Basic instructions

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Experiment number 1: finding a place you can type in.

  • Open this page in another window.
  • Click on this link: Demo form. This form is for illustration purposes only. It is referred to only on this page. Keep the demo form open when you are reading this page to see what the instructions are talking about. IMPORTANT Do not alter the demo form. Other users would also like to see it as it is. Especially, DO NOT CLICK THE "CREATE" BUTTON. The demo form is not a way to create pages. If you want to create a page:
    • Make absolutely sure the page does not already insist under a different name.
    • Search for the title of the page you want to create. You will see a "create this page" button (see below).
    • Click that button and you will get a blank form you can use as explained on this page.
  • You will see a form for a page, ready to be set up. At the top of the page are two tabs: "Page" and "Discussion". The former shows the page as created. The latter shows discussions between people when it's not clear if the page needs changing. The title of the page to be created is taken from the link you followed to reach the form and formatted automatically. Below the title of the page is a text "You have followed a link to a page that does not exist yet. To create the page, start typing in the box below (see the help page for more info). If you are here by mistake, click your browser's back button." Note the buttons directly below that text. I'll get back to those. Below the buttons is a frame. Whatever you type in the frame will show on the page. The small frame below labelled "Summary" is to let people know what you have done. Its use is optional. Below is a tick box labelled "Watch this page". Click the box to toggle it on or off. When it's on, the software sends you an email each time anyone changes anything on that page. Please leave the form empty; do not create a page with it.
  • Click on "Main page" in the sidebar.
  • Click the tab labelled "edit" on the top right of the page. If you have followed the previous instructions, the editing page will look familiar. Note the funny codes. I'll tell you more about them in Experiment number 2.

Experiment 2: the buttons.

That row of pesky buttons with a blue background above areas to type in is in fact by far the easiest way to do some common stuff on text. The buttons on the wiki are quite comparable to those on WoC. From left to right:

  • B - select a text and click. The font will be Bold. Alternatively, create your bold text with three apostrophes before and after the text.
  • I - select a text and click. The font will be Italic. Alternatively, create your Italic text with two apostrophes before and after the text. Bold and Italic can be combined to get a bold italic text
  • Ab - select a text and click. The text will be a link to another page in this wiki. Alternatively, create your link with two square brackets open before and two square brackets close after the text.
  • Globe & Mouse (no, it doesn't take you to a pub) - select a URL (don't forget the http part) of a page outside the wiki (e.g. on WoC) or make your own external link with a single pair of square brackets. Type a space and a text behind the URL and users will only see that text, not the URL, but a click on the text will lead you to the URL.

Don't worry about the other buttons yet.

Experiment 3: saving your text.

It is a brilliant idea NOT to save your text or editing until you have made sure that it is displayed as intended. You can do that with the button "Show preview" at the bottom left of the editing page. The wiki displays the page as you changed it but doesn't change it. Note in particular the links. Red links are to pages that do not yet exist. If the page you linked to does exist, you made a typo.

Pro tip 1: you can link to a page with a different text than its title. With the text [[main page|overview]] the software will display only the word overview as a link, bit it will take you to the main page if you click that word.

You can warn editors you have done piddling things only with the "This is a minor edit" button. When in doubt, don't use it. Once you are completely happy with your edit, click the label "Save page".

Pro tip 2: you want to recreate a lay-out or other effect you have seen on another page? Go to the page you saw it, open the edit page, copy the whole section, paste it on the edit page you are working on and change the displayed text to what you want. That way, you don't need to worry about formatting codes. Try figuring out how to make the lists preceded by big dots as in experiment 1 and 2 this way.