Help:Editing a Page
All registered users of FamilySearch Wiki are invited to edit or add to Wiki articles.
Editing in the Wiki
- The number one rule of wiki editing, is to be bold. Dive in and make changes. So have confidence, and give it a try! You can correct mistakes later. There can be all kinds of editing conventions, rules, and philosophy governing the editing of wiki pages, but the "be bold" rule overrides these!
- In general try to write clearly and concisely and make sure you are always aiming to do something which improves the wiki contents. An edit might be to contribute whole paragraphs or pages full of information, or it could be as simple as fixing a typo or spelling mistake.
- It is recommended that you first practice by making small simple edits. Then move on to larger edits or adding new content. Later you might decide to create your own article.
- You may sometimes encounter "disgruntled" or even "mean" people on the Wiki. If you do, please read the Wiki policies and guiding principles to learn how to deal with such situations.
There are two methods in editing in the Wiki:
- Visual Editor - [Edit] does not require any programming language knowledge.
- Wikitext Editor - [Edit source] requires a knowledge of Wikitext programming language.
Accessing Visual Editor
- To access VIsual Editor, you can either click on  in the tool bar at the top of this page which allows you access to the entire page to edit.
- Or you can click on  along side each of the headers to only edit the material in that section.
When you click on  the whole page or section will appear without the  or [edit source] links appearing. The text on the page can now be edited as you would in any word processing program.
- Some of the material on a page might be templates.
- Templates cannot be edited with Visual Editor on the page they appear.
- You can only edit templates with Wikitext or HTML.
- Tables can be edited in Visual Editor, but are just a bit more involved.
- For our example, we will assume that you clicked on  next to the headers to gain access to the Visual Editor.
- When you click on a table, two light blue edit boxes with an arrow pointing to the area you want to edit on top and on the right side appear
- By double clicking on the text, itself, a blinking cursor will appear. You can now edit.
- By clicking on the arrow in the lightblue edit box you can insert rows and columns or delete them as well.
Preview changes before saving
- It's a good idea to use the “Show preview” button to see what your change will look like.
- This gives you a chance to catch your mistakes before it's saved or to see other changes that need to be made.
Before you save a change, you should enter a short note in the Summary: box describing your changes.
No need to write down every detail, just try to give a very brief description of the changes you made e.g. "fixed typo" or "added more information about sunflowers". This summary gets stored alongside your edit history, and allows others to track changes in the wiki more effectively. For more information on this, see Edit Summary.
It is recommend you Save your work periodically, especially if working on a time intensive task. After about 15 minutes of no activity, you will be automatically logged out. Therefore you will lose all the work since the last time that a save was done. If you save often, this will not happen.