Wikipedia:The newcomer's manual

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Newcomer's manual


Contents  · BASICS
One page view (Basics / Entire manual)

Looking things up

Using Wikipedia
Asking for info you can't find
Quality control

Basics for writing

Basics  · Working with others
WP pages  · Markup  · Advice

Handling problems

Article issues  · Editor issues
Vandalism  · Serious problem
Other problems/sensitive issues
Warnings, blocks and bans

Experienced user?

More editing tricks  · Templates & tricks
Front page/featured articles  · Helping others
Images, sister projects, Wikimedia
Using other skills  · Adminship


Common queries  · Manual  · WP: pages
List of common queries

Other useful stuff

How is Wikipedia is organized
Other ways to contribute or help
Comment on or improve the manual
Full list of pages

v  · e

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia written by a 'community' of volunteers . It is the largest and most well known project of the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organisation, and as such is not supported by advertising or other revenues. Anyone can use Wikipedia and its content completely for free, and anyone can edit and improve its content, which, we hope, is why you're here!

This newcomer's manual summarises briefly everything you need to get going. It's intended to be modular. meaning you can dip into it for general guidance as you find that you want to know more.

  • Anyone can use or re-use Wikipedia's information for free, but it's important to know how to use it properly.
  • Anyone can edit Wikipedia (just click the button!), but there are a few expectations on behavior and article content.
  • If you want to get more involved, knowing some of the detail about the editing environment can help you and increase your enjoyment.

Top tips: - As an encyclopedia, not a specialist library, some material needs checking before you rely too much on it. Although leeway is given, when you edit Wikipedia you are expected to be on "good behavior" and fit in with the few important rules - users who don't sometimes get "blocked" by administrators. Knowing just a few basics can make editing a lot more successful and a lot more fun. These rules are basic commonsense; anyone can edit and most people pick up know-how as they go. But knowing more can give you ideas, spark your interest, and increase your understanding.

Common starting points[edit]

Please choose one of the following starting points:

1. Overview of the manual
2. Looking things up, or getting help and information
Quick intro
3. Basics and rules for writing in Wikipedia
Quick intro
4. Handling problems
Quick intro
5. Blocks, bans and sanctions
6. Not a beginner any more?
7. I have a specific question or issue ("Can I/how do I")
8. Other useful stuff

See also[edit]