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CONTENTS · Getting Started · Editing STOWiki · Formatting Guidelines · What's an Admin?
See MediaWiki  Meta-Wiki Help for basic MediaWiki usage!

Editing is the process of changing a wiki page. Any unprotected article on STOWiki is editable by anyone who has logged in. Before editing, make sure your changes are in line with the STOWiki's policies and guidelines and provide some constructive addition to the article. If you see information that is clearly incorrect, feel free to correct it by editing the page. Wikis survive only by the contributions of others, and the more edits you make, the more you are helping STOWiki grow.

The following will give you some basic tools to use when editing pages.

Basic editing[edit source]

To edit a MediaWiki page, click on the  edit  link at the top of the article. This will bring you to a page with a text box containing the wikitext: the editable source code from which the server produces the webpage. For the special codes, see below.

After adding to or changing the wikitext it is useful to press "Preview", which produces the corresponding webpage in your browser but does not make it publicly available yet (not until you press "Save"). 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". Depending on your browser, 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".

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. However, before you submit your changes, please make sure nobody else has edited the page since you saved your local copy by clicking on the History tab. 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, which will warn you if someone has edited the page since you pressed  edit .

Dummy edit[edit source]

A dummy edit is a change in wikitext that has no effect on the rendered page, such as changing the number of newlines at some position or adding text that is commented out. 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. As an example, see the following section of Help:Category.

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

Minor edits[edit source]

When editing a page, a logged-in user has the option of flagging the edit as a "minor edit". This feature is important, because users can choose to hide minor edits in their view of the recent changes page, to keep the volume of edits down to a manageable level.

When to use this is a matter of personal preference. The rule of thumb is that an edit of a page that consists of 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 revisiting for somebody who wants to watch the article rather closely. So any "real" change, even if it is a single word, should be flagged as a "major edit".

The wiki markup[edit source]

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 Sandbox.

Sections, paragraphs, lists and lines[edit source]

To edit this table, go to Help:Editing/Basic.


Keep in mind that a newline anywhere by itself has no effect, but it can end a list or indented item. Remove newlines from lists and indented items to keep the formatting from breaking. See also Wikipedia:Don't use line breaks.

Links, URLs[edit source]

To edit this table, go to Help:Editing/Links.


Images[edit source]

To edit this table, go to Help:Editing/Images.


Character formatting[edit source]

To edit this table, go to Help:Editing/Characters.


Additional Information[edit source]

For additional information on Wiki Markup, go to Wikipedia Help:Wiki markup

HTML Tables[edit source]

HTML tables can be quite useful as well. For details on how to use them and discussion about when they are appropriate, see Help:Table.

The finer points of editing[edit source]

Templates[edit source]

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. In order to change text generated by a template, you must edit that template. Sometimes a separate edit link is provided for this purpose. Note that a change to a template effects every page that uses that template, so do so with caution.

See Project:Templates for a list of templates in use in STOWiki, and Help:Template for helpful pointers on editing existing templates and making your own.

Page protection[edit source]

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

Position-independent wikitext[edit source]

Wikitext for which the result does not depend on the position in the wikitext page:

  • Categories
  • __NOTOC__, __FORCETOC__, {{DEFAULTSORT:}}, and a few others

Separating edits[edit source]

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.

See also[edit source]