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Tips on using and contributing to Wikipedia


User-library.svg Welcome! Simple light bulb graphic.png This is Wikipedia's tips library. Here you can digest how to use Wikipedia in bite-sized morsels. The tips listed below were created for the Tip of the day project, but are listed here by title and organized by subject area for your convenience.

See also the Tip of the day talk page (where the tips are written by volunteers like you), and Wikipedia offers an introduction for aspiring contributors that provides information and resources on the basics needed to comprehend, comment on, and edit Wikipedia. For other useful directories, see the links on the navigation bar above.

Tip of the day...
Wikipedia Search box - basic
Vector skin has magnifying glass icon to combine the search and go buttons
Vector skin, simplified search box. Note that an empty Search displays "Search".
Monobook skin has Go and Search buttons
Monobook skin, search box format.

Wikipedia has its own search engine, with its search box on every page. The search box will go to a given page name, but there are three ways to go to the search results page instead.

  1. If you activate the magnifying-glass icon (or the Search button) from an empty search box, you'll go to an empty search results page.
  2. If you start any query with the tilde character, it always generates search results, ~page name.
  3. Choose "containing..." from the page names that drop-down as you type (if you have JavaScript enabled). To access the suggestions that drop down as you type, click the mouse on them, or use , or Tab , to access them.

At an empty Search display, there are filtering options for:

  • Content pages – Search in (Article)
  • Multimedia – Search for files
  • Everything – Search of all content (including talk pages)
  • Advanced – Search in custom namespaces
Become a Wikipedia tipster – Tips library, by subject
To add this auto-updating template to your user page, use {{totd2}}
Light bulb

Tips about Wikipedia as a whole[edit]

How popular is Wikipedia?
Do not believe everything you read
How reliable is Wikipedia?
What the world knows about us
How does Wikipedia stack up?
Advice for parents
Wikipedia etiquette = Wikiquette
Copyrights? Copyleft
Welcome to Wikipedia!
"Where do I begin?"
Help Wikipedia help you
The Wikipedia Adventure!
Flashback to Wikipedia's past

Tips on accessing Wikipedia pages[edit]

Souping up your Smartphone editing of Wikipedia
Explore Wikipedia's contents
Wikipedia for your mobile...
Browsing Mobile Wikipedia on your big screen
Editing articles for web accessibility
Digital audio support
Spoken Wikipedia

Finding your way around Wikipedia and beyond[edit]

Introduction to navigating Wikipedia
To see everything on Wikipedia about a subject area...
The Wikipedia Curriculum
Wikipedia has 22 sections, called namespaces
Namespace entry points
How to see a list of the pages in a namespace
Wikipedia's alphabetical index of articles
Getting a subpage listing
How to get a list of a page's subpages
When to use subpages
Wiki-exploration: beyond Wikipedia...
Wikimedia links and shortcuts
Linking to non-Wikimedia wikis
Cannot find what you are looking for?

Tips on searching[edit]

How to easily recall a username
Wikipedia industrial-powered search
Highlight text on any website, then search Wikipedia for it with a single click
Power search Wikipedia using AutoWikiBrowser
Searching Wikipedia with regular expressions (regex)
Search Wikipedia from any website
Using Wikipedia's search box:
Wikipedia Search box - basic
Jump to the search box Shift+Alt+F
To search a specific namespace, include the prefix in searches
Title searches
Searching Wikipedia with Google:
How to search Wikipedia with Google
How to provide a Google search in a link
Wikipedia-specific searching with Google
When and how to exclude Wikipedia from your Google search
Another way to search Wikipedia with Google
Google Toolbar current site search button
Firefox search tips:
Wikipedia-specific searching within Firefox
Wikipedia Search Box for Firefox

Tips on bookmarking, creating access points, etc.[edit]

Wikipedia toolbar for Firefox

Getting help[edit]

A comprehensive index for editors
Where to look for help
Go to the right desk
Ask for help at Wikipedia's Help Desk
Stop by the Reference Desk
Getting real-time help via IRC (Internet Relay Chat)
Come visit the Teahouse
Visit the Village Pump for technical issues
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Ask intelligent questions
Keep track of your questions
How to catch admin attention fast
How to request help on your Talk page
Where to post requests
Please return the favor

Tips for contributors on getting started[edit]

Create a user account
Why create an account?
The five pillars
A plain & simple introduction
A self-guided tutorial
Please read department instructions
Where to begin?
Use the Article Wizard to easily create new articles
Avoiding common mistakes
How to improve Wikipedia's reliability
Speed up your learning curve...
Are you lost?
Now what? (Are you lost, and do not know what to do?)
What is a Talk page?
Article development
Article quality assessments
Accuracy, quality and peer review
Good article nominations
Featured article candidates
Referencing for beginners
How to customize your signature
Custom signatures
Advanced signatures
How to move/rename a page
How to add hidden editor notes in an article
Watching for changes
How to look at the changes to an article
What are page history diffs?
How to review user contributions
Page history
Where to write about current events
What can be included in Wikipedia?
Freedom of speech and profanity

Tips on working with articles[edit]

Be neutral, like Wikipedia
Be neutral when editing Wikipedia
Look before you leap
What writing style to use
No copies of primary sources
Not everything that is true is verifiable
Avoid trademarks
Avoid using neologisms
Preventing markup glitches
How to start a new article
How to create a new page
Find articles for cleanup
Basic copyediting
SuggestBot is a fun way to pick pages to edit
The three revert rule
List the things to do for an article
Table of contents
Lead section size
Cite your sources
Where did that fact come from?!
Fixing bare URLs to prevent link rot
Do not use forums or emails as sources
Forums and emails are not acceptable sources
If you have privileged access to web pages...
Citation Requests
Acronyms and initialisms
S.W.A.T., T.I.M, & the U.S.D.A
Link to Wiktionary word definitions using Wikt:
Introduction to tables
Pretty tables
Using Math
Please fill-in edit summaries
Please summarize your work using the Edit summary box
Abbreviating edit summaries
Automatic edit summary reminder
Spell Checkers
Fix double redirects

Tips on editing[edit]

Check your work before you save, using Preview
Undoing edits
Search and replace while editing an article
Test-drive your edits using a sandbox
Dates in Wikipedia articles
Section editing
Section edit button
How to enable right-click section editing
Double click editing
Edit Wikipedia faster with AutoWikiBrowser
Power-editing with AutoWikiBrowser
Search & replace in thousands of articles with AWB
A better wiki editor: WikEd
Counting your edits
Getting your edit count
How to reduce or enlarge font sizes

Tips on creating and editing links[edit]

How to make links to articles
How to create a link to another article
Linking articles: the internal link
When not to use links
Linking to a section of an article
How to link to a section of an article
Using Special:MyPage to make private links
External links
When to use external links
Placing "External links" sections
How to link to a category
How to link to a category without categorizing the page
Interwiki links and shortcuts
Create links faster using tricks
Time-saving links: the "pipe trick"
Time-saving links II
How to make links look the way you want
My link disappeared!
How to use red links
Google search link
How to provide a link to a specific Google Search
Sister projects & interwiki linking
How to link to word definitions
Wikimedia links and shortcuts
Placing interlanguage links
Link articles to their foreign-language counterparts
Linking to non-Wikimedia wikis

Category tips[edit]

Category tips
How to add an article to a category
Placing category tags
Sorting entries in the categories
Find uncategorized articles
How to create a category
How to create a subcategory
How to plant a CategoryTree!
Find stubs and expand them

Tips on working with specific types of pages[edit]

Working on the Main Page
Featured content
Articles about notable books
Another way to read or share Wikipedia: Books
World of fiction
Using the Authority control template
Beware of instruction creep
Redirect synonymous topic names
Fansites, forums, & other web page articles
Band articles

List tips[edit]

General topics lists
The topic list
Why have lists when there are categories?
List building
Alphabetical list of articles

Disambiguation page tips[edit]

Same titles, different meanings
Formatting disambiguation pages

Tips on working with images[edit]

Image processing tools
How to find legal photographs and graphics
Permission requests
Where to upload images and media files
Uploading Free Images
Tag your image uploads
Cite the source on all image uploads
Where on the page to put images
How to insert a picture into an article
How to add a picture to an article
Brilliant pictures

Boilerplate/template tips[edit]

How to create reusable boilerplate
What are templates used for?
Using templates
Placing templates
Displaying one page within another = Transclusion
How to transclude a page into the page you are editing
Transclusion caveat
Transclusion vs. Substitution
Pick from a list of template parameter choices

User page tips[edit]

Your user page
Are you jealous of others' user pages? (WP:UPDC)
Displaying Tip of the day on your user page
Displaying tips on your user page
Motto of the day...
Your very own Wikipedia bookmark page
User Sub Pages

Other ways to contribute[edit]

Help reduce the Wikipedia backlog
Wikipedia:Today's articles for improvement
Join a WikiProject
Welcoming Committee
Wikipedia needs pictures. How you can help...
How to help prepare the Main page
Giving editor awards
Becoming an Administrator
Help test the MediaWiki software
Running MediaWiki on your own computer
When is a Wikipedia project a WikiProject?

Communicating with other editors[edit]

Be forgiving to new users
Love thy neighbor
Talking to Wikipedians
Explaining Wiki markup to other users
How to send a message to other editors
How to fix unsigned comments
Thanks - send a notification
Strikeout button
Posting on the Wikipedia Community Bulletin Board
How to catch admin attention fast
Try to see it my way!
The fastest way to end a conflict: walk away
Report problems on noticeboards
In conflicts, reach consensus
Centralizing project discussion
Wikimedia-wide issues
Wikimedia has mailing lists

Watchdogging (monitoring) Wikipedia[edit]

Preview tomorrow's Featured Article
Use your watchlist
How to make your watchlist easier to read
How to watch for pages that do not exist yet
How to enhance Recent changes
Join the Recent Changes Patrol
What is Page curation?
Intruder alert! Intruder alert! (Vandalism-level warning)

Configuring and customizing your account[edit]

How to change your username
Reserve your username on the sister projects, before it gets taken
Customize appearance of dates
Setting Wikipedia time to your time zone
Super-customize your account with gadgets
Troubleshooting Wikipedia's look and feel with skins
How to adjust the height of your edit window
How to enhance Recent changes
Upgrade Recent Changes in my preferences
User scripts
User scripts
User scripts examples
Prove it with ProveIt
Install your first javascript

Tips on working faster[edit]

Automating tasks on Wikipedia
Automatic page loader
The semi-automated article peer-reviewer
What are dummy edits good for?
Breaking the 500-edit limit in "View History"
Making the editbox more visually pleasing
Shortcut for minor edit box
Supercharge your browser
Toolbar links to access the WP pages you use the most
Article banner templates
Archives for lengthy pages
Search box bookmarklet for your browser
Wikipedia search box focus
Are your hands full? (Use search box as a small but convenient clipboard)


Navigate faster using Wikipedia shortcuts
Work faster with keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts


Use your browser's toolbar to navigate Wikipedia
Your customizable Wikipedia navigation hub
Navigation popups
Power tool: Navigation Popups
Become clairvoyant with Navigation Popups
How to skip scrolling and clicking
How to make redirects turn green so you can see them


Wikipedia's dozen most essential tips
Wikipedia's top ten essential tips
Wikipedia's top ten power tips
Six of one, half-a-dozen of the other

These need sorting into the above categories[edit]

Be sure to check for duplication - do not include them if they are already there!
Note: this section is currently empty.

Fetch another random tip | Tip of the moment...
Breaking the 500-edit limit in "View History"

Have you ever been frustrated that you are limited to viewing 500-edits in View-History for pages?

Solution to see more edits:

  1. Go to any page with more than 500 edits
  2. Click on that pages' "View History" tab
  3. Click on the "|500)" wikilink just above and to the right of Compare selected versions
  4. Go up to the web pages' address bar and change limit=500 to any higher number (N), for example: limit=2500
  5. Press Enter or hit "go"

Go slow with "N", until you know what your web browser and computer can handle. If you get greedy your computer and browser may lock up. After the page fully loads you can use your browser's search feature to find what you are looking for or you can scroll down the page. As a bonus, your "next" choice will now offer next-N instead of next-500.

Bonus tip #1: The same process works in "Contributions". Bonus tip #2: If you prefer you can tweak the web address (URL) to go back to a certain date in time for very long histories. Just change the offset= in the full URL. The first 8-digits of the offset are the Gregorian calendar in ymd format (YYYY-MM-DD). So, offset=20061215142129 would be 2006/12/15 (December 15, 2006). Just go to your browser bar and change the first 6-digits of the offset in the full URL to something like: offset=20151206142129 (December 6, 2015) and press Enter or hit "go".

Become a Wikipedia tipster – Tips library, by subject
To add this auto-updating template to your user page, use {{totd-random}}

See also[edit]

Find this page confusing? Just use this link to ask for help on your talk page; a volunteer will visit you there shortly!