VisualEditor gives you the ability to edit without needing to learn wikitext markup, as is required by the default wikitext editor. Unlike that editor, VisualEditor will display the text being edited almost as if it were already saved. This guide gives illustrated, step-by-step instructions on the editor's features, although it may occasionally lag behind the release of new ones. Visual editor can be used on User and Article pages, but not Talk pages.
Also important, if you run into any edit conflicts, please see Help on Edit conflicts.
Enabling Visual Editor
If you are registered on Wikipedia, you can enable VisualEditor by clicking the hyperlink for changing your preferences. You'll need a VisualEditor-supported browser; most are. More information can be found here.
If you are not registered, you can still use VisualEditor by adding
?veaction=edit to the end of a Wikipedia page URL. (Registered editors who have not enabled VisualEditor in their preferences - that is, the box for "Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta" option is checked - can do the same.)
|To edit a page using VisualEditor, click on the "Edit" tab at the top of the page.
It can take a few seconds for the page to open for editing, and longer if the page is very long.
Clicking on the "Edit source" tab will open the classic wikitext source editor.
The VisualEditor toolbar
|Undo and Redo the changes you have made.|
Formatting: Clicking the "A" opens a menu.
If you have not selected any text, then when you click the "A" to open the menu, and then select an item, that formatting will apply to the text that you start typing, from wherever your cursor is located.
|Linking tool: The chain icon is the linking tool. Clicking on it (usually after selecting some text) opens the link dialog.|
|Cite button: If the citoid service is enabled on your wiki, then you will see a "Cite" button instead of a Cite menu.
The citoid service tries to fill out citation templates automatically.
|Insert: The "Insert" menu may be different on some projects. Below is a list of all options that may appear.
|When you're done editing, click the blue "Save page" button in the toolbar. If you have made no changes, the button will be disabled (grayed out). To cancel all your editing changes, just close your browser window.|
|Pressing the green "Save page" button opens a dialog. You can then enter a brief summary of your actions, mark your edit as minor, and add the page to your Watchlist. The box for the summary is the equivalent of the Edit summary (Briefly describe your changes) field in the wikitext editor.
You can also review your changes using the "Review your changes" button to be sure they will work as intended before saving your changes. This is similar to the "Show changes" button in the wikitext editor.
The "Resume editing" button returns you to the page you were editing. You can save all of your changes later.
|Links can be added through the "Link" icon (links in a chain) in the toolbar, or by using the shortcut Ctrl+K (or ⌘ Command+K on a Mac).
If you select (highlight) text and then press the "Link" button, that text will be used in creating the link. For a link that involves just one word, you can either select that word or just put the cursor within that word.
|When you use either the button or the shortcut, a dialog will open in which you may type the link.
VisualEditor will try to help with internal links by looking for likely matches.
|Once you have entered or selected the link, you complete the linking process by pressing ↵ Enter or by pressing the "Done" button. Your link will immediately appear on the VisualEditor page, but as with other changes to the page, it will not be saved until you save the entire page.|
|You can use VisualEditor to create lists, or to change the format of an existing list. There are two types of lists: unordered (bullet) and ordered (numbered).
To start a new list, just click on one of the two menu items shown here. Or, if you already have typed the list (on separate lines), select (highlight) the list you have typed, then click on one of the menu items.
|If you want to change the indentation level of part of an existing list, select the part of the list that you want to change.|
Many editors are used to entering wikitext directly, especially bold, italics and wikilinks. Keyboard shortcuts allow to quickly insert similar formatting without having to use toolbar items. Here are the common general shortcuts in VisualEditor:
|PC shortcut||Action||Mac shortcut|
|Ctrl+K||Insert link||⌘ Cmd+K|