Help talk:Contents/Archive 5

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Needy Monobook

My monobook needs more cowbell. Can anybody point me in the right direction?--Shella * 18:41, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Check out the first and last links at Help:Contents/Account settings and maintenance. --Quiddity 20:50, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Different kind of problem

On my watchlist, there was somthing I didn't put there. "Brotherfucker". Yeah, I know. Weird. Could someone have figured out my password? I changed it, after seeing this. -Yancyfry 03:55, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

That'll just be the result of page-move vandalism. Even after the move is reverted, the new page will stay in everyone's watchlists. I'm sure (hoping) its a bug being worked on :) -Quiddity 06:13, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks =) and good riddens to my new password. I have a hard time remembering it. -Yancyfry 03:40, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Log in cookies

How do you enable cookies to log in? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Please ask help-related questions at Wikipedia:Help desk. Thanks (and cookies are a browser thing, so tell the people at the help desk what browser you are using :) --Quiddity 03:42, 1 December 2006 (UTC)


Hi there - especially Quiddity,

The link from this page to WP:ADOPT was removed (see page history 15th Nov) - citing that it is unessential and that it was already covered by Wikipedia:Department directory. I request that it be reinserted - for the main reason that for the project to work, and to get new users aware of it, it needs to be linked from some/all of the documents that these users are most likely to access - this being a prime example.

Please if you do not known what the project is read up at WP:ADOPT. It is not a part of Wikipedia:Esperanza and just a social club, but a very serious attempt to get in contact with the newest of users and help them contribute effectively - for this though we need this page's help.

Your thoughts please Lethaniol 18:03, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Another point - though it may be covered in Wikipedia:Department directory in reality how many new users (our target) will get that far. A lot will get look under "Where to Ask Questions" on this page I am sure though... Lethaniol 18:29, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I've added a link at Help:Contents/Getting started. Only critical/common links are listed at this root menu page.
It's already linked at Wikipedia:New user log, but a link could potentially be added at Wikipedia:New contributors' help page too. Hope that all works for you. :) -Quiddity 19:41, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your suggestions and inserting a link at Help:Contents/Getting started. I understand your concern - that you do not want this help page spammed with any department/project etc... but I think that Adoption, though not critical (neither is reference desk!) and not yet common (increasing numbers all the time) - it does give a valuable extra resource for new users looking for help.
I do not want to give up on this request as of yet, and no offence Quiddity, I would like input from more than one user who regularly works on these help pages. Any suggestion of who to ask for their opinions? Many thanks Lethaniol 12:01, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I just saw a thread at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#WP:ADOPT, which'd be the prefect place to discuss this too. Hope that helps, and I'm trying not to WP:OWN here so further opinions welcome :) --Quiddity 21:14, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
No I was not suggesting you of WP:OWN just want a few more people to get involved. Will carry on this debate at the Village pump, I hope you will leave your opinion there. Thanks Lethaniol 15:04, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh I know that, I was just meaning it's subtly implied by all the answers on this page coming from me alone :) (And that's just because it was archived recently) -Quiddity 19:20, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Template source

This is the discussion page for an anonymous user, identified by the user's numerical IP address. Some IP addresses change periodically, and may be shared by several users. If you are an anonymous user, you may create an account or log in to avoid future confusion with other anonymous users. Registering also hides your IP address.

Where is the source template for this message? Travb (talk) 04:35, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

At MediaWiki:Anontalkpagetext. (I just searched google for the 1st line). --Quiddity 20:42, 18 December 2006 (UTC)


Hi there,

I am bringing back a request to have Adopt-a-user linked from this page. The program has matured significantly (+200 active users, 50 odd Adopters, 150 odd Adoptees), and could be a very valuable resource for ongoing help compared with the one off help from either the Ref/Help desk. What do people think. Cheers Lethaniol 20:10, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Not sure where to..but i back that request. I think its useful for newbies to know. I didnt know it existed till a few days back! Fethroesforia 01:10, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh come on Quiddity give us your opinion - I won't bite I promise :):) Cheers Lethaniol 02:04, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, was busy/distracted elsewhere. Okay, I've changed the portal-box header text to black, for better visibility, and added a link on the contents page under Community. (I didn't put it under "Getting started" because it requires a certain level of commitment to the site, to want to be adopted. Plus it's already under that headings subpage, so now it's twice as likely to be found). Sound good? :) --Quiddity 20:42, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry this is an even tardier reply - thanks very muc, looks good to me:):) Cheers Lethaniol 20:32, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Adding a Resource

moved thread to Wikipedia talk:Cheatsheet#Adding a Resource. --Quiddity 03:30, 22 January 2007 (UTC)


How do you add a subpage to your user page? Math Genius

JUst go to Special:Mypage/pagename (change pagename as you wish.) Flyingtoaster1337 00:41, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Uploading Images

Whenever I upload an image it dosen't work. What do I do? --MacintoshApple 01:58, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Please ask help-related questions at Wikipedia:Help desk. Thanks :) --Quiddity 20:49, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Newcomers help page delinked on main help again

Would somebody please take note of the plight of the newbie in the name of commonsense and essential humanity and stop removing newcomers help from the main page. Also please note that change is not the same as progress. This page was revised back in the summer and changing 'administrative things' when good editorial talent is desperately needed in article upgrades is not furthering the project. In this case, it is clearly retrograde. Best regards // FrankB 07:51, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Tangential comment: I'd like to see either a merge, or at least an acknowledgment of existence/purpose, between the 3 pages Help desk, New contributors' help page, and Village pump (assistance).
Just look at these headers: Help desk/Header, Newcomers help page/Header, (and partly Template:Villagepump); there's so much overlap/repetition...
Maybe the newcomer's desk could merge into helpdesk, and the more advanced questions get pointed towards VPa? I don't know..
and I also have the same issue with Wikipedia:Contact us and Wikipedia:Questions. —Quiddity 20:01, 13 January 2007 (UTC)


My problem is that when I try to put a picture gallery on the page, I want to move it to the right instead of the left. What do I do? Supergeeky1 04:14, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Please ask help-related questions at Wikipedia:Help desk. Thanks :) --Quiddity 04:13, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Browser / font configuration

I just spent two or three hours trying to help an established user configure his browser (Internet Explorer 7) so he can view articles on math topics without getting all frustrated (he didn't have the requisite fonts installed on his system). He had previously received some very bad advice from the help desk – someone advised him to convert character-class data he couldn't view into graphic images. That got him into edit conflicts with people who were already conversant with the pages about mathematics.

Anyway, I just poked my way through this beautiful menu page and most of its associated sub-pages. It's very nice. But I didn't find any connection between this help system and the information one needs to display the contents of a great number of WP articles satisfactorily (i.e., Unicode, MathML, special fonts, etc). Can something like "Wikipedia and your browser" or "Fonts on Wikipedia" be worked into this help system? Or did I just manage to overlook it somehow? Thanks! DavidCBryant 17:47, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Help:Formula deals with making math (supplemented by Wikipedia:Manual of Style (mathematics)).
Help:Special characters should deal with displaying character sets and fonts (hopefully it does so well?). I've added a clarifying description following its entry at Help:Contents/Editing Wikipedia, to make it easier to find :) --Quiddity 18:50, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
OK, now I see it. The list of "How to:" items is long, and (IMO) it makes the verb "to use" work up a sweat. That's probably why I missed it the first time through ... I got a little bit bored reading the list. I'll try to think of some other verbs to slip into that list here and there, unless you beat me to it. Thanks! DavidCBryant 14:02, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

(hopefully it does so well?)

Er, no, I wouldn't say so. I had run across that page yesterday, and just couldn't find the link to it from this main menu page. The "special characters" page itself seems to be seriously out of date. I doubt that information about the migration from ISO 8859-1 to UTF-8 in 2005 is of much practical significance any longer, for instance.
I've already set up a Meta account, so I'll log on there sometime soon and see if I can't re-organize that help page a bit, putting more relevant information closer to the top, and less relevant historical detail at the tail end. DavidCBryant 14:31, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Stargate Address Update

I was just going through the stargate address page and I came across a stargate missing its glyphs or chevrons (whichever you call them) The Planet is designated BP6-3Q1, the one where the kingsize mosquito attacks Teal'c The gate address is 27-07-15-32-12-30 but I don't know how to put it in

Can somebody do it for me please. 12:08, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi, this page is for discussion of the Help:Contents page, not general discussion of Wikipedia in general. I'm not sure which article you're referring to, but you should bring the matter up on the discussion page of that article, rather than here. Thanks – Qxz 01:28, 13 March 2007 (UTC)
I'll get it anyway. Josh LeePAGE|TALK 23:49, 8 April 2007 (UTC)


Why did Jimbo Wales order the removal of video game guides from WikiBooks?100110100 13:45, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi, this page is for discussion of the Help:Contents page, not discussion of Wikipedia in general, or of other Wikimedia projects. I recommend you visit Wikibooks and find an appropriate place to ask your question there, where people with knowledge of the project will be able to assist you. Thanks – Qxz 14:59, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

Calcium Zinc PVC stabilsers

Where can I get imnformation on Calcium Zinc stabilisers for PVC —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:48, 16 March 2007 (UTC).

Hi, this page is intended for discussion of the Help:Contents page, and is not the place to ask questions. You may recieve an answer if you ask at the Reference Desk, or use a search engine. Thanks – Qxz 07:52, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

i can't get what i want on this page please help me  !!!!!

This page is for the help article talk. See the intro to this page. =Nichalp «Talk»= 15:45, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia toolbar for Firefox

I´m trying to use today tip of the day, the Wikipedia toolbar for Firefox but i cant find a version compatible with Firefox 2.0 There is one at least? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Alextrevelian 006 (talkcontribs) 02:07, 20 March 2007 (UTC).

Nope. 2.0 is not available as yet. =Nichalp «Talk»= 15:44, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Protect page?

It seems to me like this would be a high-risk page that an admin should full-protect to stop vandalism. — CobraWiki ( jabber | stuff ) 03:09, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't think anonymous editors would vandalise this page. I think most just edit mainspace articles. -- Andy W. (talk/contrb.) 20:54, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
It already is semi-protected. :) --Quiddity 22:00, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
Semi-protection should be enough; full protection seems a bit pre-emptive to me; unless, of course, the page suddenly gets hit by a load of users who have been registered for more than four days. Acalamari 23:33, 10 April 2007 (UTC)


Why doesn't this page say how to link a page through an image? —Supuhstar Supuhstar(SupuhSmall).gif

Can one do this in Wikipedia ?. I think it would do it to an internal link and include also a small link called "license" to go the image page in Wikipedia or Commons -- 13:33, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
It is possible, but isn't explained because it's not standard practice. See ImageMap, however, "it should be used sparingly as image description pages contain copyright information and should normally be easily accessible." If you're not sure, then it's best to ask before using it. --Quiddity 17:11, 13 May 2007 (UTC)


Please examine May 1 edit.100110100 22:33, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it that I can see? Please point out any perceived problems, else we are left to guess...
However, your edit today was unnecessary, turning xhtml <br />s into html <br>s, and leading to an [edit] link overlapping the shortcut box. Please be careful to preview the results of any layout changes you make to pages. Thanks. --Quiddity 02:16, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Whoops, missed the duplicate link. Corrected.
Please try to assume good faith, and Never insult a fellow editor, especially in the edit summary where everyone has to see it. Thanks. --Quiddity 02:23, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
I think that is the best advice; good faith is the very basis of being a good Wikipedian. Jmlk17 07:10, 24 May 2007 (UTC)


I would add a link to mw:User hub

Added to Help:Contents/Technical informationGurch 06:54, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Internal links

Which can be considered internal links in Wikipedia ? --Nopetro 10:05, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

interwiki image links

is it possible to link to and display images from another wiki language site? I've been trying to use this image "de:bild:Josef Hellmesberger senior.jpg" in an article without success. --emerson7 | Talk 01:25, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Couldn't you just upload it here too? Maybe ask the person who uploaded it to upload it to Commons. 07:12, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Basically no, it is not possible. You have to stick the article in commons and do it from there. --BozMo talk 19:23, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Searching help

It's needlessly difficult to search the Help namespace on Wikipedia. Is there someway to search the help section other than to open a search for something else, and then use the little tickboxes at the bottom of the search window? Is there anyway that we could link, on the main help page, to a search box that would search the help section. I'm guessing that new users (i.e. the people that need to search help) are going to have frustration figuring out how to search help. I tried to find a page that's just a search of the Help namespace, and the best I could get was something like this -- a link to a nonsense term (so there are no results) and then the proper button checked at the bottom. But this would only work if people knew to use the bottom search box. Does anyone agree with my concerns that this is a really unfriendly search mechanism for new users? --JayHenry 16:11, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, how about a "Search Help" box on this Main Help page? TIA? --Jerome Potts 03:55, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
I put in an inquiry at the Wikipedia:Help desk and somebody pointed out that you can easily link to a google search of the help namespace -- Search help. I'm not sure what the policy is on linking to google searches, but I think this would be an extremely helpful tool for new users. Does anyone watching this page know if this is an acceptable link? --JayHenry 16:33, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Misplaced Tucson, Arizona

Just west of Clipperton Island in the Pacific (west of Guatemala/Mexico), there is a spot that advertises Tucson, AZ. Not quite sure how it got there. Good luck! ~Jennifer —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

I can't see anything in googleearth, so either I guessed wrong and you meant something else, or it's already fixed :) --Quiddity 18:35, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

"Search for an article"

Why is that link even there if it just redirects you back? thesublime514talk • 03:34, July 8, 2007 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean. The link you reference leads to Wikipedia:Searching. (It does have an irregular "back button" (Template:Help contents back), as do all the subpages listed here. Is that what you mean? If so, I'm not a huge fan of it either, suggestions welcome.) --Quiddity 18:34, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
When I click the link, all I see is the back button. thesublime514talk • 03:41, July 9, 2007 (UTC)
I think I've fixed it. Please report :) And out of curiosity, what webbrowser are you using? Thanks --Quiddity 19:29, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm using FireFox - I think it is the browser. Now when I click the link, the box pops up and almost immediately disappears. Hmm. thesublime514talk • 00:17, July 10, 2007 (UTC)
I'm also using firefox, so it's not just that, at least. Are you using a non-monobook skin, or peculiar user javascript? And do you experience the same thing at, say, Help:Contents/Getting started (which is basically styled the same)?
I think you might need to ask at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical), as I'm not sure what else could be causing it. --Quiddity 01:35, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
"Getting started" works fine, but for some reason that box keeps going away in the "Search for an Article". I just tried editing it, and when I used the QPreview javascript button, it works. But not when I just the regular preview button. I don't know what it is, but this seems to be the only thing affected. I don't think I'll worry about. thesublime514talk • 02:02, July 10, 2007 (UTC)

JAWP page has been moved

The counterpart of JAWP has been moved from [[ja:Wikipedia:ヘルプ]] to [[ja:Help:目次]] and [[ja:Wikipedia:ヘルプ]] is currently used for a differnet purpose. Please modify the interlang.--Cave cattum 03:18, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

I fixed it. Don't we have an Interwiki bot that usually does that sort of thing, though? Andre (talk) 03:17, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Print articles with colored tables?

How can I print an article and keep the tables in colors so they will not be in grayscale? I would appreciate if someone could send me a message or a mail or something explaining how that can be done. Thanks! -Kri(talk)

Please ask help-with-Wikipedia related questions at Wikipedia:Help desk. Thanks. --Quiddity 17:57, 7 September 2007 (UTC)


I didn't see a section on <!-- wiki comments--> comments. Is that under a subcategory?Heqwm 06:03, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

(I've enclosed your code above in "nowiki" so that it's visible) It's very uncommon, so just a brief mention at Wikipedia:How to edit a page#Invisible text (comments). Many editors prefer that comments-to-other-editors get placed on the talkpage, instead of within hidden sections where they may get missed or erased. The only common/consensus usage I can think of offhand are the "Don't add any more links to this list without discussion first" notices in some article's "External links" sections. --Quiddity 17:56, 7 September 2007 (UTC)


does anyone know how to insert a chess board image? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:39, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Replied at userpage. --Quiddity 06:11, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Icon and searchbox

I've reverted the addition of a large icon and a searchbox. Per my edit summary: "rm icon (subjectively ugly, and undiscussed/unintuitive), rm search box - needs to search wikipedia and template namespaces by default too?"

Is there any way to make the embedded searchbox include all 3 namespaces? If so, it might be worth adding back in somewhere here. If not, I consider it a confusing addition. --Quiddity 21:36, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

It is the help namespace, why do you want the search to include wikipedia and template namespace? These namespaces have nothing to do with the help. Martial BACQUET 21:39, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
I wish it were that simple! The Help: namespace (Wikipedia:Namespace#Help) is primarily a mirror of the docs from meta:Help:Help. Most of the complex/uptodate help pages are in the Wikipedia: namespace. e.g. Wikipedia:Media, Wikipedia:Citing sources, Wikipedia:Searching, etc etc. And various things that users might be looking for will only be explained within the documentation of the templates themselves, e.g. Template:Navbox, Template talk:Infobox, etc. I hope that explains things sufficiently, to give you an idea of how overwhelmingly complex our help pages are! Any solutions at this index page need to keep in mind all the potential target-audiences these pages have.
Personally, I recommend changing your Special:Preferences#prefsection-8 ("Search") to include any relevant namespaces you desire. --Quiddity 21:57, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Is it better now? You told it yourself, when a newcomer try to search something with the default search box, it will search only in the article namespace, so there is noway for them to find what they are looking for. I think it is better to have this search box to simply their research. Martial BACQUET 22:13, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
That's better, but is there a way for the checkboxes to all be selected initially by default?
And icons have been discussed and rejected in the past, please don't re-add the large and non-explanatory icon again, thanks. --Quiddity 06:18, 24 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, thank you. I'm going to search that on MediaWiki. I will fix it soon. Martial BACQUET 12:20, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it is. Just do it in this way:

Problem with IE and searchbox

Hi, I selected the help namespace and entered "test" in the search box. After pressing the enter button, I was forwarded to the article Test. When I use Firefox, I became the search results as expected. Is there a bug with IE? -- 14:56, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Hello, we have often bugs expecting to Wikipedia when using Internet Explorer. I'm going to transfer your comment to Bugzila. Thank you for telling us. Martial BACQUET 21:33, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

ordered list in reverse chronological order.

Is it possible to do an ordered list in reverse chronological order using either the # or <OL> commands?--TonyTheTiger (t/c/bio/tcfkaWCDbwincowtchatlotpsoplrttaDCLaM) 18:40, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Please ask help question at Wikipedia:Help desk. However, see Help:Table#Sorting which might help. --Quiddity 21:39, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Inserting feeds

I'm looking for how to insert RSS feeds (aggregators) into Wikipedia pages, but there is apparently no category. There should be IMO, even if the feature is not available. A project is listed on the Meta-Wiki but this is apparently not implemented? See --A12n (talk) 01:09, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

The project you link to does not offer caching. This would add a huge load to the servers.
It is unlikely (I would guess) to be implemented here anyway, because of the unreliability of external content, and the potential for abuse.
Please ask further help questions at Wikipedia:Help desk, or at the MediaWiki's own support page. Thanks. -- Quiddity (talk) 01:22, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


Hi, my cat just walked over my keyboard and suddenly all the letters are very small. Can someone give a key combination that trigger different lettersizes so I can tune it just right? Thanks Mallerd (talk) 00:24, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Ok, never mind I've figured it out. Ctrl + scrolling with your mouse. merry christmas all Mallerd (talk) 00:29, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Your cat managed to hold down Control and scroll the mouse? I'm impressed – Gurch 21:21, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I scrolled at that time I guess. :D Mallerd (talk) 23:55, 26 December 2007 (UTC)


For the last change, yes/no, make sense, needs work? Thanks. -- Quiddity (talk) 08:58, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

I really like the heading-centered alignment. Eleven even (talk) 20:20, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
The question wasn't one of aesthetics, but of usability (I agree that the centered content is more aesthetically pleasing).
I believe the left-aligned version is clearer, and more easily understood as giving just examples of the content found in the subpages; Also, with regards to this page going against our manual-of-style recommendations of not linking headers. Anyone else? -- Quiddity (talk) 22:50, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

A general project

I'd like to develop an alternative introduction to Wikipedia that is not focused on how to edit, but rather how to get acquainted with Wikipedia. How to use the History tab to see what's happened to an article, why getting an account and using a watchlist might be helpful even if you don't plan on editing anytime soon, how talk pages and archives work. Maybe also how the administrative end of things works: how people get admin or bureaucrat rights, what those rights are, how deletion and merge decisions are made, how consensus works in general. If anybody's interested in collaborating on this, please contact me. -Pete (talk) 21:18, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree. My adoptees would really need something like that. -download | sign! 21:38, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree - there is no need to bombard users with all of the editing help and info from the off, just a genle intro and link to all the editing help would do, there are a lot of duplicate links on the help pages leaving it a little confusing - but everything can be improved eh? I recommend using Wikipedia:Help Project as a base camp, it is somewhat inactive but seems to be the place to start ( I have suggested putting it's banner on relevent help talk pages so that good natured editors such as yourselves are led to a central discussion area rather than the isolated mists of little watched pages). I know of at least one other editor keen to fire the project up again... :note there's also a smaller more directed Wikipedia:WikiProject Contents. LeeVJ (talk) 23:41, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely! I am a newly signed up user who would just like to make the most basic of comments on errors noticed in articles or minor changes to them now and then. Every time I've wished to do so, I've come to help and begun reading because this wiki stuff isn't exactly user-friendly. I feel encouraged by those bits about anyone being able to contribute, and advising people to "be brave" and add something. After a half hour of non-progress I start to think I'll just leave the correction for others. Sometimes I then think; well, it would be nice to learn how to do this once and for all. Couple hours of reading later, having been bounced around to a dozen pages, informed of umpteen additional policy, mark-up and guideline documents I still need to familiarize myself with, having become utterly overwhelmed by a storm of information and still having next to zero knowledge of how to do something as simple as customize the CSS for how I see the site without incurring the wrath of God, I always do decide to leave it to others!
I've nearly mastered HTML, Javascript, CSS, Objective C, and Perl, but the so-called help on this site is the most unfriendly, daunting, bewildering disaster I've ever encountered. There must be a way to get people like myself acquainted with the site and the details of contributing in a step by step way instead making it feel like trying to get a Phd in a day. Deinonychus rex (talk) 11:25, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Did anything come out of this? I don't know how to locate this page, if it exists. Is there discussion of this proposal somewhere else at Wikipedia? Ottawahitech (talk) 20:36, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but it's not a simple as first thought ! Wikipedia:Help Project is more active now and we have sorted some bits out, outlined others and work is still in progress. apart from general tidying up and fixing a large number of articles the main pages relevant to this thread stem from Help:Help -> Help:Getting started (several new introductions that are meant to cover everything and not lose the reader)), Category:Wikipedia help is cleaner and another recent drive by a lone editor is reader help (see Category:Reader help). We're not there yet but any help or suggestions much appreciated ! Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 21:16, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

A specific suggestion

Wikipedia:Introduction 3 should mention joining a WikiProject in a particular area of interest in the right-hand column. (The page isn't editable.) -Pete (talk) 21:18, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes it is. Mallerd (talk) 07:54, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

"Other Media"

The link "Other Media" currently links to Wikipedia:Media, a disambiguation page. Looking at the history, it appears the originally intended link target is now at Wikipedia:Creation_and_usage_of_media_files. Should this link be fixed? -- (talk) 21:23, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for not only pointing out the problem, but also researching the solution! Ideal. -- Quiddity (talk) 21:29, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Editing software

Some links to third-party software that can be used to edit articles would fit well in this article. SharkD (talk) 00:53, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

There is a link to Wikipedia:Tools here already. I think anyone who is technical enough to want a separate program to edit with, will be able to find that. -- Quiddity (talk) 02:05, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Pages needing attention

I was looking through the help files and saw a link to [Pages Needing Attention] under the heading of [Resources and Lists], and when I clicked on it I saw it was marked as an inactive page and retained only for historical reference.

Maybe that should be noted on the main page, and the link move somewhere down below, seperating it from the rest of the help section. (talk) 03:11, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Done. Thanks. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:11, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Link to article problems page or "Contact Wikipedia" at top

There are Foundation-level discussions in progress of how to deal with our BLP problems - which are probably Wikipedia's biggest problem with relations to the outside world. Sue Gardner (WMF executive director) started a discussion on foundation-l (see start of thread here).

One of the biggest problems is that people don't know who to contact about a bad article about themselves. FAT52 Birgitte suggested that people with a problem are as likely to hit "Help" as "Contact Wikipedia". I ran some statistics (1, 2) showing the "Help" link in the sidebar gets almost as many hits as the "Contact Wikipedia" link. And noted I'd be mentioning it here.

So. Given a reader's idea of "help" may not match our prior neat categories of what we want to offer as "help" ... I think we really should try a link at the top of the "help" page to Wikipedia:Contact us and Wikipedia:Contact us/Article problem.

I realise the page is cluttered as it is (and could do with reorganisation), but this is a serious problem and these could be really useful to the reader. - David Gerard (talk) 09:39, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Feel free to have a stab at it, or suggest a specific location. I don't think many people are watching this page (sadly). eg. would you suggest within this page somewhere (you say "at the top", but might under the "Communication in the project" header be ok?), or in the {{WP help pages (header bar)}} somewhere? I've made an initial go of it...
I left a suggestion for a potential merge/overhaul between Wikipedia:Questions and Wikipedia:Contact us in September '06, and still think that might be worth considering.
As for an overhaul here, always needed. I still kind of like the "everything on one page" we had when the Help:Contents/Site map was here (eg Feb 2006). Though John Broughton's Wikipedia:Editor's index to Wikipedia now does that more comprehensively. Lots of options, too many pages! -- Quiddity (talk) 20:09, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
It should be on this page, and where you've put it is where it would presently go ...
I'd like to stick it at the top, really prominently, for people who see an article on them with rubbish, go "what on earth!" and click "Help!!" in the hope of finding help. I'm assuming they won't read the page - from this usage perspective, it's presently hidden in a wall of text.
I'd like to put a row in a different colour at the top, with "Article problem?" and "Contact us" in it, for at least a week and see if the hits on the article help pages go up. ( is so useful!) If they do, it was needed - if not, it wasn't.
The main watchers of Wikipedia:Contact us are the OTRS crew, who see it as a way to minimise or at least direct their email flood, and it seems to help them a bit - David Gerard (talk) 23:22, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm poking at ideas in my sandbox, for what to do with {{WP help pages (header bar)}}, and thinking of maybe something like this:

General help: Contact us · Report an article problem · Any questions? · FAQ · Glossary · Reference desk
Editing help: Help manual · Welcome · Tutorial · Cheatsheet · Help desk

Feel free to edit my sandbox, or throw your own together. It's brainstorming time...
(sidenote: I'm sure someone asked that a link to "Contact us" get removed from some prominent place about a year ago, because otrs was getting too many cranks and kids deluging the queue - however I've searched everywhere likely (all the redesigns i've watched or been involved in), and can't find it. (Not that it matters, all experiments are reversible![except the exceptions]))
Do thy will, nobody here but us bears. -- Quiddity (talk) 03:16, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah ... I wouldn't like to instruction-creep the help header. That's why I didn't just add the header, all extra words are bad until proven necessary!
I'll add a test header shortly and see how the hits go after a week, as outlined above - David Gerard (talk) 21:07, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Test header up. It's not ornate in the least, but it'll do. Note bright prominent obnoxiousness. Tweaks OK. The design point is to be the first thing someone sees on the page, so upset people know where to go about a real problem.

I'll keep an eye on the stats for the next week and see if Birgitte was right - David Gerard (talk) 21:24, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

It's a bit in your face and pushes the rest of the items down the page :( I agree a restructure may be needed, the questions etc at the bottom look a bit lost /out of context. I'm not sure about making access for reporting problem articles is more than other questions, but can see your point... maybe a reordering / rationalisation of the sections could be implemented - say with the first section being 'report a problem' subsections factual error / copyright issue, which would make it easier to find and still fit in with the remainder of sections? LeeVJ (talk) 19:42, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

The results

I said a week, didn't I? *blush* Well, no-one zapped it in that time! The numbers from show March hits so far as:

The increased hits on "article problem" may be worth the effort. The increased hits on "Contact us" not so much. What do you all think? - David Gerard (talk) 21:35, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

I have no helpful insights, hence am keeping quiet.
It's really up to whoever has to deal with the influx, I guess.
We're just a quiet valve, here. :) -- Quiddity (talk) 17:39, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Revising and organizing the Help:Contents/Editing Wikipedia page

It might be a good idea to consider better organizing the Help:Contents/Editing Wikipedia page, since in its present form, it is hard to locate things on the page and it is a bit of a mess. Don't know if this is the right place to ask for input, but have created Help:Contents/Editing Wikipedia/Sandbox for a re-write. Any help or opinions would be appreciated, thanks! --Funandtrvl (talk) 16:19, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Right place to ask, low quantity of people watching though.
Your sandbox rewrite looks like a good start. Once you're happy with it, feel free to overwrite/update the actual page. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:34, 10 May 2009 (UTC)


Far too much info on this page; no idea what to click for the best. Can't it be clarified? Like, distinct headings - help for people reading Wikipedia, help for beginner editors, help for experienced editors? (I'm not a beginner, but I'm imagining I am, and I think I would be overawed by this page.)--The Early Knight (talk) 18:53, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Can you ever have too much information? Nezzadar [SPEAK] 17:59, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
I'll second that sentiment. Howcan we provide a simplified walkthrough of the core areas as a guide to this wonderful bounty of information, more like the tabbed Tutorial pages? +sj+ 11:46, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

NB: edited the header bar

I just jiggled with the header bar (a separate template), if anyone wants to take a look. Template:WP help pages (header bar).--Kotniski (talk) 19:13, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

makes alittle more sense, cheers. L∴V 20:57, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


Wikipedia:FAQ/categories has the following statement:

"When using the search box, it is possible to restrict your search to articles in a particular category. To do this, just add +incategory:"CategoryName" to the search string."

I'm not quite sure how this works. I didn't get any results when I did a search for:

+incategory:United_States_Supreme_Court_cases discrimination

I must be doing this wrong. Can you add an example of a properly-formatted search to that sentence? Agradman appreciates civility/makes occasional mistakes 04:05, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

The linked example to do this at Wikipedia:Searching is also not working. I would hazard a guess that the feature is turned off. Most likely someone at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) will know for sure.--Commander Keane (talk) 05:25, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Why the new article suggestions on this talk page?

Twist fan and Jeannieb's recent posts are examples of the influx of topics on this talk page that I think are new article requests. I am not sure why they are posted to this page, maybe there is some misleading documentation somewhere? Perhaps someone can add an edit notice or warning on this talk page to avoid these kind of posts. Someone should welcome and explain to these users the right way to request a new article (if that is what they are trying to do).--Commander Keane (talk) 07:40, 4 August 2009 (UTC)

Inspired by Wikipedia talk:Starting an article's model, I've created Template:Editnotices/Page/Help talk:Contents. Might help a little. Rd232 talk 00:55, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Helping other languages and Projects improve their help pages

Are there efforts to synchronize these pages with help pages on meta, MediaWiki, and other major language-projects? For instance, there are only Help site map equivalents on a few language editions of Wikipedia. There is a lot of information here, and it's not clear that newbies find it friendly (cf. the comment above, and the feedback so far from the usability project), but it is extremely useful for long-time editors and the en:wp collection is one of the best around. +sj+ 11:47, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Not that I know of. There's some recent activity to improve our own help pages, being coordinated at Wikipedia:Help Project (just a few people currently). It would definitely be a good idea to do so, though.
I've wanted to look into this myself, but I haven't spent enough time at meta to feel confident that I know the whole Help hierarchy, or all the ramifications of bold action there... -- Quiddity (talk) 19:17, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

A couple of new high level help pages

We have just unleashed several new help pages aimed first time users/would be editors, Help:Help whose first paragraph links to Help:Getting started, which itself provides links to a couple of lovingly crafted introductions ( 'talk pages' and 'guidelines/policies'). We hope to fully integrate them and other newbie help pages into something a little more cohesive than the prexisting help. More eyes and ideas would be welcome, but I can't quite decide where to link them in - a link 'about help' to help:help, maybe a 'first time users' link to Help:getting started for now..? Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 00:38, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Ok I've added a discrete 'about help' -> Help:help for now, and modified the first link in the 'getting started' subpage to point to help:getting started... Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 01:34, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Motion to dismiss or keep the Chabad editors case

Hi: A discussion has started if the Chabad editors case should be dismissed or should remain open. As someone who has been involved in the discussions leading up to this ArbCom case and presented evidence you should be informed of this motion and have the right to explain if you agree or disagree with this proposed motion and why. Please see Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Chabad movement/Evidence#Contemplated motion to dismiss. Thank you, IZAK (talk) 06:45, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Commons images syntax and examples needed

Can someone knowledgeable please add sections or clear links to guidance and examples of syntax to use for linking to images in Wikimedia Commons. The only thing I can see is a comment that the same syntax works for Commons as for WP, but this is clearly not the case, it just does not work. Even adding "commons:" into the link makes no difference. Can someone please explain how to do it, and put the explanation and examples in an easily found place. Thanks. -- Bricaniwi (talk) 08:43, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

You do it the same way as if the file is hosted on English Wikipedia, no difference in syntax. In other words - it just works. Eg [[File:Frog.jpg|thumb|A frog example]] displays the image from Commons
A frog example
. Now, where to make this clearer in the documentation? I suppose the flow is (from following links):
I will add a note to the "*" pages, but I think a colorful tip box would be better, I'll leave that up to others to decide.--Commander Keane (talk) 09:37, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, I've tried again today, using exactly the same syntax I used at first, and it worked this time, thanks.
Is there a delay between when I successfully upload an image to Commons, and when it becomes available for me to link to in WP? Is there an overnight refresh or something? It's certainly not real-time. If there is a delay this should also be noted in each of the Help pages too, to save others hair-tearing. Also, if there is a delay, how do people know when the image is ready to be linked to? This info too should be published in the wikis and Commons. -- Bricaniwi (talk) 01:23, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
There should not be a delay, for example I will save an image here that was uploaded less than 3 minutes ago to check that it is working.
Schlumberger 013.JPG
Perhaps the server had a hiccup when you uploaded.--Commander Keane (talk) 03:38, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Is this page's name correct?

The article page name is "Help:Contents/Images and media", but this Talk page's name is merely "Help talk:Contents". Is this a technical glitch? Maybe that's why quite a few sections here are very general, only vaguely related to Images and media. Thoughts? -- Bricaniwi (talk) 08:54, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

It is not a glitch, Help talk:Contents/Images and media redirects to Help talk:Contents (here!). It has done sosince 2006 to centralise discussion. I think it works well that way, otherwise I would not have spotted your query above. You can suggest a change of course.--Commander Keane (talk) 09:39, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the redirect is pretty helpful. Ofcourse it can be pretty confusing when you're redirected to a talk page with a different title. Is there any way we can make it more clear that they all redirect here? -- Jack?! 22:24, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I think Quiddity's edit has fixed this. -- Jack?! 23:27, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Updating this page

I've worked on a proposed update for this page. See Wikipedia talk:Help Project#Help:Contents update for info and discussion. - Gareth Aus (talk) 05:38, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

I like the current update. Thanks.
Regarding Pretzels new draft at Help:Contents/Draft, I like the slightly clearer annotations for the "ask a question" section, but dislike the removal of the searchbox parameters, and dislike giving the tipoftheday more prominence. -- Quiddity (talk) 21:41, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback Quiddity. I've shrunken the Tip of the Day box in half, and expanded the Questions section - does that look better? I took out the search checkboxes as I thought they would make no sense to most users, and they're available on the search results page anyhow. — Pretzels Hii! 22:32, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Questions/Totd looks much better like that.
The search feature needs to search those 3 (or 4) namespaces by default (namespaces=Help**,Wikipedia**,Template**,Category). If you can make the search box use those namespaces by default without displaying them, then that's fine too. Otherwise, those parameters need to remain. -- Quiddity (talk) 00:54, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining. I used the prefix: parameter to search just the Help namespace, but can't see a way of either searching multiple namespaces like that, or hiding the checkboxes, so I suppose they will have to return. — Pretzels Hii! 01:20, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your efforts! I've made a few adjustments to the draft - mainly to do with the questions box. I've restored the "report a problem" phrasing to the box title - see above. I also changed the layout to match the main box. This is better for consistency, however the main motivation was that the explanations were a fairly long way from the links themselves on a widescreen monitor. For balance I made the questions and TOTD boxes equal widths. I also removed the "where to ask a question" links to streamline the page, but I don't really care if these come back. For much the same reason, I removed the link to the Help Project page. I'll add a link to this to Help:Help.
As an aside, whilst thinking about this update I've come to the conclusion that the whole structure of Help:Contents needs to be redesigned. In particular, there is significant overlap between the communication and community subpages. Yet merging these would cause the list on the main page to become unbalanced. So I began working on this redesign as more of a cleanup exercise because there are still too many overlapping pages in the help system. Once this has improved (which I think is still at least 2 years away) a true redesign involving both the main page and the subpages / categories would definitely be welcome. - Gareth Aus (talk) 04:32, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Fantastic final cleanup. Full support for implementing that.
I'm much in agreement with your other conclusions. Yeah, the MoS overhaul and Help overhaul (both in slow fitful wiki progress) need to do more work, before we can substantially rework the interface to them. -- Quiddity (talk) 07:19, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I really like the end result, and would be happy for that to be implemented. Big improvement! — Pretzels Hii! 20:02, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
If anyone feels up to it, a few of the Department Directories could potentially use a merging effort.
The first 5 items in Template:WP nav pages (header bar) have partial-to-significant overlap. Reducing the number, even by 1, might be good. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:22, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

New article, New section

Well i know how to upgrade a page on Wikipedia but how do i make my own page and make a new section on ANY page (Including the ones i made) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nascarkylebuschj12 (talkcontribs) 17:45, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Answered at userpage. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:05, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Old editor; new helper

Saturday I was lucky enough to listen to Sue Gardner, former TV journalist and the brightest bulb in a room full of brighter people than me. One of those smart people instantly acted on the suggestion that the phishing alarm had gone stale, but nobody seems to have done anything about the idea the page doesn't know whom it's serving, thus has links for somewhat obscure technical points for logged-in users or for editors sophisticated beyond the stage of rawest newbie, such as how to adjust your User Preferences, handle pictures and refs, and chase down the editor who inserted a fatuous or slanderous sentence.

Far as I see, the page must primarily serve readers who want to know how to read Wikipedia better (and no, it shouldn't say "browsing" which is techie-talk). Second service target is those who spot an error, unfairness, omission etc and want to complain to the management. Third is readers who have become vaguely aware that Wikipedia is where any fool can make a useful contribution, and would like to know how to make a preferably non foolish one. Final target, deserving most attention in other pages but least space here, is people who have already made a few edits and come to realize that there's a lot of important things they don't understand but can learn.

So, I think the simplest improvement we can make is simply to delete the links to specialized user matters, starting with User Preferences and Media. Oh, and since Tip of the Day is almost always about how to write better articles more efficiently, dumping that part will improve service to most of the target audiences of this page, without depriving hardly anyone of useful advice. Once that's done we can worry about adding more relevant complications such as maybe the strange or offputting notion that there's no such thing as complaining to the management. Jim.henderson (talk) 14:22, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Hi. Good input, thank you. I'm not at all sure about the removal of those links though. I'll tentatively revert, until there is some sort of consensus, either way. A few thoughts:
  • The page is currently serving everyone, and hence is a list of links to all its major subpages.
  • Please compare the current design, with the list of previous designs, at bottom-right of Help talk:Contents/Draft, for additional context.
  • Historically (as seen in those examples), this page has primarily served editors. (And historically, it had dozens upon dozens of links).
  • Your proposal is definitely interesting, and worth investigating, but needs more thought before we start just deleting links to subcontent. Otherwise all long-term users will be confused and frustrated.
  • There are other attempts to help readers, which we might use instead, or integrate, or just contemplate suspiciously ;) Including:
  • I've never been a fan of the TipoftheDay, so I agree that removing that from this page, would be a good first step.
  • There's a related thread at Wikipedia talk:Help Project#Help:Contents update.
More later, once I've absorbed my coffee. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:48, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm definitely with Quiddity on this one. Especially point #1.. this page is meant as a resource for all Wikipedians, reader and editor, and it serves both equally well. Help:Contents is supposed to be the root of Wikipedia's Help system, such as it is, and its purpose and function is to serve information, not babysit the newbs. We already have plenty of user-friendly starting points, including WP:Welcome, WP:Tutorial, WP:Introduction, Help:Getting started, and WP:Your first article among others. It doesn't need less links, in fact I think it should have more.
Tip of the day may be a bit dated, but all it needs is someone willing to update some of the obsolete tips. Its dynamic aspect is its best quality, and it's something we should maybe explore as a means of providing other kinds of help information. In fact I recall it being proposed a few times to have a daily tip on the main page! -- œ 12:21, 2 September 2010 (UTC)
Always pleasant to hear from the voice of experience. Slightly less pleasant when the voice of experience says I'm wrong, but I'll see what I can do with persistence. In approximate order, yes, in a sense the page tries to help "everyone", but who's everyone? Something like a hundred million different people read a Wikipedia page in a typical month, while something less than a million edit one, most of them (most persons, not edits) anonymously, and several thousands of us make dozens of edits per week. Which means, we busy, logged-in editors, though the backbone of the operation, are a tiny portion of everyone.
Yes, historically the page has been much longer, and has been almost entirely about helping editors. Perhaps this was wise years ago when there were only a few thousand readers for each editor, but the trend to making it simpler and more reader oriented is appropriate, and ought to be continued.
Yes, there are specialized pages to help readers. There are also specialized pages to help editors, picture editors, category editors, link placers, page watchers, disambiguators, admins and others. This, however, is the page that everybody sees when they click "help". It should lead, in the most direct way practicable, to help for the ignorant masses. We diligent sophisticates can push on diligently to the help edit menu or, if we are a little more sophisticated, can use the page shortcuts.
No, this page should not be primarily about helping thousands of Wikipedians. It should be about helping millions of outsiders. Clues for the clueless, or in more elegant language babysitting the newbs, is precisely the proper mission for this particular page.
I hope to get back to this after getting my beans off the fire and into my belly. Jim.henderson (talk) 12:46, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Day's business done, I'd like to bring in an example. Last week someone was reading the Joe E. Brown article, noticed a credit for a part in the 1932 musical version of Merchant of Venice, tried to find further information, and got nowhere. Suspicion aroused, he asked a mutual friend, who asked me, knowing I'm a Wikinut. Eventually we worked out that it was a probable hoax and now it's gone from both pages. It worked because of the luck of being a friend of a friend of a Wikipedian. How many opportunities are we missing, for individual corrections, or for recruiting a new community member, because most of our millions of outsider readers don't know the right people and Help doesn't provide quick and easy help for such questions? Here's a quote:

I use Wik often as the first go-to spot for info. It's readily
available, easy to use, and, so far as I've been able to tell,
fairly accurate. Objective facts seem to be the most reliable, ie,
scientific or engineering data, historical dates, etc. I am a little
more skeptical about things like biographical info, especially
for living and possibly controversial individuals, or historical
events subject to various political or social interpretations.

Yes, this is someone unaware of WP:BLP which no reason to WP:BITE the newbie. I am trying to recruit him; perhaps I'll get lucky and he'll turn into an insider but for now he's an example of why this page's most important mission is to help the helpless.

Also last week, two people spotted location errors I made in Commons photos. One was an experienced editor; the other managed somehow to put a complaint into the image talk page and hasn't been heard from since. We need to make such things easier so they happen more often and lead to more recruits. Jim.henderson (talk) 21:16, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Quick note: That's also overlapping with the scope of Wikipedia:Contact us (which appears at the bottom of every page, and is also in the sidebar). Possibly we could adapt a copy of the "For readers" section from the "Contact us" page? Or something along those lines. Will ponder more...
Also, just a tangential FYI regarding my own preference: I've always preferred the all-in-one approach that was here historically, and hence I tend to use Help:Contents/Site map (all the subpages transcluded into a single location). Much easier for in-page text searches. But I try not to push for that to be reinstated here, as it is definitely overwhelming. -- Quiddity (talk) 22:36, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

Jim, I'm not saying you're wrong, we just have differing views of what belongs on this page. Both views have Wikipedia's best interests in mind, so neither is "wrong".

IMO, "helping the helpless" and "clueing in the clueless" won't work if they themselves are not willing to put in the effort to learn. If they want to learn an aspect of Wikipedia the information is there and is made redundantly easy to navigate to; call me pessimistic, but even if we did make things ostensibly more 'user-friendly', it would probably only be superficial frills and gimmicks and they'd still have to dig for the information anyway, while the rest will still assume it to be too complicated, based on this being 'Wikipedia' after all.

We may be missing out on recruiting potential new community members, but how will we convert these former readers into editors if our most prominent help pages cater only to readers? In fact, when I was new to Wikipedia, it was all the editor-related content that I was all gung-ho to read and assimilate, to educate myself as much as possible on the ways of Wikipedia. Furthermore, I believe the idea of "dumbing down" Wikipedia's help system to suit 'potentials' may have a negative effect of driving away the intellectuals and content writers. So I reiterate, there are plenty of introductory help pages for newbie readers, but the primary top-level help page should cater to everyone, and when I say everyone I mean anyone who is looking for information, not specifically readers or editors, but rather Wikipedia users, in other words, this page shouldn't specialize, it should make an effort to generalize, and provide a starting point to as much information as possible. -- œ 06:09, 4 September 2010 (UTC)

Right; I too like the long list of helps for editors; that's why this page need a prominent link to that long page, rather than five or six individual items for a few things editors can do. We have to remember, this page is trying to babysit the newbs. Serving people like us is primarily a job for other pages (to which this one links) so our taste is not the most relevant one. Big corporations also design some of their pages to babysit the newbs, and they hire consultants to bring in ignorant people off the street and put them through the various proposed versions and hold focus groups to find out what went right and wrong. Lacking those resources, we try to get by on our memories of how we got where we are now, which if we remember correctly can only help us help people like us, thus missing most the target. Lacking those resources, I'm finding a few ignorant but interested outsiders and trying to figure what went wrong and right with them.
Yes, a link from the Help page to one for, roughly speaking, "Help, Wikipedia is has a mistake and I want you to get it right!" is in a sense redundant to Wikipedia:Contact us/Article problem which is reached through the "Contact Us" chain. This is obvious to those of us who know our way around but not obvious to the relevant audience. The Help page should also show the way, by a link nearly as prominent as the "Help for editors" link.
Right; we don't need more frills and gimmicks on the Help page. Rather, to be able to help everyone, we should continue the historic simplification trend.
Right; we need good help for editors; that's the purpose of this page having a prominent "Help for editors" link, leading to a page designed for industrious, eager people who are, or know they want to be, editors. What this page needs is to serve everyone who is looking for help, hence be a starting point with the most prominent links intended to sort users into the appropriate page for the needs of the moment. Almost no users are editors yet, but the link to help editors should be prominent. Most users never will be editors, but should still be served.
Well, not so much online today; must get my breakfast, unfold the bike, and pedal down to Governor's Island to photograph a Unicycle demonstration and other things for Commons. No rest for the summertime Wikicyclophotographer. Jim.henderson (talk) 11:33, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
We could split the sections up a little, say have the top half reader based, dividing line, links for editors...? Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 13:32, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Another quick aside note: See this revision with the pink banner that was in place for most of last year, which was requested by David Gerard and is discussed/explained above at #Link to article problems page or "Contact Wikipedia" at top (worth reading through). Food for thought. -- Quiddity (talk) 19:18, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
First a bit of unfinished business; I got poor photographs, but 25 Km of bicycling gave me time to think about dumbing down for the newbs, while whistling Stout-hearted Men, Ballad of the Green Berets and What I did for Love. Yes, we climbed the steep and narrow stairway and got into the elite, and surely there are others who can climb, and if we make the hurdle lower we shall get newbs with less computer experience, or less grit or whatever we used to climb it. Which is to say, they won't be like us. True, but I don't think this is a reason for a high barrier. As for those excellent people who are like us (except for not yet being inside) I do not think my proposals will get in their way. Their skill and persistence will let them click blithely along to a more challenging page.
Yes, we already have an above the fold and a below the fold, as well as a lot of fine print. It's a good layout. Only problem is there's too much stuff above the fold that's only relevant to the more experienced users. Most of the millions of users don't know they are "users", and to be told here that such a thing exists would only distract them.
Thanks for finding the pink banner. It was trying to go in the correct direction, but to me it looks wrong because it's obviously an add-on; a visually incompatible complication. My thinking is that exactly four links belong in big letters near the top (I am not counting the fine print, on the theory that the ignorant will look at the big text first). These are the general introduction, the reader's (no; don't call it browser's) guide, the editor's guide, and what to do when you find lies in Wikipedia. Of course don't say "lies" but "problems in an article" or something similar will cover it.
All other matters (What do we mean by "Community"? etc) belong below, or in fine print or maybe on the right instead of the left. Naturally I'm open to numeric or other suggestions, but I do think the visual arrangement should at least be adjusted to depress the prominence of details only important to relatively few, relatively sophisticated users, so as to emphasize links that are important to the millions who use Wikipedia but are only beginning to think about it. Or even drop at least some of those advanced topics from this page altogether, leaving them to be looked for.
I mean, I'm constantly bothered when editors fix an image size, thus impeding adjustments by readers using iPads and smartphones. Appropriate warnings belong somewhere, but absolutely not in this page because it's an advanced topic. Jim.henderson (talk) 23:54, 4 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, I see your point, and I'm definitely open to considering different layout proposals, but I still disapprove of removing links just because the lead to more advanced topics. I tend to hold the view that 'if it ain't broke don't fix it', but if it can be improved then I'm certainly in support of improvement. -- œ 03:02, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Heads up - kind of spooky - two sets of simultaneous discussions with different users .. we'd better join forces ... see Help talk:Contents/draft Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 10:30, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Shame about the photos - but well done on cycling - I assume you used two wheels as a preference! Personally - I'm leaning to less links, but we don't want to separate 'readers' from 'editors' too much, we need to keep the pressure on getting the message that 'it's people like you that edit' - both to prevent unecessary requests and to aquire fresh supplies of manpower, the segregation I was thinking of was just the simple '-----' variety. I'm also with you in dropping 'browsing' in favour of something else, not sure about 'reading' for previous point, - how about 'using wikipedia' ? Lee∴V (talkcontribs) 10:44, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

New page design

I noticed the new page design by User:Mono, and while I like it, I think it needs a little more testing, tweaking, and discussion before it goes live. As it is now, I have two major objections:

  1. The search box searches content pages as well as help pages, so there are a lot of false positives.
  2. The text underneath each icon is not separated by very much from the text underneath the icons next to it, so it is a little hard to tell where the words start and end.

I myself don't have any problem with removing all the smaller links on the page, as I usually just use the search function when I want help with something. However, I imagine other users might have something to say about this. I'm reverting it for now. I think it might be a good idea to have a test page for this change which people can comment on before making it live again. What do other people think? Mr. Stradivarius (drop me a line) 12:48, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I think the redesigned version is a step in the right direction. I'm not getting the bunching up of words, though that presumably depends on screen size. Certainly the search box should be just searching help pages, though (otherwise it simply duplicates the main search box at the top right). I'm also not sure the single-word links would necessarily be understandable to everyone - perhaps some smaller explanatory text underneath wouldn't go amiss.--Kotniski (talk) 13:00, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Having briefly seen a re-design before it got reverted, I would like to suggest the following be retained for the re-design, (but it was gone from what I saw):
  • Initial check boxes at top that say "Help", "Wikipedia", "Template", "Category"
  • The checkbox "Search in namespaces" on the subpage that comes up after clicking "Search"
These checkboxes have been really helpful to me, and I've been on Wikipedia four years. If I'm looking for something like a template, I want the template and not all the discussions about the template over the years. New users would benefit from keeping the options. I think that without those helpful checkboxes, the non-specific Search bar, or "Browsing", "Editing", "Guidelines", "Communication", "Questions", "Technical" tend to throw the user into a secondary generalized area where they need to wade through information that is more than they need.Maile66 (talk) 13:13, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I made a screenshot of the problem I talked about above. This is with Firefox 3.6.13 on a 1366x768 screen. Mr. Stradivarius (drop me a line) 13:19, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I think it's a lot less helpful. We need to accommodate as many readers and editors as possible and I think the current help layout with it's clearly designated areas and many helpful links does that very well. Mono's design, while simple and straightforward, seems babyish with it's huge font and pretty graphics, I just don't get the Wikipedia 'feel' from it. But that's just my opinion. -- œ 16:55, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't find the current layout clear or helpful at all. Sure, it looks good to us, but then we know what all the words mean (and are unlikely to be the ones looking for help via this medium). Imagine a new user, who knows nothing about Wikipedia's structure and jargon, arriving here and trying to work out what to click next - I rather fear we might put them off for good. (Though like I said above, we can also go too far in the other direction, with too little information being presented.)--Kotniski (talk) 17:06, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Quick comments... Prefer no icons. Definitely don't like the gigantic icons, but small ones tastefully integrated might be okay. Also, the horizontal arrangement of icons is not good... causing horizontal scrolling. Rather, try arranging the items vertically. --Aude (talk) 01:05, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

I appreciate the urge to simplify, but I think it goes much too far. A page with slightly more options (and slightly smaller icons) might get people closer to their destination with one mouse-click whilst still being user-friendly. bobrayner (talk) 16:42, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

There has to be a better way. ALL The help pages need to be organized neatly all on one page with easily understood sections and sub sections. Gamewizard71 (talk) 07:03, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, we do have a page like that linked from the current help page: Help:Contents/Site map. The problem is there are a lot of links, and including them all would quickly get confusing, in my opinion. Maybe we could choose the most popular links (say three of them) from each subpage and then have a "More..." link that also points to the subpage itself? — Mr. Stradivarius 10:29, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
We could organize the sitemap to make it look better and maybe sections with a lot of links could have a show more button or have sub headings. Gamewizard71 (talk) 19:47, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea to me. Why don't you create a version in a user subpage and then post back here when you have a version that looks decent? If we find a consensus to use your version then we can update Help:Contents. If you want any advice on making it, just ask. — Mr. Stradivarius 22:04, 30 June 2011 (UTC)
I think templates are nice and organized looking, less stress because less to look at. Gamewizard71 (talk) 22:45, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

New Language

Please add si:උදවු:පටුන to other languages list. Thanks...10:23, 11 April 2011 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Yes check.svg Done No problem. Mr. Stradivarius (drop me a line) 13:31, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

New help-related info page

I wrote Wikipedia:Guide to requesting assistance in response to many frustratingly badly written help requests on my talk page. Now I have at least something to point people to... If it does not duplicate some other page, which I did not check, it may be of use in the help context somewhere.  Sandstein  20:25, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

It's been a long time since you posted this, but I thought that a late reply is better than never... I think this would work well as a link on Wikipedia:Questions, and I've left a message at Wikipedia talk:Questions#Wikipedia:Guide to requesting assistance about its possible inclusion. I think there are lots of other places that would benefit from linking to it, but Wikipedia:Questions seemed like a good place to start. All the best. Mr. Stradivarius 12:20, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from Hyjyljyj, 18 August 2011

In section titled "Criticism of Federal Reserve",


[quote] On 16 August, Perry sharply criticized the Federal Reserve, stating that it was "treasonous in [Perry's] opinion", by "printing money to play politics".[end quote]


[quote] On 16 August, Perry sharply criticized the Federal Reserve, stating that it was "almost treasonous in [Perry's] opinion", by "printing money to play politics". [end quote]

...because he actually did say the word "almost" before "treasonous". (Source: every single news outlet playing a video clip of the remark.) Omitting the adverb critically changes the meaning and severity of the remark in an unacceptable and obviously slanted manner. If that seems unclear, consider the difference between "She died" and "She almost died." Hyjyljyj (talk) 14:49, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

This is not the page to put the request on. It should be moved to the talk page of the page you would like to have edited. --Jnorton7558 (talk) 15:04, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Please stop autocracy on wikipedia

A cheap Indian has deleted my edits on London Eye page. He's not even allowing me to write on its discussion page. The edit I made was very informative. you can check that in history of the article. Please ban this person on English Wikipedia because he's behaving like an autocrat. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:05, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the late reply, I hope you still see this. This question is more relevant to Wikipedia:Help desk. I checked your edit and felt it wasn't relevant. Calling something "cheap" is derogatory, and doesn't adhere to our WP:Neutral point of view policy. Furthermore, the Delhi eye isn't very notable (it's actually only mentioned in the article Kalindi Kunj, so there's no reason to include it in the London Eye article. Calling Vibhijain a "cheap indian" and "autocrat" was unconstructive and rude, the note you left on the talk page was more of an attack on him. You are welcome to discuss the issue further on Talk:London Eye, however please refrain from insulting other editors. Puchiko (Talk-email) 13:53, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 9 October 2011

The Gynaecology and Fertility Hospital(Ph:0097165771822) Dr.Pankaj Shrivastav Conceive Fertility Hospital is situated on the Dubai-Sharjah border in the U.A.E Conceiveuae (talk) 12:08, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. If there is something on a specific page that you would like changed the best place for that is that page's article. --Jnorton7558 (talk) 01:48, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

OVERuse of inter-wikilinks

Once in a while I'll see a horrible overuse of the inter wikilink. In those cases there seems to be a belief that just because the term has a Wikipedia page that it somehow should be linked. Such pages are becoming hard to read. I can't find a reference to this issue anywhere....does one exist?Tgm1024 (talk) 16:02, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

There is a shortcut for that, see WP:OVERLINK. jonkerz 16:14, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


Can I request that you put a 'to the top' button on Wikipedia as when you get to the bottom it would be easier to click it to go to the top.

Thanks Matthew583 (talk) 11:49, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Hi Matthew. You can use Keyboard shortcuts to do this. The 'search' access key (Alt+Shift+F in Firefox) brings the cursor to the search box at the top of the page from wherever you are on the page, for example. -- œ 09:18, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Edit request

Include redirect WP:H in "Shortcuts" box. (talk) 02:51, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Ruslik_Zero 19:16, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

A suggestion

Anyone wanting to put a pic on a Wikipedia page would click: Help, Edit Wikipedia, Pictures and Videos. They would find themselves on a long page telling everything about pics except how to upload them to the page. This is the most important part. It even says 'here are all the file types you can upload'... How? That's why I came to this help section, to upload a pic. Someone should really add this info. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:23, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

I've linked the word "upload" in that sentence. -- John of Reading (talk) 06:58, 19 December 2011 (UTC)


The link “Browsing Wikipedia” on the Contents opening help page is redirected right back to Getting Started on that same page. Is this really necessary? I found this confusing and unhelpful. I would suggest that either the Getting Started page should offer a description that it covers several topics (“the basics; the interface; browsing”) or the “Browsing Wikipedia” should have the actual section on Browsing moved to it. I’m wondering what others think.

Webster Newbold (talk) 01:29, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia Icons

I posted a question a little while a ago in the Wikipedia help desk: "What does the lock icon after a hyperlink mean?"

It has been answered, but it occurs to me that this is perhaps a more general issue. Shouldn't there be a listing of icons that is easily found on the Help pages?

I have since found where I could have answered the question on my own, but it took a lot of persistence. Maybe this is just a slow brain day for me, but my process was something like this:

1. See if the icon itself linked to an explanation. No.
2. Look at other links and try to spot the difference. I probably should have noticed the https, but didn't for some reason.
3. Search in the usual box at the top right for "lock", "icon", and "lock icon". Articles - nothing obviously appropriate.
4. Search in DuckDuckGo for "wikipedia lock icon", "wikipedia lock", "wikipedia icon". The only things it returned from wikipedia itself were similar to #3. Nothing else jumped out as helpful.
5. Look for wikipedia help. I looked at "Browsing Wikipedia" and didn't find anything. Then I looked at "Links and References"
6. "External Link" look promising. I quickly scanned the page for the icon. Nothing. Then I searched within the page for "lock" (nothing) and "icon" (not useful).
7. Try "Wikipedia:Linking". Tried the same things as #6 with the same result. There was one instance of the icon on the page, but didn't explain what it meant.
8. Go back to the Help page and look in FAQs. Nothing quickly jumps out.
9. Search the FAQ for "lock", "icon", and "lock icon". Nothing useful.
10. Go back to Help page and follow links to "Ask Question" -> "Help Desk". Success!!! - I got an answer in less than 5 minutes.

but while I was waiting:
11. Go back to "Help" - "Search Help" for "Lock"

  • a. I did this before asking the Help Desk and the first result was "Lock may refere to: mechanical devices..." which is the disambiguation page you get from the usual search box. It looks like "Search Help" is broken or stupid.
  • b. I tried again, but this time I noticed the check boxes under the text box and above the "Search Help" button.
  • c. Nothing useful for "Lock" or "Lock Icon", but "Icon" gets me "Help:External link icons". Paydirt! Here's the official answer to my question.

12. Check the "Help Desk" page. Thank the guy who answered.

I say all that to point out several places where I think I should have been able to get an answer. Refering to the above:
1. Is it feasable to make the icons links? This might be a bad idea (confusing icon with actual link). Alternatively (my HTML is *very* rusty), could there be a tool tip that explains it?
3. Could there be an article "Wikipedia Icons"? I'm not sure that it's appropriate to intermingle help and articles. Or perhaps the normal search box should retreive help as well?
5. A general page on icons might be appropriate under "Browsing Wikipedia". Or "Links and References" should have a direct link to the "Help: External link icons" page.
6. The "Help: External link icons" could be rolled into "External Links" - or at least there could be a link to it.
8. Are icon questions "Frequently Asked"?
11. This is very confusing, the "Search Help" button should actually do that, or at least the appropriate box should be pre-checked.

I'm not a regular Wikipedia contributor, so I'm not really sure if any of my suggestions are appropriate, or if they are something that the ordinary public can do. Can someone here offer an opinion?
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for this feedback. The page Help:External link icons is fairly new and isn't properly integrated into the other help pages yet. I've edited Help:Link and Help:Wiki markup to include a blue link to it; there may be other good places as well. -- John of Reading (talk) 21:58, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
At Help:Contents the first three checkboxes just above "Search help" are supposed to be ticked by default. I'll ask at the technical help desk if anyone can work out what is wrong. -- John of Reading (talk) 22:04, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 26 February 2012

to Wikipedia dear sir it has come to my attention that if you need any help to clean any articles just ask me to help okay therefor i am writing this to you (talk) 15:21, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Nice of you to offer, pick an article and get started, but not with edits like this please--Jac16888 Talk 16:57, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 10 May 2012

yes i am interested in wikipedia tutorials these tutorials provide a very useful informations and these type of information for the net user and other users and they can build up their currier and reach their destination also for more informations contact us [details removed]

Webdesigning2012 (talk) 05:04, 10 May 2012 (UTC)

This appears to be an advert. Please note that Wikipedia does not allow advertising. -- John of Reading (talk) 06:53, 10 May 2012 (UTC)


<<extensive off-topic material removed>> — Preceding unsigned comment added by Warner Music Malaysia (talkcontribs) 10:25, 28 May 2012‎

This isn't a good page to post material for the encyclopedia. In any case, the page SM*SH already exists. Please also check the message I have posted at your talk page. -- John of Reading (talk) 11:49, 28 May 2012 (UTC)


Please always speak the truth — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rennox (talkcontribs) 01:08, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

If you've found an error on a Wikipedia page, then be bold and fix it. Thank you for registering an account, by the way - I've left you some introductory links on your talk page. -- John of Reading (talk) 06:07, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 4 June 2012

 dying should be  dyeing (talk) 07:57, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. This talk page is for discussing Help:Contents, but I don't see the word "dying" on that page. What page are you referring to? Rivertorch (talk) 09:16, 4 June 2012 (UTC)


The Naveen Xerox, Adyar, Chennai founded in the year 2002. The company has been well known for its quality of work.Its owned N. Senthil Kumar. Address 13, KB Nagar 3rd Cross Street, Adyar, Chennai. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Senthileee (talkcontribs) 07:03, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Please see "Wikipedia is not a directory". -- John of Reading (talk) 07:09, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

How do you edit page help please? (Gdelta (talk) 23:43, 29 August 2012 (UTC))