Each of the topics covered here is covered somewhere else in more detail. Please look in the box on the right for the topic you are interested in.
- Start editing
- To start editing a MediaWiki page, click on the "Edit this page" (or just "edit") link at one of its edges. This will bring you to the edit page: a page with a text box containing the wikitext: the editable source code from which the server produces the webpage. If you just want to experiment, please do so in the sandbox, not here.
- Summarize your changes
- You should write a short edit summary in the small field below the edit-box. You may use shorthand to describe your changes, as described in the legend.
- Preview before saving
- When you have finished, press preview to see how your changes will look -- before you make them permanent. Repeat the edit/preview process until you are satisfied, then click "Save" and your changes will be immediately applied to the article.
Basic text formatting
|What it looks like||What you type|
You can emphasize text by putting two apostrophes on each side. Three apostrophes will emphasize it strongly. Five apostrophes is even stronger.
You can ''emphasize text'' by putting two apostrophes on each side. Three apostrophes will emphasize it '''strongly'''. Five apostrophes is '''''even stronger'''''.
A single newline 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
You can break lines<br> without starting a new paragraph.<br> Please use this sparingly.
You should "sign" your comments on talk pages:
You should "sign" your comments on talk pages: : Three tildes gives your user name: ~~~ : Four tildes give your user name plus date/time: ~~~~ : Five tildes gives the date/time alone: ~~~~~
You can use HTML tags, too, if you want. Some useful ways to use HTML:
Put text in a typewriter font.
The same font is generally used for
Superscripts and subscripts: x2, x2
Invisible comments that only appear while editing the page. Comments should usually go on the talk page, though.
You can use <b>HTML tags</b>, too, if you want. Some useful ways to use HTML: Put text in a <tt>typewriter font</tt>. The same font is generally used for <code>computer code</code>. <strike>Strike out</strike> or <u>underline</u> text, or write it <span style="font-variant:small-caps"> in small caps</span>. Superscripts and subscripts: x<sup>2</sup>, x<sub>2</sub> Invisible comments that only appear while editing the page. <!-- Note to editors: blah blah blah. --> Comments should usually go on the talk page, though.
To Show "pre-formated text", for example a configureation file, use<pre></pre> tags
[home] comment = a home directory
For a list of HTML tags that are allowed, see HTML in wikitext. However, you should avoid HTML in favor of Wiki markup whenever possible.
Tips and tricks
In a few cases, where an administrator has protected a page, the link labeled "MediaWiki:Editthispage" is replaced by the text "View source" (or equivalents in the language of the project). In that case the page cannot be edited. Protection of an image page includes protection of the image itself.
If someone else makes an edit while you are making yours, the result is an edit conflict. Many conflicts can be automatically resolved by the Wiki. If it can't be resolved, however, you will need to resolve it yourself. The Wiki gives you two text boxes, where the top one is the other person's edit and the bottom one is your edit. Merge your edits into the top edit box, which is the only one that will be saved.
The edit link of a page showing an old version leads to an edit page with the old wikitext. This is a useful way to restore the old version of a page. However, the edit link of a diff page gives the current wikitext, even if the diff page shows an old version below the table of differences.
If you get an error message upon saving a page, you can't tell whether the actual save has failed or just the confirmation. You can go back and save again, and the second save will have no effect, or you can check "My contributions" to see whether the edit went through.
Checking spelling and editing in your favorite editor
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.
If you edit this way, it's best to leave the editing page open after you copy from it, using the same edit box to submit your changes, so that the usual edit conflict mechanism can deal with it. If you return to the editing page later, please make sure that nobody else has edited the page in the meantime. If someone has, you'll need to merge their edits into yours by using the diff feature in the page history.
Composition of the edit page
The editing page consists of these sections:
- The edit toolbar (optional)
- The editing text box
- The edit summary box
- Save/Preview/Cancel links
- A list of templates used on the page
- A preview, if you have requested one. Your preferences may place the preview at the top of the page instead.
No matter where you put these things in the wikitext, the resulting page is displayed the same way:
A logged-in user can mark an edit as "minor". Minor edits are generally spelling corrections, formatting, and minor rearrangement of text. Users may choose to hide minor edits when viewing Recent Changes.
Marking a significant change as a minor edit is considered bad Wikiquette. If you have accidentally marked an edit as minor, make a dummy edit, verify that the "[ ] This is a minor edit" check-box is unchecked, and explain in the edit summary that the previous edit was not minor.
- Help:Editing FAQ
- Help:Automatic conversion of wikitext
- Help:Editing toolbar
- Help:HTML in wikitext
- Protecting pages
- Help:Starting a new page
- UseModWiki and Wikipedia:PHP script.
- HTML elements.
- Live preview - a way to preview your edits without contacting the server.
- Image:Special characters Verdana IE.png - shows special characters with codes, and also shows problem characters.
- Template:Tim - font size
- Template:Tim - color