Wikipedia:Tutorial/Formatting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Introduction   Editing   Formatting   Wikipedia links   Citing sources   Talk pages   Keep in mind   Registration   Wrap-up    


A tutorial video explaining how to make bold text and wikilinks

Formatting a Wikipedia article is a bit different from writing on a standard word processor (see the cheatsheet). Instead of a strict WYSIWYG approach ("What You See Is What You Get"), Wikipedia uses text codes called wiki tags to create particular elements of the page (e.g., headings). This markup language is known as wikitext (or wiki-markup) and is designed for ease of editing.

Bold and italics

The most commonly used wiki tags are bold and italics. Bolding and italicizing are done by surrounding a word or phrase with multiple apostrophes ('):

You type You get
''italic'' italic

'''bold'''

bold

'''''bold italic'''''

bold italic

On Wikipedia, the names of an article's subject are written in bold when they are first mentioned in the article. For example, the article Elizabeth II begins:

Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, born 21 April 1926) is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states, known as the Commonwealth realms, and their territories and dependencies, and head of the 53-member Commonwealth of Nations. ...

Italics may be used for the names of books, movies, albums, and computer or video game titles. If the first mention of the subject of an article is also a book or movie title, then bold italic is used.

For more information about using bold and italics, see Wikipedia:Manual of Style.

Headings and subheadings

Headings and subheadings are a way to organize an article. If an article discusses several topics and dedicates more than a couple paragraphs to each, you can make the article more readable by inserting a heading for each topic — that is, creating a section for each topic.

You can also create sections within sections (i.e., subsections) by using subheadings:

This is a subheading

You create headings surrounding the heading text with several '=' wiki tags. The more '=' symbols in the wiki tag, the more nested the heading is:

You type You get

== Elizabeth II hats ==

Elizabeth II hats

=== Straw hats ===

Straw hats

If an article has at least four headings, a table of contents is automatically generated. Try creating a heading in this page's sandbox. It will be added automatically to the table of contents for the page, assuming three others already exist.

Subscript and superscript

To use the subscript format you type an opening <sub> tag before the text and a closing </sub> tag after it. The tags for superscript are <sup> and </sup>. Example:

The code H<sub>2</sub>SO<sub>4</sub> &rarr; 2 H<sup>+</sup> + SO<sub>4</sub><sup>2&minus;</sup>

displays: H2SO4 → 2 H+ + SO42−

HTML

Wikitext contains all the features required to follow Wikipedia's formatting conventions. However, its formatting capabilities are limited. If you want to have more control of the formatting, such as using colors, text and paragraph styles, and page layout you can use HTML. HTML is the language used to format web pages in the Internet. It is more powerful than wikitext, but it's also more complex and harder to use.

Editor toolbars

The Wikipedia editor has two toolbars with buttons that help with the use of wiki tags. For instance, if you want to type a text in bold, instead of manually typing the ''' tags, you can just press the Bold button and then type the text in bold directly.

See also

See How to edit a page or the Cheatsheet for more on editing a page. You can also check out an annotated example page.
Test what you have learned in the sandbox


Continue the tutorial with Wikipedia links