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Editing FAQ

This FAQ answers the most common questions about editing Wikipedia. Editing most Wikipedia pages is easy. Wikipedia uses two methods of editing: the new VisualEditor (VE), and classic editing through wiki markup (wikitext). The explanations on this page deal with wikitext editing (the method most used). For instructions on using VisualEditor see the VisualEditor user guide.

How do I edit a page?

To edit the whole page, click the "edit" tab at the top. To edit just one section, click the "edit" link to the right of the section heading.

I have problems editing with my browser!

See Wikipedia:Browser notes.

How do I make links?

Double square brackets: [[page name]]. If you wish to link to a page while displaying text different from the page name, use [[page name|text]].
To add a link, find an article that supports both the immediate context and main topic. The spelling of the page name can come from visiting the target and copying its title, from the search box name-completion.
Markup the link, and then you may activate a preview to test the new link. A missing link will be red. Finally, follow a new link to prove its intent.

How do I insert a new line?

Press the Enter key twice, and Wikipedia will start a new paragraph. To force a single new line (for instance, when you want to insert a poem) insert the HTML element <br /> after the line.

How do I rename a page?

Autoconfirmed users can move a page; this moves the page content and edit history to a new title, and creates a redirect page at the old title. Use the "Move this page" tab at the top of the article to perform a move or rename. Once you have moved a page, click the "What links here" link in the "toolbox" in the right column and fix the links to the old page (which will be labelled as a redirect in the "What links here" list).
Images and other media files can only be renamed by administrators and file movers.

How do I delete a page?

The procedure for deletions is explained at Wikipedia:Deletion policy. Articles that should be deleted are most commonly nominated at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion.

How do I edit a redirect page?

The easiest way to edit the redirected page is to click on the link you see at the top of the page after being redirected: "redirected from ...". For example, if you try to go to the William Jefferson Clinton page, you are redirected to the Bill Clinton page. At the very top of that page, you will see a message: "(redirected from William Jefferson Clinton)", Click on the William Jefferson Clinton link, and you can edit the redirect page.

How do I edit mobile subtitles?

The mobile version often displays a "subtitle" or "subheading" below the page name and in search results. These pages have a "{{short description}}", and works like this: {{short description|subtitle}}. See Wikipedia:Short description.

How long should the ideal article be?

A good rule of thumb would be fewer than 5000 words, unless the subject really, really needs much exposition.

How do I figure out how big an article is?

On the right of the page, under "Tools", click "Page information" and you can see the byte size of a page.

What do I do when an article is too long?

See Wikipedia:Summary style.

How do I determine who made what changes to an article?

Click the View History tab to see the revision history of a page. See Help:Page history.

How can I add pictures to pages?

First, you need the right to publish the picture under the GNU Free Documentation License, an acceptable Creative Commons license or another free license. This means that either you created the picture and therefore own the copyright, or it is in the public domain. If you have a registered account that is four days old with at least ten edits, you can use Wikipedia:File Upload Wizard to upload the image to Wikipedia, including it in wiki pages by including its file name, the thumbnail option, and a caption: [[File:NameOfImage.png|thumb|A descriptive caption]].

How can I delete uploaded items?

Only Wikipedia:Administrators can delete uploads, but anyone can upload a new item with the same name, thereby replacing the old one.
If you want to nominate an uploaded image for deletion, see Wikipedia:Files for discussion.

How do I describe images?

Click on the image to get the description page. Also, when you upload the file everything you put in the upload summary is placed into the image description page. See File:Boat.jpg for an example of what goes onto one of these pages.

Are there any tools to make editing easier/faster?

See Wikipedia:Tools for a list of such tools.

How do I cite sources?

See Wikipedia:Referencing for beginners.

Is there any way to see how many people have viewed a particular page?

On the right of the page, under "Tools", click "Page information", and you can see how many people have viewed the page in the past 30 days.

Why does part of an article not appear, although it's there in the edit screen?

This is normally due to a mistake in the markup for citing sources; look for a HTML tag without a matching tag ('closing tag'), and add that closing tag in the appropriate place on the page. For more information, see Wikipedia:Footnotes.

Where can I find information on the markup used in editing, eg <br /> and <noinclude>?

See Wiki markup and Help:HTML in wikitext.

Why have I been blocked?

Your edits were deemed disruptive by an administrator, or it may be due to an automatic block by the software, see Wikipedia:Autoblock. If you want to appeal your block, then put the text {{unblock|''reason''}} tag on your talk page, putting the reason you think you have been wrongly blocked in for reason. An administrator will come and take a look, and decline or accept your request.

How can I insert a new section in an article?

See Help:Section. There is no automated way to create a new section within an article, it is done manually by placing ='s around a heading, for example:
==Main heading==
==New main heading==

Where can I find the quotation templates?

The big, blue quotation mark templates are {{Cquote}} and {{Rquote}}. Also see Category:Quotation templates.

Is there a way to edit without having to deal with wikicode?

VisualEditor (VE) is a way to edit pages without needing to learn wikitext markup. For instructions on using VisualEditor, see Help:VisualEditor. VisualEditor is in the beta testing stages and may contain bugs and glitches.

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