Help:Editing

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General[edit]

To edit a page, click on the "edit" link at the top of the page or along one of its edges.

After adding to or changing the wikitext, press "Show preview", which produces the corresponding webpage in your browser but does not make it publicly available yet (not until you press "Save page"). Errors in formatting, links, tables, etc., are often much easier to discover from the rendered page than from the raw wikitext.

If you are not satisfied you can make more changes and preview the page as many times as necessary. Then write a short edit summary in the small text field below the edit-box and when finished press "Save page". Depending on your system, pressing the "Enter" key while the edit box is not active (i.e., there is no typing cursor in it) may have the same effect as pressing "Save page".

You may find it more convenient to copy and paste the text first into your favorite text editor, edit and spell check it there, and then paste it back into your web browser to preview. This way, you can also keep a local backup copy of the pages you have edited. It also allows you to make changes offline, but before you submit your changes, please make sure nobody else has edited the page since you saved your local copy (by checking the page history), otherwise you may accidentally revert someone else's edits. If someone has edited it since you copied the page, you'll have to merge their edits into your new version (you can find their specific edits by using the "diff" feature of the page history). These issues are handled automatically by the Mediawiki software if you edit the page online, retrieving and submitting the wikicode in the same text box.

Dummy edit[edit]

If the wikitext is not changed no edit will be recorded and the edit summary is discarded.

A dummy edit is a change in wikitext that has no effect on the rendered page. This allows an edit summary, and is useful for correcting a previous edit summary, or an accidental marking of a previous edit as "minor" (see below). Also it is sometimes needed to refresh the cache of some item in the database.

Minor edits[edit]

When editing a page, a logged in user has the option of flagging the edit as a "minor edit". When to use this is somewhat a matter of personal preference. The rule of thumb is that an edit of a page that is spelling corrections, formatting, and minor rearranging of text should be flagged as a "minor edit". A major edit is basically something that makes the entry worth relooking at for somebody who wants to watch the article rather closely, so any "real" change, even if it is a single word. This feature is important, because users can choose to hide minor edits in their view of the recent changes to keep the volume of edits down to a manageable level.

The reason for not allowing a user who is not logged in to mark an edit as minor is that vandalism could then be marked as a minor edit, in which case it would stay unnoticed longer. This limitation is another reason to log in.

The wiki markup[edit]

In the left column of the table below, you can see what effects are possible. In the right column, you can see how those effects were achieved. In other words, to make text look like it looks in the left column, type it in the format you see in the right column.

You may want to keep this page open in a separate browser window for reference. If you want to try out things without danger of doing any harm, you can do so in the Playground.

Sections, paragraphs, lists and lines[edit]

What it looks like What you type

Start your sections with header lines:

New section

Subsection

Sub-subsection


== New section ==

=== Subsection ===

==== Sub-subsection ====

New line:

A single new line has no effect on the layout.

But an empty line

starts a new paragraph.

A single
newline
has no
effect on the
layout.

But an empty line

starts a new paragraph.
You can break lines
without starting a new paragraph.

Sufficient as wikitext code is <br>, the XHTML code <br /> is not needed, the system produces this code.

You can break lines<br>
without starting a new paragraph.
  • Lists are easy to do:
    • start every line with a star
      • more stars means deeper levels
  • A newline
  • in a list

marks the end of the list.

  • Of course
  • you can
  • start again.
* Lists are easy to do:
** start every line with a star
*** more stars means deeper levels
*A newline
*in a list  
marks the end of the list.
*Of course
*you can
*start again.

  1. Numbered lists are also good
    1. very organized
    2. easy to follow
  2. A newline
  3. in a list

marks the end of the list.

  1. New numbering starts
  2. with 1.
# Numbered lists are also good
## very organized
## easy to follow
#A newline
#in a list  
marks the end of the list.
#New numbering starts
#with 1.
  • You can even do mixed lists
    1. and nest them
      • like this
        or have newlines
        inside lists
* You can even do mixed lists
*# and nest them
*#* like this<br>or have newlines<br>inside lists
  • You can also
    • break lines
      inside lists
      like this
* You can also
**break lines<br>inside lists<br>like this
Definition list 
list of definitions
item 
the item's definition
; Definition list : list
of definitions
; item : the item's definition
A colon indents a line or paragraph.

A manual newline starts a new paragraph.

  • This is primarily for displayed material, but is also used for discussion on talk pages.
: A colon indents a line or paragraph.
A manual newline starts a new paragraph.
IF a line of plain text starts with a space THEN
  it will be formatted exactly
    as typed;
  in a fixed-width font;
  lines won't wrap;
ENDIF
this is useful for:
  * pasting preformatted text;
  * algorithm descriptions;
  * program source code
  * ASCII art;
  * chemical structures;

WARNING If you make it wide, you force the whole page to be wide and hence less readable. Never start ordinary lines with spaces.

(see also below)
 IF a line of plain text starts with a space THEN
   it will be formatted exactly
     as typed;
   in a fixed-width font;
   lines won't wrap;
 ENDIF
 this is useful for:
   * pasting preformatted text;
   * algorithm descriptions;
   * program source code
   * ASCII art;
   * chemical structures;
Centered text.
<div style="text-align:center">Centered text.</div>
A horizontal dividing line: above

and below.

Mainly useful for separating threads on Talk pages.

A horizontal dividing line: above
----
and below. 

Summarizing the effect of a single newline: no effect in general, but it ends a list item or indented part; thus changing some text into a list item, or indenting it, is more cumbersome if it contains newlines, they have to be removed.

Links, URLs[edit]

What it looks like What you type
Sue is watching Space Pilot 3000.
  • First letter of target is automatically capitalized.
  • Internally spaces are automatically represented as underscores (typing an underscore has the same effect as typing a space, but is not recommended).

Thus the link above is to http://futurama.overt-ops.com/index.php?title=Space_Pilot_3000, which is the page with the name "Space Pilot 3000".

Sue is watching [[Space Pilot 3000]].

Link to a section on a page, e.g. Space Pilot 3000#Act III: "Welcome to the head museum."; when section editing does not work the link is treated as link to the page, i.e. to the top; this applies for:

  • links to non-existent sections
  • links in redirects
  • interwiki links
[[Space Pilot 3000#Act III: "Welcome to the head museum."]].
Link target and link label are different: help.

(This is called a piped link).

Link target and link label are different: 
[[Help:Contents|help]]

Endings are blended into the link: Category:Humans

  • This only works with pluralization, not possessiveness.
Endings are blended
into the link: [[:Category:Human]]s

Automatically hide stuff in parentheses: Mars University.

Automatically hide namespace: Welcoming Committee.

The server fills in the part after the | when you save the page. Next time you open the edit box you will see the expanded piped link. A preview interprets the abbreviated form correctly, but does not expand it yet in the edit box. Press Save and again Edit, and you will see the expanded version. The same applies for the following feature.

Automatically hide stuff in parentheses:
[[Mars University (Place)|]]. 
Automatically hide namespace:
[[Infosphere:Welcoming Committee|]].
When adding a comment to a Talk page,

you should sign it. You can do this by adding three tildes for your user name:

Buddy

or four for user name plus date/time:

Buddy 01:36, 14 March 2006 (PST)

five gives just the date/time:

01:36, 14 March 2006 (PST)
When adding a comment to a Talk page,
you should sign it. You can do this by
adding three tildes for your user name:
: ~~~
or four for user name plus date/time:
: ~~~~
five gives just the date/time:
: ~~~~~
The rain in Spain is a page that doesn't yet exist.
  • You can create it by clicking on the link.
  • To create a new page:
    1. Create a link to it on some other page.
    2. Save that page.
    3. Click on the link you just made. The new page will open for editing.

Note: Please do not create this page. The link is meant as an example and is not a necessary article.

[[The rain in Spain]] is a page
that doesn't exist yet.

Redirect one article title to another by putting text like this in its first line.

  • To be avoided if possible; use piped links to point to the proper page, allowing whatever text you need.
#REDIRECT [[Planet Express]]
"What links here" and "Related changes" can be linked as:

Special:Whatlinkshere/Planet Express and Special:Recentchangeslinked/Planet Express

[[Special:Whatlinkshere/
Planet Express]] and
[[Special:Recentchangeslinked/
Planet Express]]
External links: PEEL or [1]
External links:
[http://www.peelified.com PEEL] or
[http://www.peelified.com]
Or just give the URL: http://www.peelified.com.
  • In the URL all symbols must be among: A-Z a-z 0-9 ._\/~%-+&#?!=()@ \x80-\xFF. If a URL contains a different character it should be converted; for example, ^ has to be written %5E (to be looked up in ASCII). A blank space can also be converted into an underscore.
Or just give the URL:
http://www.peelified.com.

To link to books, you can use ISBN links. ISBN 0-06-050598-2

Note: That's a real Futurama book.

ISBN 0-06-050598-2

To include links to non-image uploads such as sounds, use a "media" link.
Sound


[[media:example.mp3|Sound]]

Images[edit]

What it looks like What you type
A picture:
The Planet Express Crew
  • To upload images, use the upload page. You can find the uploaded image on the image list.
  • Please make sure your uploaded images conform to the standards before uploading them.
A picture: [[Image:Crew.jpg]]

or, with alternate text (strongly recommended)

[[Image:Crew.jpg|The Planet Express Crew]] 

Web browsers render alternate text when not displaying an image -- for example, when the image isn't loaded, or in a text-only browser, or when spoken aloud.

A thumbnail:
The logo for this wiki.
  • Thumbnails are the preferred method of using images within articles.
  • In this case, the alt text will also be used as the caption.
  • Clicking the image will take a user to the original-sized version.
A thumbnail: [[Image:Wiki.png|thumb|The logo for this wiki.]]

You may also put them on the left, or in the center:

[[Image:Crew.jpg|thumb|left|The Planet Express Crew]]

Note: "Right" is the default and needn't be specified, but you may.

You may also specify (in pixels) how large the image is:

The Planet Express Crew

  • This allows use of a smaller image without the borders and captions of thumbnails.
  • Use sparingly.
[[Image:Crew.jpg|100px|The Planet Express Crew]]

Clicking on an uploaded image displays a description page, which you can also link directly to: Image:Crew.jpg

[[:Image:Crew.jpg]]


Character formatting[edit]

What it looks like What you type

Emphasize, strongly, very strongly.

  • These are double and triple apostrophes, not double quotes.
''Emphasize'', '''strongly''',
'''''very strongly'''''.

You can also write italic and bold if the desired effect is a specific font style rather than emphasis, as in mathematical formulae:

F = ma
  • However, the difference between these two methods is not very important for graphical browsers, and many people choose to ignore it.
You can also write <i>italic</i>
and <b>bold</b> if the desired effect is a 
specific font style rather than emphasis, as 
in mathematical formulas:
:<b>F</b> = <i>m</i><b>a</b>
A typewriter font for technical terms.
A typewriter font for 
<tt>technical terms</tt>.
You can use small text for captions.
You can use <small>small text</small> 
for captions.
You can strike out deleted material

or underline new material.

You can <strike>strike out deleted material</strike>
or <u>underline new material</u>.

Umlauts and accents:
è é ê ë ì í

À Á Â Ã Ä Å
Æ Ç È É Ê Ë
Ì Í Î Ï Ñ Ò
Ó Ô Õ Ö Ø Ù
Ú Û Ü ß à á
â ã ä å æ ç
è é ê ë ì í
î ï ñ ò ó ô
œ õ ö ø ù ú
û ü ÿ


è é ê ë ì í

&Agrave; &Aacute; &Acirc; &Atilde; &Auml; &Aring;
&AElig; &Ccedil; &Egrave; &Eacute; &Ecirc; &Euml;
&Igrave; &Iacute; &Icirc; &Iuml; &Ntilde; &Ograve;
&Oacute; &Ocirc; &Otilde; &Ouml; &Oslash; &Ugrave;
&Uacute; &Ucirc; &Uuml; &szlig; &agrave; &aacute;
&acirc; &atilde; &auml; &aring; &aelig; &ccedil;
&egrave; &eacute; &ecirc; &euml; &igrave; &iacute;
&icirc; &iuml; &ntilde; &ograve; &oacute; &ocirc;
&oelig; &otilde; &ouml; &oslash; &ugrave; &uacute;
&ucirc; &uuml; &yuml;

Punctuation:
¿ ¡ « » § ¶
† ‡ • — –

&iquest; &iexcl; &laquo; &raquo; &sect; &para;
&dagger; &Dagger; &bull; &mdash; &ndash;

Commercial symbols:
™ © ® ¢ € ¥

£ ¤
&trade; &copy; &reg; &cent; &euro; &yen;
&pound; &curren;
Subscript: x2

Superscript: x2 or x²

  • The latter method of superscript can't be used in the most general context, but is preferred when possible (as with units of measurement) because most browsers have an easier time formatting lines with it.

ε0 = 8.85 × 10−12 C² / J m.

Subscript: x<sub>2</sub>
Superscript: x<sup>2</sup> or x&sup2;

or in projects with the templates sub and sup:

Subscript: x{{sub|2}}
Superscript: x{{sup|2}}

&epsilon;<sub>0</sub> =
8.85 &times; 10<sup>&minus;12</sup>
C&sup2; / J m.

Greek characters:

Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ
Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν
Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ
Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω
α β γ δ ε ζ
η θ ι κ λ μ ν
ξ ο π ρ σ ς
τ υ φ χ ψ ω

&Alpha; &Beta; &Gamma; &Delta; &Epsilon; &Zeta;
&Eta; &Theta; &Iota; &Kappa; &Lambda; &Mu; &Nu;
&Xi; &Omicron; &Pi; &Rho;  &Sigma;
&Tau; &Upsilon; &Phi; &Chi; &Psi; &Omega;
&alpha; &beta; &gamma; &delta; &epsilon; &zeta;
&eta; &theta; &iota; &kappa; &lambda; &mu; &nu;
&xi; &omicron; &pi; &rho;  &sigma; &sigmaf;
&tau; &upsilon; &phi; &chi; &psi; &omega;

Math characters:
∫ ∑ ∏ √ − ± ∞
≈ ∝ ≡ ≠ ≤ ≥ →
× · ÷ ∂ ′ ″
∇ ‰ ° ∴ ℵ ø
∈ ∉ ∩ ∪ ⊂ ⊃ ⊆ ⊇
¬ ∧ ∨ ∃ ∀ ⇒ ⇔
→ ↔

&int; &sum; &prod; &radic; &minus; &plusmn; &infin;
&asymp; &prop; &equiv; &ne; &le; &ge; &rarr;
&times; &middot; &divide; &part; &prime; &Prime;
&nabla; &permil; &deg; &there4; &alefsym; &oslash;
&isin; &notin; &cap; &cup; &sub; &sup; &sube; &supe;
&not; &and; &or; &exist; &forall; &rArr; &hArr;
&rarr; &harr;
x2   ≥   0 true.
  • To space things out, use non-breaking spaces - &nbsp;.
  • &nbsp; also prevents line breaks in the middle of text, this is useful in formulas and signatures.
  • Use very sparingly. I.E., not at all, if you can help it. (In the two above examples, it's fine)
<i>x</i><sup>2</sup>&nbsp;&nbsp;&ge;&nbsp;&nbsp;0 true.

For comparison for the following examples:

arrow →

italics link

arrow      &rarr;

''italics''
[[link]]

Use <nowiki> to suppress interpretation of wiki markup, but interpret character references and remove newlines and multiple spaces:

arrow → ''italics'' [[link]]

<nowiki>arrow      &rarr;

''italics''
[[link]]</nowiki>

Use <pre> to suppress interpretation of wiki markup and keep newlines and multiple spaces, and get typewriter font, but interpret character references:

arrow      →

''italics''
[[link]]
<pre>arrow      &rarr;

''italics''
[[link]]</pre>

Use leading space on each line to keep newlines and multiple spaces, and get typewriter font:

arrow      →
italics
link
 arrow      &rarr;

 ''italics''
 [[link]]

Use typewriter font:

arrow →

italics link

<tt>arrow      &rarr;</tt>

<tt>''italics''</tt>
<tt>[[link]]</tt>

Show character references:

&rarr;

&amp;rarr;

Commenting page source:
not shown in page

  • Used to leave comments in a page for future editors.
<!-- comment here -->

HTML Tables[edit]

HTML tables can be quite useful as well. For details on how to use them and discussion about when they are appropriate, see MediaWiki User's Guide: Using tables.

Templates[edit]

Some part of a page may correspond in the edit box to just a reference to another page, in the form {{name}}, referring to the page "Template:name" (or if the name starts with a namespace prefix, it refers to the page with that name; if it starts with a colon it refers to the page in the main namespace with that name without the colon). This is called a template. For changing that part of the page, edit that other page. Sometimes a separate edit link is provided for this purpose. A convenient way to put such a link in a template is with a template like m:Template:ed. Note that the change also affects other pages which use the same template.

Page protection[edit]

In a few cases the link labeled "Edit this page" is replaced by the text "Protected page". In that case the page can not be edited.

Separating edits[edit]

When moving or copying a piece of text within a page or from another page, and also making other edits, it is useful to separate these edits. This way the diff function can be usefully applied for checking these other edits.

Trolls[edit]

The bad news is that occasionally a Wiki Troll or vandal will deface a page. The good news is that any page can be reverted back to a previous version:

Simply click "history" at the top of the page you wish to roll back. Then click on the time and date of the archived version you want to revert back to. The page will appear with the version indicated at the top of the page, just underneath the page title. Next, click "edit" at the top of the page. Add a note in the Summary box that you are reverting the page because of a vandal, and then click "Save page".