I tried to find improperly formatted URLs on Wikipedia by entering for a search query with wiki markup, but this doesn't return matches of this markup in Wikipedia. Does Wikipedia have any search options that make it possible to include wiki markup in searches?

The search query that I entered was <ref>http://, and no results showed up for matches of this markup.

  • I see you've asked quite a few Wikipedia questions here. While they're perfectly on-topic, and certainly I wouldn't want to chase you away, there is huge and active community of folks at Wikipedia who are probably a better resource for your questions.
    – ale
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 17:36
  • @AlEverett Unfortunately, Wikipedia's talk pages don't have any kind of notification system for replies to comments that are left there. This makes it somewhat unreliable as a discussion forum, since it's hard for users to find replies to their questions. Commented May 22, 2013 at 17:47
  • 1
    You could always "Watch" the page, but I know what you mean.
    – ale
    Commented May 22, 2013 at 17:48
  • And here we are, chasing questions on SE as well. ;)
    – Nemo
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 22:48

1 Answer 1


Now you can, with regex search: insource:/\<ref\>http:\/\// (use with care).

More information at Help:CirrusSearch.

  • is cirrus required? or is regex search supported by MW core?
    – johny why
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 15:23
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    MediaWiki core has no regex search.
    – Nemo
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 16:03
  • Thx, do you know of any extension or method besides Cirrus which does? Cirrus requires Elastica, which requires Java, which is not available on my shared web-hosting. My requirement is to work on shared web-hosting.
    – johny why
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 16:35
  • @johnywhy No, I don't think such an extension exists. Unless your wiki is extremely small, a regex search on MySQL could be very stressful for your database and application server. Can you use Sphinx? mediawiki.org/wiki/Category:Search_extensions
    – Nemo
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 17:11
  • Will check out Spinx, thx. Actually, just trying to find transclusions of a specific template with a specific parameter, eg: {{Color|Green}}. I need to display the search-results as a list on any page, without any search-controls.
    – johny why
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 17:44

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