Help:Editing a Page
This help article will guide you as you edit in the Wiki. See Contributor Help for more help articles.
General Editing Basics
All registered users of FamilySearch Wiki are invited to edit or add to Wiki articles.
Watch a <a href="https://help.familysearch.org/kb/tutorials/en/fsdemos/FS_index.html?v=https://help.familysearch.org/kb/tutorials/en/fsdemos/Wiki-Edit">video demonstration</a> of how to do basic editing.
There are a few things you should know about editing:
- You must be signed-in to edit. If you haven't previously registered, <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:Registration Demo">click here</a> to register.
- To edit a page in the Wiki, you must click on the Edit This Page button on the top right of the page. You may also edit only one section of a page by clicking on the Edit button to the top right of the section heading.
- You may <a href="Share your knowledge by adding to the Wiki">add to or edit a page</a> in the Wiki. You may also <a href="Help:Copying and Pasting into a Wiki Page">copy and paste into a Wiki page</a>.
- You must click the Save page button at the bottom of the editing page to save your work.
- You may sometimes encounter "disgruntled" or even "mean" people on the Wiki. Please read the Wiki <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:Policies">policies</a> and <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:Guiding Principles">guiding principles</a> to learn how to deal with such situations or receive help in the <a href="http://forums.familysearch.org/en/forumdisplay.php?f=56">FamilySearch Wiki Forums</a>.
Editing rules, editing conventions, and formatting
The number one rule of wiki editing, is to be bold. Dive in and make changes. Other people can correct mistakes later, so have confidence, and give it a try! 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.
When you need to use some type of formatting e.g. new headings or bold text, you do this using wiki syntax. See <a _fcknotitle="true" href="Help:Formatting">Help:Formatting</a> for some of the common types of formatting used.
Before you edit an article
Before you edit your first article, you should:
- <a href="Help:How to Register with the Wiki">Register with the Wiki</a>
- <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:Guiding Principles">Review Wiki guiding principles</a>
- <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:Policies">Understand Wiki publishing policies</a>
Steps in Editing an Article
1. Sign in to the FamilySearch website. If you haven't previously registered, <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:Registration Demo">click here</a> to register.
2. Search for the article you want to edit. In the search box, type the name or title of the article you want to edit. Press the Search button. Otherwise, <a href="Create a page not linked from an existing page">learn how to create a new article</a>.
3. After clicking the Search button, you will see the search results page. Find the article you want to edit and click on the title to open the article.
4. Click Edit in the navigation bar page options, Edit This Page at the top of the page, or theEdit Icon out to the side of the heading. After clicking, the editing box will open.
<img src="/learn/wiki/en/images/7/71/Edit_1.png" _fck_mw_filename="Edit 1.png" alt="" />
5. In the editing box, begin typing new text or editing existing text in the article. You may use the toolbar at the top of the editing window to format text, <a href="Create an internal link">insert links to other pages</a>, <a href="Create an external link">insert links to other websites</a>, and <a href="Help:Tables">add tables</a>. For more details about how you can edit, <a href="Help:FCK Editor">learn more about the editing toolbar.</a> You may also <a href="Help:Submitting images for approval">insert images or files into an article</a>.
6. While editing, use the Show Preview button frequently. This allows you to review the edits and changes you've made and prevents your wiki session from timing out after twenty minutes of no activity. If your session times out, you will lose all the work you've done.
<img src="/learn/wiki/en/images/7/75/Preview.png" _fck_mw_filename="Preview.png" alt="" />
We recommend you Save your work periodically, especially before you start reading reference material, after you enter a paragraph, or in stages while working on a time intensive task such as creating a table or list.
7. After making any changes, be sure to summarize your changes in the Summary field below the editor window, and then save your work.
<img src="/learn/wiki/en/images/e/e4/Summary.png" _fck_mw_filename="Summary.png" alt="" />
To save, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save page button. WARNING: If you navigate away from your article without saving, your work will be lost. This includes clicking on links in the preview mode, and clicking the back button on your browser after saving. Remember, after saving the page, you may click the Edit link again to add or edit more material.
Before you save a change, you can enter a short note in the Summary: box describing your changes. Don't worry too much about this, or spend too much time thinking about it, but try to give a little description of what you just changed e.g. "fixed typo" or "added more information about sunflowers".
The summary gets stored alongside your edit, and allows people to <a href="Help:Tracking changes">track changes</a> in the wiki more effectively.
<img src="/learn/wiki/en/images/e/e4/Summary.png" _fck_mw_filename="Summary.png" alt="" />
It's a good idea to use the “Show preview” button to see what your change will look like, before you save it. This is also related to <a href="Help:Tracking changes">tracking changes</a> because every time you save, this is displayed to others as a separate change. This isn't something to worry about too much, but it's good to get into the habit of eliminating mistakes in your own work, by using a preview before saving, rather than saving several minor corrections afterwards. Be sure to click on the Save button at the bottom of the page after you preview or you will lose your edits.
Be sure to save all of your edits by clicking on the Save button under the bottom left hand corner of the edit box. If you are doing extensive editing, it is a good idea to save your work periodically so you don't risk losing it. Remember, previewing your changes does not save them, you must still click on the Save button.
Things you can do while editing articles
- You can <a href="Help:How to Convert a Microsoft Office Document into Wiki Format">import text from other sources</a>
- You can <a href="Help:Adding Links">add an internal link to a page within the Wiki</a>
- You can <a href="Help:Adding Links">add an external link to a page at another Web site</a>
- You can <a href="Help:Adding Links">create a new page linked from an existing page</a>
- You can <a href="Copying and Pasting into a Wiki Page">copy and paste</a> text into the Wiki
- You can <a href="Insert an uploaded image in an article">insert images into articles</a> after <a href="Help:Submitting images for approval">images are approved</a>
- You can <a href="Help:Tables">add tables to pages</a>
- You can <a href="Help:How to add citations">add citations to pages</a>
For more information on contributing to the FamilySearch Research Wiki, please visit the <a href="Help:Contributor Help">Edit and Contribute Page</a>
Wiki Editing is as Easy as 1-2-3!
- Before you can edit, you must first sign in. If you haven't previously registered, <a href="FamilySearch Wiki:Registration Demo">click here</a> to register.
- To see how this works, edit your own User Page. Access your User Page on the Navigation bar by scrolling down and clicking on your Username under "Personal tools."
- When your User Page is displayed, click Edit near the top of the side bar. This will open the Rich Text Editor window. It will have the toolbar pictured above along the top of the editing window.
- Select the Heading 2 font in the "Format" drop down menu on the left side of the toolbar.
- Type a heading title for the first section of your User Page, such as "John Doe's User Page" and press your Enter key. The "Format" will automatically change to the "default" format of Normal.
- Add some information to your user page beneath the heading you created.
- Click Save page at the bottom of the screen to save your work.
Congratulations! You have just created your first Wiki page!
Getting Started Browsing the Wiki User Page and Preferences Resources and Lists Guiding Principles and Policies Community Center Technical Info Questions? Volunteer to Help General Editing
Advanced Editing: Advanced Editing with Wikitext • Copy Documents Into the Wiki • Copy Spreadsheets Into the Wiki
Editing Tools: Wiki Cheatsheet • Wiki Terminology • Abbreviations • Wiki Markup
Practice Editing: Practice in Your Sandbox • Simple Edits You Can Make
Creating a Page Links and Citations Images and Files Tables and Templates Renaming and Redirecting Categorizing