CZ:Using the Elem Infobox template

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    Fig. 1: Elem Infobox


The CZ:Chemistry style guide advocates the use of the Template:Elem Infobox in the main article page of articles devoted to any of the chemical elements listed in the Periodic table of elements. However, neither the chemistry style guide nor the template article provide any simple, understandable instructions on how to install the Elem Infobox in an article.

Some of the articles about specific chemical elements already have the Elem Infobox template installed in them. However, some have installed the Template:Basic elemental info which is similar but much less desirable because:

  • In addition to the infobox, it automatically generates the first three paragraphs of the article's introductory section (also called the "lede") and they are not editable (i.e., not visible on the article's Edit page).
  • It automatically creates hyperlink <ref></ref> references to a website page of the Los Alamos National Laboratory which result in a "Not found" error message. The hyperlink references are also not visible on the article's Edit page and therefore cannot be simply removed.

As stated in the CZ:Chemistry style guide, the Elem Infobox is preferable. It is simpler and it does not automatically generate any non-editable lede paragraphs or any hyperlinks. The author of the article is free to write the lede and to provide any references as he/she desires.

Installing the Elem Infobox

This article provides an explanation how to install the Elem Infobox at the top right-hand position in the lede of articles devoted to any of the chemical elements.

In the Edit page of any article about a chemical element, copy the Elem Infobox template exactly as shown in Fig. 1 above and revise the example element name (elName) of Copper to the name of the specific element desired. Don't worry about entering anything else, if you don't know what to enter. Someone knowledgeable will eventually fill in other information or you can ask a Chemistry editor for help. (See note below[1] for more about the template's parameters.)

Fig. 2 is the infobox that will be produced for display on the right-hand side of the article's main page, once you have copied the above template into the article's Edit page, revised the element name to the name desired (Gold, for example), and then saved the Edit page.

    Fig. 2: Elem Infobox

The large, dark blue letters Au are the chemical symbol of the element. The number 196.96655 in the upper left is the Atomic weight and the number 79 is the Atomic number of that element. These are all automatically generated by the template and are not editable.

The bottom part of the infobox contains a miniature reproduction of the Periodic table of elements and the different colors represent the different groups of elements such as Non-metals (including Noble Gases), Main Group Metals, Transition Metals and Metalloids. These are also automatically generated by the template and not editable.

The location of the element within the miniature periodic table is indicated by coloring it black and the words "Transition metal" (just above the miniature table and to the right) names the element group to which the Gold belongs. These too are automatically generated by the template and not editable.

See the Phosphorus, Nitrogen and Gold articles as examples of how the Elem Infobox looks when it is filled in with additional information.

Suggested optional first paragraph for the lede

The following two-sentence paragraph is a suggested and optional, optional first paragraph for the introductory part of the article (i.e., the lede):

Gold is a chemical element having the chemical symbol Au. Its atomic number (the number of protons) is 79 and its standard atomic weight is 196.96655. It is typically found as a solid in its elemental form.

All of the items colored green in the above optional lede should be changed as needed for the specific desired element. Also, look at the edit page of this article to see how to correctly create the blue wiki links in the optional lede.

Following the lede and the infobox, the article text may then be expanded and reformatted in whatever way you wish.

Replacing Basic elemental info with Elem Infobox

If you want to remove the Template:Basic elemental info (from an existing article about an element) so that you can replace it with the Template:Elem Infobox, simply delete the {{Basic elemental info}} template from the top of the main article's Edit page. You can then replace it with Elem Infobox template as instructed above.

If the existing article's main page still retains a hyperlink reference to a page on the website of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), then:

  • Go to the table of properties in the "Properties" subpage of the existing article.
  • Click on the numeric value of the Melting Point. That will take you to another subpage that has the melting point numeric value as well as the hyperlink reference. Go to the Edit box of that subpage and delete the <ref>XXXXX</ref> (where XXXXX is the hyperlink address of the reference). Then preview and save that subpage.
  • Go back to the existing article's main page and reload (or refresh) the page. The uneditable hyperlink reference will be gone.


  1. The parameters that can be entered in the template are:
    • elName: The name of the element
    • eltrnCfg:The electronic configuration, such as 1s22s22p63s23p1 for Aluminium. configurations.
    • no1, no2, no3, no4: The common oxidation states
    • properties: Such as metallic, colorless gas or inert gas, ductile, lustrous, radioactive, halogen, etc.
    • compounds: Such as oxides, sulfates, carbonates, nitrates, halides, acids, organic compounds, etc.
    • uses: Self-explanatory.
    • hazards: Such as toxic, flammable, radioactive, etc.
    A good source for electronic configurations of the elements is available online at NIST: Electronic configurations of the elements