Wikipedia:The newcomer's manual
|This is a newcomer's manual to Wikipedia, for anyone using or editing the encyclopedia. While it does not cover everything in detail, it aims to be a good reference source for most routine matters.|
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
Please choose one of the following starting points:
|1. Overview of the manual|
|2. Looking things up, or getting help and information
|3. Basics and rules for writing in Wikipedia
|4. Handling problems
|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|
- Wikipedia:New contributors' help page
- Wikipedia:Simplified ruleset
- Wikipedia:The Wikipedia Adventure