Anyone who is new to adding or editing information in the FamilySearch Wiki can be in for an eye opening experience, especially if you are used to working with rich-text editors like Microsoft Word or WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors like Adobe Dreamweaver. This is especially true for anyone trying to import information from an existing document or from a spreadsheet.
The formatting syntax used in the wiki is often confusing and looks like a foreign language to those of us new to wiki editing. Fortunately, early in 2010 Microsoft released an add-in that allows you to save your Microsoft Word documents straight into WikiText or MediaWiki.
If you would like to give it a try, here are instructions for downloading Micorosoft’s Wiki add-in:
- Download the “Microsoft Office Word Add-in For MediaWiki” from the Microsoft Download Center, and install it.
- Save your document as a “MediaWiki (*.txt)” file type.
- Copy the text from the (*.txt) file into your Wiki page
After you have downloaded the add-in, create and format your document in Word, just like before:
- Select File and then – > Save As.
- Under file types select MediaWiki.
- Once this is done, Word should convert and save the document in Wiki style markup. It’s important to remember that this add-in works with Microsoft Office Word 2007 and Office 2010 only.
My results using it have been mixed. I haven’t been able to make it handle an image and I get an error message. It also doesn’t handle end notes or footnotes. I get an error message there also. One other problem I’ve seen is that some text is enclosed by <nowiki> and </nowiki> tags.
That being said, if you are unfamiliar with wikitext, and if you are working on a simple article or edit, Microsoft’s add-in for MediaWiki could be well worth your time.