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Wikipedia Help Directory


This is a descriptive directory of Wikipedia's informative, instructional and consultation pages. Press Ctrl+F or +F to search topics on this page. You can also browse help related pages using the "search box" to the right. For the comprehensive help page listings, try the menu at Help:Contents/Browse. To experiment with editing, anyone may use the sandbox. See also: Editor's index and the Department directory.

General information

About Wikipedia

Contributor information

Supplemental help systems

Frequently asked questions

  • FAQ main page - questions about using and contributing.
    • Administration - answers some questions related to Administrators.
    • Article subjects - what to do about a specific articles.
    • Categories - about using Wikipedia's categories.
    • Contributing - answers to questions commonly asked by contributors.
    • Copyright - four most commonly asked questions about copyright.
    • Editing - answers the most common questions about editing.
    • Forking - how do I download and use Wikipedia content.
    • IRC (live chat) - about "chat rooms" - real-time discussions.
    • Organizations - editing without displaying a conflict of interest.
    • Problems - solving problems you may encounter when browsing or editing.
    • Readers - addresses concerns and questions readers may have.
    • Schools - questions teachers, librarians and administrators might have.
    • Technical - answers some questions related to the technical workings.
    • (Miscellaneous) - questions that do not fit into any of the others above.

Quick introductions

  • Main introduction - quick overview of what Wikipedia is all about.
    • Exploring - finding your way around Wikipedia.
    • Editing - the basic pages on how to contribute to Wikipedia.
  • Images - introduction to adding images to Wikipedia.
  • Manual of Style - introduction to the style guide for articles.
  • Media - how to add media to Wikipedia.
  • Navigating - Wikipedia is a big place.
  • Policies - how to apply policies and guidelines.
  • Sourcing - why references are so important.
  • Tables - how an where tables are used and how to make them.
  • Talk pages - how to communicate within Wikipedia.

Short tutorials

Training modules

Built-in tours

  • Help Guided tours - providing tooltip-like tours of the Wikipedia experience.
  • Wikipedia GettingStarted - feature, which provides a "getting started" page to newly registered Wikipedians. Immediately after creating an account, users see the page Special:GettingStarted, which invites them to try out editing by improving one of the pages presented.

The Missing Manual

  • The Missing Manual - comprehensive how-to guide (book) that explains everything about contributing for novice to expert editors.
  • Introduction - originally written in 2008 by John Broughto, the Manual has since been expanded and updated by many others.
Part I - Editing, Creating, and Maintaining Articles
  • First edit - explains what you see when you look at an article in Wikipedia's editing window and how to practice.
  • Sourcing - you will need to learn some technical matters.
  • Account setup & personal space - having an account actually protects your privacy better than editing anonymously.
  • Creating articles - get a much better sense of what articles in Wikipedia should be like.
  • Page history & reverting - as an editor you're likely to want to see what other editors do to articles you've edited.
  • Monitoring changes - experienced editors monitor articles they've edited.
  • Vandalism & spam - explains in detail what you, a Wikipedia editor, can do in terms of spotting and fixing vandalism and spam.
Part II - Collaborating with Other Editors
  • Communicating with others - you will need to know how to use the pages where editors interact and collaborate with each other.
  • WikiProjects - many editors at Wikipedia work together in groups, formal or informal.
  • Content disputes - if you find yourself involved in a content dispute...
  • Incivility - shows you helpful ways to respond to incivility and personal attacks directed against you or other editors.
  • Helping others - shows you all the places and ways you can lend other editors a hand.
Part III - Formatting and Illustrating Articles
  • Sections - shows you how to effectively use sections in an article.
  • Lists & tables - shows you how to create and edit both lists and tables.
  • Images - shows you how to place an image in an article, after you or someone else has uploaded it.
Part IV - Building a Stronger Encyclopedia
Part V - Customizing Wikipedia
  • Personal preferences - "My Preferences" is where you can change a number of settings that control how pages look and function.
  • JavaScript - you can customize Wikipedia in ways that make your editing easier with scripts.
Part VI - Appendices
  • Wikipedia Pages - when you're registered, and logged into Wikipedia, you'll see links in a number of places.
  • Reader’s guide - background on what Wikipedia is and how to get the most out.
  • Learning more - shows you the myriad places you can go, both inside and outside Wikipedia.

General help pages

How to pages

  • Help:help - explains how to find and navigate the help pages.
  • Books - explains how to make and download Wikipedia books.
  • Categories - explains how to edit categories.
  • Copyright - explains how to deal with copyright concerns.
  • Diff - explains how to view the difference between two versions of a page
  • Editing - explains the basics of editing.
    • Edit toolbar - explains the basics about how to use the toolbar.
    • Edit conflict - explains how to deal with an edit conflict.
  • Find sources - explains how to find references.
  • Files - explains how to manage media.
  • Footnotes - explains how to add notes.
  • Glossary - quick overview of terms.
  • Infobox - explains the basics about how to use infoboxes.
  • IPA for English - explains how the International Phonetic Alphabet system works.
  • List - explains how to add lists.
  • Linking - explains how to add internal links.
    • Link color - explains how to add color to link text.
  • Logging in - explains how to access your account.
  • Magic words - explains how words surrounded by brackets or underscores function.
  • Media - explains the basics of seeing media.
  • Merging - explains how to consolidate articles.
  • Mobile access - explains how to access Wikipedia from mobile devices.
  • Navigation - explains how to get around Wikipedia.
  • Other languages - explains how to deal with other languages.
  • Page name - explains how to deal with page titles.
  • Redirect - explains how to direct pages to the proper place.
  • References - explains how to those complicated sources work.
  • Rename - explains how to change your user name.
  • Password - explains how to change your personal password.
  • Reverting - explains how to roll back edits.
  • Searching - explains how to use Wikipedia more effectively.
  • Section - explains how to edit just portions of a page.
  • Talk pages - explains the basics of what to do on talk pages.
  • Students - explains the basics for students.
  • URLs - explains how to add and deal with external links.
  • User contributions - explains how to view editors additions.
  • Watching pages - explains how to track pages.
Coding (Wiki markup)
  • Wiki markup - explains the coding used by text, links, & talk pages
  • Barchart - explains how to make charts.
  • Calculations - explains how to make complicated calculations.
  • Characters - explains how to add special characters.
  • Citations quick! - simplistic examples of two preferred ways of doing footnotes (reference).
  • Columns - explains how to make columns.
  • HTML - explains how use HTML in text.
  • Musical symbols - explains the basic coding of music symbols.
  • Sound files - explains the basic coding sound files.
  • Tables - explains the basic coding for making tables.
    • Wiki-table - more advanced coding information on tables.
  • Templates - explains the basic for templates.
    • Documentation - explains the basic of how to properly document template information.
  • Visual files - explains the basic of coding for visual media.
  • Wiki tools - various tools and tutorials intended to simplify, make more efficient, or provide additional functionality.

Interactive assistance (help forums)

Questions about Wikipedia

Replying to help requests - contains guidelines for users who respond to questions about how to use or edit posed by other users.
  • Help desk - the "main page" for asking questions about how to use or edit Wikipedia.
  • Teahouse - a "very friendly place" for new editors to become accustomed to and ask questions about editing.
  • Editor help - a "far less busy place" where editors will get comprehensive assistance about on going problems related to editing.

General knowledge questions

Replying to general knowledge questions - contains guidelines for users who respond to general knowledge questions posed by other users.

Note: legal or medical responses are prohibited. See Wikipedia's Legal disclaimer and Medical disclaimer.

  • Reference desks - you can ask questions about any topic at the specific pages listed below.
    • Computing - to ask about computing, information technology, electronics, software and hardware.
    • Entertainment - to ask about sports, popular culture, movies, music, video games, and TV shows.
    • Humanities - to ask about history, politics, literature, religion, philosophy, law, finance, economics, art, and society.
    • Language - to ask about spelling, grammar, word etymology, language usage, and translations.
    • Mathematics - to ask about mathematics, geometry, probability, and statistics.
    • Science - to ask about biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, geology, engineering and technology.
    • (Miscellaneous) - to ask about anything that is not listed above.

Specific help and mediation

Technical issues

  • Village pump - main directory divided into five boards by topic (as seen below), to discuss the technical issues, policies, and operations of Wikipedia.
    • Policy - to discuss changes to existing and proposed policies.
    • Proposals - to discuss new proposals that are not policy-related.
    • Technical - to discuss technical issues. For wiki software bug reports, use Bugzilla
    • Idea lab - to discuss ideas before proposing them to the community and attempt to find solutions to common issues.
    • (Miscellaneous) - to post messages that do not fit into any other categories listed above.

Other ways to get help

  • Special services - a section on the Request departments page that lists the alternative ways of getting help as seen below.
    • Place {{Help me}} (including the curly brackets) "then your question" on your talk page, a volunteer will visit you there!
    • If you require personal administrator assistance in regards to blocking, deleting, protecting, personal harassment or legal threats you can place {{Admin help}} (including the curly brackets) "then your concerns" on your talk page, an administrator will visit you there!
    • Find and directly contact an actively editing user at Highly Active Users.
    • Adopt-a-User – is where you can find experienced Wikipedians that "adopt" new users and mentor them.
    • Join the #wikipedia-en-help IRC channel for real-time chat. New to IRC? Click here to be connected instantly!
    • New editors can join the "Newcomer live chat" to connect with editors experienced assisting novice users.
    • Contact Wikipedia - is a page that describes how and where to contact Wikipedia directly for a variety of reasons.

Community standards and advice

Policies, guidelines & related essays

  • Manual of Style (MOS) - main guideline page that describes communal consensus on layouts and presentation.
  • Neutrality (NPOV) - policy about how articles should represent the views of main scholars and specialists on topics.
  • No original research (OR) - policy about how all material must be attributable to a reliable, published source.
  • Notability - guideline that outlines how suitable a topic may be for its own article or list.
    • Fringe theories - guideline about how articles should not make a fringe theory appear more notable than it is.
      • Notability essays - list of essays that summarizes the gist of user written essays on notability.
  • User rights - ability to perform certain actions in Wikipedia depends on his/her user access level.
  • Verifiability (RS) - policy stating how readers must be able to check that articles are not fabricated or embellished.
  • Words to watch - guideline about how certain expressions should be used with care.
  • Vandalism - if you see vandalism in an article, the simplest thing to do is just to remove it.

Contents pages (navigation/topics lists)

Help contents by topic

Miscellaneous lists (directories)

  • Abbreviations - a list of all the abbreviations used on Wikipedia
  • Departments - a list of all the different divisions of Wikipedia.
  • Editor's index - a list of all the pages to help people who edit pages.
  • Essays - a list of pages that contain advice or opinions from one or more Wikipedia contributors.
  • FAQ - a list of frequently asked questions by topic.
  • Glossary - a list of terms (slang) commonly used by editors.
  • Guidelines - a descriptive list of official guidelines for "English Wikipedia"
  • Manual of Style - a descriptive list of the pages which make up the Manual of Style.
  • Policies - a descriptive list of official policies for "English Wikipedia"
  • Quick directory - a small list of key pages with emphasis on interaction between members of the community.
  • Shortcuts - a list of abbreviated redirects and the pages they lead to.
  • Tips - a list of "tips" created by users at Tip of the day project.

Further reading (external links)

Note - publications below may contain out of dated information or images.

Sister projects (external links)

on Wikibooks
on Commons
on Wikinews
on Wikiquote
on Wikisource
on Wikiversity
on Wiktionary
on Meta