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Help:Contents – Site map

Displayed below are the pages of the main help menu. For the main help page, see Help:Contents.

Navigating Wikipedia [Edit]

What is Wikipedia?

A place to learn and share. Develop and explore.

Basic navigation

Browsing Wikipedia = scrolling, clicking on links
Good starting points:
To browse the encyclopedia: Wikipedia:Contents
To browse the Wikipedia community: Wikipedia:Department directory
To browse help resources: Help:Menu or Help:Contents/Directory
Searching   —   type your search term into the search box (at the top right of every page)
Go to the search screen   —   clicking on the magnifying glass will get you there too

Browse the encyclopedia via the contents navbar:

Advanced navigation

Advanced browsing
List of shortcuts
Tabbed browsing   —   open multiple links at the same time
Tabbed browsing in Firefox
Tab Mix Plus   —   add-on for Firefox
Tabbed browsing in Opera
Advanced searching
Search titles with grep
Searching Wikipedia with regular expressions (regex)

See also

Main Page alternatives
Featured content
Researching with Wikipedia
Viewing media
Using Wikipedia on your phone
Pronouncing words shown in IPA

Joining Wikipedia [Edit]

Wikipedia is more than just an encyclopedia. It is a world-wide community of people who volunteer their time and share knowledge in order to make the world a better place. You are welcome to join us in this important mission...

Getting an account

Why create an account? (to get more privileges and to make communication easier)
Choosing a username
How to log in


Who writes Wikipedia? (Anyone with Internet access)
We are Wikipedians
Talk pages  — how to communicate in Wikipedia
WikiProjects — collaborate with others to develop your favorite subject areas
Quick directory/Department directory

Getting started

Just go for it! — the easiest and fastest way to get involved is to click on the edit tab at the top of an article that interests you, and improve the article in the editor that appears.

Keep in mind...
The Five Pillars  (the core rules)
{{tutorials}} — place this on your user page to display a navigation box with helpful links
Plain and simple — the basic mechanics of Wikipedia
Primer for newcomers — an overview for new contributors
Advice for parents

Where to next?

Editing Wikipedia [Edit]

Basic editing

If you can't find what you're looking for on this page, you can ask questions at the Help desk or at the Teahouse. Volunteers will respond as soon as possible.

Be bold!
Introductory tutorial
Contributing to Wikipedia
How to edit a page
Experiment in the sandbox
Show preview to review your edits before you save
Editing sections
Creating links
Making categories

Saving your edits

"Show preview"   —   always use this to avoid errors
Edit summary   —   please explain your edits
Minor edits   —   check this for typos and small corrections
Edit conflict   —   what to do when another editor changes the page while you're editing it

How to write an article

Starting an article
Article Wizard
Name a page
Naming conventions in general
Full list of specific naming conventions
Your first article
Article development (advanced editing)
The perfect article
Writing better articles
Editing shortcuts
Contributing to articles outside your native language
Editing with a text editor
Special page types
Disambiguation pages
Creating subpages

Style and formatting

Wikipedia's Manual of Style
Article size
Citing sources
Article components
Using templates
Creating templates
List of templates
Modules, an advanced form of templates
Pictures and videos
Mathematical formulas
Footnotes and references
Wiki markup
"Magic words"
Valid HTML codes in wikitext
Easy timeline syntax

Article standards

Biographies of living persons
Citing sources
External links
Image use
Using redirects
Include only verifiable information
Manual of Style
Neutral point of view
What Wikipedia is not

Article maintenance

Use talk pages (discussion pages)
Archive a talk page
Tagging pages for problems
Merge two or more pages
Move or rename a page
Requested moves
Delete pages/images/categories
Stub articles
List of stub types
Revert a page to an earlier version
Dealing with vandalism
Protect and unprotect pages (Administrators only)
Link together Wikipedia articles in different languages
Link words in articles to Wikimedia sister projects
Use page names
Use namespaces
Use headings as anchors to link to
Do a purge
Test edits and other things

See also

Tips on editing
Simplified ruleset — Essential information to understand when editing articles (for new editors)
Category:Wikipedia information pages and Category:Wikipedia how-to

Links and references [Edit]

Images and media [Edit]

Overview of images

Creation and usage of media files

Upload an image to Commons (preferred) or to English Wikipedia.


Finding images tutorial
Requested pictures
Graphics Lab
Image copyright tags


File description pages
How to upload files to Wikipedia
Images and other uploaded files
Preparing images for upload
Visual file markup
How to insert and use pictures in Wikipedia articles
Use the Extended image syntax to place an image in an article
Sound file markup
Graphics tutorials
How to request images or media for deletion
Category:Wikipedia image help
Media copyright questions

Policy and guidelines

Image use policy
Guide to captions
Guide to use of logos
Guide to use of alternative text for images


Featured pictures
Featured picture candidates
Public domain image resources
Wikipedia:Requesting copyright permission
Wikipedia:Example requests for permission
Wikipedia:Moving images to the Commons
Category:Wikipedia images

Keeping track of changes [Edit]

Policies and guidelines [Edit]

The principles which the policies and guidelines are based on

Five pillars — statement of our principles
Jimbo's statement — historic principles
Simplified ruleset — synopsis of our conventions
Wikimedia principles — common to all projects
Principles — other essays on Wikipedia's principles

Tutorial on policies

Introduction to policies and guidelines —  a quick introduction to the major policies and guidelines for very new users.

General policies

Dispute resolution
Editing policy
Ignore all rules
What Wikipedia is not

Procedural policies

Policies & guidelines — how policies and guidelines should be developed and maintained.
Bot policy

Content policies and guidelines

Core content policies
Neutral point of view
No original research
Other content policies
Article titles
Biographies of living persons
Image use
Content guidelines
Citing sources
Do not create hoaxes
Do not include copies of primary sources
Identifying reliable sources
Patent nonsense

Behavioural policies and guidelines

Behavioural policies
Child protection
Incivility is not tolerated
Edit warring
Legal threats
Personal attacks
Ownership of content
Sock puppetry
Behavioural guidelines
Assume good faith
Conflict of interest
Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point
Gaming the system
Please do not bite the newcomers

Editing policies and guidelines

Editing policies
Editing policy
Editing guidelines
Be bold
Article size
Talk page guidelines
User pages

Style and formatting conventions

Manual of Style
Dates and numbers
Lead section

Classification guidelines

Categories, lists, and navigation templates
Template namespace

See also

List of policies and guidelines — a list of principle policies and guidelines.
List of policies — a comprehensive descriptive directory of policies.
List of guidelines — a comprehensive descriptive directory of guidelines.
Manual of Style contents — a comprehensive descriptive directory of the pages which make up the Manual of Style.
Related essays
Simplified rule-set — some basic aspect of Wikipedia norms and practices.
Eight rules for editing  —  if you start out by following these simple rules, the rest should come naturally.
Ten rules for editing  — Wikipedia can be daunting, but here we provide tips to make editing smoother.
Trifecta — ultra fast overview of foundational principles related to policies and guidelines.
The rules are principles — policies and guidelines exist as rough approximations of their underlying principles.
Wikimedia Foundation policies
List of policies
Licensing and copyright

Asking questions [Edit]

First check these lists of frequently asked questions

FAQ main page   —   questions about using and contributing.
Administration   —   answers some questions related to Administrators.
Article subjects   —   what to do about 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 that teachers, librarians and administrators might have.
Technical   —   answers some questions related to the technical workings of the site.
(Miscellaneous)   —   questions that do not fit into any of above sections.
If you can't find your question, then it's time to ask someone...

Where to ask questions

Where to ask factual questions
Reference desk   —   volunteers will attempt to answer any factual question you may have. They are organized into the following subject areas:
Where to ask help-related questions
Help desk   —   the volunteers here will help you with Wikipedia-related questions.
Wikipedia:Questions   —   another help page
Wikipedia:Teahouse   —   friendly place for new editors to become accustomed to Wikipedia culture, ask questions, and develop community relationships.
Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)   —   the place to ask technical questions about Wikipedia and all related technology.
Wikipedia:Media copyright questions   —   about images, audio files, and other media.
{{Help me}}   —   write a question or request on your user talk page, and place {{Help me}} with it, and someone will be by shortly to help you on it.
Live help   —   ask other editors questions in real time in a Wikipedia chat room.

See also

Adopt-a-user   —   new users can find mentors here. Mentors are dedicated to answering questions and teaching.
Questions and comments
Requests department   —   for when you need assistance.

The Wikipedia community [Edit]
The Community Portal
Wikipedia department directory
Wikipedia quick directory

Community support

Teahouse - peer support for new editors
Harmonious editing club - keep the peace, peacefully
Kindness Campaign - spread kindness and recognition of users
Adopt-a-User - experienced editors can "adopt" newer editors, helping to mentor them along the way as they learn about Wikipedia
Welcoming committee
Editor assistance
User pages
How to report a bug
Mailing lists
In-person meetings
Local Embassy – find a user that speaks your language
Babel – Another way to find multi-lingual Wikipedians
Expressing thanks

Voting and consensus

Feedback by editors, to editors.

Featuring an article
Featuring lists
Featuring pictures
Featuring sounds
Featuring portals
Featuring topics
Good articles
Peer review
Administrator nominations


Deleting pages
Deleting articles (full policy)
Deleting categories (or a stub type)
Deleting templates
Deleting files
Moving/Merging a page (and how to actually do it)
Protecting pages (full policy)

Resolving disputes

Stay cool!
Be nice to newcomers
Alert others
Dispute resolution
Arbitration policy

Keeping informed: News

Community Portal – Bulletin board collaborations and updates – Wikipedia's hub of activity.
The Signpost – Wikipedia's newspaper
Wikipedia in the media
Wikipedia milestone announcements
Wikizine – news letter about the Wikimedia projects
Press releases
Regional notice boards


Administrator nominations
List of administrators
Administration FAQ
Administrator's reading list
Fix cut & paste moves
Page protection

Wikipedian culture

Wikipedians: the people who contribute to Wikipedia
List of Wikipedians
WikiProjects: where people interested in specific topics work together
List of WikiProjects
WikiProjects category
Collaborations: Wikipedians focusing on one article for a set amount of time
List of collaborations
Wikipedia essays
User essays
Wikipedian humor
Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense
Department of Fun
Unusual articles
Editcountitis: a condition that can be fatal
Wikipedian games
Awards programs

More about Wikipedia

Overview of Wikipedia (All about Wikipedia)
Category-based access to pages about Wikipedia
Another way to browse help topics
Category:Wikipedia how-to (a full list of help topics)

The wider community

Meta – The site that organizes all Wikimedia projects.
Resources and lists [Edit]
List of wiki markup


General information
Resource Description
Wikipedia:Categorization Introduction to categorization.
Wikipedia:Naming conventions (categories) Discusses naming conventions for categories.
Wikipedia:Categories, lists, and navigation templates Discusses the three different ways to group and organize articles.
WikiProject Categories-related pages
/uncategorized Taskforce page for categorizing and patrolling for uncategorized articles.
Category:Wikipedia categorization Category page listing our project pages.
Wikipedia:WikiProject Categories/Current subprojects WikiProject Categories subprojects.
Category:WikiProjects Category page containing list of WikiProjects and helpful resources.
Category:Category needed Category containing articles that need categorization.
Category:Uncategorized pages Category containing pages that need categorization.
Special:UncategorizedPages Special page for uncategorized pages.
Uncategorized Categories Special page for uncategorized categories.
Advanced resources
Wikimedia stats:Category Overview Index Dumps of the category tree.
Wikipedia:Database_reports#Categories Page containing generated reports about categories.
Wikipedia:Categories for discussion Where deletion, merging, and renaming of categories is discussed.
Wikipedia:WikiProject Stub sorting Similar WikiProject for stubs.
Wikipedia:Contents Browse Wikipedia's contents.
Wikipedia:Contents/Overviews Browse Wikipedia's contents overviews.



List of stub types
How to name stubs
Guide to stubbing


List of infoboxes
List of templates used in infoboxes


List of templates
List of navigational templates
List of citation templates

Wikiprojects & article series

List of WikiProjects
Creating a WikiProject
List of article series

Shortcuts & "magic words"

List of shortcuts
List of "magic words" - Magic words can be used to automate text or change the display of pages.

Other resources

Cleanup resources
List of Resources for researchers
Public domain resources
Wikipedia:Free online resources
Wikipedia:Free or semi-free non-Public-Domain information resources
Wikipedia:Public domain image resources
Wikipedia:Free sound resources
WikiProject Resource Exchange
Web Browser tools - Tools for your Web browser
Web colors


Mailing lists
List of protected pages
Links to disambiguating pages
List of controversial issues


List of administrators
Requests for administrator attention


Sample letters requesting content be made available to Wikipedia
Sample letters for violations of Wikipedia's licence (GFDL)

New user greetings

Standard user greeting
Welcome templates


Account settings [Edit]

Technical information [Edit]
Tools to make Wikipedia work better.
Catalogue of CSS classes used on the English Wikipedia
Editing articles of such length that you can't edit them
The MediaWiki software
MediaWiki User hub – help with installation and configuration of the MediaWiki software that runs Wikipedia, for those looking to set up their own wiki.
MediaWiki User's Guide – help with general use of the MediaWiki software that runs Wikipedia
Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)
Requests and bug reports
Browser notes
Download Wikipedia content – how to download Wikipedia and Wikimedia content
Export page(s) in XML
Computer help desk – Help with computers and software generally (i.e. not related to Wikipedia)