Help talk:Text editor support

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  • Please don't remove the detailed instruction for the editors, they are important to some people!

Discussion about development of Wikipedia enhanced editor functions[edit]


Is there also a solution for "UltraEdit-32"??? --C167

  • It works with "It's all Text", but you have to install UE so that it has no spaces in its name (i.e. not in "Program Files"). I've asked IDM to provide textbox editing in the next release. Bazj (talk) 08:08, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Does anyone know a method to use for example gvim as an internet browsers 'textbox'/'editbox'? for example the win32 version, has vim as an OLE, shouldn't that allow any win32 browser to use vim as the 'editbox' ei, with 'as-advertised' "without copying and pasting" your text?

The mozex extension for Firefox will allow you to use any external editor to edit the contents of text fields. It needs a little massaging to work with Firefox 1.5+, but it does work, and I couldn't live without it. I've used it in the past with gvim, and I'm using it now with gnuclient/Xemacs. More information at

Editing offline with a text editor[edit]

from the village pump

Is there any software I can download to enable me to see texts I am editing whilst off line? I make use of stuff from 1911 Encyclopaedia, edited in NoteTab Pro, which enables me to get foreign accents and also the spelling right. I would like to be able to do this and then go online to upload only when I am satified the job looks right. Apwoolrich 19:39, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I was working on an application called WikiEdit that would allow you to WYSIWYG edit text (and images, tables, etc.) for Wikipedia. It'd let you see the rendered text in one pane while editing with Wikimarkup in the other pane. It also had spell check and such. The text would then save out in wikimarkup, ready to be uploaded to the 'pedia. But no one else seemed interested in it, so I abondoned the project. I haven't heard, but perhaps someone else has such an editor. Frecklefoot | Talk 20:32, Jul 14, 2004 (UTC)
I'd be interested in such a project, even if it wasn't full WYSIWYG. At present I often copy from an edit box, in order to get the unformatted Wikitext, and then edit that offline using a dumb editor. It wouldn't be hard to improve on that, surely! On the other hand, it seems to work quite well, perhaps because I'm accustomed to using the edit box online, which is also a dumb editor (even dumber than the ones I use offline) and seems to work well too.
But the main problem with the approach I currently use is it doesn't even warn of edit conflicts, you need to check for these manually. I see a potential problem there if a smarter editor was available for offline editing use than for online editing. The prospect of a generation of newbies all innocently editing offline with no edit conflict warnings is horrible to contemplate. This is IMO not a trivial thing to solve, I may be wrong there. Andrewa 21:41, 14 Jul 2004 (UTC)
That would just be divine. -- कुक्कुरोवाच|Talk‽ 03:37, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Edit conflicts are a concern, but it is rare that I edit an article and run into one (I guess I don't edit popular articles often). That being said, since conflicts are a concern, the user would need to check to see if anyone edited his article since the time they "grabbed" the text from the edit box (I envisioned taking existing text from the edit box to get the current wikimarkup). If not, they could paste their text in with no worries. If they authored a brand new article, however, no worries. :-) Frecklefoot | Talk 15:13, Jul 15, 2004 (UTC)

What's wrong with MozEx? :) --ssd 04:30, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Text editor support for more info about MozEx and discussion of wikipedia support in emacs and vim. - Brona 02:29, 17 Jul 2004 (UTC)

BTW, for those who use MozEx + Emacs, and are annoyed by Auto Fill Mode messing up lists, tables, and similar markup: try putting the following line into the body of 'wikipedia-mode' near the end of 'wikipedia-mode.el'

  (set (make-local-variable 'auto-fill-inhibit-regexp) "^[ *#:|;]")

EJ 13:25, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)

There is an extra bit of code for OpenOffice that claims to give this functionality. A link to it is available at the official bug report for this issue. If you think an OpenOffice to MediaWiki export filter is a good idea, VOTE FOR IT on that page!--None Error 15:33, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Okay, how about built-in stuff?[edit]

Is anybody working on some JavaScript/DHTML magic stuff that you can use in the browser itself? Either just syntax highlighting, or possibly something that shows something close to what the Wikipedia engine would actually output (like what HTMLArea does for regular sites)? Of course, getting a totally accurate "active" preview would be difficult, since JavaScript stuff presumably can't look up if a wikilink actually exists or not, or what a template looks like, for instance) User:Mulad (talk) 21:20, Aug 28, 2004 (UTC)

Discussion about sections proposed for the page[edit]

Removal of "common text editors" section and "bot" section[edit]

See this diff for background. Oleg Alexandrov 03:24, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm pretty disappointed at your removal of so much of Wikipedia:Text editor support. I'm not sure what your motive is; there are specific instructions for the use of such obscure editors as SubEthaEdit. I'm not a big fan of Devil Gates, but Microsoft Word is pretty popular -- I even use it myself. And the content you removed speaks to more than this one application.

I think it's nasty to revert war, so I'd rather see if we can't work this out as friends. — Xiongtalk* 03:13, 2005 May 1 (UTC)

No, we don't want an edit war. I had a couple more of objections besides what I wrote. First, is the style. I believe one needs to keep the formal style, not say things "it might be clumsy way but...". That page is a "how to", and should keep formal concise style.
Also, people visiting that page are expected to know that one uses Ctrl-A to select and Ctrl-C to copy.
The most important thing, this article is not about teaching people how to use an editor. The purpose of this page is how to transfer things to an editor and back. I would like to ask you to read the sections below in the article, then this will become clear.
There is a huge amount of text editors out there. We cannot explain what is the best way of editing in each one of them. We should not explain people how to use an editor at all.
We can certainly arrive at a compromise. I would think however, that one paragraph about how to do cut&paste should be enough. Oleg Alexandrov 03:24, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
And no, it is not our job to tell people that previews are not saved.
You could add some of the contents I removed for example as a stand-alone section for Microsoft Word towards the bottom, in line with the other editors. And it is not good advice to turn off spell-checking, as spell-checking is one of the most important reasons to use an editor — not the reason you put, that your changes might not be saved otherwise. Oleg Alexandrov 03:32, 1 May 2005 (UTC)


I'm not sure what you mean about spell-checking. You need to turn off automatic spell-checking, the kind that arbitrarily "fixes" your "mistakes", because markup and other wiki-specific weirdness will run afoul of this. I never gave any such reason as you describe.

I misunderstood you then, sorry. That's right, automatic spellchecking is not necessary, but spellchecking itself must be there.
Above, what I wanted to say, is that you listed saving the text locally as one of the reasons to use an external editor. You are right, that's a good reason. But other reasons are more important, and among which I will certainly list spellchecking. I did not word well what I wrote above, hope it is clearer now. Oleg Alexandrov 01:19, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

This is Wikipedia namespace, not article mainspace. We can be a little chatty and how-to here; it's what this is for.

Writing things like "rest assured that your work will not be lost" is a bit off I think. Besides, it is good to keep up with the overall article style, which was not chit-chatty. But this is arguable. Oleg Alexandrov 01:19, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

I request a statement of personal bias. I am, in theory, strongly against anything that comes out of Redmond -- my platform is Mac, my browser Mozilla, my email client Eudora. I gratuitously villify Devil Gates at every convenient opportunity.

However, I am partial to Microsoft Word -- I use an old version, without a lot of the recent garbage. I've even become a fan of Excel -- although I still prefer FileMaker Pro for most data-handling, nothing beats a damn good spreadsheet. So, you see, I lack commitment to my bias.

Please state your position on Microsoft products. If you are hotly against them, then I am just going to get out of the way of this. I have better things to do, and my heart is not in the fight. — Xiongtalk* 01:11, 2005 May 3 (UTC)

I have nothing against Word. Nothing absolutely. As I said above, you are more than welcome to add a section for Microsoft word, along the other editors. My point was, that you tried to make a very long section there, putting lots of things, from Word, to Ctrl-A, to chit-chat and so on. That was bad style, and I still doubt whether one needed an explicit section on how to paste from a browser edit box to an editor. Anybody should know that.
I hope this clarified things a bit. Oleg Alexandrov 01:19, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

For the record, here is the deleted text:

Editing Wikipedia using common text editors and word processors[edit]

It may seem rather clumsy, but you can begin to edit a page, select the entire contents of the edit box (it's usually most convenient to do so using Ctrl+A when positioned in the edit window), copy it (Ctrl+C) and then paste it (Ctrl+V) into your favorite word processor. When you finish editing the wiki markup, again select it all, and copy-and-paste it back to the Wikipedia edit box. Clumsy, but much less work than rewriting your edits after an inadvertant keypress loses it all forever.

Remember, previews are not saved! So if something goes wrong when you press the "Show preview" button, or shortly after, your edits may be lost. It's a common mistake to decide that one's edit is complete and correct, then be distracted for a moment, and close or link away from a "live" editing window. That text is gone. But it is trivial to save an external editor's temporary workfile to your local disk; even if your entire system crashes, you probably will be able to retrieve your work.

You might try to guard against loss by avoiding previews and saving every small revision in the course of your edit using the "Save page" button. We discourage this, because it creates a long list of minor revisions in the page history. Every time you save a page, the previous version is archived "forever". So, use previews to check progressive changes, and only save the page when you're reasonably satisfied with your edits.

You may work to perfect formatting techniques by making small changes in the edit box and previewing them; fine. Just remember to copy out those changes every so often to your external editor.

To ease eyestrain and head off some other complications of using a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect to edit wiki markup, choose a monospaced font such as Courier and turn off automatic spelling and grammar checking. It may be helpful also to choose a Landscape or Wide paper orientation (to delay word wrap). You might also choose a plain text editor such as Optima PageSpinner or the popular BBEdit by Bare Bones Software. Both of these tools will also help you insert standard HTML markup; this is usually discouraged, but there are times it is necessary.

Whatever your external editor, you will discover it outshines your browser's implementation of the edit box. And you'll rest easier knowing your work is safe.

Security update may block some bots/tools[edit]

An emergency security release may currently be blocking access to existing bots and tools like editors. "Additional protections have been added against off-site form submissions hijacking user credentials. Authors of bot tools may need to update their code to include additional fields". To get started, you'll have to fetch the wpEditToken value from an edit form after you login, and provide that with your save form submissions. The new release is live on all Wikimedia hosted sites and is a recommended security update for all MediaWiki sites. See the release notes for more details of what you need to do to modify a bot or tool to deal with this. Please also take the opportunity to add rate limiting based on how long the last response took. It's also important that any page saves/updates are single threaded (one edit at a time) and vital that they do not retry after a timeout of less than 3 minutes, or when they see a database error, since those actions amount to a denial of service attack on the site when it is overloaded. Jamesday 20:20, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Links for maintenance[edit]

If I put the text of the example in the edit box it gives

link External link [editorial remark]

  • Bullet
  1. Numbered list
      • Excessive indenting

This: # is not a numbered list HTML formattingbold-italicbold <a href="Hello">Absence of HTML formatting</a>


italic bold bold-italic bold links are not very bold Failed to parse (syntax error): {\displaystyle \left<Not-A\right>}

This is meant to be at the start of the line: ===H3===

This looks rather messy and contains an error message. Is the example not supposed to be a colored version of what is in the edit box? - Patrick 12:09 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

It's meant to be a compact demostration of the features of the syntax file, not a demonstration of the ideal way to write an article. The error is unfortunate, it looked like valid TeX to me (and to Vim). It could be fixed, I guess. But it is a coloured version of what's in the edit box, isn't it? -- Tim Starling 12:30 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Okay, now it is already better:

link External link [editorial remark]

  • Bullet
  1. Numbered list
      • Excessive indenting

This: # is not a numbered list HTML formattingbold-italicbold <a href="Hello">Absence of HTML formatting</a>


italic bold bold-italic bold links are not very bold

This is meant to be at the start of the line: ===H3===

Note that bold italics should have 5 dashes, not 4. - Patrick 13:35 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Why on earth do you want to put the result shown by the browser on the actual page? -- Tim Starling 14:53 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)
You can then compare, and see e,g, that bold is already shown bold by Vim, but headers are not shown big. Vim gives an intermediate representation. Also the example of absence of HTML formatting that is included, is demonstrated. - Patrick 15:30 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)
But it's so ugly :P You're assuming the readers of this page don't know how wiki-markup works. And it's too long now, the idea was to have one section per editor. I'm sure it won't be long before someone writes one for Emacs. I was even thinking about leaving the sample split off, because it was getting long before. -- Tim Starling 16:28 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)
It seems natural, when constructing something intermediate between two things, to show all three. Here one is not needed, the edit box form, because it is identical to the Vim form without the colors and fonts, so that leaves two. The ugliness is partly due to the example, it can be improved. If it is too long the article can be split. - Patrick 17:11 19 Jul 2003 (UTC)

If you're going to show "how syntax highlighting looks in vim", shouldn't you use an actual screenshot? —Paul A 01:12, 12 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The HTML version is very realistic (generated by 2html.vim), and takes less time to download. How it looks depends on your OS and your colour scheme, anyway. Do you think it's a problem? -- Tim Starling 00:19, Aug 14, 2003 (UTC)

The Wikipedia.vim file seems to be in dos format, and generated errors on my system. It is probably self-evident, but converting it with :set fileformat=unix :wq fixes that. --Kornelis 20:34, 21 Jun 2004 (UTC)

On "For the less experienced: Help on selecting a text editor"[edit]

Probably many non-nerd-people who would like to use an wikipedia-enhanced text editor do not use any of the text editors mentioned on the page. Therefore they have to select one. I think we should provide some help about that on the page.

I got criticized, because the text below contains only arguments in favor of Eclipse. It would be great if the users of other text editors could add their arguments. Then we could eventually put a not biased version on the page.

Proposed content Section title: For the less experienced: Help on selecting a text editor

This is a collection of hints which help the less computer experienced to choose a external text editor for editing Wikipedia-articles. See below for more info on specific editors.

  • The Eclipse plugin displays an automatically updating outline of the article and supports collapsing sections. This is extremely useful for improving the outline of big articles.
  • Learning Emacs or Vim can be extremely useful for you, but do that only if you are looking for a good text editor for the rest of your life. If you want a quick solution just to get a little help with editing Wikipedia-articles, look for something different. Emacs and Vim are extremely powerful, but take considerable time to getting used working with them. --HelgeHan (signed by Oleg Alexandrov)
First of all, please sign your posts.
The problem is that people will never agree on what a good editor is. If you check the edit history, there was a lengthy paragraph before you on how to use Microsoft Word and how it should be the first choice of people or so.
I think people are smart enough to realize for themselves what their favorite editor is. And please understand, the point of this page is not about which editor to use, it is about how to get a bunch of known editors to work with Wikipedia. Let's keep focused. Oleg Alexandrov 16:00, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

There is no need for people to agree on which is the best text editor; but information about the differences between the editors would be helpful.

Even for smart people it is a lot of work to install and try out several editors. Having some hints about them before trying them would save many people lots of time. Some people will go for a powerful editors, some will prefer a simple one.

If you want to keep this page focused on the "howto", then how about linking to a new page which gives hints about the differences? Would that be okay with you?

You wrote "There is a huge amount of text editors out there. We cannot explain what is the best way of editing in each one of them." Why do you think so? How many articles does Wikipedia have now? Don't you think it could hold one article for each text editor in the world with Wikipedia-specific hints about this editor? If there are people who want to write that, why stop them? HelgeHan 16:40, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I will not mind if you create a page explaining the differences between various editors. You can of course link to that from this page. However, I strongly suspect that such a page would not be considered encyclopedic, and somebody (not me) might submit it for deletion. Good luck. :) Oleg Alexandrov 19:27, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Okay, I will. :) It doesn't need to be encyclopedic, because it will reside in the Wikipedia:Project namespace just as this page. HelgeHan 13:57, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

As a user who came to this article via Help:Contents#Editing_Wikipedia_-_The_Basics and then "edit with an external editor" (Wikipedia:Text_editor_support) I have found both the main page and the discussion to be useless. Those links funnel you to the page as a HELP TOPIC, and the page doesn't provide help. It provides a history of "text editors to wiki" problems and coding issues! Either the Help:Contents pages should be pointing to a different page or the current page should be deleted and started from scratch. <Sigh> All I want to know is how to add to wiki's (not just this one) without having to resort to manually writing [[]] everywhere and '''''' etc. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO WRITE THIS STUFF WITHOUT MANUAL TAGS! (I would also love to know how I can convert 100+ pages of formatted text into a wiki format, but that simple functionality just seems crazy now.)None Error 16:08, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I strongly support the addition of a section explaining which is the best editor to use with Wikipedia. I just spent an hour looking for a WYSIWYG table editor and I still have found nothing. We need to help people be able to edit tables. Tntdj (talk) 20:46, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Character set issues[edit]

It would be nice to have guidance on preserving the Wikipedia character set while editing in external editors. (SEWilco 14:40, 25 October 2005 (UTC))

Well, the issue is with the text editors. For example, XEmacs, my favorite editor, will ruin Unicode. I think Emacs, and surely Vim do not have a problem with that. Don't know what else to say. Oleg Alexandrov (talk) 15:24, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure about Vim being safe. I'm also not sure about it being unsafe. I've seen some odd hints. (SEWilco 15:46, 25 October 2005 (UTC))
It depends on your 'encoding' and possibly your 'fileencodings'/'fileencoding' option. If your 'encoding' option is set to "utf-8" you'll likely be okay. -- Heptite 01:41, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
Yup, that's a Vim option. Suggestions for any other editors? (SEWilco 19:01, 1 November 2005 (UTC))


Regarding the comment about Wikipedia.vim not being in the Vim distribution/CVS -- It would be accepted if someone were to submit it and accept responsibility for maintaining it, but it's also a very "quick and dirty" syntax file and needs work before it's submitted. -- Heptite (T) (C) (@) 05:16, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Has anybody considered what will happen if someone adds ":!rm -rf ~/*" to Wikipedia.vim? (Hint: it's not something nice and it is exactly as simple as it looks.) I'd strongly suggest showing the contents of Wikipedia.vim on a separate page to cut and paste (so users will at least look at it) instead of in a download-only mime-typed file.
now we have at least three different versions of wikipedia.vim:
  2. wikipedia.vim (File:Wikipedia.vim)
the first one is the newest and best. i don't know how to synchronize/update/delete the other two versions. can anybody help me? -- seth 11:27, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
The last one is not available any more; however, there is still a discrepancy between the first two. Even worse, the text encourages users to upload improvements to the second, less maintained version, while the first link is placed so prominently in the article that probably everyone will download that one. Other language editions of this page mostly link to the first one; the Portuguese one to the second.
I propose to remove the first link, copy its (apparently most up-to-date) version to wikipedia.vim and change all links to that page, as this is more authoritative than the user's page. Unfortunately, since I have just registered, I am not yet allowed to perform these changes right now. -- Ingo Karkat (talk) 10:36, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I have now copied the most up-to-date version to wikipedia.vim; however, file upload of Vimscript files is not allowed any more. Instead, I've put the script into the page body, so that users have to copy-and-paste it. Actually, the same mechanism is used on the Vim Tips Wiki, so I don't feel too bad about this limitation. Someone else had suggested this beforehand in order to allow easier inspection of the (potentially malicious) script. -- Ingo Karkat (talk) 21:26, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
wikipedia.vim has been deleted on 17 January 2010 as "Useless media file" by a Wikipedia administrator. This is understandable, as the attached file could not be edited any more, and the page only contained the script in the page body as a workaround. I've now copied the syntax script into the Wikipedia:Text editor support page, so that this useful script doesn't get lost. This is in line with the ftplugin script and other snippets; the only downside is that the syntax script is very long. -- Ingo Karkat (talk) 06:45, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Alternatively, you could put your script on your own website, and refer to it here. Tedickey (talk) 20:53, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

By the way, there is a totally wrong information there. The article says one file should go on $HOME/.vim/ftdetect/mediawiki.vim. I've never seem the ftdetect thing before. It is actually ftplugin. Indeed, having ftdetect directory makes the plugin conflicts silently with other plugins. May I change the article? -- Silasdb 19:07, 04 October 2012 (BRT)

I believe the four-line file that is supposed to go in the ftdetect directory is correct, and would not function correctly were it moved as you state. See for documentation on the "ftdetect" subdirectory. Were you to place that file into "ftplugin", it seems it would only execute the contents when you had already manually set the filetype to "mediawiki", which makes the entire contents of the file moot as all those four lines do is set the filetype to "mediawiki" if filenames matching certain patterns are being edited. Anomie 01:20, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Hi Anomie. You are totally right. Sorry. The problem is in wikipedia.vim tarball at vimscript, not the Wikipedia example. Thank you. -- Silasdb 11:10, 05 October 2012 (BRT) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Default on the bottom[edit]

The first links in the Mozilla section of the article about editor instruction - The top most line should describe the need for the UTF-8 ready editor. I'd fix it but my plates full.

Firefox on Windows[edit]

This page says all pages are in UTF-8, and my Firefox browser is defaulting its encoding to UTF-8, yet when I edit some pages, I mess up the characters, such as with this edit. Does anyone know of a solution to this that allows me to continue using Firefox. Perhaps I just need to download some language pack?--Paraphelion 15:26, 21 May 2006 (UTC) I think it may be that the edits are working, but these characters are just displayed as question marks.--Paraphelion 15:44, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

The question marks--it is probably something to do with your fontset. What are you currently using? //Ae:æ 13:54, 8 July 2006 (UTC) vs .mwiki[edit]

I reverted Sharcho's change of .wiki to .mwiki in the Vim section because it breaks compatibility with things like In truth someone needs to fix up the Wikipedia.vim syntax file and submit it to be officially included in the next release of Vim, along with a patch to filetype.vim to allow people to configure what type of wiki syntax to use for *.wiki files, like what's done for *.asm files (see ":help asm"). -- Heptite (T) (C) (@) 07:43, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Firefox special note[edit]

I edited the following:

  • Note that though you may see question marks in an edit textbox unrelated to the edits you are making (for those other language wiki things at the bottom, for example), your edits may not be destroying the characters when using Firefox (this seems to be the case with Firefox 05:11, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

To read:

  • Note that though you may see question marks in an edit textbox unrelated to the edits you are making (for example, the Unicode grapheme and other glyphs at the bottom), your edits may not be destroying the characters when using Firefox (this seems to be the case with Firefox

I may have swung the pendulum the other way, but I'd rather be too accurate than too informal. --Charles Gaudette 00:37, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

How does this work?[edit]

So I tried all the given firefox extensions, combined with emacs+wikipedia-mode.el as well as notepad++. I can't figure out how I'm supposed to edit Wikipedia articles with this setup. Here's the problem: I go to an article, I click on "edit this page", then I go to the text box, right-click and choose the external editing command. The editor opens. I edit in the editor. After a while I'm satisfied, so I save, then go back to the textbox and click in it: my changes are there. Now I preview. I find a mistake. I go back to the editor, fix the mistake, save. Click back into the textbox, but it won't take the fixes. So what am I supposed to do, completely close the editor after each round, then open it again after previewing? Are other people having the same problem? How are you handling the edit-preview cycle? Thanks, AxelBoldt 06:03, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Have you tried to press "Back" in your browser after you hit Preview? I think that could work. In fact, I just tried it with ViewSourceWith and it works.  Grue  07:41, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks! That does it. The issue seems to be that the URL of the page you get after previewing is different from the URL you started out with. So another solution is to do hit "edit this page", then hit "preview" right away, then start the external editor. Then you can do as many saves and previews as you want, without a need for intermediate Back's. I'll add that information to the page. Cheers, AxelBoldt 15:03, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Babelpad for textareas?[edit]

BabelPad allows you to hover over special characters and see what they are in the status bar. I'm wondering if it would be possible, using javascript, to do a similar effect for textareas on Wikipedia. You could hover over characters or press a certain key combination with the cursor behind one, and either in the status bar or in a tooltip, it would show you the codepoint and Unicode name of the character. This would allow easy identification of the difference between − and –, μ and µ, and so on. Actually, with the key combination idea, you could hover over a character in the article text or a textarea and see what it is. That would be quite useful. The code point list would best be stored externally as an XML file or something, and the parts retrieved when necessary with http requests, since this would be an uncommon operation and we don't want to load all that stuff into memory for each Wikipedia page. — Omegatron 16:03, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

This might be a good starting point. I'm imagining a javascript that could be included in one's monobook.js, but a Firefox quick search might be useful, too, if the keyboard combination ideas don't work. — Omegatron 16:15, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

If I remove everything from except the character codes and names, it's still 500 kB. pages don't validate and aren't available for such use. I could upload the names list to Wikipedia in chunks (blocks or pages or whatever) and have the script download the relevant chunk by itself. We already have all the code chart templates on Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Unicode) (draft). — Omegatron 22:44, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Using an External Editor when it's NOT set as default[edit]

I like the External editors feature a lot, works great once you get it set up. But the thing that's driving me nuts is that you have to turn it on and off by going to your preferences, which is a pain. Sometimes I just want to do a quick edit with the default interface... sometimes I want to do a long edit with an external editor.

Is there a way to use the External Editor feature on an ordinary text page without enabling the "External Editor by default" feature in Preferences? In other words, is there a way to use the feature when it's not set as the default? MOXFYRE (contrib) 23:01, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

External editor script adds an extra edit tab which always invokes external editor. — Alex Smotrov 23:18, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Alex, that's awesome! In my opinion, there ought to be a Preference to enable this tab, something like:
[ ] Enable external editing by default
[ ] Enable external editor tab

Whaddaya think? Maybe this should be proposed on the MediaWiki site, not wikipedia? MOXFYRE (contrib) 23:34, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree that this is how it should have been implemented from the start, since most people who use external editing still would like to be able to edit in browser. You can make a request but I don't think now the developers will consider this change a priority: if you can set up (and people say it's a bit complicated) then you should be able to add a simple script to your monobook.js. Especially now since I added this info to meta:Help:External_editors ;) — Alex Smotrov 17:15, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Cool, that definitely would have saved me some time, good addition. I actually have no idea how MediaWiki development works... would the MediaWiki Bugzilla be the appropriate place to request this feature? MOXFYRE (contrib) 17:38, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Looks like the right place to me. Check out bugzilla:7092Alex Smotrov 18:38, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! I'll add my "me too" to that. MOXFYRE (contrib) 20:14, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Features comparison table[edit]

A features comparison table would be very helpful.

I tried searching to see what programs there were that work with Linux, and found that the OSes weren't given. I've added OS information in brackets for various editors, to make things a bit easier for the reader.

My impression at the moment is that the only Linux options are fairly primitive... I'm looking into it, but this is where a comparison table would make things far easier. Not everyone comes to this page with a specific favorite editor that they're trying to set up as an external editor. And those that are, are likely to not find that editor here anyway, so this page really needs to assume that people need info about the editors - and preferably laid out clearly, so they don't have to read and analyse a dozen different Wikipedia articles. --Chriswaterguy talk 15:45, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

syntax highlighting markup helper open pages save pages follow links upload images platform
eclipse  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? java
emacs  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? linux + x
jEdit + + + + + + java
Kate +  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? kde
SubEthaEdit +  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? os x
TextMate +  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? os x
NoteTab  ? +  ?  ?  ?  ? windows
vim  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ? linux + x
wikEd + + + - -  ? firefox (gecko)
  • + supported
  • - not supported
  •  ? unknown

this is incomplete, so feel free to contribute-- (talk) 15:32, 30 April 2008 (UTC)


How do I underline text? Feedback 01:50, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

reads like an advertisement for It's All Text...[edit]

just making a comment.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:54, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree. And further, it is really geared to vim/gvim, as far as I can tell. Can someone familiar with It's All Text please work on this section, so it can be more understandable? Thanks. Libcub (talk) 02:27, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree. There is far too much talk about vim. There is really nothing vim specific about using It's All Text!. In addition, the section talks about MediaWiki shortcuts and other things not related to It's All Text!. I could try to clean it up. --PauliKL (talk) 15:05, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
There is even a listing of a script for invoking vim on X-terminal. It should not be here, but before it is deleted, maybe somebody wants to copy it to some other site? (Of course it can be found from History later.) --PauliKL (talk) 07:32, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Additionally, the Firefox extension "Vimperator" (and probably many other extensions) provide identical external editor functionality. Should they get a mention here? Should the page be made generic with perhaps a list of external-editor plugins? —TedPavlic | (talk) 16:36, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, definitely. I don't know why someone reverted my edit when I added Pentadactyl. It's a more-widely used fork of the same software. I'm adding it back. Please discuss here before reverting my edit. Thanks. Let99 (talk) 03:34, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

What About Notepad?[edit]

This may be an odd suggestion, but Notepad has long been my Wiki Syntex external editor of choice. I use Internet Explorer with Google Toolbar and IE7Pro, so I have spellcheck and all of that inline on my browser. When I write huge articles, I would copy and paste the text in case of a browser crash.

However, I'd like to do the pure text writing on a very simple program such as Notepad by default. Is this feasible? I hope it is, because it would prove invaluable to my contributing on the database.

-- (talk) 17:31, 26 May 2009 (UTC)


It is not possible to upload a new Wikipedia.vim copy (here, File:Wikipedia.vim), because during the upload process it says that this file is not one of the permitted file types (Permitted file types: png, gif, jpg, jpeg, xcf, pdf, mid, ogg, ogv, svg, djvu, oga).

Different versions: filetype (.wiki) plugin incorporates in addition suggestions on the Wikipedia:Text editor support#Vim, like augroup and maps.

Kazkaskazkasako (talk) 15:19, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Too much vim[edit]

There is too much vim specific stuff in the article. There are even listings of vim specific scripts on the page. Couldn't you at least put the scripts on some vim specific site and then just give a link here, as it is done with all the other editors. Or, if such site does not exist, create a sub-page for vim.

I already simplified part of the chapter "Use It's All Text! to invoke an external editor" and removed some vim specific stuff. But there are still the chapters "Using vim or another console editor" and "Using vim on Mac OS X" that do not belong here. Those should be removed. If someone needs the information there, please copy it to some vim specific site now.
--PauliKL (talk) 16:03, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Vim now accounts for more than a quarter of the content, most of that is the misplaced script. Perhaps that could find a home in wikibooks (it doesn't belong here) Tedickey (talk) 08:59, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Strange link[edit]

The link "It's All Text and gVim" in section "WikipediaFS" leads to a section with the headline "Use It's All Text! to invoke an external editor".

Shouldn't they be the same?

--Mortense (talk) 23:36, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Should this be added?[edit]

There is a stand-alone Mediawiki editor on Sourceforge and it also works with Windows. --Elitre (talk) 13:23, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Mobile editing?[edit]

Hi. Not sure if this is the proper place to ask this. But are there any tips for editing for mobile users (I use Safari on iOS). It's very hard to edit in the iPod's Safari browser. I would like to be able to use an external editor, but the article doesn't say whether that's possible, let alone provide recommendations. Thanks.

--Autocorrelation (talk) 11:22, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Does "Wikipedia markup" exist?[edit]

In section GNU Emacs,

... mostly provides syntax highlighting for Wikipedia markup.

Should it be "MediaWiki markup" instead of "Wikipedia markup"?

--Mortense (talk) 12:42, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

This discussion is too technical..when I paste text it does not wrap.[edit]

I have been trying to paste text in a wikipedia text editing window. The text does not "wrap". I have followed the help system and found this text editor support page. The answer is to delete any spaces at the start of paragraphs and to insert a blank line between paragraphs instead.Imageofreality (talk) 01:48, 9 February 2011 (UTC)


I like to underline text a lot, will that ever be part of the Wikipedia format so I don't have to continue doing it via HTML? Feedback 17:46, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

MwJed plugin for jEdit -- RIP?[edit]

I tried to download the MediaWiki syntax highlighting plugin for jEdit from the URL given on the Wikipedia:Text editor support page (and in numerous other places around the web), only to get a Not Found error message. Is there anywhere else that might have this plugin? Was it GPL? If so, does anyone else here have a copy of it that they'd be willing to share? -- Eiríkr Útlendi | Tala við mig 22:41, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

It's All Text doesn't work with WikiEditor[edit]

I'm using the official extension WikiEditor, and I have it enabled in my prefs, but this doesn't permit me to launch the editor associated with It's All Text.

Any workaround? DonPaolo (talk) 15:27, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

LibreOffice Wiki Publisher[edit]

How to configure MediaWiki (options -> Internet -> mediawiki) to work with wikipedia, which wikimedia server (URL) should I put in to configuration dialog box?

--emc (talk) 14:06, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Vim syntax file[edit]

Hey. I've cloned the Vim syntax highlighting from Text editor support into a Github repository [1]. I wouldn't mind taking over as maintainer, if you think it's acceptable to run development through there. What do you think? --causa sui (talk) 01:42, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

I'll be WP:BOLD and do it. :-) causa sui (talk) 18:04, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
It would be wonderful for you to take over as maintainer. Allow me to make some suggestions.
In my personal opinion, it is a very bad idea to have multiple out-of-sync copies of mediawiki.vim on multiple websites on the Internet. If you become maintainer, may I suggest that your first order of business should be to get as many out-of-date copies of the script removed from the Internet completely.
If you maintain the file in source control, please remove the file from Wikipedia:Text editor support. In its place, please leave a link to its new home.
Vim's maintainer, Bram Moolenaar, uses Mercurial. It's up to you, but I suggest that you use Mercurial too, for this project only. It's not hard to learn. Various services offer free Mercurial hosting.
It would be nice to get the syntax file into the official Vim distribution. But, to do this, you might have to get every single past contributor who has contributed a copyright-significant amount of content to agree to relicense their past contributions under the same terms as Vim itself. Email the Vim Bugs email list for more information.
Unforgettableid (talk) 22:57, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree completely with all these points except for mercurial. Both are well developed and reliable revision control systems, but I see no technical advantage of one over the other. That said, it can always be sorted out later. I'll go ahead and ramp up on relinking it. --causa sui (talk) 00:15, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I make no claim that Mercurial is better than Git. I don't know enough about either one to be able to say which is better.
I claim only that it might be easier to get your work included upstream if you use the same version control system as upstream uses.
Or maybe not.
I don't understand Vim's (unusual) development process, and so I have no clue about the best way to work together with the Vim maintainer.
But, in general, when doing any downstream development, isn't it usually wise to use the same version control system as upstream does?
Unforgettableid (talk) 03:03, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

Nothing for BBEdit (TextWrangler)?[edit]

BBEdit supports syntax highlighting modules. There doesn't seem to be one for MW syntax yet. This is one of the most-used Mac OS X editors. I know jack-all about creating such a module, however. Just wondering if anyone else has done so already.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  03:32, 31 August 2016 (UTC)


Could someone who knows more about this then me check to see if GhostText is actually working and if not remove it? Neither of the browser plugins works. Seraphimsystem (talk) 02:09, 7 April 2017 (UTC)