FamilySearch Wiki:FAQ/Editing

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How do I edit a page?

To edit the whole page at once, click the "edit this page" tab at the top. To edit just one section, click the "edit" link to the right of the section heading. To edit on Wikipedia, you type in a special markup language called wikitext. See the cheat sheet for the most basic wikitext codes. See How to edit a page for more details and examples of making links, using bold and italics, linking to images, and many other things..

How do I make links?

The most basic syntax for making "wikilinks" in the wikitext is surrounding the words of the link with double square brackets: Page name. The "page name" can come from guessing it or from recollection (you should test these before saving the page), from the search box name-completion mechanism (if JavaScript is enabled within your web-browser) or by visiting the target page itself and copying directly from its URL (all the text to the right of wiki/ in the address bar) or title line (It will be the first line, and it will be in large bold font.) The linking mechanism ignores "_" underscores or any extra spaces. See Wikipedia linking for more linking grammar such as when to link and when not to link. See help with links for more linking syntax like the fact that the capital letter that begins a page title will work just fine in lowercase (for your new links that don't begin a sentence).
Use "Show preview" to test the soundness of the new link (unless, of course, you use cut and paste from the target page.) Testing the soundness of your link from a preview may warn about losing unsaved edits, but you will not lose unsaved edits. (See your user preferences to turn off this warning. But, for some versions of the WikEd editor, available from your user preferences "Gadgets" tab, you will lose any unsaved changes.) You simply use the back (left) arrow on your browser to return safely to your edit page after testing the link from a preview pane.
Improving an article's quality with wikilinks opens up a new kind of grammar for online editors, and eventually leads to understanding disambiguation, and redirection. Please note that on Wikipedia, editing any page to see how linking or any wikitext works is always a very safe, and encouraged operation.

How do I rename a page?

Registered users with a little bit of editing history under their belts can move a page; this moves the page content and edit history to a new title, and creates a redirect page at the old title. This method is better than just copying and pasting the content by hand, as it preserves the article's history, as required by Wikipedia's license. Use the "Move this page" tab at the top of the article to perform a move or rename. Once you have moved a page, please click the "What links here" link in the "toolbox" in the left column and fix the links to the old page (which will be labelled as a redirect in the "What links here" list). See How to rename (move) a page for more details.
Images and other media files cannot be renamed. You may save a copy of the file to your computer, rename it there, and then upload it with the new name. Fix any links to the old file to point to the new one, then tag the old file with an "images for speedy deletion" tag: copy the template Template:Isd into the image's description page (filling in the new image name). This will add it to the Files for deletion category, and an admin will delete it for you.

How do I edit a redirect page?

The easiest way to edit the redirected page is to click on the link you see at the top of the page after being redirected: "redirected from ...". For example, if you try to go to the William Jefferson Clinton page, you are redirected to the Bill Clinton page. At the very top of that page, you will see a message: "(redirected from William Jefferson Clinton)", Click on the William Jefferson Clinton link, and you will edit the redirect page. See Redirect.

How long should the ideal article be?

Since one can link from page to page to page, how long should the ideal Wikipedia article be? A good rule of thumb would be fewer than 5000 words, unless the subject really, really needs much exposition. However, for a subject that is that complex, one can link several shorter articles together, using a hub page to tie all articles together.
For example:
History of Foo
Physical Description of Foo
Relationship with Bar
Modern Cultural Icons and Foo
Foo and You: Making it work in the long run
Minimum Foo-Tree, the Gidsy-David Algorithm.
If you write one long article, you will need new headlines anyway. If you write a long paragraph, then you need to add new linebreaks. The structure of Wikipedia is a web, instead of a text that you read linearly.

How do I determine what other users have changed an article?

Click the View History tab to see the revision history of a page. (Your user preferences offers customization.) See Help:Page history.
On the left column of the page, activate the Toolbox's Related changes to see the revision history of an article, classes of articles, or of the entire Wikipedia.
The Toolbox's Special pages offers logs that can report many types of recent changes.

How can I add pictures to pages?

First, you need the right to publish the picture under the GNU Free Documentation License, an acceptable Creative Commons license or another free license. This means that either you created the picture and therefore own the copyright, or it is in the public domain. See Uploading Images and Files

How can I delete uploaded items?

Only Wikipedia:Administrators can delete uploads, but anyone can upload a new item with the same name, thereby replacing the old one.
If you want to nominate an uploaded image for deletion, see Wikipedia:Images for deletion.

How do I describe images?

Click on the image to get the description page. Also, when you upload the file everything you put in the upload summary is placed into the image description page. 

How do I cite sources?

See How to Add Citations.

Why does part of an article not appear, although it's there in the edit screen?

This is normally due to a mistake in the markup for citing sources; look for a <ref> tag without a matching </ref> tag ('closing tag'), and add that closing tag in the appropriate place on the page. For more information, see Wikipedia:Footnotes.

Where can I find information on the markup used in editing, eg <br /> and <noinclude>?

See Wiki markup and Formatting.

How can I insert a new section in an article?

See Help:Section. There is no automated way to create a new section within an article, it is done manually by placing ='s around a heading, for example:
==Original heading==

New (sub) heading

==New main heading==