Help:Editing a Page

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Help-content.png This help article will guide you as you edit in the Wiki. See Contributor Help for more help articles.

Wiki Editing is as Easy as 1-2-3!

All registered users of FamilySearch Wiki are invited to edit or add to Wiki articles.

Editing rules, editing conventions, and formatting

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.

Before you edit your first article

  • If you haven't previously registered, click here to register.
  • Sign in to the FamilySearch website.
  • Go to the article you want to edit.

At some point you will also want to review the Wiki guiding principles and the Wiki publishing policies.


1. To edit anywhere on the page, click Edit This Page at the top right or click the Edit in the navigation boxes to the right. But it might be easier to edit just one section, then click the Edit Icon to the right of the section heading. After any of the above clicks, the editing box will open.

Edit 1.png

2. Click in the editing box, where you want to make a change. Adding text in this wiki is done just like any word processor, such as Word or Open Office. Deleting text is the same also. Most all the techniques you learned about using the mouse or the arrow keys also apply

  • For more information on contributing to the FamilySearch Research Wiki, please visit the Edit and Contribute Page
  • Also you might see wording with marks other than strictly text. If you look closely they usually come in pairs, one before a word or phrase and a similar one after. This pairing of marks around that word or phrase sets it off for something special, such as making it bold or making it a link to somewhere else. You can edit all this as well, see Common types of formatting used.


3. 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.


Edit Summary

4. 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 simple little 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.


5. 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.


Congratulations! You have just edited a Wiki page!

Editing made Easy.jpg