Help:Text editor support

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Editing Wikipedia articles using a full-fledged text editor is often more convenient than a web browser's standard text area. Text editors provide facilities that are very useful for writing and editing articles (especially long articles), such as spell checking, search and replace, macros, syntax highlighting, and alphabetic sorting. They also provide a quick and easy way of saving a local backup copy of an article, possibly for future offline editing. wikEd for Wikipedia (Preferences > Gadgets > Editing) supports some of these features, and some browsers support spell-checking. In any case, you can select Wikipedia VisualEditor for a visual editing, in your user preferences.

This page contains pointers for adapting several external and in-browser text editors to editing Wikipedia articles.

How to open articles in your text editor

Manual method

A "manual" way of editing in an external GUI text editor is to use copy and paste. Some text editors do not support, or may not be set up to support, various special characters—Chinese characters, non-Latin letters, mathematical symbols, and so on—they are typically replaced with a character that renders as a square. Check in a preview that your editor has not mangled any special characters before saving the edited page. A word processor may also be used, and may be less likely to mishandle special characters.

  1. Open the Wikipedia edit window for the article or section as normally in browser (click the Edit tab of a page or section, or use the keyboard shortcut ⇧ Shift+Alt+E)
  2. Select the entire content of the browser text area (as with Ctrl+A or ⌘ Cmd+A), copy it (to the clipboard; Ctrl+C), then paste (Ctrl+V) it into an external editor window
  3. Perform the editing and copy the text editor contents
  4. Select the browser text area contents so that they are overwritten, then paste the edited text back
  5. Preview and check the edited page before saving it.

For some browser/editor software combinations, there are more efficient methods:

Chrome and Firefox

Mozilla and Mozilla Firefox

If you are using the Mozilla web browser, it is possible to configure an external editor for editing text areas, including the Wikipedia edit area. This then avoids the need to copy and paste the article text between browser and editor. Several solutions exist:

  • It's All Text!, supports nonblocking editing and UTF-8 encoding. Note: If you also want syntax highlighting in your edit box, this addon may be incompatible with the highlighting in Preferences → Beta features, but works with the highlighting in Preferences → Gadgets. (See below for highlighting within Vim.) Note: Stopped working in Firefox 57+.
  • Vimperator and Pentadactyl have a shortcut in Insert mode that allows external text editing (the default is Ctrl+i). Note: Stopped working in Firefox 57+.
  • GhostText. An extension for both Chrome and Firefox (including Quantum) where everything that you type in your editor appears instantly in the web-browser. Requires installing an editor plugin separately.
  • textern Another Firefox-Quantum-compatible replacement for It's all Text. In addition to the addon, it requires installing a server separately. Only supports Linux.
  • MozEx. The official package[dead link] does not support editing UTF-8-encoded documents and does not install properly in Mozilla Firefox. However, the development version[dead link] does not have these problems. A quick MozEx tutorial is available.
  • ViewSourceWith provides similar functionality vis-à-vis the text editing.
  • TextArea Sputnik, supports nonblocking editing and different encodings in an external editor. (You may see question marks in an edit textbox unrelated to the content you are editing (for example, the Unicode grapheme and other glyphs at the bottom), but your edits won't destroy the characters.)
  • withExEditor supports nonblocking editing in an external editor. As of this writing, it is common for other external editor plugins (It's All Text, ViewSourceWith) to not support multi-process (aka e10s) Firefox, whereas withExEditor does.

With all these solutions, once you are done editing, you need to save in your editor, then click into the browser's text area and it is updated. You can then hit Preview. If you want to continue editing after the preview, hit Back in your browser, then work in your editor. Alternatively, you can hit Preview before you start editing for the first time, then work in your editor, save, preview, edit some more, save, preview etc., without the need for hitting Back in between.

Certain Firefox forks such as Pale Moon and Waterfox support legacy add-ons. Starting with Firefox 57, all add-ons must be based on the WebExtensions API in order to run.

Use It's All Text! to invoke an external editor

When the It's All Text! Firefox extension has been installed, a little blue edit button appears in the bottom right corner of the text area. Just click the button to open the contents of the text area in your editor.

However, before you can use It's All Text!, you need to specify the path to your editor in the Preferences dialog box. The Preferences dialog opens automatically when you use It's All Text! for the first time, but you can open it manually as follows: Right click in the text area to open context menu; select "It's All Text" → "Preferences".

If your editor requires some other command line options in addition to the filename, use a shell script (.sh file in Linux and macOS, or .bat in Windows) to call your editor, and specify path to that script instead of calling your editor directly. In addition, you can add filename extension for wiki file type in Preferences dialog, in case your editor uses file type specific configuration.

Once the above is done, you can edit any text area in your editor by clicking at the Edit button at the lower-right corner of the text area. Alternately, you can right-click on the text area. From the "It's All Text" menu, you can choose which filename extension to use for editing. Next time you use the blue edit button, the extension is the one you used last time.

After editing, just save the file from your editor. The contents are automatically copied to the text area in Firefox. To indicate this, the text area turns yellow briefly.

A temporary file is created for editing and is removed at the end. So if you want to preserve a text file for later editing, you can change the file name and/or save the file to another directory.

Using Vim or another console editor

Some macros may work in Vim, but not in gVim for some reason (e.g., the macro to format text paragraphs). Or you just want to use Vim within an X terminal as you used to do, instead of using gVim. To invoke Vim within an X terminal window, you can write a shell script (see below) to invoke an X terminal and to run the vim command within that X terminal, or generally your preferred editor. Assume that the filename of this script is wiki.edit.vim, and that you put the script in the directory /home_dir/bin/ so that the path of the script would be /home_dir/bin/wiki.edit.vim Put the above path in the Preferences box (instead of /usr/bin/gvim) of It's All Text. It should work. Note that /home_dir/ is the complete path to your home directory from the root (/) directory; don't use ~/ (tilde) instead of /home_dir/; it won't work. The listing of the script wiki.edit.vim is given below:


exec xterm -e ${VISUAL:=vim} "$@"

Don't forget to make the file executable with $ chmod +x wiki.edit.vim

Using Vim in macOS

To get It's All Text to work nicely with Vim in the Mac, you need to install Macvim. When MacVim is installed, a script called mvim is also added. You need to tell It's All Text to use this script and not the file. A good place to keep it is in the same folder your file is (Applications by default).


Lynx allows editing text area content with an external editor. When the cursor is in the text area, one can type Ctrl+X and E — or Ctrl+E and E to invoke a text editor. In addition, Lynx accepts a user-definable key-binding (normally not bound) to invoke the external editor. Some packagers may assign a user-definable binding in Lynx's configuration file.

Do not wrap

After saving the file in an external editor, quitting it and returning to Lynx, answer "no" to the Lynx question "Wrap lines to fit displayed area? (n)" by pressing the N key; answering "yes" will otherwise have Lynx wrap lines with normal carriage returns, which will break the document structure. Using article preview is strongly encouraged.

Line and paragraph breaking

Lynx built-in hard limits line length. In version 2.8.3, find this line in LYGlobalDefs.h:

#define MAX_LINE 1024

This can be modified to a longer length (e.g. 8192) and recompiled. If you are unable to recompile Lynx, the following are workaround suggestions.

Lynx is prone to breaking lines longer than 1023 characters: When this happens, a large paragraph with lots of reference data may easily become broken, and articles saved like that may take at best a slightly inconsistent appearance; at worst, complex articles might lose their structure.

The character length limit is dependent on maximum buffer length set for a line, the default size of which is 1023 characters; this behaviour can be observed when moving the cursor to a text area line exceeding the limit, whereby Lynx will issue an alert: "Form field value exceeds buffer length! Trim the tail."

Even if a paragraph of article text on its face is not very long, it may still contain multiple references along with extensive amounts of related code and data for them, which makes an actual paragraph in article code much longer, and in some cases, well beyond the length of the 1023-character limit. When a line of text exceeds that limit and a text file is sent back to the Lynx textarea, Lynx will yield an error message: "Alert! Very long lines have been wrapped!". In such a case it's best not to save article content before such issues have been mitigated.

Therefore, article editors should be careful to follow the character length of longer lines, and where (usually) possible, insert strategic linebreaks with carriage returns (not HTML <BR> tags): Advanced text editors, like vi or VIM, do typically show cursor position within a line in their status areas, and thus allow to gauge line length when the cursor is at the end of a line.

In a longer paragraph of article code containing references, single linebreaks can be inserted within reference code, so long as parameter values themselves are not broken.

  • Some Wikipedia editors hold the practice of entering a linebreak before every reference parameter (as can be seen in examples of Citation templates; Whether this is a good practice within text, is subject to debate);
  • Other editors choose not to interfere with a paragraph's visual consistency and enter a linebreak before a very long URL, one that is longer than the visual line in a terminal window, which is usually the length of 80 characters. If the situation in text necessitates, a linebreak can also be inserted before other parameters.

Because URLs are typically long, placing these on a new line is handy for comparing article editions, as some textually non-breaking code prepended and/or appended to a URL may lie outside a comparison column's viewport, and this may hinder in discovery of changes made to an article.

If a paragraph line is near the limit or exceeds it by just a few characters, then article editors can choose to optimize code or text:

  • By removing superfluous spaces:
    • the best practice with extensive template data (such as references) is to only separate the last character of a previous parameter value and the marker pipe of next parameter's name;
    • In plain text after a sentence-ending period, some article writers add two spaces instead of one, but browsers ignore this.
  • By refactoring template data into a shorter format: date=26 February 2011 can be replaced with date=2011-02-26 — Users with their own date preferences should then see dates in their favoured format when logged in;
  • By rewording a line without affecting the nature of the text within.
  • The above applies, even if a paragraph line does not contain breakable code.

If a line paragraph still exceeds the 1023-character limit, but does not contain any reference code (or any other wikicode that would work with linebreaks), then users should consider logically breaking that paragraph into two for better legibility.


If accented and international characters fail to show properly, use a terminal program that has support for Unicode (such as uxterm) and set the assumed and display character sets to UTF-8 or greater in Lynx options.

Nevertheless, article content with any special characters — including non-standard Latin, Cyrillic, or other non-Latin languages — are seen in Lynx textareas in the UTF-8 &#xXX; format, which in that form are sent to text editors and then back.

Beware that these UTF-8 glyph representations are not treated as one character, but as six (ö = &#xF6;), and these add to the 1023-character line limit.

Such behaviour is a hindrance to editing non-Latin texts, and even Latin texts that are written in languages that may feature extensive amounts of accented characters.
See #Dealing with special characters for more.

Lynx in Windows

In addition to above instructions, there are intricacies specific to Windows.

If you want to use Wikimedia's secure servers, get a version of Lynx that supports SSL. To find out if yours already does, go to Options and see if the User-Agent header contains OpenSSL.

The assumed character set should be utf-8, as this is also the default charset used by Wikipedia. The display character set can be different, such as cp850, but editable text will always be in utf-8.

In Windows, the display font should be Lucida Console instead of 'Raster fonts', as Lucida Console supports a greater amount of characters. The display font can be changed in window properties: In Windows XP, click the Lynx window icon (to the left of the title), choose Properties, and switch to the Font tab, which typically lists only Raster fonts and Lucida Console.

Lynx configuration files

Configuration files for Lynx are simple text files and can be edited from any text editor that supports Unix linebreaks. In Windows 9x, the built-in text editor for this is WordPad, because Notepad in these old Windows versions does not support the Unix Line Feed.

lynx.cfg is the config file for Lynx; the global config file in Windows is always located in the same folder as the Lynx executable, wherever it has been installed to. A typical location is C:\Program Files\Lynx. If Lynx is installed in that folder, then Windows Vista and newer usually require administrator access to edit the file (via User Account Control).

lynx.rc is a per-user Lynx User Defaults File saved from the Options page. Settings in it take priority over the global config file. In Windows Vista, the per-user User Defaults file can be in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\temp\lynx.rc. If the file is in the temp directory, care is advised when using automated cleanup tools like Disk Cleanup.

Lynx Option file syntax is different between global (lynx.cfg) and per-user (lynx.rc) configuration files.

lynx.cfg is extensive; very often, almost all options are placed into it, along with explanatory comments for each option. If it's not so, there's an official online version at — Keep in mind that if your Lynx version is different, change the numbers in the URL accordingly, as some options may be version-specific.

The best way to find an option is by using the text editor's find feature.

When not in active use, an option is commented out with a hash # and its default setting is on; To use an option, delete the hash character before it. The config file may occasionally not contain a specific option, but it can be added by the user.

Defaults to reconsider

The following options are often found as defaults in Lynx binaries compiled for Windows and might not meet formatting conventions used in Wikipedia. These options can be edited from lynx.cfg and are usually not specified in the Options page. Before editing, back up the file and rename it to lynx.cfg.old, for example.

Collapsed <BR> tags

The COLLAPSE_BR_TAGS: option should be set to FALSE, as in the example below:


The reason is that some editors intentionally use more than one <BR> tag, especially in locations where conventional paragraph breaks are not allowed.

Justified text

Graphical browsers do not show this, since justification is not used. For this, set

Numbered links

As Wikipedia articles very often feature linked content in tables, the numbers in brackets before or next to links may be distracting. Set these following options:


The typical key combination to invoke an out-of-Lynx editor in Windows is Ctrl+x+e and not Ctrl+E+e like in Unices and elsewhere; this can be changed in the config file. Both an internal and external editor can be used, according to taste and preferences. Avoid Windows Notepad for reasons stated above. And only since Windows XP does WordPad have full Unicode support (with some reservations).
An example with Vim, configured to use the mediawiki syntax:

SYSTEM_EDITOR:C:\Progra~1\Vim\vim73\vim.exe -c "setf mediawiki"

Note the double quotes ^

Colour issues

When using an in-window editor like Vim and after exiting back into Lynx, any colour theme Lynx uses is rendered inoperable (links and buttons not highlighted anymore), so the best practice is to never show colors in Options (in section Appearance), and save the settings.

External editor feature

For MediaWiki Version 1.5 through 1.21, the software allowed you to edit any resource using any external tool. See Manual:External editors for details. This was removed during the currency of version 1.22

Other browsers


Conkeror can edit text boxes using an external editor by pressing Ctrl+i on a focused text box. Details on setting up this feature can be found on the External Editing page from the Conkeror website.


dwb allows editing a text area with an external editor by typing Ctrl+e when the cursor is in the text area. This key-binding can be changed on the dwb:keys page under the open_editor option, and the editor is defined on the dwb:settings page.


The text-only browser elinks also provides a function to edit text areas. The key combination Ctrl+T calls an external editor, e.g. Vim. This allows also to use syntax highlighting, edit functions, spelling corrections and saving local copies.


Luakit is able to edit text boxes using an external editor by pressing Ctrl+e on the focused text box. editor and open_editor Lua modules powers the external editor functionality. User configuration is done by editing a userconf.lua file and key bindings are changed with the add_binds and remove_binds functions.


Nyxt is able to open an external editor on a current input field. The default keymap is C-c ' when using CUA keybindings. The editor path can be changed by configuring the external-editor-program browser slot. The edit-with-external-editor command is used to open an editor.


qutebrowser can open an external editor on a selected text area by typing Ctrl+e or by using the :open-editor command. Settings can be changed using the :set command, with the editor defined in the editor.command section. The key-binding can be changed by using config.bind() in or with the :bind command.


Vieb can open an external editor on a focused input field by typing Ctrl+i while in Insert mode. To change the mapping for the action, use the imap command on the action.editWithVim action. To change the editor, use the set vimcommand= command.


vimb is able to open an external editor on a hinted form area by typing ;e or by pressing Ctrl+t on a form field while in Input Mode. The editor is defined by changing the :set editor-command setting and changing the key mapping is done by using :map to change mappings. Note that there are various key mapping modes for mapping commands.


vimprobable can open text boxes in an external editor by typing Ctrl+t while in Insert Mode. User configuration is done by editing a vimprobablerc file. To change the key binding, use the map command on the openeditor function. To define a different editor, use the handler command to change the vimprobableedit URI schema.


w3m opens an external editor for text areas by default. To change the external editor, press o to open the Options screen and change the Editor field. If the Editor field is left blank, w3m will use the $EDITOR environment variable.


webmacs can edit text fields using an external editor by pressing Ctrl+x e on a selected text field. Configuring the external editor is done by editing found in the ~/.webmacs/init directory and changing the external-editor-command variable. The define_key() and undefine_key() functions define and undefine a command to a keymap respectively.


xombrero is able to edit a selected text element in an external editor by pressing Ctrl+i while in Insert Mode or by entering the :editelement command. Settings can be changed by editing a xombrero.conf file. To change the key binding, create a keybinding entry for the editelement command. The editor is defined by creating an entry for the external_editor setting.

Command-line tools

Some command line tools allow you to download articles, edit them using your favorite text editor, and upload the edited articles back into Wikipedia (or into any MediaWiki server). This bypasses the need for a web browser. These are (at least):

  • mvs, a Perl program available from CPAN. Meta:WWW::Mediawiki::Client has more information. Unfortunately, mvs uses the name of the local file as the title of the page for the wiki remote server. If you need title pages in UTF-8 for Russian, Japanese or Arabic for example, you won't be able to upload such files. It seems that Mediawiki::Client as well as Perl libraries are not enough advanced in managing UTF-8 characters to be fully operational, even if your terminal and shell are correctly set for UTF-8. But see Debian bug reports.
  • mw:Manual:Pywikibot is an extensive library and set of utilities for doing innumerable things with Wikipedia. It can also do something as simple as editing Wikipedia pages. It has some ways to avoid transmitting titles in UTF-8 wrongly, for example it allows to incorporate the name of the title within the file itself and to use another command line tool. The local filename could then be written in simple ASCII. Here is an example of a file, named locally '', using (from mw:Manual:Pywikibot):
{{-start-}}'''Демография''', или наука о народонаселении, изучает численность, состав, размещение и движение населения.


{{-start-}}'''Demography''' is the scientific study of human populations primarily with respect to their size, their structure and their development.

{{-start-}}'''الديمغرافية''': علم يتناول دراسة المجتمعات البشرية من حيث حجومها و بناها و تطورها و خصائصها العامة و لا سيما من النواحي الكمية.

In the above example, the command line to upload the four pages in one submission (the 'start' and 'stop' markups drive successively the four different pages Демография, 人口学, Demography and الديمغرافية) is:


How to set up specific editors for Wikipedia editing


Atom requires at least one of the two packages to support syntax highlighting. Install packages using Command-, - Install and search for:

  • language-mediawiki
  • language-markdown

GNU Emacs

A few Emacs major mode implementations are available for editing MediaWiki syntax:

  • mediawiki.el on github. “… adds the ability to edit sites hosted on Mediawiki (including Wikipedia, of course).”
  • wikitext-mode.el, see WikitextMode on EmacsWiki. Derived from WikipediaMode v.0.3.3. Source is available but documentation has link rotted.
  • wikipedia-mode.el (obsolete) is a simple major mode that mostly provides syntax highlighting for MediaWiki mark-up.
  • wikipedia.el (obsolete) is a much more advanced major mode. It provides WYSIWYG editor for Wikipedia articles. Note, however, that it is developed using the current CVS version of GNU Emacs, may not be compatible with older versions, and has been effectively discontinued because it's not being actively maintained. Also, the mode was in the alpha stage of development when it was orphaned, so use it at your own risk.

Line formatting

longlines.el is now part of the default GNU Emacs distribution. The following information is retained for reference.

Wikipedia articles don't use line breaks. Because of this, you may want to install one of the following:

Access methods

wikipediafs.el can be used along with one of the aforementioned major modes, when using the virtual Wikipedia filesystem.


For jEdit (Java-supporting OSes) there is a plugin available at . Apart from providing syntax highlighting for Wikipedia markup, it can communicate directly with the Wikipedia website using the HttpClient component from the Jakarta Project. (Unavailable as of 2012-03-20.)


Kate (text editor on KDE framework) supports MediaWiki syntax highlighting by default. Choose Tools → Highlighting → Markup → Mediawiki. It recognizes everything in default markup:

  • HTML tags and entities
  • Wiki control characters
  • Templates
  • Variables
  • Keywords
  • Links
  • Section titles
  • Tables
  • <nowiki>...</nowiki> sections
  • Wiki tags

Highlighting can be configured in Settings → Configure Kate → Fonts & Colors → Highlighting Text Styles and select "Markup/MediaWiki" in the drop-down menu.

There is also a highlighting import tool: Settings → Configure Kate → Fonts & Colors → Highlighting Text Styles → Highlight: → Import button.

Kate dynamically wraps lines.


gedit is a cross-platform, free software text editor that comes bundled with Ubuntu Linux by default. A GPL-licensed MediaWiki syntax highlight mode is shipped by default with gedit 3.10 and newer.

For older versions, you can download it at, unzip, and copy the language file to the correct folder, or you can run the following in a GNU/Linux shell:

  • For gedit 2.x:
mkdir -p ~/.local/share/gtksourceview-2.0/language-specs/
cp gedit-mediawiki-master/mediawiki.lang ~/.local/share/gtksourceview-2.0/language-specs/
  • For gedit 3.x:
mkdir -p ~/.local/share/gtksourceview-3.0/language-specs/
cp gedit-mediawiki-master/mediawiki.lang ~/.local/share/gtksourceview-3.0/language-specs/

To select the MediaWiki syntax highlight mode, go to the gedit menu View > Highlight Mode > Others and select MediaWiki.


A Clip Library plugin for the NoteTab (Windows) text editor contains some functions to automate wiki markup.


A syntax highlighting mode is available for SubEthaEdit (macOS) as well. After downloading the mode bundle, drop it in /Library/Application Support/SubEthaEdit/Modes/ (system-wide) or ~/Library/Application Support/SubEthaEdit/Modes/ (user-specific). You may need to create the final two directories by hand. The mode will be automatically selected for files with a .wiki or .Wikipedia extension.


A "MediaWiki" bundle is available in the TextMate for macOS bundle subversion repository. The bundle could ne enabled through the app preference pane GUI by checking a tickbox. To learn how to load this bundle manualy, see the TextMate manual page about installing more bundles, or view this shell script that downloads and installs it. The bundle does syntax highlighting, code completion, and other actions.

For Sublime Text 2 users, note that you may enable this bundle as well, since Sublime Text 2 supports TextMate bundles.

Sublime Text

Mediawiker is a Sublime Text package that enables editing MediaWiki pages.

More information about the plugin and its configuration can be found in the mediawiker wiki.

For Wikipedia it is necessary to set the https to true, inserting it in the package global or user configuration. An example configuration for English Wikipedia is the following:

    "mediawiki_site": {
        "English wikipedia": {
            "host": "",
            "path": "/w/",
            "pagepath": "/wiki/",
            "username": "your_username",
            "password": "your_password",
            "domain": "",
            "https": true,
            "force_login": true


Wiki Tools for VEDIT contains syntax highlighting, keyboard configuration, User and Tools menus and several macros for inserting and editing wiki tags and for some more complex operations such as add/delete/copy/paste columns in a wiki table. Installation instructions included, as well as instructions for configuring It's All Text! for Vedit.


Please feel free to contribute improvements to the below scripts, or check the vim-dev list if anyone has requested the upload of mediawiki.vim Syntax & FileType plugin. If not, request it and/or post the reasons why they are not here. As of March  2017, it is not in the Vim source control tree's "syntax/" directory.)

The below scripts are also posted in the script collection, where they are occasionally updated (but not since 2011-11-17) with newer versions taken from community contributions on this site. Feel free to remind mvc to upload a newer copy periodically if those become stale, since they were uploaded from his account.


To make Vim support the MediaWiki markup used on Wikipedia (basically syntax highlighting), save the following lines to "~/.vim/syntax/mediawiki.vim" or "vimfiles\syntax\mediawiki.vim". If any of the directories above don't exist you may create them (the Unix/Linux command is mkdir).

A raw mediawiki.vim file for easy downloading exists on GitHub:

When using Vim in Windows, creating and saving mediawiki.vim in Vim itself is preferable, otherwise the file may break.

File mediawiki.vim
" mediawiki.vim (formerly named Wikipedia.vim)
" Vim syntax file
" Language: MediaWiki,
" Maintainer: This syntax file needs a maintainer in order to ship
"     with Vim. Please contact [[User:Unforgettableid]] if you want
"     to volunteer.
" Home:
" Last Change: 2011 Sep 19
" Credits: [[User:Aepd87]], [[User:Danny373]], [[User:Ingo Karkat]], et al.
" Published on Wikipedia in 2003-04 and declared authorless.
" Based on the HTML syntax file. Probably too closely based, in fact.
" There may well be name collisions everywhere, but ignorance is bliss,
" so they say.
" To do: plug-in support for downloading and uploading to the server.

if !exists("main_syntax")
  if version < 600
    syntax clear
  elseif exists("b:current_syntax")
  let main_syntax = "mediawiki"

syntax case ignore
if v:version >= 700
  syntax spell toplevel

" Mark illegal characters
sy match htmlError "[<>&]"

" Tags
sy region  htmlString   contained start=+"+                        end=+"+ contains=htmlSpecialChar,@htmlPreproc
sy region  htmlString   contained start=+'+                        end=+'+ contains=htmlSpecialChar,@htmlPreproc
sy match   htmlValue    contained "=[\t ]*[^'" \t>][^ \t>]*"hs=s+1         contains=@htmlPreproc
sy region  htmlEndTag             start=+</+                       end=+>+ contains=htmlTagN,htmlTagError
sy region  htmlTag                start=+<[^/]+                    end=+>+ contains=htmlTagN,htmlString,htmlArg,htmlValue,htmlTagError,htmlEvent,htmlCssDefinition,@htmlPreproc,@htmlArgCluster
sy match   htmlTagN     contained +<\s*[-a-zA-Z0-9]\++hs=s+1               contains=htmlTagName,htmlSpecialTagName,@htmlTagNameCluster
sy match   htmlTagN     contained +</\s*[-a-zA-Z0-9]\++hs=s+2              contains=htmlTagName,htmlSpecialTagName,@htmlTagNameCluster
sy match   htmlTagError contained "[^>]<"ms=s+1

" Allowed HTML tag names
sy keyword htmlTagName contained big blockquote br caption center cite code
sy keyword htmlTagName contained dd del div dl dt font hr ins li
sy keyword htmlTagName contained ol p pre rb rp rt ruby s small span strike sub
sy keyword htmlTagName contained sup table td th tr tt ul var
sy match   htmlTagName contained "\<\(b\|i\|u\|h[1-6]\|em\|strong\)\>"
" Allowed Wiki tag names
sy keyword htmlTagName contained math nowiki references source syntaxhighlight

" Allowed arg names
sy keyword htmlArg contained align lang dir width height nowrap bgcolor clear
sy keyword htmlArg contained noshade cite datetime size face color type start
sy keyword htmlArg contained value compact summary border frame rules
sy keyword htmlArg contained cellspacing cellpadding valign char charoff
sy keyword htmlArg contained colgroup col span abbr axis headers scope rowspan
sy keyword htmlArg contained colspan id class name style title

" Special characters
sy match htmlSpecialChar "&#\=[0-9A-Za-z]\{1,8};"

" Comments
sy region htmlComment                start=+<!+                end=+>+     contains=htmlCommentPart,htmlCommentError
sy match  htmlCommentError contained "[^><!]"
sy region htmlCommentPart  contained start=+--+                end=+--\s*+ contains=@htmlPreProc
sy region htmlComment                start=+<!DOCTYPE+ keepend end=+>+

if !exists("html_no_rendering")
  sy cluster htmlTop contains=@Spell,htmlTag,htmlEndTag,htmlSpecialChar,htmlPreProc,htmlComment,htmlLink,@htmlPreproc

  sy region htmlBold                          start="<b\>"      end="</b>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop,htmlBoldUnderline,htmlBoldItalic
  sy region htmlBold                          start="<strong\>" end="</strong>"me=e-9 contains=@htmlTop,htmlBoldUnderline,htmlBoldItalic
  sy region htmlBoldUnderline       contained start="<u\>"      end="</u>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop,htmlBoldUnderlineItalic
  sy region htmlBoldItalic          contained start="<i\>"      end="</i>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop,htmlBoldItalicUnderline
  sy region htmlBoldItalic          contained start="<em\>"     end="</em>"me=e-5     contains=@htmlTop,htmlBoldItalicUnderline
  sy region htmlBoldUnderlineItalic contained start="<i\>"      end="</i>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlBoldUnderlineItalic contained start="<em\>"     end="</em>"me=e-5     contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlBoldItalicUnderline contained start="<u\>"      end="</u>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop,htmlBoldUnderlineItalic

  sy region htmlUnderline                     start="<u\>"      end="</u>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop,htmlUnderlineBold,htmlUnderlineItalic
  sy region htmlUnderlineBold       contained start="<b\>"      end="</b>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop,htmlUnderlineBoldItalic
  sy region htmlUnderlineBold       contained start="<strong\>" end="</strong>"me=e-9 contains=@htmlTop,htmlUnderlineBoldItalic
  sy region htmlUnderlineItalic     contained start="<i\>"      end="</i>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop,htmlUnderlineItalicBold
  sy region htmlUnderlineItalic     contained start="<em\>"     end="</em>"me=e-5     contains=@htmlTop,htmlUnderlineItalicBold
  sy region htmlUnderlineItalicBold contained start="<b\>"      end="</b>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlUnderlineItalicBold contained start="<strong\>" end="</strong>"me=e-9 contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlUnderlineBoldItalic contained start="<i\>"      end="</i>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlUnderlineBoldItalic contained start="<em\>"     end="</em>"me=e-5     contains=@htmlTop

  sy region htmlItalic                        start="<i\>"      end="</i>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop,htmlItalicBold,htmlItalicUnderline
  sy region htmlItalic                        start="<em\>"     end="</em>"me=e-5     contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlItalicBold          contained start="<b\>"      end="</b>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop,htmlItalicBoldUnderline
  sy region htmlItalicBold          contained start="<strong\>" end="</strong>"me=e-9 contains=@htmlTop,htmlItalicBoldUnderline
  sy region htmlItalicBoldUnderline contained start="<u\>"      end="</u>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlItalicUnderline     contained start="<u\>"      end="</u>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop,htmlItalicUnderlineBold
  sy region htmlItalicUnderlineBold contained start="<b\>"      end="</b>"me=e-4      contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlItalicUnderlineBold contained start="<strong\>" end="</strong>"me=e-9 contains=@htmlTop

  sy region htmlH1    start="<h1\>"    end="</h1>"me=e-5    contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlH2    start="<h2\>"    end="</h2>"me=e-5    contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlH3    start="<h3\>"    end="</h3>"me=e-5    contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlH4    start="<h4\>"    end="</h4>"me=e-5    contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlH5    start="<h5\>"    end="</h5>"me=e-5    contains=@htmlTop
  sy region htmlH6    start="<h6\>"    end="</h6>"me=e-5    contains=@htmlTop

" No htmlTop and wikiPre inside HTML preformatted areas, because
" MediaWiki renders everything in there literally (HTML tags and
" entities, too): <pre> tags work as the combination of <nowiki> and
" the standard HTML <pre> tag: the content will preformatted, and it
" will not be parsed, but shown as in the wikitext source.
" With wikiPre, indented lines would be rendered differently from
" unindented lines.
sy match htmlPreTag       /<pre\>[^>]*>/         contains=htmlTag
sy match htmlPreEndTag    /<\/pre>/       contains=htmlEndTag
sy match wikiNowikiTag    /<nowiki>/      contains=htmlTag
sy match wikiNowikiEndTag /<\/nowiki>/    contains=htmlEndTag
sy match wikiSourceTag    /<source\s\+[^>]\+>/ contains=htmlTag
sy match wikiSourceEndTag /<\/source>/    contains=htmlEndTag
sy match wikiSyntaxHLTag    /<syntaxhighlight\s\+[^>]\+>/ contains=htmlTag
sy match wikiSyntaxHLEndTag /<\/syntaxhighlight>/    contains=htmlEndTag

" Note: Cannot use 'start="<pre>"rs=e', so still have the <pre> tag
" highlighted correctly via separate sy-match. Unfortunately, this will
" also highlight <pre> tags inside the preformatted region.
sy region htmlPre    start="<pre\>[^>]*>"                 end="<\/pre>"me=e-6    contains=htmlPreTag
sy region wikiNowiki start="<nowiki>"              end="<\/nowiki>"me=e-9 contains=wikiNowikiTag
sy region wikiSource start="<source\s\+[^>]\+>"         keepend end="<\/source>"me=e-9 contains=wikiSourceTag
sy region wikiSyntaxHL start="<syntaxhighlight\s\+[^>]\+>" keepend end="<\/syntaxhighlight>"me=e-18 contains=wikiSyntaxHLTag

sy include @TeX syntax/tex.vim
unlet b:current_syntax
sy region wikiTeX matchgroup=htmlTag start="<math>" end="<\/math>"  contains=@texMathZoneGroup,wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag
sy region wikiRef matchgroup=htmlTag start="<ref>"  end="<\/ref>"   contains=wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag

sy cluster wikiText contains=wikiLink,wikiTemplate,wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag,wikiItalic,wikiBold,wikiBoldAndItalic

" Tables
sy cluster wikiTableFormat contains=wikiTemplate,htmlString,htmlArg,htmlValue
sy region wikiTable matchgroup=wikiTableSeparator start="{|" end="|}" contains=wikiTableHeaderLine,wikiTableCaptionLine,wikiTableNewRow,wikiTableHeadingCell,wikiTableNormalCell,@wikiText
sy match  wikiTableSeparator /^!/ contained
sy match  wikiTableSeparator /^|/ contained
sy match  wikiTableSeparator /^|[+-]/ contained
sy match  wikiTableSeparator /||/ contained
sy match  wikiTableSeparator /!!/ contained
sy match  wikiTableFormatEnd /[!|]/ contained
sy match  wikiTableHeadingCell /\(^!\|!!\)\([^!|]*|\)\?.*/ contains=wikiTableSeparator,@wikiText,wikiTableHeadingFormat
" Require at least one '=' in the format, to avoid spurious matches (e.g.
" the | in [[foo|bar]] might be taken as the final |, indicating the beginning
" of the cell). The same is done for wikiTableNormalFormat below.
sy match  wikiTableHeadingFormat /\%(^!\|!!\)[^!|]\+=[^!|]\+\([!|]\)\(\1\)\@!/me=e-1 contains=@wikiTableFormat,wikiTableSeparator nextgroup=wikiTableFormatEnd
sy match  wikiTableNormalCell /\(^|\|||\)\([^|]*|\)\?.*/ contains=wikiTableSeparator,@wikiText,wikiTableNormalFormat
sy match  wikiTableNormalFormat /\(^|\|||\)[^|]\+=[^|]\+||\@!/me=e-1 contains=@wikiTableFormat,wikiTableSeparator nextgroup=wikiTableFormatEnd
sy match  wikiTableHeaderLine /\(^{|\)\@<=.*$/ contained contains=@wikiTableFormat
sy match  wikiTableCaptionLine /^|+.*$/ contained contains=wikiTableSeparator,@wikiText
sy match  wikiTableNewRow /^|-.*$/ contained contains=wikiTableSeparator,@wikiTableFormat

sy cluster wikiTop contains=@Spell,wikiLink,wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag

sy region wikiItalic        start=+'\@<!'''\@!+ end=+''+    oneline contains=@wikiTop,wikiItalicBold
sy region wikiBold          start=+'''+         end=+'''+   oneline contains=@wikiTop,wikiBoldItalic
sy region wikiBoldAndItalic start=+'''''+       end=+'''''+ oneline contains=@wikiTop

sy region wikiBoldItalic contained start=+'\@<!'''\@!+ end=+''+  oneline contains=@wikiTop
sy region wikiItalicBold contained start=+'''+         end=+'''+ oneline contains=@wikiTop

sy region wikiH1 start="^="      end="="      oneline contains=@wikiTop
sy region wikiH2 start="^=="     end="=="     oneline contains=@wikiTop
sy region wikiH3 start="^==="    end="==="    oneline contains=@wikiTop
sy region wikiH4 start="^===="   end="===="   oneline contains=@wikiTop
sy region wikiH5 start="^====="  end="====="  oneline contains=@wikiTop
sy region wikiH6 start="^======" end="======" oneline contains=@wikiTop

sy region wikiLink start="\[\[" end="\]\]\(s\|'s\|es\|ing\|\)" oneline contains=wikiLink,wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag

sy region wikiLink start="https\?://" end="\W*\_s"me=s-1 oneline
sy region wikiLink start="\[http:"   end="\]" oneline contains=wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag
sy region wikiLink start="\[https:"  end="\]" oneline contains=wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag
sy region wikiLink start="\[ftp:"    end="\]" oneline contains=wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag
sy region wikiLink start="\[gopher:" end="\]" oneline contains=wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag
sy region wikiLink start="\[news:"   end="\]" oneline contains=wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag
sy region wikiLink start="\[mailto:" end="\]" oneline contains=wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag

sy match  wikiTemplateName /{{\s*\w\+/hs=s+2 contained
sy region wikiTemplate start="{{" end="}}" keepend extend contains=wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag,wikiTemplateName,wikiTemplateParam,wikiTemplate,wikiLink
sy region wikiTemplateParam start="{{{\s*\d" end="}}}" extend contains=wikiTemplateName

sy match wikiParaFormatChar /^[\:|\*|;|#]\+/
sy match wikiParaFormatChar /^-----*/
sy match wikiPre            /^\ .*$/         contains=wikiNowiki,wikiNowikiEndTag

" HTML highlighting

if version < 508
  command! -nargs=+ HtmlHiLink hi link     <args>
  command! -nargs=+ HtmlHiLink hi def link <args>

if version >= 508 || !exists("did_html_syn_inits")
  HtmlHiLink htmlTag            Function
  HtmlHiLink htmlEndTag         Identifier
  HtmlHiLink htmlArg            Type
  HtmlHiLink htmlTagName        htmlStatement
  HtmlHiLink htmlSpecialTagName Exception
  HtmlHiLink htmlValue          String
  HtmlHiLink htmlSpecialChar    Special

  if !exists("html_no_rendering")
    HtmlHiLink htmlTitle Title
    HtmlHiLink htmlH1    htmlTitle
    HtmlHiLink htmlH2    htmlTitle
    HtmlHiLink htmlH3    htmlTitle
    HtmlHiLink htmlH4    htmlTitle
    HtmlHiLink htmlH5    htmlTitle
    HtmlHiLink htmlH6    htmlTitle

    HtmlHiLink htmlPreProc          PreProc
    HtmlHiLink htmlHead             htmlPreProc
    HtmlHiLink htmlPreProcAttrName  htmlPreProc
    HtmlHiLink htmlPreStmt          htmlPreProc

    HtmlHiLink htmlSpecial          Special
    HtmlHiLink htmlCssDefinition    htmlSpecial
    HtmlHiLink htmlEvent            htmlSpecial
    HtmlHiLink htmlSpecialChar      htmlSpecial

    HtmlHiLink htmlComment          Comment
    HtmlHiLink htmlCommentPart      htmlComment
    HtmlHiLink htmlCssStyleComment  htmlComment

    HtmlHiLink htmlString           String
    HtmlHiLink htmlPreAttr          htmlString
    HtmlHiLink htmlValue            htmlString

    HtmlHiLink htmlError            Error
    HtmlHiLink htmlBadArg           htmlError
    HtmlHiLink htmlBadTag           htmlError
    HtmlHiLink htmlCommentError     htmlError
    HtmlHiLink htmlPreError         htmlError
    HtmlHiLink htmlPreProcAttrError htmlError
    HtmlHiLink htmlTagError         htmlError

    HtmlHiLink htmlStatement        Statement

    HtmlHiLink htmlConstant         Constant

    HtmlHiLink htmlBoldItalicUnderline htmlBoldUnderlineItalic
    HtmlHiLink htmlUnderlineItalicBold htmlBoldUnderlineItalic
    HtmlHiLink htmlUnderlineBoldItalic htmlBoldUnderlineItalic
    HtmlHiLink htmlItalicBoldUnderline htmlBoldUnderlineItalic
    HtmlHiLink htmlItalicUnderlineBold htmlBoldUnderlineItalic

    HtmlHiLink htmlItalicBold          htmlBoldItalic
    HtmlHiLink htmlItalicUnderline     htmlUnderlineItalic
    HtmlHiLink htmlUnderlineBold       htmlBoldUnderline

    HtmlHiLink htmlLink Underlined

    if !exists("html_my_rendering")
      hi def htmlBold                term=bold                  cterm=bold                  gui=bold
      hi def htmlBoldUnderline       term=bold,underline        cterm=bold,underline        gui=bold,underline
      hi def htmlBoldItalic          term=bold,italic           cterm=bold,italic           gui=bold,italic
      hi def htmlBoldUnderlineItalic term=bold,italic,underline cterm=bold,italic,underline gui=bold,italic,underline
      hi def htmlUnderline           term=underline             cterm=underline             gui=underline
      hi def htmlUnderlineItalic     term=italic,underline      cterm=italic,underline      gui=italic,underline
      hi def htmlItalic              term=italic                cterm=italic                gui=italic

  endif " !exists("html_no_rendering")

  if version < 508
    let did_html_syn_inits = 1

endif " version >= 508 || !exists("did_html_syn_inits")

" Wiki highlighting

HtmlHiLink wikiItalic        htmlItalic
HtmlHiLink wikiBold          htmlBold
HtmlHiLink wikiBoldItalic    htmlBoldItalic
HtmlHiLink wikiItalicBold    htmlBoldItalic
HtmlHiLink wikiBoldAndItalic htmlBoldItalic

HtmlHiLink wikiH1 htmlTitle
HtmlHiLink wikiH2 htmlTitle
HtmlHiLink wikiH3 htmlTitle
HtmlHiLink wikiH4 htmlTitle
HtmlHiLink wikiH5 htmlTitle
HtmlHiLink wikiH6 htmlTitle

HtmlHiLink wikiLink           htmlLink
HtmlHiLink wikiTemplate       htmlSpecial
HtmlHiLink wikiTemplateParam  htmlSpecial
HtmlHiLink wikiTemplateName   Type
HtmlHiLink wikiParaFormatChar htmlSpecial
HtmlHiLink wikiPre            htmlConstant
HtmlHiLink wikiRef            htmlComment

HtmlHiLink htmlPre            wikiPre
HtmlHiLink wikiSource         wikiPre
HtmlHiLink wikiSyntaxHL       wikiPre

HtmlHiLink wikiTableSeparator Statement
HtmlHiLink wikiTableFormatEnd wikiTableSeparator
HtmlHiLink wikiTableHeadingCell htmlBold

let b:current_syntax = "mediawiki"

delcommand HtmlHiLink

if main_syntax == "mediawiki"
  unlet main_syntax

" vim: set et sts=2 sw=2:


Basic filetype detection

To autodetect files ending in ".wiki", add the following lines to ".vim/ftdetect/mediawiki.vim" or "vimfiles\ftdetect\mediawiki.vim" (or create the file if it doesn't exist):

A raw mediawiki.vim file for easy downloading exists on GitHub:


if has("autocmd")
  au BufRead,BufNewFile *.mw             set filetype=mediawiki
  au BufRead,BufNewFile *.wiki           set filetype=mediawiki
  au BufRead,BufNewFile *.mediawiki      set filetype=mediawiki
  au BufRead,BufNewFile ** set filetype=mediawiki
  au BufRead,BufNewFile ** set filetype=mediawiki
  au BufRead,BufNewFile ** set filetype=mediawiki

Alternatively, the command ":setf mediawiki" will temporarily set the syntax for the current file.

Mozex Firefox extension fix

If you use the Mozex Firefox extension, Mozex creates a temporary file ending in ".txt" rather than ".wiki" so the above autodetection will not work in combination with that plugin. One solution is to have Mozex invoke vim with these arguments:

-c "setf mediawiki"

A complete editor command can look some thing like that

gnome-terminal -e "vim -c 'setf mediawiki' $1"
Adapt to MediaWiki lines without line breaks

Wikipedia articles often only have line-breaks at the end of each paragraph, a situation Vim by default doesn't handle as other text editors. Save the following lines to "~/.vim/ftplugin/mediawiki.vim" or "vimfiles\ftplugin\mediawiki.vim" to make it as you may be used to from Notepad:


" Many MediaWiki wikis prefer line breaks only at the end of paragraphs
" (like in a text processor), which results in long, wrapping lines.
setlocal wrap linebreak
setlocal textwidth=0

" No auto-wrap at all.
setlocal formatoptions-=t formatoptions-=c formatoptions-=a formatoptions+=l

" Make navigation more amenable to the long wrapping lines.
noremap <buffer> k gk
noremap <buffer> j gj
noremap <buffer> <Up> gk
noremap <buffer> <Down> gj
noremap <buffer> 0 g0
noremap <buffer> ^ g^
noremap <buffer> $ g$
noremap <buffer> D dg$
noremap <buffer> C cg$
noremap <buffer> A g$a

inoremap <buffer> <Up> <C-O>gk
inoremap <buffer> <Down> <C-O>gj
Additional gimmicks

Additional to that you may want to save the following lines to "~/.vim/ftplugin/mediawiki.vim" or "vimfiles\ftplugin\mediawiki.vim" for some more gimmicks (you may need to put "filetype plugin on" in your vimrc):


" utf-8 should be set if not already done globally
setlocal fileencoding=utf-8
setlocal matchpairs+=<:>

" Treat lists, indented text and tables as comment lines and continue with the
" same formatting in the next line (i.e. insert the comment leader) when hitting
" <CR> or using "o".
setlocal comments=n:#,n:*,n:\:,s:{\|,m:\|,ex:\|}
setlocal formatoptions+=roq

" match HTML tags (taken directly from $VIM/ftplugin/html.vim)
if exists("loaded_matchit")
    let b:match_ignorecase=0
    let b:match_skip = 's:Comment'
    let b:match_words = '<:>,' .
    \ '<\@<=[ou]l\>[^>]*\%(>\|$\):<\@<=li\>:<\@<=/[ou]l>,' .
    \ '<\@<=dl\>[^>]*\%(>\|$\):<\@<=d[td]\>:<\@<=/dl>,' .
    \ '<\@<=\([^/][^ \t>]*\)[^>]*\%(>\|$\):<\@<=/\1>'

" Other useful mappings
" Insert a matching = automatically while starting a new header.
inoremap <buffer> <silent> = <C-R>=(getline('.')==''\|\|getline('.')=~'^=\+$')?"==\<Lt>Left>":"="<CR>

" Enable folding based on ==sections==
setlocal foldexpr=getline(v:lnum)=~'^\\(=\\+\\)[^=]\\+\\1\\(\\s*<!--.*-->\\)\\=\\s*$'?\">\".(len(matchstr(getline(v:lnum),'^=\\+'))-1):\"=\"
setlocal fdm=expr
GVim Syntax menu

Add in Syntax menu the option Wiki File:$HOME/.vim/synmenu.vim

an 50.150.450 &Syntax.WXYZ.Wiki :cal SetSyn("mediawiki")<CR>


vim-mediawiki-editor can on copy articles directly from vim, display diff between changes version on the server and our etc.


Notepad++ is a free text and source code editor for Microsoft Windows. It allows users to create their own syntax highlighting scheme; users can customize a new scheme using the mediawiki markup scheme, or install an existing version provided by the Wikipedia user MjolnirPants.

Notepad++ supports plugins; there is a 2009 mediaWiki plugin for the 32-bit version that can be downloaded at

LibreOffice Writer

The previous methods allow a Wikipedia Edit page to be processed more efficiently. LibreOffice (LO) Writer can be used for this purpose; but using LO Writer to convert a formatted document into Wikipedia edit format is also possible. This requires using styles and other LO features, explained in LO Writer Help > MediaWiki Formats; for example the Heading 2 style must be used if a heading is to be enclosed within a pair of "==". This is supported, at least, in LO 5 under Windows 10 with the appropriate 32- or 64-bit Java Runtime Environment (JRE) present and enabled in LO; the procedure is File > Export > MediaWiki (.txt). See Help:WordToWiki.

In-browser editors


wikEd is a full-featured in-browser text editor that adds enhanced text processing functions to Wikipedia and other MediaWiki edit pages (as of October 2009, wikEd works with Firefox, SeaMonkey, Safari and Google Chrome, but not with Internet Explorer or Opera).

Features include:

  • Powerful search and replace (including Regular expressions)
  • Wikicode syntax highlighting
  • Fullscreen editing mode
  • Edit preview and show changes on the same page without reloading
  • MS-Word and web page import (including tables)
  • 1-click fixing common mistakes

wikEd can simply be enabled in Preferences::Gadgets (on wiki installations where wikEd is not installed as a gadget, a small code snippet can be pasted to your common.js page or it can be run locally as a Greasemonkey user script). For detailed installation instructions see the wikEd homepage.


With this Firefox add-on it is possible to make little edits to wiki-articles without having to leave or reload the page, so the flow in reading an article is barely disturbed. It is available at


Surfingkeys is a Chrome and Firefox extension that brings Vim-like keyboard shortcuts that can be customized using JavaScript. Among the list of features is a Vim editor powered by Ace.

To enter the Vim editor, press I and use a hint letter to pick an input box. Alternatively if a text box was selected via insert mode or mouse click, Ctrl+i opens the editor. For input and select elements, ↵ Enter saves the text. For textarea elements such as for editing a page, Ctrl+↵ Enter will save the text. In all cases, :w will also save the written text and Esc or :q will leave the editor without saving changes.


wasavi is an extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera that changes the textarea in a page to a Vim-like editor. Almost all Vim/ex commands are supported. To launch wasavi, press Ctrl+↵ Enter to start the editor.

Dealing with special characters

Wikipedia encodes text using the UTF-8 character set, which allows using many non-English characters and special symbols. Such characters may appear even in articles where you wouldn't expect them due to the use of interwiki links to non-English versions of the article. Therefore, using an editor that does not mangle these characters or replace them with question marks is very important. Check your editor's documentation to make sure that it supports Unicode or UTF-8, and enable it if needed. You don't necessarily need a special editor; recent versions of Notepad and Microsoft Word support Unicode, for example. An extensive list of Unicode-supporting editors is available for Windows and other operating systems (see also: Comparison of text editors).

If your editor does not support UTF-8, then copy-paste from web browser may mangle the characters. For example, pasting from Windows Clipboard automatically converts characters to whatever character set your editor uses and replace any characters not included in this character set with question marks. You can avoid this by using one of the helper applications or browser plugins mentioned above. For example, It's All Text! does not mangle any characters.

When editing an article with special characters using a new editor, using the "Show changes" button (next to "Show preview") to see exactly what your edit will change is a good idea. If areas with special characters that you didn't intend to modify are highlighted as red, that means they will be corrupted, even though both versions may look the same to you because you don't have foreign fonts installed.

BabelPad is a free editor for Windows with special support for dealing with Unicode, and is ideal if you need to determine which of several similar-looking characters an article is using, or deal with hard-to-edit Unicode control codes (like for multidirectional text).

Enabling Wikipedia VisualEditor

VisualEditor's text formatting menu
VisualEditor's text formatting menu
To enable VisualEditor:
Log in, uncheck Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta, optionally change Editing mode to Show me both editor tabs, and save your preferences.

See also