Help talk:Editing

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Rethink and rewrite

This page is too large, verbose and poorly structured. It doesn't meet the needs of new users. The lead section is waffly and too detailed. The image doesn't add value; it increases the visual clutter. I would suggest cutting the page right down to the basics. Remove all jargon, especially all the stuff about being bold.

What's needed: A simple jargon-free explanation of how to edit, linked to a beginner's version of wiki markup. Mention the critical importance of using references with 2-3 clear examples (link to explanation of reliable sources). Mention the importance of using the preview button. Mention the importance of a meaningful edit summary. Most new editors will just want to edit an existing page, so have a separate page on creating a new article (mention stub tags, categories, wikiprojects). Remove the big blurry image. The material in the section entitled "More information on editing wiki pages" could be put into a navbox; anything that is important for new users to read should not be in this section.

Comments would be welcome. Rubywine . talk 15:42, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

What's wrong with telling users to be bold? -- œ 07:23, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

As for myself, I wrote the simple-speak essay WP:PRIMER intended specifically for newbs... and when newcomers get a handle there, they are usually ready to move on to the more verbose editing instructions. Schmidt, MICHAEL Q. 20:50, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Updated edit box

The old image did not show the WP:Cite tool within the edit box. Thus we need the new one. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 21:25, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Turned of WikEd and uploaded a new image to address concerns. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) (if I write on your talk page please reply on mine) 22:39, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

My Page Doesn't Show in Google Search

I created a page ( but it won't come up in a google search. It does come up under my username (CharcoalsMom) with a link. How can I correct this?

Thanks for your help! CharcoalsMom (talk) 00:18, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

It will take a little time for Google to notice a new article. RJFJR (talk) 00:38, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

I created a page ( and it isn't showing up on search engines. The page source for the Wiki page says: "<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow"/>." According to a help forum I found on this topic, that prevents the page from being indexed -- in this case, "robots" means noindex in ALL search engine. When the page was initially published, it showed up on Google, however it was deleted by an admin. Now that the page is edited and back up, it is no longer showing up. Is there a way to correct this? --AngelaSeal (talk) 18:18, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

@AngelaSeal: This is a fairly recent change to the software - new articles are automatically marked "noindex" until they have been checked a little by an experienced editor. Be patient, and a "new pages patroller" will get round to reviewing the article. The details are at WP:NOINDEX. -- John of Reading (talk) 19:09, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

It's been a month and the page is still not showing up on search engines. Is there someone I can contact to fix this? Thanks! --AngelaSeal (talk) 13:34, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

@AngelaSeal: The queue at Special:NewPagesFeed is more than fourteen thousand pages. The backlog is about 4 months. --David Biddulph (talk) 13:47, 20 February 2017 (UTC)
@AngelaSeal: Articles older than 30 days don't have noindex. John Da Grosa Smith no longer has it so Google will index it when they discover it's allowed. We don't control when this happens. PrimeHunter (talk) 14:25, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Ah I see. Thank you for your help! --AngelaSeal (talk) 19:18, 20 February 2017 (UTC)

Help req'd.: Wikipedia mark-up dating

  • Whilst editing, I have noticed that in some articles the dates are formatted as follows: ... on_26_Aprilampersandnbsp;1997_ at... which produces this: on 26 April 1997 at... What is the advantage? Can somebody help me please? Gareth Griffith-Jones (talk) 18:10, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
That's a non-breaking space. It tells the browser to avoid laying out the text like this...
blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah 26 April
1997 blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
...with the month on one line and the year on the next. The theory is that this could make the text harder to read, but I haven't seen many dates formatted with non-breaking spaces. The style guideline is at WP:NBSP. -- John of Reading (talk) 19:10, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Thank you John of Reading for your prompt and succinct reply. I have been searching Wikipedia for an explanation for what seems like hours. I suppose you would only use the non-breaking space after noticing its need on Show Preview before saving your edit. Kind regards, Gareth Griffith-Jones (talk) 08:39, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

find & replace

I used to have a search & replace button over my edit window. Today it's gone, and I can't figure out how to get it back. ?? — kwami (talk) 18:54, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

It's not there by default. Different tools can add such a feature. Is "Enable dialogs for inserting links, tables and more" enabled at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing? PrimeHunter (talk) 20:08, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Ah, that was it. Thanks. I didn't recognize it under prefs because it has such an odd name. Did it use to enable those things? (The only change I notice is the addition of the search icon.) — kwami (talk) 20:21, 3 August 2012 (UTC)


This page is going to need a significant update this summer when the VisualEditor is deployed (current target is 01 July 2013 for the English Wikipedia). The WP:VisualEditor is designed to let people edit without needing to learn wikitext syntax. The articles will look the same (or nearly the same) in the new edit "window" as when you read them (aka WYSIWYG), and changes will show up as you type them, very much like writing a document in a modern word processor. This new editing system is intended especially to help new editors, which is the primary audience for this page.

Right now, the early test version is available only to registered users who opt-in, and it's a bit slow and limited in features. You can do all the basic things like writing or changing sentences, creating or changing section headings, and editing simple bulleted lists. It currently can't either add or remove templates (like fact tags), ref tags, images, categories, or tables (and it will not be turned on for new users until common reference styles and citation templates are supported). These more complex features are being worked on, and the code will be updated as things are worked out, but this is where we are with the development and testing so far. Also, right now you can only use it for articles and user pages.

What the developers need from people like you—people who know what new editors need to know, and how this page is going to need to be re-written—is for you to take it out for a spin and tell them how it worked. Please go to Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-editing and tick the box at the end of the page, where it says "Enable VisualEditor (only in the main namespace and the User namespace)". Save the preferences, and then try fixing a few typos or copyediting a few articles by using the new "VisualEditor" tab instead of the section [Edit] buttons or the old "Edit" tab (which will still be present and still work for you). Fix a typo or make some changes, and then click the 'save and review' button (at the top of the page). We really need people who will try this out on 10 or 15 pages and then leave a note Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback about their experiences: Did it work for you? Did it screw up something simple? (Give a diff, please!) Did you try something complicated and it worked unexpectedly? Did something not work, but you think it should be a high-priority item because new editors are likely to encounter it?

It's my belief that the VisualEditor is not going to be deployed on talk pages for a long time (if ever; they're looking at other solutions), which means that much of what's here might need to be retained but labeled as talk-page-only material. Please also let other folks know about this; we don't want people to wake up on July 1st and discover that dozens of help pages need to be re-written. Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:40, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

What about the current editing through Wiki markup, will it be retained in this page, or split to another page to make way for the VisualEditor help? NoNews! 10:30, 14 July 2013 (UTC)
Personally, I'd ut basic information for both here. There is also a separate page at WP:VisualEditor/User guide. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:09, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

Ctrl+click and middle-click overridden for Edit links

For the last few weeks, middle-clicking or Ctrl+clicking an Edit link (whether at the top of the page, or inline with a section) has not opened a new tab as it is supposed to, but has loaded the edit page over the existing page. This happens only on the English Wikipedia, only for Edit links (e.g. not History links), and only when JavaScript is enabled.

This useful functionality shouldn't be purposely disabled. --pmj (talk) 23:57, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Added link to Bugzilla ticket. --pmj (talk) 22:24, 25 June 2013 (UTC)


In the third paragraph of the NOTE section on the Help Editing page, "wikitext" is misspelled: "...geared toward wiktext editing."--LinguisticEngineer (talk) 14:08, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Well spotted - I have edited Template:VE documentation to fix this. -- John of Reading (talk) 16:07, 30 July 2013 (UTC)

Trying to add 2 "reclassified" numbers on a page?

I've been adding to USN ship pages the past few days and in the info boxes I need to add of the same descriptions. It looks like this "|Ship reclassified=". Well the shp in question had been reclassified twice in her life and i've tried adding the last one inbetween the recom and decom dates but it won't show up??? Any clues? This is the coding I have right now:

|Ship commissioned=30 June 1943 |Ship recommissioned= |Ship decommissioned=29 October 1946 |Ship reclassified=CAG-14 January 1952 }} {{Infobox ship career |Hide header=yes |Ship recommissioned=1 November 1955

Ship reclassified=CA-69 May 1968

|Ship decommissioned=5 May 1970

Major Mistake

The second paragraph of the intro is the same as section 1.4! Where does it go? Buscus 3 (talk) 22:17, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

I think this was deliberate. User:Rd232 added the section in this edit, and then added it to the intro three minutes later. -- John of Reading (talk) 06:27, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Major Edits section: {{In use}} tag

Hey folks, in all of my 8 years here, focusing on providing content (not on bot- or gadget-based edits), only once have I ever seen anybody use the {{In use}} tag. And that one use of it ended up being totally counterproductive! So in point of fact I think this advice in the "Major edits" section of this guide is misleading, if not downright negative. I vote to remove that suggestion, which doesn't even match the "Further information" link at the top of that section. Really the best advice to give anyone who is planning on doing major live edits to an article is to have them announce that on the article's Talk page, rather than to post a tag at the top of the article. Sincerely, Softlavender (talk) 22:53, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

An advantage of {{In use}} is that AWB has a checkbox to skip pages marked "in use". Bots/AWB users won't see a notice on the talk page. -- John of Reading (talk) 05:55, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I still don't think it's useful to have this on an essay for beginning users. It's not even listed on the "Further information" link at the top of that section. It's not really even necessary, since it's easy to recover edits lost due to an edit conflict. Out of the 4.5 billion articles on this site, only two currently have this tag. This says to me that not only is the tag neither commonly used nor necessary, but also that it's just a waste of time, and a confusing impediment to contributions for newcomers reading this essay. Softlavender (talk) 07:20, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Character insert gadget

I recently noticed a problem in the character inserter at the bottom of the edit box, and wasn't sure where to post my comment. I posted my comment on Wikipedia:Village Pump (technical) and was directed to MediaWiki:Gadget-charinsert and MediaWiki talk:Edittools. It seems to me that the documentation for this gadget ought to be easier to find. I'm not sure how to do this, but maybe a brief description and links should be added to this page? — Eru·tuon 22:19, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

My User page (User:Freddie2016)

Hi. Can someone help me please? How do I go about to make a "Contents" section in my User page? Freddie2016 (talk) 06:54, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

just open someone else's page to edit it, and copy the formatting there for your own page

Suggestion; time-expiring watchlist entry

Dear all, I find I often want to watch a wiki page for say a week or two - typically after I have made an edit, to see if it is is accepted. I suggest the 'watchlist' options be extended to offer this option; i.e. a time-limited watchlist entry ('drops off watchlist in 2 weeks time'). JCJC777 (talk) 17:08, 10 May 2017 (UTC)User:JCJC777