Wikipedia talk:VisualEditor/User guide

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Just wanted to say that the screenshots about the references are from the previous "edition" of VE, before the "create new source" and "use an existing source" were there. TeamGale (talk) 02:12, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Eep! Thanks, TeamGale. If nobody does something about that before then, I'll see what I can do tomorrow. :/ (Almost 15 hours into my work day, I'm definitely not capable tonight. :D) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 02:15, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I can imagine...I was trying to go through the "feedback" section the last few (many!) hours and I got dizzy that I finally gave up! :/ I seriously don't know how you do it and answer to everyone. You and all the WMF people. I salute all of you! If I knew how to upload screenshots and post them on the guide section, I would definitely help! Just wanted you to know because there is already a big confussion on the subject :/ TeamGale (talk) 02:22, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, TeamGale - for both the feedback and the lovely note :). Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 06:24, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Updated! --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:47, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
Thumbs up! :D TeamGale (talk) 15:05, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Is it possible to opt out VisualEditor?[edit]

Is it possible to opt out VisualEditor? If so, it should be explained in the user guide. --Custoo (talk) 23:03, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Ok, I found it under the title Opening VisualEditor after I read about how to do it in VisualEditor/Feedback. I didn't have any patience to start reading a user guide to a feature I don't want to use so maybe there could be a more describing title for the chapter to spot it in the contents menu. --Custoo (talk) 23:11, 3 July 2013 (UTC)
I have to agree, making it easy for people to disable VisualEditor would be appropriate. It took a round of google searches just to figure out what the heck the "feature" was called so that I could find information on disabling it. This project page didn't present any upfront easy to find information for disabling it. The above poster was my first actual lead to find out how (for others searching for it, it is not under Edit within Preferences, but rather under Gadgets within Preferences, search for "VisualEditor" and uncheck to disable it; don't forget to save).
I have been building webpages/sites for about 18 years now, and I do not use WYSIWYG editors, I do not hire anyone who relies on WYSIWYG editors, and I know of nobody in the industry who hires people who rely on WYSIWYG. While a WYSIWYG editor is nice for noobs, anyone who knows what they are doing avoids them like a plague. Perhaps VisualEditor will-be/is better than most WYSIWYG, but I doubt it, and I worry about the effects it will have on page sources. In any event, there will be many who will not like using the VisualEditor and would prefer to work with the source. An easy way to choose to opt-out (say, a check box under the Edit Preferences, where many would expect it, rather than guessing it is under Gadget Preferences) would be appreciated by them (not to mention, the expanding "[Edit]" is very distracting when moving the mouse around). — al-Shimoni (talk) 23:36, 5 July 2013 (UTC)


This article targets people who are not going to have any idea what the word "transclusion" means. I'm a computer scientist and I had to look it up again to be sure what it meant. Its use on this page is not even correct (not that most readers will know that). The statement that "The "Transclusion" icon (a puzzle piece) allows you to edit templates" is, I think, just wrong. You click on the puzzle piece to edit information contained in template parameters. This is not the same as editing the template itself. The transclusion icon has at least three different uses depending on where you encounter it. Under reference content it allows you to import templates (it says it is allowing you to ADD templates, but that's not exactly the same). If you encounter it when editing a reference, it allows you to edit data contained in a template. Finally if you click the puzzle piece when you are editing a non-template reference, it seems to have no discernible purpose.

I would edit the tutorial but the real problem is bigger than the word transclusion; the problem is that a single icon with opaque name is used to do substantially different things, none of them exactly what the tutorial suggests. Camdenmaine (talk) 01:19, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Agreed; the word is very opaque to me. I'm going to add this to the notes we're using to track "things that need work in the template editor". Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 12:08, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

VisEd link add/edit instructions are not intuitive[edit]

The VisEd link instruction workflow shows no obvious way to specify a link URL, whether internal Wiki or external. If there is a way (and there obviously must be...) then it should be added to the example in the instruction flow. I tried to use the VisEd procedure to make a correction on the Blue Moon beer info. page and gave up...see my comments on that page. -- Webbie

@Webistrator: I have modifyed the user guide to make clear how to set up a link that uses a url (what is known as an external link). Also, the software for linking has changed a bit (for the better, IMHO), so that may help with this issue. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 20:31, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

Editing wikilinks so what the reader sees is not what the underlying link is[edit]

I see no information in the user guide about how to do a piped link. Such links are very common in Wikipedia articles; it would be great to know how to do this in VE, or, if it's not yet possible, then a note saying not to even try. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:46, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Hello. You can do a piped link. You type the word you want to be displayed on the screen, highlight it and then CTRL+K or click on the link icon at the toolbar. On the box that will open, you type the hyperlink's name and then enter. While you are typing, VE is also giving you options of what wikilinks are fitting to what you are typing. Hope that helps :) TeamGale (talk) 02:57, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
@TeamGale: Thanks, that's helpful, but doesn't cover all situations. In particular, I want to fix an existing wikilink that (incorrectly) goes to a disambiguation page. So I guess I'd like to know if there is any option other than to delete the existing link and start over. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 01:35, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
@John Broughton: You are welcome. To replace the already excisting link, it works the same way. When your cursor is on the wikilink, the link icon appears. You can either click on that icon or CTRL+K and the box you can type the hyperlink appears. Type what you want to link and click enter :) TeamGale (talk) 09:13, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
I have boldly added to the guide a section about piped links and a sentence about the equivalent for external links. JohnCD (talk) 08:57, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
When I used VE to try to correct a misspelling in a piped link, I didn't see any indication that the link was in fact piped (with the same name on both sides of the pipe and with the same misspelling). I corrected it by backing out of VE and editing in source, where I easily discovered the pipe and the problem -- but I doubt a "naive" editor would be able to figure out why her/his edit was still red linked (the ctrl-K is only relevant if one already is thinking in terms of piped links).Kdammers (talk) 06:58, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
This would presumably be more obvious if the red links were actually displayed as red in VisualEditor. I've also added a description of this problem to bug 51438 Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:50, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

"edit beta" is not displayed[edit]

I can see the "edit source" tab but not the tab for VisualEditor :-( TINYMARK 09:34, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

On articles, or on other pages? And if on articles, is it on all of them? Someone found a page with an odd name that isn't behaving correctly. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:26, 3 August 2013 (UTC)
It's not displayed on any pages - article, discussion, talk, wikipedia pages! TINYMARK 04:36, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. It's only supposed to appear on article and userpages. VisualEditor can't be used on any of the other ones. My first guess is that you have an older web browser and VisualEditor simply won't work for you. About 20% of editors have a "blacklisted" web browser (browsers that we know it doesn't work on), like Internet Explorer. In that situation, you get only the link to the old editor. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:22, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

Should the infobox at the bottom right not be at the top right of this article?[edit]

It looks very out of place at the bottom of the article. -- (talk) 15:19, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

You're right. This kind of sidebar WP:NAVBOX is normally at the top right. I've moved it, but I'm not sure that it's such a good idea. It's so long, compared to the table of contents, that you're left with a large blank space. If it's added without the clear-text {{-}} template, then it covers up part of the directions. I don't think that there is an easy solution for this. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:32, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
With that much blank space, I wonder if some potential editors/readers will simply give up. Isn't there a way to format the page so that the side-bar runs beside rather than before the text? It is certainly done else-where, e.g., on the home-age of Wikipedia. Kdammers (talk) 06:46, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
It looked like a bunch of low-priority links had accumulated there, so I shortened it and moved links to other pages. Maybe that will help. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:02, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

Slightly misleading description (image search)[edit]

Searching for images via VE does not only work on Commons, but also includes the local Wikipedia's files (simple test: search for a local non-free file under fair-use) - atleast it does on en-Wiki, assuming other Wikis behave similar. Yesterday's newsletter DYK had the same small error :).. GermanJoe (talk) 11:05, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Format pull-down[edit]

On my screen, the formatting section, which the text illustrates with the word paragraph is nothing but a large empty rectangle (with no coloration and a near invisible border) with a small triangle. Kdammers (talk) 06:43, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

I'm not sure which part you're talking about. Are you looking at something in Wikipedia:VisualEditor/User guide#Getting started: the VisualEditor toolbar? Is this the part youre talking about?
VisualEditor - Toolbar - Headers.png
The Change format pull-down menu allows you to change the header level of text. Standard section headings are at the "Heading" level, as shown in the illustration. (In wikispeak, this is "level 2".)

In addition to changing the level of existing headers, you use this menu to create a header (select/highlight some text, then pick a level) and to convert an existing header to regular text (click anywhere within a header, then pick "Paragraph").

This was the only part I could find that contained the word paragraph. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:13, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

I am referring to the box in the large box that appears near the top of the screen when I enter VE mode. The word "Paragraph" is not visible until I click on the little black triangle. (This is in contrast to the picture in the guide, where the word "Paragraph" is visible.) Kdammers (talk) 04:42, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

So when you open VisualEditor, you see the toolbar like this:

The VisualEditor toolbar

except that the space that's supposed to say "Paragraph" (or whatever the formatting is for that line) is blank. Is that also true when you put your cursor in the middle of a section heading? What web browser are you using? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:40, 12 September 2013 (UTC)


I agree with User:Fram that the lead needs clarification about the state of VisualEditor and about how to access the older Wikitext option. (I'm checking on necessary updates.) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 12:39, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

I see that at least the toolbar is out of date. I'm working on it. :) I'll see what else I can fix. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 12:57, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

I've removed the paragraph about the RFC becuase it's off-topic and has no practical effect. It feels a bit like someone changing WP:FIRST to say "Here's instructions on how to create your first article. By the way, most of us senior editors don't want you to be able to do this." However, if the RFC were ever implemented, then I would support the inclusion of information to the effect that a bunch of editors decided that abunch of other editors weren't able to use VisualEditor, because that does have practical information (namely, that the second group of editors needs to go read a different help page). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 15:17, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

User:NicoV, the question isn't whether the RFC represents community consensus. It's whether information about that consensus is relevant or helpful to someone who is looking at a how-to page.
People come to this particular page with one basic question: How do I use this? Including this information is like responding, "You're asking how to use this. Well, first, let me tell you about something that has absolutely nothing to do with how to use this. After I'm done telling you something that doesn't answer, or even really relate, to your question at all, then I'll tell you how to use it."
Keep in mind that this is the User guide, not a page about VisualEditor in general. This information might be appropriate in a section on ==Status== at WP:VisualEditor. But in my opinion, it's inappropriate and off-topic here and does not help the readers of this page. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:14, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, yes I do believe it's helpful to a new VE user: it will show him that VE is far from being trustworthy yet, and emphasize the need to use it carefully and to check his modifications. Many new users will come straight the User Guide, disregarding WP:VisualEditor, so this user guide should be clear about the current status of VE and the community view about it. --NicoV (Talk on frwiki) 17:42, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps we should ask someone like User:John Broughton, who very likely knows far more about writing help guides than either of us, whether he believes that information about other people's perception of the software is relevant content for a page on how to use the software. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:02, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
I've rewritten the introductory material, shortening it considerably, and using some text from {{VE documentation}}. I note that most editors are likely to encounter the VE User guide from inside VE, and it's rather jarring if they then encounter a debate as to if/when/whether VE should be used at all.
The introduction, as revised, makes clear, I think, that editors have two alternatives for their editing interface. I'd like to believe that anyone willing to put any amount of time into editing Wikipedia is capable of (a) deciding that he/she doesn't like VE, or at least is interested in trying an alternative, and (b) can figure out how to invoke that alternative. More importantly, I'd like to believe that someone who has used the classic wikitext editor and is comfortable with that isn't somehow going to get trapped into editing with VE instead, and so doesn't need to be strongly told that the community would prefer they not use it. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:43, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
John Broughton I've a big concern with your modification: you removed the part where users are warned about potential damages made by VE (current beta status doesn't simply mean limitations but also bugs, some of them damaging articles) and that they should check their modifications. This part was added so that, hopefully, damages made by editors using VE won't need fixing by other editors. Could you add again something about this ? --NicoV (Talk on frwiki) 21:55, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
@NicoV: I'm certainly open to adding any text that is useful to editors. Here's my problem: Asking editors, in the introduction to this guide, to always click "Review your changes", and then look for errors, implies that they know how to read wikitext, and thus they can identify such things as nowiki tags as being errors. Even worse, it implies that they know how to correct such errors by doing something other than just canceling their edit. I'm not convinced that either is normally the case; where it's not, we're basically asking for the impossible, as well as scaring away editors who might use VE but not the regular wikitext interface. I realize that this is frustrating - if editors break things, they should fix them - but the point of VE is to hide complexity from new editors, not move it from one place (the main editing screen) to another (the review/diff).
Having said that, let me suggest an alternative: Create a page that tells editors "If you see this in your review/diff, then you should do this to fix it." (Screenshots would be great, and the page might be limited to the top ten or so errors, just to keep things manageable.) I'd certainly support linking to such a page from the section Saving changes, and mentioning the importance of checking for errors in the introduction (with a link), if such a page existed. Moreover, editors who fail to fix their mistakes could be pointed to such a page (by posting a note on their user talk page) and asked to avoid doing the same thing in subsequent edits. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 22:26, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
@John Broughton: The problem is that VE has been rolled out to novice editors while being full of bugs that damage articles, that's a fact we have to cope with because WMF won't listen to reason. I understand some VE editors won't understand how to review their changes, but here's my reasoning for still adding this note: first, many VE users are still not strangers to wikitext (they have to use it everywhere else than main and user namespace), so they will understand; second, even for users who don't understand wikitext, some VE problems are quite visible (like parts of page duplicated even if the user only made a spelling fix). It won't be perfect, but at least, some of them will either fix the problem or come to the feedback page for help. That's an improvement to the current situation, where many users are not even aware that VE could break things.
I'm readding the text, feel free to adapt it, but I do believe that it is useful. Otherwise, you're idea of adding things to Saving changes is good, but I have no clue on what to put in this extra page. --NicoV (Talk on frwiki) 04:02, 19 September 2013 (UTC)


As I noted else-where, the word "Paragraph" does not display until some action is taken: The screen shot shown here is not what I see when I first go to edit beta. Kdammers (talk) 09:15, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Yes, and the Bold and Italic icons have a box round them at that time, but that box disappears when editing. Using VE is always fun. Fram (talk) 09:32, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Kdammers, you didn't reply to my question above about this. I have another thing for you to test: Please click here and tell me whether the word "Paragraph" displays when you open it. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:03, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
I did respond. My answer is below your request.
As to your next request: Yes, the word "Paragraph" did appear just now when I went to the lung cancer cite by C&Ping the address from your post. It also appeared when I went to the lung cancer article "by hand." Kdammers (talk) 00:44, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
You replied once above. I asked questions twice above. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:20, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
As to Fram's comment. I don't know if it is a serious comment or not, but the B & I icons only show the boxes when moused over, not when editing. But I don't know what relevance that has. Kdammers (talk) 00:48, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
No, it wa a serious comment, I really got these boxes yesterday on opening a page, without mouse-over or anything. Now, I don't seem to get them. I don't get an text in the "Paragraph" box though (Firefox 23.0.1). Fram (talk) 10:27, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Ah, I have been able to find out what happened (and happens!) with the "Bold" and "Italic": it depends on where the (invisible) cursor stands when you open the page. So in Social Democratic Party (Moldova), you get nothing, in Allister, West Virginia, you get a box around the "Bold" icon, and in Anveshanam, both the bold and italic symbols are boxed.

Similarly, in Mrs. Bob Cratchit's Wild Christmas Binge, I get the "Paragraph" visible, but in Manja, Madagascar, I don't. Fram (talk) 11:51, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

That, in fact, is what's going on with the seemingly absent "Paragraph" heading: when you open the page, the cursor is put at the very first spot in the page. In articles with hatnotes, infoboxes, or images at the top, you don't see "Paragraph" because your cursor is not in a "paragraph". You only see "Paragraph" in the toolbar when your cursor is actually in a paragraph (including all empty/new pages that you're creating).
So if you open Lung cancer susceptibility, your cursor is in a paragraph and the toolbar tells you that. If you open Lung cancer, your cursor is not in a paragraph, and so the toolbar correctly does not claim that your curson is in a paragraph. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:20, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Allright, in the second one, now move your cursor one down ("Paragraph" appears), and again move one up: hey, "paragraph" remains! So perhaps the toolbvar works correctly on opening, but then it no longer works correctly afterwards... Either way, it is not consistent behaviour. Fram (talk) 10:12, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
It's consistent for me: I open Lung cancer in VE, and see no "Paragraph". Down arrow (once) produces the "paragraph" label. Up arrow (once) removes it (after about a quarter-second pause). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:10, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Delete button[edit]

The user-guide says "To delete an image or media file, select it, and then press delete or ← Backspace." A few months ago that certainly worked, however that doesnt work when I try that now, on Linux/monobook/Firefox&Chrome and Windows/vector/Firefox&Safari. Control-X works on both platforms. Likewise pressing delete or backspace on references & templates also doesn't work. Is that an intentional change? If so, the guide needs updating. John Vandenberg (chat) 07:13, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

However, the delete button works if I can put my cursor directly in front of these objects and press delete. John Vandenberg (chat) 07:37, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Are you talking about the "forward delete" key on PCs? Backspace and delete are the same thing on my Mac's keyboard, and it only works backwards.
Or if you're talking about the same thing, they're working on a change that will make it harder to accidentially delete infoboxes (in particular, with other things getting protected from accidental keypresses in the process). This may be the first step in addressing that problem. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:26, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Modifying a list[edit]

The guide doesn't seem to explain how to add a new line to a bulleted or numbered list with-out either adding a new bullet (or number) or indenting. I tried to do it, but the only thing that got accepted was really messed up (so I used source editing). In other words, how do I do the equivalent of putting in ":" under a bullet? Kdammers (talk) 10:02, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

I don't think this can be done right now. Also, see Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback/Archive_2013_4#List_and_line_breaks. HTH, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 10:31, 20 September 2013 (UTC)
Can't be done. You can create sublists ("*" followed by "**"), but not mixed lists of partly bullets and partly association lists ("*" followed by ":"). Also, from what I've understood over at WT:ACCESS, I believe that this type of formattting is officially deprecated and causes problems for some screen readers. Consequently, I don't really think that you should necesarily expect this to be supported in the future. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:30, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

very very slow[edit]


The User guide says that it takes a "few seconds" for the VE to open. I find that it takes more like a minute, even for a short article. I use Chrome which is a supported browser, they say, with the vector skin. What am I doing wrong? I've never managed to make an edit in VE. Thanks, Soranoch (talk) 22:39, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

ps I can't get William Caxton to open at all, even after five minutes. Soranoch (talk) 22:44, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Hey Soranoch, thanks for your message, I'm moving this to the feedback page, let's keep the discussion there! --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 09:07, 24 October 2013 (UTC)


How is a redirect made in VE?

It isn't yet, but I believe this is coming. Regards, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 10:49, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

How to Opt-In to VisualEditor?[edit]

The introduction says that in order to opt-in for the VisualEditor, you must go to your preferences, with a link to Preferences->Editing. However, there is no opt-in option here. I had to go to Preferences->Beta features to find the opt-in option. Is this just me? Jaardon (talk) 18:59, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Apologies, Jaardon, that content is outdated. You will find the relevant option, and a new feature to test, among Beta Features. Thanks, and looking forward to hearing from you again, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 19:01, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I just updated the link to reflect that. Hope that's ok. Jaardon (talk) 19:32, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

Image resizing concern[edit]

The documentation for Editing images and other media files says "Once inserted.... You can resize it using the handles at its corners." I question whether resizing should be supported in the VE UI. If it is, then surely the docs should mention that normally images should not be resized manually, to reduce the potential for conflict when more experienced editors revert the size changes? - Pointillist (talk) 00:02, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Hi, Pointillist. :) That sounds like a valuable point of discussion, but I'm afraid that it may be overlooked at this page. This User Guide is really just a reflection for how the software works right now and is in fact largely being developed at mw:Help:VisualEditor:User guide. If you haven't already, can you please bring that up at Wikikipedia:VisualEditor/Feedback? This will make sure that others see your comments and can participate, and the liaisons who are working on that board will make sure that developers are alerted to your concerns. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 15:13, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

Video tutorial would be nice[edit]

An idea. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:50, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

The interface keeps changing, so it would probably go out of date pretty quickly, but User:Quiddity (WMF) has made a some short videos.
Is there something in particular that you'd like to see in it? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 06:23, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
A simple one-two minu introduction/demonstration I could show my students and other interested people. It could just illustrate the basic functionality that is unlikely to change, no need to show anything complex. The point is, we need a nice short video showing that Wikipedia editing is possible, easy and friendly in a WYSIWYG mode. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 08:25, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
I believe that, given VE is still in a beta stage, there is probably literally nothing unlikely to change :) Had you seen File:Sneak Preview - Wikipedia VisualEditor.webm? --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 08:32, 29 April 2014 (UTC)
@Elitre (WMF): It's pretty nice, but I think it focuses too little on how easy it is to use. What I'd like would be something a bit longer, which simply shows how easy it is to edit a Wikipedia page. Like "would you like to change a sentence? fix a typo? Move a picture? Add a reference?" No need to go through all the features, just the most basic ones. Heck, drop the reference or a picture if they are likely to change. Editing a sentence is unlikely to become fundamentally different, is it? Just show that for half a minute or a minute, stressing easiness or friendliness. If you can get WMF to do it with few volunteers/employees/actors, with different voices, accents, and so on, to show the demographic/ethnic diversity (ex. five people expressing amazement at how simple and easy it is to edit with it) it would be perfect, but if not, even one person would be good. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:11, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
The hard parts of making a screencast are: 1) writing a script and storyboard (incl. collecting screenshots, organizing tabs, etc). 2) Doing the recording about 40 times, in order to get a single clean "take", with smooth mouse-movement and no stumbling over words (assuming you don't want to deal with video-editing). It took me 4 hours, to create and upload this 30 second video, not including weeks of contemplation beforehand (hence I knew what I wanted, before I started hammering out the script).
There's a fairly good set of instructions and tips at Wikipedia:WikiProject Screencast/How-to. HTH. –Quiddity (talk) 22:53, 7 May 2014 (UTC)


Am happy to see a Cite menu with categories for Website, Book, Newspaper and Journal. To my mind, this is a big step in making VE a viable replacement for the source editor. Is the feature documented somewhere? Barte (talk) 01:26, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Not yet. It's only enabled here, and it has been here for only about 30 hours so far. We'll need to replace a lot of the screenshots for the main toolbar.
It's almost the same as the simplified template mode, only with ref tags at each end, so if you've been working in VisualEditor a lot, it should do just what you think it will. The more flexible Insert > Reference still works for new ones, non-templated ones, and (if you first select the ref and then go to Insert > Reference) even editing citations created with this new, more prominent mode. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:46, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks--I didn't realize the menu was so new. Barte (talk)

The Cite instructions are out-of-date, so I boldly fixed them but got reverted. Could someone with more experience than me update them? Thanks! Nicolas1981 (talk) 06:52, 23 July 2014 (UTC)

We need a major update. I might be able to start on this next week. However, I'll be working on the master copy, which is at mw:Help:VisualEditor/User guide. If anyone wants to join in, then feel free to meet me there. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:59, 25 July 2014 (UTC)

dealing with pre-formatted citations[edit]

The National Library of Australia provides Wikipedia-format citations (as well as other formats) for everything in the catalogue including millions of books, journal articles, digitised newspaper articles, pictures etc. E.g. for this digitised newspaper article, you get this citation:

{{cite news |url= |title=CARNEGIE CLARK RETIRES. |newspaper=[[Sydney_morning_herald|The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954)]] |location=NSW |date=28 May 1930 |accessdate=8 May 2015 |page=17 |publisher=National Library of Australia}}

However, I cannot work out how to enter these using the Visual Editor because when I use the "Cite basic form" it wraps the pasted text with nowiki tags with no apparent way to disable that behaviour. Take a look at the last citation in the Carnegie Clark article to see my problem.

I am planning to teach 2 groups of Australian librarians the VE next month but if I can't solve the problem of how to cite resources in Australian libraries, I'll have to keep teaching the source editor.

Thanks. Kerry (talk) 21:45, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

{{Cite news|title = CARNEGIE CLARK RETIRES.|url =|newspaper = The Sydney Morning Herald|date = 28 May 1930|access-date = 2015-05-11|pages = 17}} is currently what you get if you just copy/paste the NLA URL into Citoid (in VE, click on the word "Cite" to launch it), and if you really need to insert additional info, you can do so manually, immediately or you can edit the citation at any time. Are there other sources you use a lot? We'd like to see how Citoid behaves with them. Thanks, --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 13:30, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Opening VE[edit]

The user guide says to click "edit beta" and also has screenshots saying "edit beta", but the interface no longer includes "beta". Wikipedia:VisualEditor/User guide#First step: opt in says "you can still use VisualEditor by adding ?veaction=edit to the end of a Wikipedia page URL." I suggest mentioning you can click the normal edit tab first and then change ?action=edit to ?veaction=edit. PrimeHunter (talk) 01:44, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Ideally the page should be changed so that it mentions how to create an article (for example). --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 16:21, 24 September 2015 (UTC)


Is there any interest in the community for creating a step-by-step tutorial along the same lines as Wikipedia:Tutorial? It would be good for new users to be taught how to use this interface before they learn markup. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 10:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

User:Pine has been working on some education-related materials.
I really ought to see about importing an updated copy of the user guide. If I can find the critical link on, I'll do that in a little while. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:33, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia:VisualEditor/User guide#Editing references still needs work, but the rest has been updated.
T.Shafee, I noticed that you changed some of the image widths. Would you be at all willing to clean up image widths and borders in the central doc? I can explain how to do it, if you're interested. The advantange to doing there is that the size changes will propagate out to every site as updates are copied over. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 22:15, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Whatamidoing (WMF), I'm happy to edit the master copy. Is it the one over on media wiki? I was just attempting to make the text roughly the same size in each image. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 23:24, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's the correct link. Making the images feel about the same size is exactly the goal (or "same zoom"?). Also, some of them need a "border" parameter (else it looks like it's trailing off into nothingness, and others don't, and I just realized the other day that I've not paid attention to that, so some have borders that need to be removed, and it's possible that a few are missing borders that might be useful.
It's not hard work, per se, but the translation markup makes it awkward. If you accidentally delete half of a translate tag (pair), it won't let you save the page. As a result, I recommend saving early and often, to minimize the risk of problems after you've spent hours working on it. You also can't edit by sections (the translation markup breaks the section headings, even though the section edit buttons are still visible). My workaround for this is to add a couple of fake =Temporary section headings= (level 1) in the wikitext, not have them marked up for translation, and then you can edit some sections—although you will probably have to edit the URL by hand, because it will look like you're clicking on section #22, but only the =Fake sections= you add are counted, and so it will tell you that section doesn't exist. So the &action=edit&section=22 part of the URL might need to be changed to &action=edit&section=1 (section 0 is the lead). Be sure to remove the fake section headings when you're done. Or, you can edit it in one big glob, but that can be a little awkward.
The other main issue isn't nearly so bad: you can't just search for "[[File:" to find images, because 30 images get automatically updated (with many copies in other languages!), and thus are transcluded via a template. So look for the {{Language screenshot URL}} template: Those are actually images. (And ignore anything that looks like a logo, because what that really means is "I've got to make those screenshots soon". There are a couple of new features that either just deployed or are being deployed this week.) Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 07:49, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Whatamidoing (WMF), Thanks for explaining the idiosyncrasies of the media wiki page! I definitely wouldn't have been brave enough to dive in without it (I've never come across translation tags or some of the weird automatically updating templates before). I may still try to make a tutorial-style summary of the guide, simply because I think it's less intimidating to a new editor. I'm planning on running a wikibomb with a lot of new editors next year and want a place to send them to learn VE. I'm concious that there are already a lot of competing trainings and tutorials that can get a bit overwhelming (with The_Wikipedia_Adventure etc.) but I think there's a bit of a gap in the market. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:35, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
How many months until your wikibomb? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:42, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
- It's in August 2016, although I'll also be teaching a workshop in February so it'd be nice to have it by then. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 00:27, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
  • T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo) and Whatamidoing (WMF): my grant proposal about instructional videos is currently under review. I discussed it with Marti earlier this week. I hope to hear back in the next couple of weeks. The finished products are likely several months away from completion; there is likely to be a thorough process for writing scripts before production and eventual publication. --Pine 22:18, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Pine, That sounds like a great idea. Are you planning to use them alongside written instructions like on the Wikipedia:Tutorial page, or do you have a new format in mind? T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 23:24, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Pine, I look forward to the videos! In the meantime, I might put together a few simple text pages. When you make the videos, let me know and maybe they can be linked/appended to any text instructions. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:35, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry I'm late to this conversation. I have been working with my team to develop a micro-series of very short (1-2 minute) 'how to edit' Wikipedia videos for beginners designed for sharing on social media. Such a series would exist to inspire newbies to learn more about editing. User:Pine and I have spoken about this, and I was of the opinion that there should be 2 types of video tutorials, one highly polished micro-series targeted to total newbies for social media that explains one or two features at a time per video (see below), and the other in-depth tutorial for newbies (which would include classroom audiences) who are seriously interested in learning all the tools and best practices. Currently Pine is in the application phase to get funding for the in-depth version which I can advise on. I expect each of these to come into existence at some point next year (2016), and I expect several months for each of them to be completed.
I can say that Wikipedia can be good for text-based collaboration so thats why scripts are so important. It's easy to update them or translate them and they can be the basis for any number of language-version tutorials. As for updating the actual video, we don't have a collaborative platform for (yet), so that involves individuals and their own video editing capabilities. Here is a space for the first three scripts my team has drafted which deal with 1.) pressing edit, 2.) adding links and citations (these are together because the WMF research team had found that people didn't understand the difference), and 3.) the history page (research had indicated that people didn't understand why they had to press save so many times). This is just a start, and I expect that a short video explaining the basics of intellectual property will have to be drafted before getting into the concept of uploading media. VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 20:42, 12 November 2015 (UTC)
I love the idae of simple video tutorials to have embedded on help pages and to share about on social media. Just to clarify - are the VGrigas (WMF) and Pine working on the same video tutorial project - and are they geared towards markup, VE or both? T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 10:02, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • @Evolution and evolvability: Victor's project is geared toward smaller videos and I believe is entirely focused on VE. My project is more detailed and is intended for use in academic environments, galleries, libraries, archives, and museums. --Pine 03:30, 16 November 2015 (UTC)


I've made a basic Help:Introduction_to_editing_(VE) page! I aim eventually to do one for references, tables, images and templates. Please let me know what you think. Any improvements and suggestions are welcome. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 11:16, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

I made a few small changes.
I'm not sure, but I don't think that new editors can mark edits as being minor. Therefore, it might be reasonable to omit that sentence (from page /4). Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:23, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Hello guys ...we need this...pages to update with the new intro would be. --Moxy (talk) 20:15, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the list, Moxy. Sometimes finding the list of pages is the hardest part. T.Shafee, is there anything else you need soon? Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 16:55, 13 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the help guys! Now online are Help:Introduction to editing (VE) & referencing (VE). Next up, Images and templates. If you have a moment, please take a quick look and check for errors or improvements! If you're up for helping out, linking some other pages to the new tutorials would be useful, and checking the tutorials for errors or wording improvements would be great. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 09:56, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry to be late to the party :) I wanted to point to these recent resources by user:James Hare (NIOSH), in case someone hadn't seen them yet. --Elitre (WMF) (talk) 15:39, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

I've just updated Help:Referencing for beginners#Using VisualEditor, which has reminded me that c:User:Neil P. Quinn-WMF/Visual editor has some interesting animated gifs. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:54, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

I've just finished a draft of Help:introduction to images (VE). As always - it'd be great if other editors could check it for errors or possible improvements and links. Those gifs could be useful - perhaps a relevant gif or video could eventually go at the very bottom of each page {{intro to}} page? T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 05:04, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
I've also made a draft overview/navigation page at Help:Introduction to, and a small template box, {{intro to box}}, that might be useful for transcluding into other help pages. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 12:37, 21 November 2015 (UTC)


I have updated a few pages with the new intros ...pls add more as need be....still need to add PDFs to Wikipedia:Contributing to Wikipedia#External links....

Stray bits[edit]

I found these two stray bits in my notes; I think they were 'lost' during the recent updates:

Tablet users can use VisualEditor on the mobile version of Wikipedia. While editing a page, click on the cog in the top-right corner of your screen and select Edit.

Clicking on the "Edit source" tab will open the classic wikitext source editor.

VisualEditor - Edit tab - 2.png

I can't decide if they're important enough to include again (although the image is out of date). Also, User:John Broughton (and anyone else who's interested): Do you think that we should add information about VisualEditor on mobile devices? The toolbar is smaller/fewer features, and the button has a different icon. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 23:32, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

How to preview and test changes in a template which affect a link that it will generate?[edit]

I'm editing a coord template in Visual Editor, changing the "dim" parameter, which will make a change in the external link that is offered when the page is rendered. I like the way the template editor facilitates changing the template. But I can't test my changes before I save, since I can't find a way to get the page actually rendered into a preview of the actual page. Or I can't find a way to click on the coord entry and follow the link that will be generated, rather than just editing the coord template parameters again. Please provide a way to test clicking on the link rendered by this and other templates. If that is too hard, please explain in the interactive help what the best way to test is (changing to "edit source" with "keep changes" and "Show Preview"?). And then add a way to switch straight to the "show preview" option in Edit Source without having to remember to "keep changes"..... ★NealMcB★ (talk) 15:35, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

I apologize for the late reply, Neal. {{Coord}} is an example of what's called an "overloaded" template, and these aren't supported by TemplateData, which makes them difficult to support in the visual editor. Your proposal to switch to the wikitext editor for previewing is a good approach. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 00:46, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

How to change cell colour in Table using VE?[edit]

Hello, I looked but can't see the information? Iamnotacylon (talk) 18:03, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but this can't be done in the visual editor right now. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 21:30, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Single edit tab[edit]

Now that has moved over to using a single edit tab, the images on how to access VE will need to be updated. Are there any screenshots already in the commons or do new ones have to be made? Help:Introduction_to_editing_with_VisualEditor will need to be updated too. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 12:45, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

int: misformatting[edit]

Most of the int:XYZ transculusions are currently misformatting, e.g.:
{{int:visualeditor-dialog-transclusion-add-param}} displays <visualeditor-dialogbutton-reference-tooltip>
It's a bit beyond my technical abilities to fix. Any ideas? T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 07:33, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

If i entered a link with "_" the "_" will be replaced with a blank. How could i stop this behaviour? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ulrich C. Thiess (talkcontribs) 13:42, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

VisualEditor messes up football infoboxes[edit]

Is there a way to correct an error which has crept into the VisualEditor, which would prevent it from messing with the format of an association football player biography infobox? I am specifically talking about the years1/clubs1/caps1/goals1 section. If a player has played for more than one club, in the plain text editor, the clubs/stats will be listed like this:

|years1 =
|clubs1 =
|caps1 =
|goals1 =
|years2 =
|clubs2 =
|caps2 =
|goals2 =

When you edit an infobox through the VisualEditor and then save, it does this to the list:

|years1 =
|years2 =
|clubs1 =
|clubs2 =
|caps1 =
|caps2 =
|goals1 =
|goals2 =

Is there any way that the VisualEditor can be adjusted so that it does not alter the formatting of a football biography infobox? There is an example here where a moderator comes down on me for a good faith edit of mine. I didn't intentionally mess up the infobox, VisualEditor messed it up. Beatpoet (talk) 17:56, 22 September 2016 (UTC)

Ref names[edit]

Is it possible to have Visual Editor not use default ref names like :0: and :1:? I am encountering these more and more and this is actually screwing up newbie editors, who don't seem to be able to tell which ref they are actually citing due to this... Jytdog (talk) 06:43, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Agreed. A sensible default name might be an autogenerated "Author1-Year", or just the "PMID" or "DOI". T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 10:50, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Is the enabling VE section out of date?[edit]

Hi all

Is the enabling VE page out of date? I recently taught some people to edit Wikipedia and VE has been religated to a small unmarked pencil icon in the editing window, its super hard to find.... Having it documented here would be great help.


--John Cummings (talk) 12:39, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia:VisualEditor/User guide#First step: enabling VE says:
"If you are registered on Wikipedia, you can opt to make VisualEditor available for editing, by changing your preferences. You'll need a VisualEditor-supported browser; most are. More information can be found here."
"your preferences" links a page where you can enable edit links for VisualEditor. I think it's more problematic that the instructions also link Wikipedia:VisualEditor/Opt-in on "here". I don't know whether the browser info there is current but most of the rest isn't. PrimeHunter (talk) 12:47, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
As a user who just enabled Visual Editor tonight, might I be so bold as to suggest that it would also help to spell out WHICH options need to be set on that Preferences page. I know you probably think it is obvious, or perhaps I am just stupid, but having to UN-tick an option was not obvious to me, and then changing the drop-down list to enable VE again was less obvious. --Gronk Oz (talk) 14:19, 9 February 2017 (UTC)