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Figure 1: Cat-a-lot steps:
1) Select files
2) Select destination category
3) Perform the Operation
A video intro to using Cat-a-lot (English)
Figure 2: Cat-a-lot box
Figure 3: Initial box
Figure 4: Cat-a-lot box after selecting category

Cat-a-lot is a JavaScript gadget that helps with moving images (or subcategories) between categories or adding categories to search results.

One time activation[edit]

To activate the gadget
In "Preferences" : "gadgets" tab, "Tools for categories" section: click "Cat-a-lot" and hit "Save" at bottom of page. Or click here and follow the instructions. (For users of the English Wikipedia, see instructions here.)

Moving files between categories, and removing files from a category[edit]

  • Turn on the gadget: after activation, you will see a little post-it-note labeled "cat-a-lot" in the lower-right corner of every category page, as seen in Figure 3. This box will stay in that corner, independent of your position on the page. If the note doesn't appear, try to purge the cache of your browser. Click it to start the tool. This will show a box like the one in the Figure 2.
  • Select files: You can select individual image thumbnails by clicking in the white space of the thumbnail description. The description background will turn green to indicate that this image is now selected. Another click will de-select it, turning the background white again. You can also select/de-select all visible images by clicking select all / none in the cat-a-lot box. To select/de-select multiple files "in a row" (Fig. 1), first select file A, then hold down Shift and select file B. The state of file B will be toggled (selected if it was not previously and vice-versa) and then assigned to all files from A through B.
  • Select destination category: Initially, the tool loads the current category (→), its parents (↑) (categories with which it is tagged) and subcategories (↓) (categories that are tagged with it). You can navigate through the category tree by clicking on a category name. Only the category list in the box will change, you will stay on the original page. Instead of navigating through clicking, you can also type a category name (e.g. "Lions", not "Category:Lions") in the white text field above the list and press Enter. The named category will then show up in the middle of the tree below, with its parents and children.
  • If necessary, create destination category:The cat-a-lot box only shows categories that already exist. So create one if necessary. Reload the category that contains the files you want to categorize better. The cat-a-lot box will now show the newly created category. Or it will when you type the new category name (e.g. "Lions", not "Category:Lions") in the white text field at the top of the box and press Enter.
  • Perform the Operation: There are three possibilities:
  • Copy, which adds the specified category to the highlighted objects (if not already present).
  • Remove from this category which removes the current category -- the one you are working in -- from the highlighted objects.
  • Move, which does both, removing the current category from the objects and adding the specified category to them (if not already present).

In each case, all of the other categories which might be associated with any of the objects remain unchanged. A progress indicator will be shown. After all images were processed, a report is shown including possible problems, and the whitespace area below each image will indicate what was done to that image.


Cat-a-lot's preferences

There is preferences menu in Cat-a-lot:

  • Watchlist
  • Whether to mark edits as minor
  • Whether to allow editing pages that aren't files or in gallery boxes
  • Whether to do clean up
  • Numbers of sub-categories to show

Box display[edit]

The Cat-a-lot box display can be toggled by clicking on Cat-a-lot in the lower part of the box.

During the step of selecting the files, the Cat-a-lot box window can be resized by dragging the upper edge of the window.

Open bugs & features[edit]

Please use this link and add signature to entries below.

  • Check for empty lines (what's the current behaviour?)
  • Make crosssections (For example, moving all media in "Category:Sailing ships" and "category:Ships of the Netherlands" into "category:Sailing ships of the Netherlands" (removing both prior categories).) Reported by Ibn Battuta.
  • Minor change by default (Reported by Ibn Battuta). ??? Pls explain. --Rillke(q?)
  • More sophisticated categories handling - Example: removing ALL categories from file(s) BUT a selected category. --Kozuch.
    • Symbol strong support vote.svg Strong support! I need it very much. Ain92 (talk) 18:16, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
    • Symbol support vote.svg Support (but in practice image specific categories (like taken on date, men looking whereever) have to be kept. So this can best be handled imho when moving images to a new category by removing all the categories found on both the new category and the moved images from the images moved. --Herzi Pinki (talk) 11:00, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Spinoff: Edit-a-lot for various text replacements? -DieBuche (talk) — done by VisualFileChange RE rillke questions?
  • Keyboard navigation. -(Jean-Fred).
  • #Copying images from categories added through templates.
  • A stop button to abort an operation in progress (and ideally offer to revert changes already made). Rd232 (talk) 18:13, 19 November 2011 (UTC).
  • Remove duplicate categories from pages, if the duplicate category is changed instead of changing both categories (including the duplicate one)
    • Remove redundant categories (category in file == category in category). -- Perhelion (talk) 22:44, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Remove (selectable) more than one category. -- Perhelion (talk) 22:44, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
    • Symbol support vote.svg Support Jeriby (talk) 13:55, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Preferences, double saved as same preferences. [1], [2]--777sms (talk) 18:29, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
  • If a category is added by a template and there is no explicit [[Category:XXX]], the script will stop processing remaining pages. The problem was found when I move templates which use {{documentation}} from one category to another.--Gqqnb (talk) 23:56, 19 June 2013 (UTC)
  • When the category tag contains an unvisible controll character at the bootom (which is inadvertently intruded copying the category name, an example), Cat-a-lot is not able to move or remove the page from the category where it is place, giving a message: "The following pages were skipped, because the old category could not be found:…" HotCat is able to deal such pages. --ŠJů (talk) 10:36, 6 October 2013 (UTC) (Recently identified as char code 8206 (a Left-to-right mark), Substitute character, U+200E, see this (19 June 2012) and this (7 May 2013) report.)
  • A way to copy/move to several categories at once. One way to do that would be to require the user (perhaps only if they've set it so) to click "save" before Cat-a-lot actually does anything - the user could then have clicked several "Copy" and "Move" buttons before and Cat-a-lot would do all these operations. darkweasel94 12:02, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Today the gadget added the same category again. =( Ain92 (talk) 18:16, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
  • An odd bug showed up today, twice (Addendum: the bug persists, either from category or from search list view). I select, say, four files, press "move", catalot responds "4 files moved", all four turn from green to grey. But the target category contains only three files. One was left unchanged. Kaluga.2012 (talk) 20:59, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Have all changes be marked "minor" unless the editor explicitly chooses otherwise. It is a real nuisance when one of our colleagues changes fifty or a hundred files that I have edited and I have to have them on my watch list. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 11:55, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Perhaps change the link to read "Cat-a-lot Preferences" so that it will stand out a little better. I, frankly, never saw it until today and I've been using Cat-a-lot for a long time. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 11:55, 21 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Automatically skipping files that already are in a subcategory of the category which is about to be added. --A.Savin 12:06, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
  • A possibility to add/remove categories to images in galleries or any other pages with embedded thumbnails --A.Savin 12:12, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
  • The option to automatically mark edits as minor seems to be buggy. If you look at my recent contributions, you'll see that it randomly marks edits as minor, but sometimes not (I set it to mark them as minor). I have no idea under what circumstances that happens. darkweasel94 18:42, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
  • It would be nice to be able to add/remove from the selection by regular expression... Junkyardsparkle (talk) 23:16, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Moving files from Category "Media needing categories as of ...". This yields an error message "The following pages were skipped, because the old category could not be found". --hdamm (talk) 17:16, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
    • hdamm (talk · contribs), that is not surprising, it's expected behavior. It applies to all categories that are added through templates, because these aren't in the wikicode, so Cat-a-lot can't really detect them. If you click "Copy" instead of "Move" in a "Media needing categories" category, it will do what you want, as it always removes {{uncategorized}} if you add categories through it. darkweasel94 19:22, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
    • darkweasel94 (talk · contribs), thanks , that does it! --hdamm (talk) 08:45, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  • An option to highlight files in a given category which are also in its subcategories, so one can click "remove from this category" button. This would be a tool to clean up the overcategorized images.
    • Symbol support vote.svg Support --Jarekt (talk) 17:41, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
    • Symbol support vote.svg Support Vzeebjtf (talk) 20:08, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
    • Symbol support vote.svg Support Jeriby (talk) 13:55, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Preferences do not seem to actually save - need to be changed each time new page is loaded. --Varnent (talk)(COI) 05:17, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
    • Symbol support vote.svg Support Same for me here, one year later after reported.—Andrei S. Talk 15:04, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Add an "Are you sure?" pop-up before proceeding that also explains the operation about to commence. E.g., "This will add the category Lions to 13 selected files".—Cpt.a.haddock (talk) 19:19, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg support only if. This could be the default, but I can't support it unless it can be turned off permanently in the preferences. For an experienced use, it would just be a nuisance..     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 19:27, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I am quite often indefinitely stuck at the "Loading …" prompt while the gadget does its thing. Feels like a bug, but I might be doing something wrong as well.—Cpt.a.haddock (talk) 19:23, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Make the tool available also at the special page "File list" (user galleries of all uploaded files). --ŠJů (talk) 15:24, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Add an option which can remove the file from a category which is not the actual category AND which can remove the file from any category in the research page (for the moment there is just "add" beside each category, it would be nice to have a "remove" option just beside "add", for example in order to cleanup some categories with a research of that kind: "something incategory:"..." hastemplate:"..." etc"... Jeriby (talk) 13:55, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
    • Symbol support vote.svg Support. That is the feature I came to this page for. --INS Pirat (talk) 09:49, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
    • Symbol support vote.svg Support. --Djadjko (talk) 02:31, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
  • This gadget adds blank lines to pages while removing categories, like this edit on the English Wikipedia. Graham87 (talk) 01:24, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Automatically remove invisible LTR marks from category names pasted into the input field. Currently a bot is removing all those invalid characters that I inadvertently added via copy & paste in Cat-a-lot. --Sitacuisses (talk) 01:25, 28 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Symbol support vote.svg Support I noticed recently this problem. Jeriby (talk) 11:24, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
    • Symbol support vote.svg Support --XXN, 22:38, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Make Cat-a-lot work on Special:Contributions. --XXN, 15:06, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
...and on Special:UncategorizedFiles. --XXN, 20:37, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Catalot Issue 1 - Davey2010.png
  • Cat-a-lot seems to add categories under stub templates (bad!) separating them from earlier categories (worse!) in the correct place above the stub tags (e.g., here) Grutness (talk) 08:22, 21 May 2016 (UTC)
  • If I'm removing tons of images from one cat to another I get "Done! All pages are processed. The following X pages were skipped, because the old category could not be found:" and yet on the image that category is clearly there (See pic) so I guess I would say make the tool easier to pick up categories if that makes sense, Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 12:29, 9 June 2016 (UTC)
    Categorization is now done async for a while. This means after you request the categorization, the database still does not know it (for a short moment). It is considerably fast, but it takes, in my feeling, much more time than cat-a-lot takes. May this explain the observed behaviour for you? --Herzi Pinki (talk) 14:46, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
    Usually, the problem is caused by invisible characters (marks) in the category link (the problem is mentioned above at least twice). Some tools and functions ignore them (i.e. the pages are displayed in the linked parent category), but other tools are blocked because they are not able to ignore such characters and recognize the linked category. There are not unified standards for interpretation of categorization links. In case of repeated attempt with identic page, delay of displaying of page content can be also a cause (the category page displays a content which was moved recently). --ŠJů (talk) 16:24, 21 August 2016 (UTC)
  • My most common use of Cat-a-lot is when moving categories. For example, a CFD resulted in the entire Category:Gothic revival architecture tree being moved to Category:Gothic Revival architecture (capital "Revival"). This being a common architectural style throughout the Western world, there are tons of categories to move, and each time I move a category, I then use Cat-a-lot to move the contents to the new title. Whenever I move a category that's in use, the old title gets put into Category:Non-empty category redirects, and so whenever I'm moving the contents to the new title, there's always a chance that I'll misclick and put the contents into this maintenance category. Therefore, my suggestion: instead of automatically giving the option to move contents to a parent or child category that's tagged with , have Cat-a-lot hide them and notify the user that hidden categories can also be used if the user specifically selects that option, so that two or three clicks, not one, are required for moving items into a hidden category. Nyttend (talk) 12:57, 29 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Add option to ignore {{uncategorized}} (to not remove it). Useful when copying files between maintenance categories. --XXN, 22:38, 3 November 2016 (UTC)
  • I would like to select an article. I click at the link which point to it and my browser will first mark it and then go to it. I expect it will be the same as categories (which can be selected by clicking at link). Please fix this bug. --Martin Urbanec (talk) 16:45, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
  • see [3]: it seems that cat-a-lot does not remove {{Check categories}} any more (?). My settings show: Entferne {{Check categories}} und andere kleine Aufräumarbeiten, falls eine Kategorie verändert wird is checked. I called Cat-a-lot from a search result page. Any fast help as there are so many panoramio uploads pouring in? --Herzi Pinki (talk) 01:57, 23 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Possibly, there should be an advanced option for adding/changing sort keys. --Djadjko (talk) 22:57, 1 December 2016 (UTC)