would be John (Hoenn) and John (Sinnoh). If in different media, use the media descriptor; for instance, John (game) and John (anime). The same character appearing in multiple different media only receives one article; for instance, see Koga.

Special characters, most notably the acutely accented e (é) should always be used where appropriate; page titles should contain "Pokémon" rather than "Pokemon". When creating a page with a special character, also create a redirect from the plaintext version of that name (i.e., a redirect from Pokedex to Pokédex).

Technical limitations mandate capitalization of the first letter of a title on a page. Technical limitations also dictate that the the underscore (_) and plus sign (+) are treated as a space. Use {{wrongtitle}} to make note of any incorrect titles encountered in this manner.

Multiple ampersands (&) and question marks (?) in a row are not supported in page titles.

Japanese names should generally be romanized in titles. For more details on dealing with Japanese translation, see (redirect to: Japanese policy).

Some specific page name policies

This reviews some specific page name policies.

A species of Pokémon is always listed at Species (Pokémon); specific Pokémon should be referred to by their affiliation; for instance, Meowth (Team Rocket).

Elemental types are always listed at TYPENAME (type); see Fire-type.

Moves are always listed as MOVENAME (move); see Hyper Beam.

Trading Card Game cards are always listed by set, when available; see Charizard. For more guidance, see ((TCG MoS)).

The cleanup of this policy is complete.

Naming Conventions

This policy outlines the naming conventions for people, objects, and other entities in the Pokémon universe.

Characters should be referred to by their English names unless they do not have a currently known English name. Redirects from Japanese names should be created in order to alleviate confusion. When only a Japanese name is known, romanization must be consistent with ((Redirect:Japanese policy). For instance, the page Kasumi redirects to Misty.

All modern persons should have their name given in Western order. Since the definition of "modern" may vary from culture to culture, for the Japanese, all names from the Taishō period (1912 onward) onwards should be given in Western order. Names from the Meiji restoration (1868-1912) may be given in Western or Eastern order – use prevailing convention on a person-by-person basis. Names of persons living prior to the Meiji restoration should be given in Eastern order.

When a person has a specific preference for the way their name is rendered, or where convention differs, use that instead. For example, use Hiromoto SIN-Ichi, Ikue Ohtani, and Rica Matsumoto, instead of Shin'ichi Hiromoto, Ikue Ōtani, and Rika Matsumoto.

Merge this with, perhaps, a new language widget?


In a franchise as large and varied as Pokémon, different people, places, or objects may share a name. In this instance, disambiguation pages are needed to point viewers in the right direction.

Link templates were created to deal with the increasing issue of disambiguation as Bulbapedia's knowledgebase expanded and certain disambiguatory parentheticals were used over and over. For those which are used most often, please see Bulbapedia's list of link templates.

Any article with multiple possible search results should receive a disambiguation page. For instance, the article Meowth will not redirect to Meowth (Pokémon), in case someone is instead looking for information on the character Meowth (Team Rocket). Pokémon species, moves, abilities, types, and game player and rival characters should always use link templates in articles.

More detail is needed here. Our disambiguation policy needs to be made more clear, especially with respect to which Pokémon get disambiguation pages and which do not.

Opening line

The full name of the subject of an article should appear within the first few words of the article itself. Alternate and popular names may be described later. The name should be given in its original form if it differs from its Anglicized form. Note that a name need not be romanized more than once. Song, episode and movie titles should be translated, not romanized. Also note that names in languages besides Japanese and English should not be included in the opening line, but rather further in the article, preferably in a section titled In other languages near the bottom with only Related articles and External links following after. Some examples follow:

Liam Pomfret, better known as Archaic, is the current head of Bulbagarden.
Hirokazu Tanaka
Hirokazu Tanaka (Japanese: 田中宏和 but usually credited in hiragana only) is most well known as the composer of much the theme music used in the Pokémon anime, but he is also the president of Creatures, Inc.
Hiromoto SIN-Ichi
Hiromoto SIN-Ichi (Japanese: ヒロモト森一 Hiromoto Shin'ichi) is a manga artist, born on January 4, 1966.
Professor Oak
Professor Samuel Oak (Japanese: オーキド・ユキナリ博士 Dr. Yukinari Ōkido, Ookido and Orchid are also seen) is a Pokémon Professor and has a home and research lab located in Pallet Town.
Bulbasaur (Japanese: フシギダネ Fushigidane) is a Grass/Poison-type Pokémon.
Aim to Be a Pokémon Master
めざせポケモンマスター (Mezase Pokémon Masutā exact, Mezase Pokémon Master is common; English: Aim to Be a Pokémon Master) was the first opening theme song of the Pokémon anime series, ...

Perhaps edits for clarity are needed, but this generally captures the spirit of what we're seeking in this unit.



Primarily, if a trademarked romanization is available, that is the proper romanization to use. For example, Fushigisou, Teppouo insetad of Fushigisō and Teppōo.

However, if a trademarked romanzation is not available, please follow the Hepburn romanization scheme and use Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū ā ē ī ō ū for long vowels. Please correct any incorrectly marked long vowels (circumflexes, tildes, doubling, ou and not marking long vowels at all are all not acceptable).

  • I-macron (Ī ī) and e-macron (Ē ē) is to be used when romanizing Japanese words of foreign origin, hence kōhī for コーヒー but Iizuka for いいづか. A hint to look out for is whether or not a () is used to lengthen it.
  • O-macron (Ō ō) is to be used for both おう (as in しんいちろう Shin'ichirō) and おお (as in おおづか Ōzuka)
  • E-macron (Ē ē) is rarely used, except with the interjection ええ and some foreign loanwords.
    • Please take note that verbs such as 思う omou and 呪う norou do not have long vowels.
      • However, subjunctive forms such as 思おう omoō and 呪おう noroō do have long vowels.
  • zu is to be used for both ず and づ; ji is to be used for both じ and ぢ.
  • With ん, there is some free choice whether to use n or m when followed by labial consonants p, b, f and m. Follow popular or established convention on a word-by-word basis, hence, Namba for ナンバ but Hanba for はんば.
  • To simplify matters, always romanize ポケモン as Pokémon, when ポケ is an abbreviated form of Pokémon, romanize it as Poké.

Romanizations and translations should be italicized.

Do we have any other policies on Japanese names and such? If so, they should be re-copied here.

Nouns, capitalization, and specific terminology

  • The word Pokémon is always capitalized, as well as the names of Pokémon species. So are nouns starting with "Poké", such as Pokéblock, PokéNav and Poké Flute. Note, however, that there is no one common trend for spelling of words beginning with "Poké" - they can be written as a compound word, with the second part of the word capitalized or uncapitalized, or as two words with the second word capitalized. Also note that this applies to many nouns starting with "Pokémon", such as with Pokémon Trainer.
  • Items and all words in them are always capitalized; they are considered proper nouns for the purposes of Bulbapedia. "Leftovers", "Escape Rope", or "Water Stone" are all correct as written; a page would not be titled "Water stone". Case should match that of the game text, such as the DeepSeaTooth.
  • Locations should also be capitalized in a manner consistent with English grammar; Ruins of Alph has the A in Alph always capitalized, while numbered routes, such as Route 101, Route 217, and so on, are proper nouns and must have the R capitalized.
  • Specific terminology is different; leveling up has a lowercase L, as would "starter Pokémon" have a lowercase "s" (but, of course, a capital P in Pokémon.)
  • Specific element types are called "Water-type" and "Rock-type" when used as nouns and their subject pages are Water (type) and Rock (type), respectively. Squirtle is a Water type is not correct; Squirtle is a Water-type is. When linking, it is preferred that {{type2|Water}} is used to link to the page on Water-types as "Water-type" than {{t|Water}}-type.
  • When referring to the type as a whole, however, the words are not hyphenated. The Water-type is the most abundant type is not correct; The Water type is the most abundant type is.
  • Evolutionary levels should be designated as "unevolved", "first evolution", and "second evolution" for Pokémon that have undergone zero, one, and two evolutions respectively during their development. TCG terminology of "basic Pokémon", "stage 1 Pokémon" and "stage 2 Pokémon" should not spill over into other media, as Pikachu and several other Pokémon are considered basic in the TCG sense, yet are Pokémon that have undergone one evolution in their lifetimes, making them first-evolution Pokémon, more akin to Charmeleon than unevolved Pokémon, which their pre-evolutions are.

Remember that consistency with these conventions is very important, and your cooperation is appreciated.

Shift this section specifically to terminology, because that's what it deals with.

Regarding specific topics

Style of writing; editing, bias, and opinion

Please remember that Bulbapedia is designed to be an encyclopedia, and as such should contain the best possible level of literary style. Also, as an encyclopedia, it is suggested to not use the second-person in descriptions, as this is unprofessional: "You can get the Reaper Cloth in Turnback Cave" is improperly styled. "The Reaper Cloth can be obtained in Turnback Cave" is preferred.

Check for spelling and grammatical errors before entering a page; if you notice factual or spelling errors on a page other than the ones you have created, feel free to correct the problems, as Bulbapedia is an open project. In order to avoid disagreements over factual accuracy, it is best to cite sources for controversial statements. If presenting one point of view, it is best to also present a contrasting opinion with it.

Perhaps merge this with editing policy?

Image preferences

For further details, please see the Archives manual of style

Images are often a helpful visual addition to the content of articles. However, in some cases, it is questionable what images are best used for articles.

  • If there is official artwork, such as the Sugimori stock artwork or video game sprites, this is always the preferred image.
  • If there is no official artwork, such as screenshots from episodes or manga, ones created by the contributing user are preferred over images taken from other sources. There will inevitably be disputes about which user-created image is best, as there is no exact policy on such; however, the image should generally be the highest quality and most informative image.
  • Animated images should be avoided proportionately with how large and distracting the animation is. Small uses, such as a blinking dot on a world map to indicate location, are non-obtrusive and acceptable.
  • Overwriting existing images is acceptable, since Bulbapedia favors the image with the higher quality, not the greater seniority. However, please avoid disputes by discussing the change with the user who uploaded the former image before uploading the new image.

Perhaps merge this with image policy?

Formatting preferences

  • For backgrounds and templates, obtrusively bright colors should be avoided. Generally, Bulbapedia style favors pastels, particularly green, blue, or gray, depending on the content.
  • Smaller tables are generally considered better, assuming they still have adequate information. Even little things, such as a thin 1px border, are preferred.
  • When listing a TM or HM as an item, make use of the {{TM}} or {{HM}} templates, written as {{TM|50|Overheat}} for TM50 (Overheat) and {{HM|08|Dive}} for HM08 (Dive).
  • When writing episode names, write them as ''[[Episode code|Episode name]]''; for example, the fifth episode of the original series is Showdown in Pewter City.
  • When multiple numbered routes are to be listed, they should be listed in numerical order, and only the first should have any prefix to it; for example, "Jigglypuff appears on Routes 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 34, 35, and 115, depending on the version played" is preferred to "Jigglypuff appears on Route 3, Route 4, Route 5, Route 6, Route 7, Route 8, Route 34, Route 35, and Route 115 depending on the version played". The link template {{rtn}} can be used for handily linking route numbers.
  • Navigation templates should aspire to be as useful as possible, not as large as possible. Linking a great many things that are only tangentially related results in huge, unwieldy templates.

Fine as it is.

Integration of content from other websites

It is against Bulbapedia's policy to directly copy text from other websites without permission. If other sources consent to allowing their text to appear on Bulbapedia and be subsequently edited and expanded upon to better fit Bulbapedia's style and standards, then and only then editors can directly copy their text into Bulbapedia. In this case, the source must be credited.

Integration is not the same as replacement, however. If Bulbapedia already has information written on a subject and it is not directly copied from any other source, then it is better to edit and expand that text than to completely replace it with another source's words, even if the other source has allowed their text to be used and has more information. This may not violate Bulbapedia's policy, but it does clash with Bulbapedia's style, which prefers original content directly provided from its contributors over content taken from another website.

An important note about Wikipedia content

No matter how similar the two may be, Bulbapedia and Wikipedia do not have compatible licenses. Therefore, for legal reasons as well as those of style, please avoid directly copying any text from Wikipedia straight into Bulbapedia.

If Wikipedia has an article on a Pokémon-related subject which Bulbapedia does not, and there is good reason for doing such, the article can be started directly based off the Wikipedia article as long as the {{WikipediaBased}} template is added to the bottom. For example, this was how the article on Satoshi Tajiri was made. However, please avoid this when possible. In particular, the staff will probably not listen to any requests to delete an existing Bulbapedia article to make room for a Wikipedia-based article. Bulbapedia prides itself on original content, and would rather not have all its major articles taken directly from Wikipedia. Again, integration is not the same as replacement.

Fine as it is.

We at Bulbapedia are here to create, provide, and upkeep an enormous database filled with Pokémon information. Your help is appreciated more than you know; contributions extend beyond just Bulbapedia to the entire online Pokémon community.

Make this the conclusion at the bottom of our navbox for the MoS, or a similar statement. Speaking of which, we need to design said navbox.