Wikipedia:VisualEditor

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For instructions on using the new VisualEditor, see Wikipedia:VisualEditor/User guide.


Welcome to the portal for the VisualEditor, a way of editing Wikipedia being developed by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). Editors have long had to learn some wikimarkup to make most edits. In 2001, this difficulty was acceptable; in 2015, it drives away some contributors. VisualEditor will allow people to edit all pages without having to learn wikitext markup and will hopefully encourage more readers to become editors.

Even after the eventual anticipated full-feature release of VisualEditor, experienced editors still may prefer editing wikitext because they find it faster and more precise. Editing articles purely in wikitext is and will remain an option that the Wikimedia Foundation has no plans to remove. Even editors who enable VisualEditor will have the wikitext option available from the toolbar above each article, user page and section.

About VisualEditor

VisualEditor is a new, "visual" way of editing Wikipedia that allows people to contribute without having to learn wikimarkup. It was made available as an opt-in release on the English-language Wikipedia back in December 2012, in 14 other languages in April 2013, and in most other languages at the beginning of June 2013. Deployments began in July 2013. The Wikimedia Foundation developers expect to make it available to almost all Wikimedia Foundation projects by the end of 2014. As of May 2014, it is available by default to users of about 60% of the language editions of Wikipedias and as an opt-in beta feature to the rest, along with a handful of non-Wikipedia projects.

To learn more about using VisualEditor, please read the guide to VisualEditor and the list of common keyboard shortcuts. Your help with the many tasks that need to be done is appreciated. You can also receive regular status updates on your talk page by signing up for the VisualEditor newsletter.

VisualEditor still has many bugs and missing features. If you encounter an issue, please report it on the Feedback page.

Office hours

The schedule for monthly office hours with Product Manager James Forrester is listed on Meta. These discussions happen on IRC.

Limitations

Current known limitations include:

  • Slow - Loading longer pages into VisualEditor generally takes more time than the old wikitext editor, although this has improved significantly.
  • Not available in talk or discussion namespaces – At the English Wikipedia, VisualEditor is enabled for the following Wikipedia namespaces: Article, Help, File, Category, Book, Portal, Draft, and User (the latter allows editors to make changes in a personal sandbox). It is not enabled for any talk pages, or in the Wikipedia: namespace (because it is mainly used for discussions), or the MediaWiki: or Template: namespaces (which will need specialised editing tools). It is expected that Flow will provide discussion namespace editing. On pages other than those in the namespaces mentioned, the "Editbeta" button is not currently available.
  • Cannot edit a single section – VisualEditor loads and submits only entire pages. In VisualEditor's model, editing sections would be paradoxically slower than editing the whole page. Section editing does not reduce edit conflicts. Bugzilla: 48429
  • Template parameters are wikitext, not rich edited – VisualEditor lets you edit the parameters of template transclusions, but only as "wikitext" (so "[[Foo]]" not "Foo").
  • Nested templates aren't very easy (e.g. {{Template1|{{Template2}}}}) – VisualEditor lets you edit template transclusions which themselves use templates ("nested" templates). This is unlike the old Visual Mode editor of Wikia, which just gave up if this was used, but because template parameters are edited as wikitext it's clunky.
  • Limited browser support – VisualEditor currently works only in relatively modern (last three years) versions of Chrome/Chromium, Firefox/Iceweasel, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera, Midori, Qupzilla, SeaMonkey and WebPositive (approximately 93% of all users).
  • "Weird" templates – struggles with templates that pass a bit of incomplete code, with markup, to another template or table, such as ones that fill in multiple parameters of a table by passing, for example, param1|param2 - this is a difficult problem to code around, but usually unnecessary.
  • Incomplete editing functionality – The content of some "complex" formatting, including definition lists and multi-column layouts, will display and can be edited, but editors using VisualEditor cannot modify certain details, and table editing on mobile doesn't work properly. Adding features in this area is one of the developers' priorities.
  • Only supports Vector and Monobook skins – of the four skins available in user preferences, VisualEditor currently only works with Vector and Monobook.

Because of these limitations and the many remaining bugs in VisualEditor, the developers recommend that VisualEditor users click "Review your changes" before saving a page, and report any problems they see.


Timeline

Week of.. Launch Target projects Status
June 2012 Launch to all users in the VisualEditor test namespace MediaWiki Yes check.svg Done
Late summer 2012 Available to all logged-in users as opt-in for alpha testing MediaWiki Yes check.svg Done
November 2012 Launch to all users MediaWiki Yes check.svg Done
December 2012 Available to all logged-in users as opt-in English-language Wikipedia Yes check.svg Done
March 2013 Available to all logged-in users as opt-in Some larger Wikipedias Yes check.svg Done
1 July 2013 Launch to all logged-in users English-language Wikipedia Yes check.svg Done
Wikipedia Rollbacker.svg Reverted
15 July 2013 Launch to all logged-out users English-language Wikipedia Yes check.svg Done
Wikipedia Rollbacker.svg Reverted
24 July 2013 Launch to all logged-in users as opt-out for beta testing Spanish (es), French (fr), Hebrew (he), Italian (it), Polish (pl), Russian (ru) and Swedish (sv) Yes check.svg Done
29 July 2013 Launch to logged-out users Spanish (es), French (fr), Hebrew (he), Italian (it), Polish (pl), Russian (ru) and Swedish (sv) Yes check.svg Done
23 September 2013 English Wikipedia reverted to opt-in English Wikipedia Yes check.svg Done
30 September 2013 Launch to all logged-in users as opt-out About 25 other Wikipedias Yes check.svg Done
07 October 2013 Launch to logged-out users on about 25 other projects About 25 other Wikipedias Yes check.svg Done
02 December 2013 Launch to all users as opt-out About 100 small Wikipedias, and Portuguese (pt) Yes check.svg Done
13 January 2014 Launch to all users as opt-out About 25 mid-sized Wikipedias Yes check.svg Done
12 February 2014 Spanish Wikipedia reverted to opt-in Spanish Wikipedia (es) Yes check.svg Done
??? Launch to all users as opt-out Wikipedias that need character inserters
??? Launch to all users as opt-out Wikipedias that have uncommon alphabets
??? Launch to all users as opt-out Wikipedias with language variants, such as Chinese

How to help out

Help is needed to make VisualEditor as good as it can be: You can find and report bugs while using the software or lend a hand in many other tasks, such as:

  • Updating help pages – All Wikimedia Foundation projects have help pages to make contributing easier for new editors. Unfortunately, the full launch of VisualEditor will make obsolete the screenshots and tutorials in these help pages, because they describe how to edit using the markup editor. Therefore, the VisualEditor development team needs help updating help pages. The user guide to VisualEditor is a starting place for text for the new help pages.
  • Adding TemplateData to templates – VisualEditor features an interactive template editor—described in more detail in the user guide—and as you'll see if you use it on Wikipedia, some templates have named parameters and nice descriptions that make it easy to use. However, other templates lack them because they need "TemplateData" before this feature will work. If you're interested in adding TemplateData, then read the guide to it and the list of the most important templates to add it to.
  • Help new users – The successful launch of VisualEditor might result in many more new editors than usual, and even though editing may be easier, learning policies and guidelines and how to interact with the community will still be challenging. Please try to spend some time at the appropriate venues: the Help desk, the Teahouse and the help chatroom. Additionally, please feel free to monitor the Category of Wikipedians looking for help.

Newsletter

External links

References