Editing most Wikipedia pages is easy. Wikipedia uses two methods of editing: classic editing through wiki markup (wikitext) and through a newer VisualEditor (VE).
To practice editing, go to the sandbox, and click the "Edit" tab. An editing window that contains the text for that page will be displayed. Type in something, or make changes to the text you'll find there. Then click the Save page button and see what the result looks like.
Wiki markup editing is chosen by clicking the Edit tab at the top of a Wikipedia page (or on a section-edit link). This will take you to a new page containing the editable contents of the current page. Wiki markup is used extensively throughout Wikipedia for such things as hyperlinks, tables and columns, footnotes, inline citation, special characters and so on.
The VisualEditor option is intended as a user-friendly, "What You See Is What You Get" (WYSIWYG) editing aid allowing one to edit pages without the need to learn wikitext markup. It is only available to registered logged-in users through an opt-in choice available through personal preferences, see the VisualEditor user guide for more information.
- Two editing environments: wikitext and VisualEditor
Edit box showing the wikitext markup (screenshot from 2012). You can change the formatting and contents of the page by changing what is written in this box.
Screenshot showing the same article in VisualEditor. Unlike the wiki markup display, VisualEditor will show the text being edited almost as if it were already saved.
First, any time you edit a page, it is considered good etiquette (or "Wikiquette") to enter an explanation of your changes in the Edit summary box, which you will find below the edit window. It is okay for your explanation to be quite short. For example, if you are making a spelling correction, you might just type "typo." Also, if the change you have made to a page is minor, such as correcting a spelling or grammar error, check the box "This is a minor edit" (this box is only available if you have logged in).
Second, you should always use the Show preview button. After you have entered a change in the edit box, click the Show preview button instead of Save page. This lets you see what the page will look like after your edit, before you actually save. We all make mistakes; this feature helps you catch them before other people see them. Using Show preview before saving also lets you try format changes and other edits without cluttering up the page history.
Save the page
Provided an edit summary? Previewed the page? Then you are ready for the final step: Click the Save page button.
A screencast that walks through how to upload files to Wikimedia Commons and add them to Wikipedia articles.
Images, sounds and videos enhance articles greatly. A file that is already hosted on Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Commons can be inserted with the basic code "
Image:" can be substituted for "
File:" with no change in effect; the choice between the two is purely a matter of editorial preference.) Using "
thumb" generates a thumbnail of an image (the most common placement option), which is typically sized differently from the original image. Several options can affect a thumbnail's placement and size, and there are other methods for placing images not in a thumbnail format, such as in a frame, table or "infobox", which this summary page does not delve into.
Only logged in users can upload files under an appropriate title. The first step in uploading a file is to determine its copyright status. The Wikimedia Commons' File Upload Wizard and Wikipedia's File Upload Wizard, will guide you through the process of submitting media. All files uploaded are mirrored between Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons, and searchable from either one.
option appears when you hover your mouse cursor over the "More" drop-down menu, shown here
If you find an article that you believe is misnamed, please do not copy and paste the contents of the old article into a new article — among other things, it separates the previous contributions from their edit history (which we need to keep track of for copyright reasons). The preferred method is to move the page to the new name (you need to be registered to be able to do that). If it is your first move, please read the warnings on the move page carefully, as there are a number of issues to consider before moving a page. Principles for choosing titles of articles are described under Wikipedia:Article titles. If a "disambiguation" page is involved, it is best to review Wikipedia:Disambiguation.
A screencast demonstrating how to create a Wikipedia article manually.
Before starting a new article please understand Wikipedia's notability requirements. In short, the topic of an article must have already been the subject of publication in reliable sources, such as books published by major publishing houses, newspapers, magazines, peer-reviewed scholarly journals and websites that meet the same requirements as reputable print-based sources. Information on Wikipedia must be verifiable; if no reliable third-party sources can be found on a topic, then it should not have a separate article. Wikipedia's concept of notability applies this basic standard to avoid indiscriminate inclusion of topics.
An Article Wizard is available to help you create articles — it is not required but will help you construct better articles. Only registered users may create articles directly, though people editing by their IP addresses can submit a proposed article through the Articles for Creation process, where it will be reviewed and considered for publication. Before creating an article, please search Wikipedia first to make sure that an article does not already exist on the subject, and please also review the article titling policy for guidance of what to name the article.
Some pages are protected from editing. These pages have a View source tab instead of an Edit tab. You can still edit these pages indirectly, by submitting an "edit request" – a user with the ability to edit the protected page will respond to your request. You can submit a request by clicking on the View source tab on that page and using the "Submit an edit request" link at the bottom right.
If you ever make a change that gets reverted by another editor, discuss the change on the talk page! The BOLD, revert, discuss cycle is a popular method of reaching consensus, and may be useful for identifying objections, keeping discussion moving forward and helping to break deadlocks. Edit warring (repeatedly overriding or reimplementing contributions) is highly discouraged. There is a bright-line rule called the three-revert rule, the violation of which may lead someone to be blocked from editing to prevent further disruption. Disruptive editing is not always intentional, as new editors may simply not understand the ins and outs of Wikipedia.
is a way to edit pages without needing to learn wikitext markup. It works more like a word processing
application and is only available to registered, logged-in editors who have opted in