How to edit a page

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Originally from Wikipedia.

Guidance on style
Manual of Style
Supplementary manuals

Abbreviations
Biographies
Capital letters
Command-line examples
Dashes
Dates and numbers
Headings
Legal
Links
Lists of works
Mathematics
Music
Pronunciation
Spelling
Text formatting
Titles
Trademarks
Writing about fiction

Special article styles

Disambiguation pages
Arabic transliteration
China-related articles
Ethiopia-related articles
Ireland-related articles
Islam-related articles
Japan-related articles
Korea-related articles
Latter Day Saints

Other guidance

How to edit a page
Guide to layout
Captions
Categorization
Categorization of people
Cite sources
Explain jargon
Footnotes
Writing better articles
Lists
Music samples
Naming conventions
Overlinking
Picture tutorial
Proper names
Sections
Sister projects
Technical terms
and definitions

Words to avoid

See also Wikipedia:Introduction, Wikipedia:Tutorial, Help:Editing, Help:Starting a new page

Wikimedia projects are Wikis, which means that anyone can easily edit any unprotected page and save those changes immediately to that page. After your first edit, you are a Wikipedia editor! To request a change to a protected page, you may use any {{Editprotected}} template.

Introduction

Editing most Wikipedia pages is not very difficult at all. Simply click on the "edit this page" tab at the top of a Wikipedia page (or on a section-edit link). This will bring you to a new page with a text box containing the editable text of the original page. If you just want to experiment, please do so in the sandbox, not here. 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, and when you have finished, press the Show preview button to see how your changes will look. You can also see the difference between the page with your edits and the previous version of the page by pressing the "Show changes" button. If you're satisfied with what you see, be bold and press the Save page button. Your changes will immediately be visible to other Wikipedia users.

You can also click on the "Discussion" tab to see the corresponding talk page, which contains comments about the page from other Wikipedia users. Click on the "+" tab to add a new section, or edit the page in the same way as an article page.

You should remember to sign your messages on talk pages and some special-purpose project pages, but you should not sign edits you make to regular articles. In page histories, the MediaWiki software keeps track of which user makes each change.

Minor edits

See Minor edits

Major edits

All editors are encouraged to be bold, but there are several things that a user can do to ensure that major edits are performed smoothly. Before engaging in a major edit, consider discussing proposed changes on the article discussion/talk page. During the edit, if doing so over an extended period of time, the {{inuse}} tag can reduce the likelihood of an edit conflict. Once the edit has been completed, the inclusion of an edit summary will assist in documenting the changes. These steps will all help to ensure that major edits are well received by the Wikipedia community.

Wiki markup

The wiki markup is the syntax system you can use to format a Wikipedia page; please see Help:Editing for details on it, and Help:Wikitext examples for a longer list of the possibilities of Wikitext.

Links and URLs

What it looks like What you type

London has public transport.

  • A link to another Wikipedia article.
  • Internally, the first letter of the target page is automatically capitalized and spaces are represented as underscores (typing an underscore in the link has the same effect as typing a space, but is not recommended).
  • Thus the link above is to the URL en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_transport, which is the Wikipedia article with the name "Public transport". See also Wikipedia:Canonicalization.
London has [[public transport]].

San Francisco also has public transportation.

  • Same target, different name.
  • The "piped" text must be placed first, then the text that will be displayed second.
San Francisco also has
[[public transport|
public transportation]].

San Francisco also has public transportation.

Examples include buses, taxicabs, and streetcars.

  • Endings are blended into the link.
  • Preferred style is to use this instead of a piped link, if possible.
  • Blending can be suppressed by using <nowiki></nowiki> tags, which may be desirable in some instances. Example: a microsecond.
San Francisco also has
[[public transport]]ation.

Examples include [[bus]]es,
 [[taxicab]]s, and [[streetcar]]s.

a [[micro]]<nowiki>second
</nowiki>

See the Wikipedia:Manual of Style.

See the 
[[Wikipedia:Manual of Style]].

Automatically hide stuff in parentheses: kingdom.

Automatically hide namespace: Village Pump.

Or both: Manual of Style

But not: [[Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Links|]]

  • The server fills in the part after the pipe character (|) when you save the page. The next time you open the edit box you will see the expanded piped link. When previewing your edits, you will not see the expanded form until you press Save and Edit again. The same applies to links to sections within the same page (see previous entry).
Automatically hide stuff
in parentheses:
[[kingdom (biology)|]].

Automatically hide namespace: 
[[Wikipedia:Village Pump|]].

Or both:
[[Wikipedia:
Manual of Style (headings)|]]

But not:
[[Wikipedia:
Manual of Style#Links|]]

See Wikipedia:Pipe trick for details.

National sarcasm society is a page that does not exist yet.

  • You can create it by clicking on the link.
  • To create a new page:
    1. Create a link to it on some other (related) page.
    2. Save that page.
    3. Click on the link you just made. The new page will open for editing.
  • For more information, see How to start a page and check out Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Please do not create a new article without linking to it from at least one other article.
[[National sarcasm society]]
is a page 
that does not exist yet.

Wikipedia:How to edit a page is this page.

  • Self links appear as bold text when the article is viewed.
  • Do not use this technique to make the article name bold in the first paragraph; see the Manual of Style.
[[Wikipedia:
How to edit a page]]
is this page.

When adding a comment to a Talk page, you should sign it by adding three tildes to add your user name:

Ben Brockert

or four to add user name plus date/time:

Ben Brockert 00:18, Nov 19, 2004 (UTC)

Five tildes gives the date/time alone:

00:18, Nov 19, 2004 (UTC)
  • The first two both provide a link to your user page.
When adding a comment
to a Talk page,you should 
sign it by adding three tildes
to add your user name:
: ~~~
or four for user name plus 
date/time:
: ~~~~
Five tildes gives the date/time
 alone:
: ~~~~~
  • Redirect one article title to another by placing a directive like the one shown to the right on the first line of the article (such as at a page titled "USA").
  • It is possible to redirect to a section. For example, "#REDIRECT [[United States#History]]" will redirect to the United States page, to the "History" section if it exists.
#REDIRECT [[United States]]
  • Link to a page on the same subject in another language by using a link of the form: [[language code:Title]].
  • It does not matter where you put these links while editing as they will always show up in the same place when you save the page, but placement at the end of the edit box is recommended.
  • Please see Wikipedia:Interlanguage links and the list of languages and codes.
[[fr:Wikipédia:Aide]]

What links here and Related changes pages can be linked as: Special:Whatlinkshere/Wikipedia:How to edit a page and Special:Recentchangeslinked/Wikipedia:How to edit a page

'''What links here''' and
'''Related changes'''
pages can be linked as:
[[Special:Whatlinkshere/
Wikipedia:How to edit a page]]
and
[[Special:Recentchangeslinked/
Wikipedia:How to edit a page]]

A user's Contributions page can be linked as: Special:Contributions/UserName or Special:Contributions/192.0.2.0

A user's '''Contributions''' page
can be linked as:
[[Special:Contributions/UserName]]
or
[[Special:Contributions/192.0.2.0]]
  • To put an article in a Wikipedia:Category, place a link like the one to the right anywhere in the article. As with interlanguage links, it does not matter where you put these links while editing as they will always show up in the same place when you save the page, but placement at the end of the edit box is recommended.
[[Category:Character sets]]
  • To link to a Wikipedia:Category page without putting the article into the category, use an initial colon (:) in the link.
[[:Category:Character sets]]

Linking to other wikis:

  1. Interwiki link: Wiktionary:Hello
  2. Interwiki link without prefix: Hello
  3. Named interwiki link: Wiktionary definition of 'Hello'

Linking to another language's wiktionary:

  1. Wiktionary:fr:bonjour
  2. bonjour
  3. fr:bonjour
Linking to other wikis:
# [[Interwiki]] link:
[[Wiktionary:Hello]]
# Interwiki link without prefix:
[[Wiktionary:Hello|]]
# Named interwiki link:
[[Wiktionary:Hello|
Wiktionary definition 
of 'Hello']]

Linking to another
language's wiktionary:
# [[Wiktionary:fr:bonjour]]
# [[Wiktionary:fr:bonjour|bonjour]]
# [[Wiktionary:fr:bonjour|]]

ISBN 012345678X

ISBN 0-12-345678-X

  • Link to books using their ISBN. This is preferred to linking to a specific online bookstore, because it gives the reader a choice of vendors. However, if one bookstore or online service provides additional free information, such as table of contents or excerpts from the text, then a link to that source will aid the user and is recommended.
  • ISBN links do not need any extra markup, provided you use one of the indicated formats.
ISBN 012345678X

ISBN 0-12-345678-X

Text mentioning RFC 4321 anywhere

Text mentioning RFC 4321 
anywhere

Date formats:

  1. July 20, 1969
  2. 20 July 1969
  3. 1969-07-20
  4. 1969-07-20
  • Link dates in one of the above formats, so that everyone can set their own display order. If logged in, you can use Special:Preferences to change your own date display setting.
  • All of the above dates will appear as "20 July 1969" if you set your date display preference to "15 January 2001", but as "July 20, 1969" if you set it to "January 15, 2001", or as "1969-07-20" if you set it to "2001-01-15".
Date formats:
# [[July 20]], [[1969]]
# [[20 July]] [[1969]]
# [[1969]]-[[07-20]]
# [[1969-07-20]]

Special WP:AO links like this year needing future maintenance

Special [[WP:AO]] links 
like [[As of 2006|this year]]
needing future maintenance

Sound

  • To include links to non-image uploads such as sounds, use a "media" link. For images, see next section.

Some uploaded sounds are listed at Wikipedia:Sound.

[[media:Sg_mrob.ogg|Sound]]

Images

Only images that have been uploaded to Wikipedia can be used. To upload images, use the upload page. You can find the uploaded image on the image list.

What it looks like What you type
A picture:

Wiki.png

A picture: 
[[Image:wiki.png]]
With alternative text:

jigsaw globe

With alternative text:
[[Image:wiki.png|jigsaw globe]]
  • Alternative text, used when a mouse hovers over the image or when the image is loaded in a text-only browser, or when spoken aloud, is strongly encouraged. See Alternate text for images for help on choosing it.
Floating to the right side of the page using the frame attribute and a caption:
Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Floating to the right side of the page using the ''frame'' attribute and a caption:
[[Image:wiki.png|frame|Wikipedia Encyclopedia]]
  • The frame tag automatically floats the image right.
  • The caption is also used as alternate text.
Floating to the right side of the page using the thumb attribute and a caption:
Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Floating to the right side of the page using the ''thumb'' attribute and a caption:
[[Image:wiki.png|thumb|Wikipedia Encyclopedia]]
  • The thumb tag automatically floats the image right.
  • The caption is also used as alternate text.
  • An enlarge icon is placed in the lower right corner.
Floating to the right side of the page without a caption:
Wikipedia Encyclopedia
Floating to the right side of the page
''without'' a caption:
[[Image:wiki.png|right|Wikipedia Encyclopedia]]
A picture resized to 30 pixels...

Wiki.png

A picture resized to 30 pixels...
[[Image:wiki.png|30 px]]
Linking directly to the description page of an image:

Image:wiki.png

Linking directly to the description page
of an image:
[[:Image:wiki.png]]
  • Clicking on an image displayed on a page

(such as any of the ones above) also leads to the description page

Linking directly to an image without displaying it:

Image of the jigsaw globe logo

Linking directly to an image
without displaying it:
[[media:wiki.png|Image of the jigsaw globe logo]]
  • To include links to images shown as links instead of drawn on the page, use a "media" link.
Using the div tag to separate images from text (note that this may allow images to cover text):
Example:
<div style="display:inline;
width:220px; float:right;">
Place images here </div>
Using wiki markup to make a table in which to place a vertical column of images (this helps edit links match headers, especially in Firefox browsers):
Example: {| align=right
|-
| 
Place images here
|}

See the Wikipedia's image use policy as a guideline used on Wikipedia.

For further help on images, including some more versatile abilities, see the topic on Extended image syntax.

Character formatting

What it looks like What you type

Emphasized text
Strong emphasis
Even stronger emphasis

''Emphasized text''
'''Strong emphasis'''
'''''Even stronger emphasis'''''

A typewriter font for monospace text or for computer code: int main()

  • For semantic reasons, using <code> where applicable is preferable to using <tt>.
A typewriter font for <tt>monospace text</tt>
or for computer code: <code>int main()</code>

You can use small text for captions.

You can use <small>small text</small> for captions.

Better stay away from big text, unless it's within small text.

Better stay away from <big>big text</big>, unless
<small> it's <big>within</big> small</small> text.

You can strike out deleted material and underline new material.

You can also mark deleted material and inserted material using logical markup. For backwards compatibility better combine this potentially ignored new logical with the old physical markup.

  • When editing regular Wikipedia articles, just make your changes and do not mark them up in any special way.
  • When editing your own previous remarks in talk pages, it is sometimes appropriate to mark up deleted or inserted material.
You can <s>strike out deleted material</s>
and <u>underline new material</u>.

You can also mark <del>deleted material</del> and
<ins>inserted material</ins> using logical markup.
For backwards compatibility better combine this
potentially ignored new <del>logical</del> with
the old <s><del>physical</del></s> markup.

Suppressing interpretation of markup:
Link → (''to'') the [[Wikipedia FAQ]]

  • Used to show literal data that would otherwise have special meaning.
  • Escape all wiki markup, including that which looks like HTML tags.
  • Does not escape HTML character references.
  • To escape HTML character references such as &rarr; use &amp;rarr;


<nowiki>Link &rarr; (''to'') 
the [[Wikipedia FAQ]]</nowiki>

Commenting page source:
not shown when viewing page

  • Used to leave comments in a page for future editors.
  • Note that most comments should go on the appropriate Talk page.


<!-- comment here -->

Diacritical marks:
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


&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; &sect; &para;
&dagger; &Dagger; &bull; &ndash; &mdash;
&lsaquo; &rsaquo; &laquo; &raquo;
&lsquo; &rsquo; &ldquo; &rdquo;

Commercial symbols:
™ © ® ¢ € ¥
£ ¤


&trade; &copy; &reg; &cent; &euro; &yen; 
&pound; &curren;

Subscripts:
x1 x2 x3 or
x₀ x₁ x₂ x₃ x₄
x₅ x₆ x₇ x₈ x₉

Superscripts:
x1 x2 x3 or
x⁰ x¹ x² x³ x⁴
x⁵ x⁶ x⁷ x⁸ x⁹

  • The latter methods of sub/superscripting cannot be used in the most general context, as they rely on Unicode support which may not be present on all users' machines. For the 1-2-3 superscripts, it is nevertheless 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.

1 hectare = 1 E4 m²


x<sub>1</sub> x<sub>2</sub> x<sub>3</sub> or
<br/>
x&#8320; x&#8421; x&#8322; x&#8323; x&#8324;
<br/>
x&#8325; x&#8326; x&#8327; x&#8328; x&#8329;
x<sup>1</sup> x<sup>2</sup> x<sup>3</sup> or
<br/>
x&#8304; x&sup1; x&sup2; x&sup3; x&#8308;
<br/>
x&#8309; x&#8310; x&#8311; x&#8312; x&#8313;

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

1 [[hectare]] = [[1 E4 m&sup2;]]

Greek characters:
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
Γ Δ Θ Λ Ξ Π
Σ Φ Ψ Ω


&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;
&Gamma; &Delta; &Theta; &Lambda; &Xi; &Pi; 
&Sigma; &Phi; &Psi; &Omega;

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


&int; &sum; &prod; &radic; &minus; &plusmn; &infin;
&asymp; &prop; &equiv; &ne; &le; &ge;
&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; &lArr; &dArr; &uArr; &hArr;
&rarr; &darr; &uarr; &larr; &harr;

\sin x + \ln y
sinx + lny

\mathbf{x} = 0
x = 0

Ordinary text should use wiki markup for emphasis, and should not use <i> or <b>. However, mathematical formulas often use italics, and sometimes use bold, for reasons unrelated to emphasis. Complex formulas should use <math> markup, and simple formulas may use <math>; or <i> and <b>; or '' and '''. According to WikiProject Mathematics, wiki markup is preferred over HTML markup like <i> and <b>.

<math>\sin x + \ln y</math>
sin''x'' + ln''y''

<math>\mathbf{x} = 0</math>
'''x''' = 0

Spacing in simple math formulas:
Obviously, x² ≥ 0 is true when x is a real number.

  • To space things out without allowing line breaks to interrupt the formula, use non-breaking spaces: &nbsp;.


Obviously, ''x''&sup2;&nbsp;&ge;&nbsp;0 is true when ''x'' is a real number.

Complicated formulas:

\sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{x^n}{n!}
  • See Help:Formula for how to use <math>.
  • A formula displayed on a line by itself should probably be indented by using the colon (:) character.


: <math>\sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{x^n}{n!}</math>

(see also: Chess symbols in Unicode)

No or limited formatting - showing exactly what is being typed

A few different kinds of formatting will tell the Wiki to display things as you typed them - what you see, is what you get!

What it looks like What you type
<nowiki> tags

The nowiki tag ignores [[Wiki]] ''markup''. It reformats text by removing newlines and multiple spaces. It still interprets special characters: →

<nowiki>
The nowiki tag ignores [[Wiki]] ''markup''.
It reformats text by removing newlines    and multiple spaces.
It still interprets special characters: &rarr;
</nowiki>
<pre> tags
The pre tag ignores [[Wiki]] ''markup''.
It also doesn't     reformat text.
It still interprets special characters: →
<pre>
The pre tag ignores [[Wiki]] ''markup''.
It also doesn't     reformat text.
It still interprets special characters: &rarr;
</pre>
Leading spaces

Leading spaces are another way to preserve formatting.

Putting a space at the beginning of each line
stops the text   from being reformatted. It still
interprets Wiki markup and special
characters: →
Leading spaces are another way to preserve formatting.

 Putting a space at the beginning of each line
 stops the text   from being reformatted. It still
 interprets [[Wiki]] ''markup'' and special
 characters: &rarr;

Table of contents

At the current status of the wiki markup language, having at least four headers on a page triggers the TOC to appear in front of the first header (or after introductory sections). Putting __TOC__ anywhere forces the TOC to appear at that point (instead of just before the first header). Putting __NOTOC__ anywhere forces the TOC to disappear. See also compact TOC for alphabet and year headings.

Tables

There are two ways to build tables:

  • in special Wiki-markup (see Help:Table)
  • with the usual HTML elements: <table>, <tr>, <td> or <th>.

For the latter, and a discussion on when tables are appropriate, see Wikipedia:When to use tables.

Variables

(See also Help:Variable)

Code Effect
{{CURRENTWEEK}} 48
{{CURRENTDOW}} 5
{{CURRENTMONTH}} 11
{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} November
{{CURRENTMONTHNAMEGEN}} November
{{CURRENTDAY}} 28
{{CURRENTDAYNAME}} Friday
{{CURRENTYEAR}} 2014
{{CURRENTTIME}} 23:28
{{NUMBEROFARTICLES}} 44,389
{{NUMBEROFUSERS}} 7,003,531
{{PAGENAME}} How to edit a page
{{NAMESPACE}}
{{REVISIONID}} 5873672
{{localurl:pagename}} /wiki/Pagename
{{localurl:Wikipedia:Sandbox|action=edit}} //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbox?action=edit
{{fullurl:pagename}} //meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Pagename
{{fullurl:pagename|query_string}} //meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pagename&query_string
{{SERVER}} //meta.wikimedia.org
{{ns:1}} Talk
{{ns:2}} User
{{ns:3}} User talk
{{ns:4}} Meta
{{ns:5}} Meta talk
{{ns:6}} File
{{ns:7}} File talk
{{ns:8}} MediaWiki
{{ns:9}} MediaWiki talk
{{ns:10}} Template
{{ns:11}} Template talk
{{ns:12}} Help
{{ns:13}} Help talk
{{ns:14}} Category
{{ns:15}} Category talk
{{SITENAME}} Meta

NUMBEROFARTICLES is the number of pages in the main namespace which contain a link and are not a redirect, in other words number of articles, stubs containing a link, and disambiguation pages.

CURRENTMONTHNAMEGEN is the genitive (possessive) grammatical form of the month name, as used in some languages; CURRENTMONTHNAME is the nominative (subject) form, as usually seen in English.

In languages where it makes a difference, you can use constructs like {{grammar:case|word}} to convert a word from the nominative case to some other case. For example, {{grammar:genitive|{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}}}} means the same as {{CURRENTMONTHNAMEGEN}}.

Templates

The MediaWiki software used by Wikipedia has support for templates. This means standardized text chunks (such as boilerplate text) can be inserted into articles. For example, typing {{stub}} will appear as "This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it." when the page is saved. See Wikipedia:Template messages for the complete list. Other commonly used templates are: {{disambig}} for disambiguation pages, {{spoiler}} for spoiler warnings and {{sectstub}} like an article stub but for a section. There are many subject-specific stubs for example: {{Geo-stub}}, {{Hist-stub}}, and {{Linux-stub}}. For a complete list of stubs see Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting/Stub types.

More information on editing wiki pages

Wikimedia Meta-Wiki

Participate:

This box: view · talk · edit

You may also want to learn about: