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Tips on using and contributing to Wikipedia


This is Wikipedia's tip 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 Tip of the day and the Tip of the day talk page (where the tips are written). Wikipedia also has 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 navigation bar above.

Tip of the day...
Please sign your name on talk pages

It is proper "Wikiquette" (WI-kee-ket) to sign your messages on talk pages. This prevents readers from confusing your posts with messages by other users.

To sign a message, move the cursor to the end of the message, and then with your mouse click on the sig icon ( or ) in the toolbar at the top of the edit box. This inserts the signature code (~~~~) where the cursor is. When you save the page, these tilde characters are converted to your signature followed by a date stamp.

You can also type this code in manually with the four tilde characters ~+~+~+~.

To sign without a date stamp, use three tildes ~~~ (~+~+~) instead.
To sign only the date stamp, use five tildes ~~~~~(~+~+~+~+~).

Prior tip - Next tip

To add this auto-updating template to your user page, use {{Tip of the day}}.
Become a Wikipedia tipster
Light bulb

Tips about Wikipedia as a whole[edit]

Don't believe everything you read
Help Wikipedia help you
How reliable is Wikipedia?
Accuracy, quality and peer review
What the world knows about us
How popular is Wikipedia?
How does Wikipedia stack up?
Copyrights? Copyleft
Wikipedia etiquette = Wikiquette
Welcome to Wikipedia!
"Where do I begin?"
The Wikipedia Adventure!

Tips on accessing Wikipedia pages[edit]

Wikipedia for your mobile...
Browsing Mobile Wikipedia on your big screen
Editing articles for web accessibility

Finding your way around Wikipedia and beyond[edit]

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
Can't find what you are looking for?

Tips on searching[edit]

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)
Searching Wikipedia titles with grep
Search Wikipedia from any website
Searching Wikipedia from any website
Title searches
Using Wikipedia's search box:
Jump to the search box Shift+Alt+F
Go Search
To search a specific namespace, include the prefix in searches
Searching Wikipedia with Google:
Wikipedia-specific searching with Google
How to search Wikipedia 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]

Are you looking for help?
Where to look for help
Go to the right desk
Ask intelligent questions
Keep track of your questions
Stop by the Reference Desk
Do you need administrator assistance?
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
Please read department instructions
Where to begin?
Use the Article Wizard to easily create new articles
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?)
Please sign your name on talk pages
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
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's true is verifiable
Avoid trademarks
Avoid using neologisms
Preventing markup glitches
How to start a new article
How to create a new page
SuggestBot is a fun way to pick pages to edit
A fun way to pick pages to edit
The three revert rule
List the things to do for an article
Table of contents
The lead section
Lead section size
Cite your sources
Where did that fact come from?!
Don't 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:
Pretty tables
Using Math
Please fill-in edit summaries
Please summarize your work using the Edit summary box
Remember: fill-in the edit summary
Abbreviating edit summaries
Automatic edit summary reminder
Spell Checkers
Fix double redirects

Tips on editing[edit]

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

Tips on creating and editing links[edit]

Using Special:MyPage to make private links
When not to use links
How to make links to articles
How to create a link to another article
Linking articles: the internal link
Linking to a section of an article
How to link to a section of an article
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
Link tricks
Short link pipe trick
Interwiki links and shortcuts
Create links faster
Create links faster with link 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]

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

Tips on working with specific types of pages[edit]

Working on the Main Page
Featured content
Another way to read or share Wikipedia: Books
World of fiction
Beware of instruction creep
Redirect synonymous topic names
Fansites, Forums, & other Webpage 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
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 boilerplates
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
Displaying Tip of the day on your user page
How to display the tip of the day on your user page
Displaying tips on your userpage
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?
Spoken Wikipedia
Digital audio editors

Communicating with other editors[edit]

Report problems on noticeboards
Talking to Wikipedians
Be forgiving to new users
Love thy neighbor
Centralizing project discussion
How to sign your comments
Please sign your comments
How to fix unsigned comments
What did he say? (Wikijargon)
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
In conflicts, reach consensus
Explaining Wiki markup to other users
Strikeout button
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 don't exist yet
How to enable the Enhance recent changes setting
Join the Recent Changes Patrol!
Join the fight against vandalism
WikiDefcon (Vandalism level indicator)
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 enable right-click section editing
How to enable the Enhance recent changes setting
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]

Supercharge your browser
Automating tasks on Wikipedia
Automatic page loader
Search box bookmarklet for your browser
Wikipedia search box focus
Are your hands full? (Use search box as a small but convenient clipboard)
Making the editbox more visually pleasing
Change text size easily when reading a page
Change text size quickly (with Ctrl-mouse wheel)
Toolbar links to access the WP pages you use the most
Navigate fast using shortcuts
Navigate faster using Wikipedia shortcuts
Use Wikipedia shortcuts to navigate faster
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 ten most powerful 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 - don't include them if they are already there!
Note: this section is currently empty.

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