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To edit a MediaWiki page, click on the "Edit this page" (or just "edit") link at one of its edges. This will bring you to a page with a text box containing the wikitext: the editable source code from which the server produces the webpage.

The edit link of a page showing an old version leads to an edit page with the old wikitext. This allows restoring the old version. However, the edit link of a diff page gives the current wikitext, even if the diff page shows an old version below the table of differences.

After adding to or changing the wikitext it is useful to press "Show preview", which produces the corresponding webpage in your browser but does not make it publicly available yet (not until you press "Save"). Errors in formatting, links, tables, etc., are often much easier to discover from the rendered page than from the raw wikitext.

If you are not satisfied you can make more changes and preview the page as many times as necessary. Then write a short edit summary in the small text field below the edit-box and when finished press "Save". Depending on your system, pressing the "Enter" key while the edit box is not active (i.e., there is no typing cursor in it) may have the same effect as pressing "Save".

You may find it more convenient to copy and paste the text first into your favorite text editor, edit and spell check it there, and then paste it back into your web browser to preview. This way, you can also keep a local backup copy of the pages you have edited. It also allows you to make changes offline, but before you submit your changes, please make sure nobody else has edited the page since you saved your local copy (by checking the page history), otherwise you may accidentally revert someone else's edits. If someone has edited it since you copied the page, you'll have to merge their edits into your new version (you can find their specific edits by using the "diff" feature of the page history). These issues are handled automatically by the MediaWiki software if you edit the page in your web browser. |}

Commenting articles and talk pages

Commenting directly in an article is usually done when making useful or important notes about an article, typically in cases in which such information is subject to change and easily removed. While commenting directly in an article can sometimes be necessary in this way, it is generally not recommended and you should instead leave your comments on the discussion page of the article or edit the information into the article directly.
Leaving a comment in an article, on a discussion page, or in a user's talk page, is most often done by creating a new sub-section (or sub-subsection) and then typing out your comment below it, followed by leaving your signature. Often times you'll want to comment on another user's comment(s). To do so, simply begin your own comment with a colon ( : ). Using multiple colons in succession will result in a further indented comment. This essentially formats a discussion, or succession of comments, into a branch-like structure.

After you've left a comment, especially on a user's talk page, it's always polite to leave your name and the date/time. There are a few ways to format your signature in this way, but the most common is to leave two hyphens ( -- ) four tildes ( ~~~~ ) at the very end of your comment, which provides your user name plus the date and time. Further examples of options for signatures are provided in the Links, URLs, Signatures section of this article.

Dummy edit and null edit

If the wikitext is not changed no edit will be recorded and the edit summary is discarded.

A dummy edit is a change in wikitext that has no effect on the rendered page, such as changing the number of newlines at some position from 0 to 1 or from 2 to 3 or conversely (changing from 1 to 2 makes a difference, see below). This allows an edit summary, and is useful for correcting a previous edit summary, or an accidental marking of a previous edit as "minor" (see below).

To refresh the cache of some item in the database a lesser kind of dummy edit, called a null edit, may be sufficient: one that does not cause any change in the wikitext, and no entry in the history, in Recent Changes, etc.: this can be done by opening the edit window and saving; a section edit is sufficient.

Minor edits

When editing a page, a logged-in user has the option of flagging the edit as a "minor edit". This feature is important, because users can choose to hide minor edits in their view of the Recent Changes page, to keep the volume of edits down to a manageable level.

When to use this is somewhat a matter of personal preference. The rule of thumb is that an edit of a page that consists of spelling corrections, formatting, and minor rearranging of text should be flagged as a "minor edit". A major edit is basically something that makes the entry worth revisiting for somebody who wants to watch the article rather closely. So any "real" change, even if it is a single word, should be flagged as a "major edit".

The reason for not allowing a user who is not logged in to mark an edit as minor is that vandalism could then be marked as a minor edit, in which case it would stay unnoticed longer. This limitation is another reason to log in.

The wiki markup

In the left column of the table below, you can see what effects are possible. In the right column, you can see how those effects were achieved. In other words, to make text look like it looks in the left column, type it in the format you see in the right column.

You may want to keep this page open in a separate browser window for reference. If you want to try out things without danger of doing any harm, you can do so in the Sandbox.

Sections, paragraphs, lists and lines

What it looks like What you type

Start your sections with header lines:

New section



== New section ==

=== Subsection ===

==== Sub-subsection ====


A single newline has no effect on the layout.

But an empty line starts a new paragraph.

(<p> disables this paragraphing until </p> or the end of the section)

(in Cologne Blue two newlines and a div tag give just one newline; in the order newline, div tag, newline, the result is two newlines)

A single
has no
effect on the

But an empty line
starts a new paragraph.
You can break lines
without starting a new paragraph.

Sufficient as wikitext code is <br>, the XHTML code <br /> is not needed, the system produces this code.

You can break lines<br>
without starting a new paragraph.
  • Lists are easy to do:
    • start every line with a star
      • more stars means deeper levels
  • A newline
  • in a list

marks the end of the list.

  • Of course
  • you can
  • start again.
* Lists are easy to do:
** start every line with a star
*** more stars means deeper levels
*A newline
*in a list  
marks the end of the list.
*Of course
*you can
*start again.

  1. Numbered lists are also good
    1. very organized
    2. easy to follow
  2. A newline
  3. in a list

marks the end of the list.

  1. New numbering starts
  2. with 1.
# Numbered lists are also good
## very organized
## easy to follow
#A newline
#in a list  
marks the end of the list.
#New numbering starts
#with 1.
  • You can even do mixed lists
    1. and nest them
      • like this
        or have newlines
        inside lists
* You can even do mixed lists
*# and nest them
*#* like this<br>or have newlines<br>inside lists
  • You can also
    • break lines
      inside lists
      like this
* You can also
**break lines<br>inside lists<br>like this
Definition list 
list of definitions
the item's definition
; Definition list : list
of definitions
; item : the item's definition
A colon indents a line or paragraph.

A manual newline starts a new paragraph.

  • This is primarily for displayed material, but is also used for discussion on Talk pages.
: A colon indents a line or paragraph.
A manual newline starts a new paragraph.
IF a line of plain text starts with a space THEN
  it will be formatted exactly
    as typed;
  in a fixed-width font;
  lines won't wrap;
this is useful for:
  * pasting preformatted text;
  * algorithm descriptions;
  * program source code
  * ASCII art;
  * chemical structures;

WARNING If you make it wide, you force the whole page to be wide and hence less readable. Never start ordinary lines with spaces.

(see also below)
 IF a line of plain text starts with a space THEN
   it will be formatted exactly
     as typed;
   in a fixed-width font;
   lines won't wrap;
 this is useful for:
   * pasting preformatted text;
   * algorithm descriptions;
   * program source code
   * ASCII horizontal dividing lineart;
   * chemical structures;
Centered text.
<center>Centered text.</center>
A horizontal dividing line: above

and below.

(However, in most cases a section header is more useful. The horizontal dividing line should only be used if what follows is logically part of the same section; otherwise that part would be hidden in the TOC.)
A horizontal dividing line: above
and below. 

Summarizing the effect of a single newline: no effect in general, but it ends a list item or indented part; thus changing some text into a list item, or indenting it, is more cumbersome if it contains newlines, they have to be removed.

Links, URLs, Signatures

What it looks like What you type
Simon is reading the Main Page.
  • First letter of target is automatically capitalized.
  • Internally spaces are automatically represented as underscores (typing an underscore has the same effect as typing a space, but is not recommended).

Thus the link above is to, which is the page with the name "Main Page".

Simon is reading the [[Main Page]].

Link to a section on a page, e.g. Help:Editing#Minor_edits; when section linking does not work the link is treated as link to the page, i.e. to the top; this applies for:

  • links to non-existent sections
  • links in redirects
  • interwiki links
Link target and link label are different: genius, genius2.

(This is called a piped link).

Same target, different name:
[[User:JasonR|genius]], [[User:Scjessey|genius]]<sup>2</sup>
Endings are blended into the link: E-mails
Endings are blended
into the link: [[:Category:E-mail|E-mail]]s

Automatically hide namespace: Village pump.

The server fills in the part after the | when you save the page. Next time you open the edit box you will see the expanded piped link. A preview interprets the abbreviated form correctly, but does not expand it yet in the edit box. Press Save and again Edit, and you will see the expanded version. The same applies for the following feature.

Automatically hide namespace:
[[Wikipedia:Village pump|Village pump]].

It's always polite to "sign" your comments.

  • Three tildes displays just your user name: Mousee
  • Four tildes displays your user name plus the date/time: Mousee 08:50, 21 April 2007 (PDT)
  • Five tildes displays just the date/time: 08:50, 21 April 2007 (PDT)
  • Unsigned comments: —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mousee (talkcontribs) .

<p>It's always polite to "sign" your comments.</p>
* Three tildes displays just your user name: ~~~
* Four tildes displays your user name plus the date/time: ~~~~
* Five tildes displays just the date/time: ~~~~~
* Unsigned comments: {{unsigned|Mousee}}

Character formatting

What it looks like What you type

Emphasized text
Strong emphasis
Even stronger emphasis

''Emphasized text''
'''Strong emphasis'''
'''''Even stronger emphasis'''''

A typewriter font for monospace text or for computer code: int main()

  • For semantic reasons, using <code> where applicable is preferable to using <tt>.
A typewriter font for <tt>monospace text</tt>
or for computer code: <code>int main()</code>

You can use small text for captions.

You can use <small>small text</small> for captions.

Better stay away from big text, unless it's within small text.

Better stay away from <big>big text</big>, unless
<small> it's <big>within</big> small</small> text.

You can strike out deleted material and underline new material.

You can also mark deleted material and inserted material using logical markup. For backwards compatibility better combine this potentially ignored new logical with the old physical markup.

  • When editing regular Wikipedia articles, just make your changes and do not mark them up in any special way.
  • When editing your own previous remarks in talk pages, it is sometimes appropriate to mark up deleted or inserted material.
You can <s>strike out deleted material</s>
and <u>underline new material</u>.

You can also mark <del>deleted material</del> and
<ins>inserted material</ins> using logical markup.
For backwards compatibility better combine this
potentially ignored new <del>logical</del> with
the old <s><del>physical</del></s> markup.

Suppressing interpretation of markup:
Link → (''to'') the [[Wikipedia FAQ]]

  • Used to show literal data that would otherwise have special meaning.
  • Escape all wiki markup, including that which looks like HTML tags.
  • Does not escape HTML character references.
  • To escape HTML character references such as &rarr; use &amp;rarr;

<nowiki>Link &rarr; (''to'') 
the [[Wikipedia FAQ]]</nowiki>

Commenting page source:
not shown when viewing page

  • Used to leave comments in a page for future editors.
  • Note that most comments should go on the appropriate Talk page.

<!-- comment here -->

Diacritical marks:
Ú Û Ü ß à á
â ã ä å æ ç
è é ê ë ì í
î ï ñ ò ó ô
œ õ ö ø ù ú
û ü ÿ

&Agrave; &Aacute; &Acirc; &Atilde; &Auml; &Aring; 
&AElig; &Ccedil; &Egrave; &Eacute; &Ecirc; &Euml; 
&Igrave; &Iacute; &Icirc; &Iuml; &Ntilde; &Ograve; 
&Oacute; &Ocirc; &Otilde; &Ouml; &Oslash; &Ugrave; 
&Uacute; &Ucirc; &Uuml; &szlig; &agrave; &aacute; 
&acirc; &atilde; &auml; &aring; &aelig; &ccedil; 
&egrave; &eacute; &ecirc; &euml; &igrave; &iacute;
&icirc; &iuml; &ntilde; &ograve; &oacute; &ocirc; 
&oelig; &otilde; &ouml; &oslash; &ugrave; &uacute; 
&ucirc; &uuml; &yuml;

¿ ¡ § ¶
† ‡ • – —
‹ › « »
‘ ’ “ ”

&iquest; &iexcl; &sect; &para;
&dagger; &Dagger; &bull; &ndash; &mdash;
&lsaquo; &rsaquo; &laquo; &raquo;
&lsquo; &rsquo; &ldquo; &rdquo;

Commercial symbols:
™ © ® ¢ € ¥
£ ¤

&trade; &copy; &reg; &cent; &euro; &yen; 
&pound; &curren;

x1 x2 x3 or
x₀ x₁ x₂ x₃ x₄
x₅ x₆ x₇ x₈ x₉

x1 x2 x3 or
x⁰ x¹ x² x³ x⁴
x⁵ x⁶ x⁷ x⁸ x⁹

  • The latter methods of sub/superscripting cannot be used in the most general context, as they rely on Unicode support which may not be present on all users' machines. For the 1-2-3 superscripts, it is nevertheless preferred when possible (as with units of measurement) because most browsers have an easier time formatting lines with it.

ε0 = 8.85 × 10−12 C² / J m.

x<sub>1</sub> x<sub>2</sub> x<sub>3</sub> or
x&#8320; x&#8421; x&#8322; x&#8323; x&#8324;
x&#8325; x&#8326; x&#8327; x&#8328; x&#8329;
x<sup>1</sup> x<sup>2</sup> x<sup>3</sup> or
x&#8304; x&sup1; x&sup2; x&sup3; x&#8308;
x&#8309; x&#8310; x&#8311; x&#8312; x&#8313;

&epsilon;<sub>0</sub> =
8.85 &times; 10<sup>&minus;12</sup>
C&sup2; / J m.

Greek characters:
α β γ δ ε ζ
η θ ι κ λ μ ν
ξ ο π ρ σ ς
τ υ φ χ ψ ω

&alpha; &beta; &gamma; &delta; &epsilon; &zeta; 
&eta; &theta; &iota; &kappa; &lambda; &mu; &nu; 
&xi; &omicron; &pi; &rho; &sigma; &sigmaf;
&tau; &upsilon; &phi; &chi; &psi; &omega;
&Gamma; &Delta; &Theta; &Lambda; &Xi; &Pi; 
&Sigma; &Phi; &Psi; &Omega;

Mathematical characters:
∫ ∑ ∏ √ − ± ∞
≈ ∝ ≡ ≠ ≤ ≥
× · ÷ ∂ ′ ″
∇ ‰ ° ∴ ℵ ø
∈ ∉ ∩ ∪ ⊂ ⊃ ⊆ ⊇
¬ ∧ ∨ ∃ ∀ ⇒ ⇐ ⇓ ⇑ ⇔
→ ↓ ↑ ← ↔

&int; &sum; &prod; &radic; &minus; &plusmn; &infin;
&asymp; &prop; &equiv; &ne; &le; &ge;
&times; &middot; &divide; &part; &prime; &Prime;
&nabla; &permil; &deg; &there4; &alefsym; &oslash;
&isin; &notin; &cap; &cup; &sub; &sup; &sube; &supe;
&not; &and; &or; &exist; &forall; &rArr; &lArr; &dArr; &uArr; &hArr;
&rarr; &darr; &uarr; &larr; &harr;

Page protection

In a few cases the link labeled "Edit this page" is replaced by the text "Protected page" (or equivalents in the language of the project). In that case the page cannot be edited.

Separating edits

When moving or copying a piece of text within a page or from another page, and also making other edits, it is useful to separate these edits. This way the diff function can be usefully applied for checking these other edits.


Usually added at bottom of page code. Use:

[[category:name of category]]

For multiple categories, list each category separately:

[[category:name of category1]] [category:name of category 2]] ...

Speedy Deletion

If you want to propose a page for speedy deletion, insert {{Delete|reason}} at the top of the page. This places the page in Category:Deleteme.

Criteria for speedy deletion could include:

  1. No meaningful content or history. This includes test edits (eg, "asdf" or "Can I really create a page here?"), obvious nonsense, corrupt images, legitimately blanked pages, or simple vandalism.
  2. Reposted content previously deleted according to this deletion policy, unless it was significantly rewritten in a manner that calls into question the deletion reason.
  3. Redundant: A page that is identical to another, with no significant differences between them.
  4. Copyright violation: Content which is a clear and proven copyright violation, or content previously deleted as a copyright violation.
  5. Author's request: Deletion per request of the author, if the author is the only significant contributor, the request is not in bad faith, and the content is not to the benefit of the Wiki.
  6. Pages clearly irrelevant to Dreamhost, unless they have some other redeeming value acceptable to Dreamhost.

External Links